National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

truth and reconciliation 2023

Greetings EFCC sisters and brothers!

Autumn is here and I trust that you are experiencing God’s grace and peace in your lives. We pray this for you here at Home Office as we look at what is happening in Canada and reflect on this coming weekend.

Saturday, September 30 is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Our EFCC Home Office will be closed on Monday, October 2 as we remember a painful part of our history. For over 160 years the government of Canada forcibly took children from their homes and placed them in residential schools run by various Christian denominations. The goal was to assimilate children into “Canadian culture”, and this entailed the demonization and suppression of indigenous language, values, and culture. Many children experienced physical, sexual, and other forms of abuse. Many children died at residential schools. There are people in our communities whose generational grief is only now being acknowledged.

As children of Jesus, we are called to embrace both truth and reconciliation.

I can only imagine the pain a parent would have felt to be told that their culture and values were “unCanadian” and therefore inferior. How much more horrific would it be to watch one’s child taken away to “unlearn” their “inferior values” and be assimilated into the “correct” culture. Please pray with us for those who bear the scars of abuse and loss. Please also pray that the compassionate, welcoming heart of Jesus will be seen in our congregations all across the Free Church and in our ServeCanada and ServeBeyond families. May we be a people of repentance and the redeeming, reconciling presence of Jesus to those who need His healing.

Serving with you,

Bill Taylor
EFCC Executive Director


EFCC Sunday

EFCC Sunday 2023

Dear EFCC Family!

As we settle into the fall routines and welcome the cooler temperatures, we would invite you to join us in celebrating EFCC Sunday. This is a time where we take a moment to reflect and thank God for the associate of churches and believers we are apart of. It’s also a time to reflect on the work God has done nationally and internationally. Below you will find materials we’ve put together to help share what is happening with the EFCC as whole. We also invite you to take this time to celebrate with your congregation the things that God is doing locally, and the places He is leading you.

When? We are asking churches to pick a Sunday between now and the end of November to have an EFCC Sunday celebration.

What Do We Need? We ask that you use the materials we have prepared below as part of your EFCC Sunday celebration. Download and share the video. Print and share the bulletin insert. Take a time to reflect on what you are sharing from your local churches journey.

What are we sharing? The materials provided share the exciting things that we are doing together and events that are coming up that we hope you will join us for.  These include:

The Benevolence Fund – it was started just before the impacts of COVID-19 started being felt all over the world. This fund has been used to assist people suffering from:

    • Desperate poverty
    • COVID-19
    • The war in Ukraine
    • And now, forest fires in Canada

God is transforming lives! To follow where God is leading, we’re recruiting a new generation of leaders, pastors, and missionaries. We have a partnership with Prairie College offering bursaries to qualified students. Last year, we had our first participant. This year we are up to six!

prairie college

We’re extending this partnership to Serve24, a 2-year (i.e. 24-month) apprenticeship pairing academic instruction from Prairie College and hands-on, practical experience with our missionaries.

The development of our EFCC Leadership (formerly Lay Leader) Training module and how that is growing.
steve sharpe Steve Sharpe is coming on board as a Church Planting Missionary, helping our whole team of national and international leaders to develop a fresh, keen vision to see the launch of new, healthy churches.

Finally, two date blocks for you to circle on your calendar:

25-26 January, 2024
Theology Symposium (Online)
“Humble Hermeneutics”
with Dr. Randolph Richards

13-15 June, 2024
EFCC Conference (Surrey BC)
“A Curious People”
with Dr. David Pao

We’re so grateful for your service to God, your investment in the Gospel, and we hope that you’re excited about at least some of the same things we are as we look forward to what is possible, together.
Thank you for participating in EFCC Sunday!
Watch EFCC Sunday video
Download EFCC Sunday Bulletin

Coronation EFC Alberta Fire

coronation efc fire

Dear EFCC Family,

You may have heard about the recent fire that, sadly, has consumed the building of a member in our EFCC family: Coronation EFC in Coronation, Alberta. Below is a message we received the day after from APD District Superintendent Marvin Penner. He has invited us to share it with all of you:

I thought that in the interest of having accurate information I would let you know what is known at this point. Things may change as more information becomes available.

On Tuesday, September 5, 2023 around noon, the Evangelical Free Church in Coronation burned down. Arson is suspected and the police have a suspect in custody. The following message is from Pastor Clayton Grice:

No doubt many have heard about our fire at the Coronation Evangelical Free Church. We are saddened by the loss, and yet, we know the building isn’t the church. Each person who belongs to Jesus is!

Please pray:

  1. For our unity and for wisdom to know what the next steps are.
  2. For the fire investigators and the RCMP as they continue their work. Pray that the truth will be brought to light, and it will be clear what started the fire.
  3. Pray for our community, that gossip and storytelling will not cloud the truth.
  4. Pray for the young man in custody. Pray for his protection, and for his health, and for his spiritual care. “

Thank you for your prayers for Coronation,

Marvin Penner

Alberta Parkland District Superintendent

We encourage you to join us in prayer for Coronation EFC and the requests that Pastor Clayton has shared. If you would like to find out other ways to help or connect, please contact District Superintendent Marvin Penner:

Contact Marvin Penner

Benevolence Fund Appeal

benevolence fund appeal

Dear fellow servants of Jesus,

Last week we called our Free Church family to pray for communities threatened by wildfire. While our prayers are critical, and I would encourage you to continue, many of you are probably wondering if there are some financial ways that you can help those affected by the wildfires. We mentioned in last week’s blog and social media posts that the EFCC Benevolence Fund could provide that help.

The EFCC Benevolence Fund exists to help individuals in times of crisis or humanitarian need. Covid relief (especially in countries with no social nets), relief for families struggling during the war in Ukraine, and providing food and clothing for refugees are just a few of the many ways this fund has helped over the last few years. As a need arises, we can work with and assist those on the ground (typically through a missionary or pastor) in the affected area. We have been in ongoing communication with several people connected to these wildfires and anticipate hearing from others soon. We hope to be able to help them once they assess and share with us their need.

Thank you for your past support of this fund. All this help has been possible due to your generous donations to the EFCC Benevolence Fund.

As you look to help communities affected by wildfire, would you consider the EFCC Benevolence Fund as the way to do this?

To learn more about the EFCC Benevolence Fund, or to donate, go to:

Benevolence Fund

Please Join Us in Prayer

pray with us

Dear fellow servants of Jesus Christ,

This year has been a particularly harsh year for wildfires in Canada. Numerous communities across Canada have faced evacuations and significant loss already, with more yet to be accounted for. Right now, several communities where we have Evangelical Free Churches are either on evacuation alert or order, with at least one community suffering some loss. We are not yet certain of the degree of that loss.

We are currently monitoring the situation, and we’re in ongoing communication with district superintendents (DSes) and pastors from affected areas. When we have a sense of how best we can use the Benevolence Fund to support affected communities, we’ll let you know.

For now, could I ask you to be in prayer for communities threatened by wildfire? The situation right now is critical for many people. The time for hands-on help will likely come soon. But for now, the most important thing we can do is lift these communities up in prayer. Please join us in that effort.

In fact, let me lead us in a prayer right here and now:

Father, we know you pay attention to all the details of your creation. Not even a single sparrow falls to the ground without you knowing, and caring. So, we know that you care about the situation we now face. In your care, would you please walk with us. We pray for the efforts of our firefighters as they battle blazes that threaten communities. Empower them in their work and keep them safe.

We pray for communities that have suffered loss. Please bring loving hands and hearts to help carry the burden of that loss.

We pray for communities that are still at risk. Please bring peace.

Father, we read that Jesus calmed the storms and stilled the waves, and so we ask that you turn the blazes away and dampen the flames.

Amen!

Significant Church Report Intro

significant church report

Greetings Friends!

When I was invited in 2019 by Ron Johnson to join evangelical leaders to discuss what a study on small churches could look like, I jumped at the opportunity. I was excited when Rick Hiemstra and Lindsay Callahan from Evangelical Fellowship of Canada committed to leading this study. It has been a privilege for the EFCC to financially support the study and to have the chance to serve on the steering committee as we determined the questions, the participants and scope of the study.

I am so happy this is called “Significant Churches.” Too often we can assume that only big things are significant. Yet we know that our God loves to use us “no account” people to confound the wisdom and strength of this world (I Corinthians 1:18-31). There is no place for boasting in God’s Kingdom and His gospel works powerfully in our weakness. I commend this report to you. If you are a “small church” pastor I trust you are encouraged as you see the foibles and realities of your ministry represented here. If you are a large church pastor, I trust you will appreciate and remember to encourage your colleagues who minister in small churches.

Too often we can assume that only big things are significant.

The report will reaffirm what you may already know, but also surprise you at times. I was saddened to hear that many in small churches feel that their denomination doesn’t value them. I wasn’t surprised to read that seminaries don’t always train us for the realities we will face in small churches – things like “unwritten church covenants”, and the realities of shepherding beyond the pulpit and in very mundane ways. I was also sad to read how women pastors feel snubbed and unwelcomed by their male colleagues.

The EFCC has many smaller churches that are vibrant, loving communities of faith that are engaged in mission locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. These small churches are sometimes rural, sometimes urban, sometimes suburban. They are always significant. I’m sorry we don’t say it enough but “we love you, we are cheering for you, and we value you and your ministry!”  You are a critical part of our EFCC family! We invested in this study on your behalf – please be encouraged as you read it!

Significant Church Report

Serving with you,

Bill Taylor
EFCC Executive Director


A Law of Love: The Witness of Supporting Government Leaders

law of love

Christmas greetings Free Church friends!

Bill TaylorI trust that you are sensing the presence of our Saviour in your life – especially during these challenging days of COVID Lockdown. Please know that we are praying for the very real challenges that the pandemic and the lockdown will pose for all of you this Christmas.

My thoughts in this blog article are exactly that – my thoughts! This is not an “official” EFCC declaration on what you should think about how the federal or provincial governments have handled the COVID-19 pandemic or about how you should respond as individuals and churches. Every church in the EFCC is self-governing – and every individual has the right to think biblically about how they should follow our Saviour during these times. I do trust though, that what I will share in this short article is biblically informed. You may disagree with me – that is fine! But it is our responsibility as followers of Jesus to agree to disagree graciously. We also are to base our beliefs on a careful understanding of biblical passages, not simply our personal biases.

It is inevitable that we will not all agree because there are certainly a variety of biblical principles at play.

  • In I Peter 2-3, Peter reminds us to respect authorities and to make sure any criticisms of our witness are not founded on our evil doing.
  • The apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 13:1-4 and Titus 3:1 to obey even pagan rulers.
  • On the other side, in Acts 5:27-32, Peter and John declare that they must continue to declare the good news about Jesus, even though the religious rulers are forbidding it.
  • And of course, the author of Hebrews (10:24-25) reminds us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.
  • Added to that we have the Great Commandment and numerous passages challenging us to love our neighbor, the poor and the vulnerable.

If I had more room, I would flesh out the context of each of these passages. The historical and grammatical context certainly impacts the principles we can draw on and how they should be applied to these days of pandemic. The context also helps us to decide which principles supersede the others in our response to our federal or provincial government’s restrictions on our individual and corporate freedoms.

However, as I wish to keep this brief (so that some of you will read it!) Let me simply highlight two things I think are critical for followers of Jesus to keep in mind.

1. THE LAW OF LOVE

 Jesus elevated that as the most important commandment for His followers. And in John 13 he seems to tie that in to a second concern:

2. OUR WITNESS

I don’t wear a mask to protect myself – I wear it to protect others (those who are vulnerable or are caring for the vulnerable) from me. And just as Peter and Paul were so concerned that the gospel witness not be hindered (see I Peter 2-3 or I Corinthians 9) by the selfish exercise of my freedom, so too I am concerned that the good news not be sullied by my words or actions that might appear uncaring or callous.

Do I think that governments are getting this 100% right? Or that they are being 100% consistent? No, but I think they are getting it mostly right. I have participated in calls with both Federal and Provincial leaders. I can testify that they are trying to be fair and balanced. They understand the human costs restrictions bring. Is it fair that Walmart will be open and our churches closed this Christmas? Maybe, maybe not. One of the things that governments don’t have the ability to do is explain the full rationale for every rule of lockdown.

I suspect that they feel the human cost of not allowing people to work, to buy presents, to get out of the house, is greater than forcing us to avoid congregating: whether that is congregating at the gym, in a movie theatre, or in a worship service. So yes, we can only worship and make disciples online and do pastoral care in creative ways for the next few months. Yes, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees us freedom of religion and expression – but even then, there are reasonable limits involved. Throughout history pandemics have been viewed by the church as a reasonable time to restrain our activities as the church gathered and to focus heavily on our role as Christ’s ambassadors as the church scattered.

Do I wish churches were considered an “essential service” and liquor stores were considered “non-essential”? For sure. After all, we are about the care of souls. But that maybe is the point. As long as we still have freedom to worship, declare the good news of Christmas to the world, to care for souls – even if Sunday morning looks different – I think we are ok. Our brothers and sisters in China and Iran and…well, those folks experience real persecution.

This Christmas my freedom is going to be temporarily limited – and I am ok with that, because my witness and the law of love move me to be a good neighbour. If the government ever seeks to permanently shut down the declaration of the good news – the assembling of the saints for worship – be assured that I will be one of the first to write to our leaders requesting they rethink those decisions. But at this point I don’t see that kind of conspiracy in the works. I might be wrong – but for now, let’s pray for our leaders who have the difficult task of balancing the physical, mental, social and economic and even spiritual costs of a pandemic that has impacted us all.

In the midst of what may be a lonely Christmas, let us connect with family, friends and neighbours and encourage each other with the good news of Emmanuel – God with us. And may 2021 give us an opportunity to once again enjoy connecting in person to worship, and encourage and equip one another for the mission!

Merry Christmas to each of you from Deb and me!

Bill Taylor

EFCC Executive Director

Prayer Calendar: Subversive Kingdom

The prayer that Jesus taught us to pray ends with a benediction that reminds us who the king is and what he is like. We need reminding. We forget. We go blind. Earthly values brainwash us.
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Prayer Calendar: The Battle Belongs to the Lord

Battle Lord

Jesus gives us these words to pray: “Deliver us from evil (or the evil one)”. I believe Jesus is trying to reminder us that this spiritual war is all too real, that Evil desires to undo the Good News, and that Satan is the ultimate guerrilla warrior.

Jesus is pushing us back to the Deliverer. He knows our human tendency to either ignore evil or arrogantly overestimate our own defences. He knows our flight/fight response. He brings hope by reminding us that the battle belongs to the Lord.

As I type this, another war is starting. Turkey is going on an offensive against the Kurds. Another conflict in a long line of human hatred. I recently saw a list of the major wars in world history. It took over four pages to complete the list. No wonder Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers”.

Yet we are also in a war. Not a physical war against flesh and blood. Not cultural war. Not ideological war. Ephesians 6 reminds us:

We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

This is spiritual war conducted behind the veil, unseen by human eyes, yet all too real. These schemes of the devil are attempts to “steal, kill and destroy” the life that Jesus has brought and continues to bring.

In this war, we tend toward two extremes:

  1. We give very little thought, intention, or preparation to the conflict. Because it’s not physically present, we ignore it. If we do think about it, we cower.
  2. We over-sensationalise our role in it. We believe that we can somehow single-handedly defeat all the powers of evil with the words of our mouth or the actions of our hands.

My descriptions may be overly simplistic; however, both extremes are recipes for disaster.

Jesus gives us these words to pray: “Deliver us from evil (or the evil one)”. I believe Jesus is trying to reminder us that this war is all too real, that Evil desires to undo the Good News, and that Satan is the ultimate guerrilla warrior. Christ defeated Him, yet he is still waging war. We need our eyes opened, like Elisha’s servant in 2 Kings 6. We need to be aware and prepared. However, if that is all this phrase does for us, we are still doomed. On our own, we have no hope; no matter how prepared we think we are.

Jesus is pushing us back to the Deliverer. He knows our human tendency to either ignore evil or arrogantly overestimate our own defences. He knows our flight/fight response. He brings hope by reminding us that the battle belongs to the Lord. “When your enemy presses in hard do not fear; the battle belongs to the Lord”. We stand in His power, with His authority – not ours. The words of the Lord’s Prayer are an acknowledgement of our frailty and a plea to the one true source of strength and deliverance.

Even though our deliverance comes from Christ, we can’t remain idle. We still have a part to play. Prayer is key! The war can never be won when communication breaks down. An army can’t carry out commands if they haven’t been briefed.

May the words of Ephesians 6 guide us into God-powered deliverance:

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His might power. Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all of the strategies of the devil…Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armour so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil…Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Prayer Calendar: To Err is Human

human err

neil bTemptation!

Have you ever faced it?

Of course!

Temptation is a universal human experience. It is almost as human as breathing or eating. We have all faced it. We have all yielded to it somewhere along the way.

Having said that, the words “Lead us not into temptation” ought to strike us as somewhat odd. Theologically they are strange. Yet even more than that, it just sounds inhuman. How is it possible to go through life without facing temptation? What exactly is Jesus modelling for us in this prayer?

In all the time I have recited the Lord’s Prayer, I have never quite gotten used to the words, “Lead us not into temptation.” I have to admit there are times when I pause and ponder while everyone around me continues reciting the words. Over the years as I have studied, looked at various translations, and read numerous commentaries; and I have never quite come away with an answer that fully satisfies my curiosity.

Here are some of my questions. This is hardly an exhaustive list, but I grouped them together by theme:

  • Does the petition mean that sometimes God can lead us into temptation?
  • Wouldn’t that contradict other passages like James 1, where it says God does not tempt us?
  • Is temptation the right word English word? Are “trial” or “testing” better words?
  • Yet does that not also contradict huge swaths of the biblical story?
  • Would that not fly in the face of James 1 again, where we are encouraged to endure trials?
  • Is temptation the real issue, or our yielding to it?
  • Why do my commentaries say the idea of yielding is a bad translation of the original words?

To be candid, I still do not have a great explanation, but I am not sure I need one. I suspect Jesus is pushing us to imagine something deeper.

What if Jesus’ point is simply this: we are human! We are frail. To err is human. We will face temptation. We will fall. On our own.

Is Jesus opening our eyes to where our desire for control, our penchant for doing life on our own, and our reluctance to yield our lives to Him actually leads? Is He helping us face the fact that without Him in control we are doomed to fall, and fall, and fall, and fall, and fall again? I suspect so.

Jesus is graciously guiding us to an incredible source of strength and help. He is inviting us to live life with Him, in His strength, in the power of the Holy Spirit. He is inviting us into everyday dependence on the guidance of the Spirit living within us. He is not asking us to throw up temptation SOS prayers when we are desperately at the end of our own ropes. If we wait until we are at the end of our own rope, we will likely hang ourselves.

Let me conclude with the words of Paul that seem to summarize our thoughts here:

“After starting your lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” (Galatians 3:3, 5:16)

Let us pray that the Spirit guides our lives this month.

Forming Forgiving Conversations

prayer calendar

neil bassingthwaighteTrue conversation is a give and take. It is an act of hospitality. We suspend our own agenda and invite someone else’s in. Conversation also changes us. It re-forms us as we honestly engage with the ideas and feelings of others. We may not agree with everything we hear, but it helps us think through our own preconceptions and biases. Prayer is conversation. Unlike our human conversations, we don’t have much room to disagree with God. We can choose to, but that is usually a dangerous game. Like other conversation, prayer also forms us. As we spend time with God, wrestling through what is important to him, the Holy Spirit re-forms us into the people he desires us to be.

I spent a few minutes this morning googling “forgiveness”. I wanted to step outside of my viewpoint to see a different understanding of the concept. According to Google (or at least the first several websites listed), forgiveness seems to be about an individual’s well-being. Forgiveness, for the most part, is defined as an intentional and voluntary process where by an individual undergoes a change in attitude and feelings toward someone who has caused offense. Almost immediately after defining it, most websites highlighted the release of tension, bitterness, and the personal peace and well-being this would bring.

All of the above is certainly true. Yet, is this Jesus’ point about forgiveness in the Lord’s Prayer? The phrase is, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” This has always sounded a little strange to me. Is there a conditional element to the forgiveness here? Would that clash with what we read elsewhere in our Bibles? Does it really mean if we don’t forgive others, we won’t be forgiven? I certainly don’t have all the answers to those questions. I do wonder though, if these kinds of questions stem from an individualistic interpretation of the prayer as opposed to a more communal interpretation. Which leads me to ask, “What was Jesus’ purpose in asking us to pray these words”?

As I think of this phrase in the Lord’s Prayer, I wonder if this isn’t a re-forming conversation. Is Jesus giving us another way in which he can mold us into His image? As we pray these words, do they help to form us into healthy community? I think so. Here is how I could see that working:

– we intentionally pray for forgiveness, in doing so we hold up a mirror to our lives,
– we begin to see our sin and failures more clearly thereby humbling ourselves,
– in this humble posture we realize the offenses against us are not greater than our own,
– this makes extending forgiveness to others easier (not easy),
– which, through the power of the Holy Spirit, brings healing into our relationships,
– helping us grasp a greater appreciation, and appropriation of the forgiveness we have in Jesus.

It’s a big circle. Yet, the benefits of forgiveness are not mine alone. An entire culture of forgiving develops and a fellowship of the forgiven forms. James encourages us to “confess our sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” The context of that verse is in the middle of a passage on the power of prayer and healing, and the verse just prior to it speaks of forgiveness. So why do we not see this as a common practice in our churches?

This last week, as I have watched the news, and listened to the events in the Christian world, I am deeply disturbed. More than ever, it feels like our communities and churches are fragmenting. Unity seems next to impossible. I might be crazy, but I’m thinking praying through the implications of, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” as formational conversation would be a huge step in the right direction.

Neil Bassingthwaighte
National Mission Director

Prayer Calendar: Warrior Kings Need Humble Bread

 

prayer calendar post plug

neil bassingthwaighteWarrior Kings Need Humble Bread

As we continue our journey through the “Lord’s Prayer,” we get to the phrase, “give us this day our daily bread.” It’s a simple request. Straightforward. A petition to God for daily sustenance. There is no greed here, only dependence. No desire for a banquet, only bread enough for the day. No hint of hoarding desperation, only a daily journey of trust.

It’s a humble request. Yet we live in a world inundated with North American pride and self-sufficiency. So we have to ask ourselves, when we pray these words, do we really mean them?

Language is interesting. Sometimes an obscure word or phrase is suddenly everywhere. This is the case in church culture as well. The phrase “Warrior King” popped up on my radar recently. Someone used this term for Jesus. They were talking about what He will do at the end of the age. The phrase, for a variety of reasons, caught my attention.

As I began to listen, I heard this term elsewhere. Quite often! One particular theologian (who will not be named here because I don’t want to drag his name through the mud) in promoting an upcoming speech on Mature Manhood said, “We will only honor God as men when we understand Scripture’s warrior motif. We are not idiots; we are not goofballs; we are not boys. We are men of God. People do not understand the warrior motif that runs through the Bible like a stream underground. The ideal figure of Scripture is not a bureaucrat, a functionary, or a self-esteem expert. The ideal figure of Scripture is a warrior King.”

Wait…..what? Is he really suggesting that godly men ought to be warrior kings?

Suffice it to say, Jesus is the ideal figure of Scripture. Yes, he is King. There is even room to talk about Him as a warrior. However, that needs a lot of nuance. As I read my Bible, warrior is not the dominant picture of Jesus that I see. I can think of several descriptions I would use instead of warrior:  Savior, Lord, Suffering Servant, the Lamb that was slain, etc. Here is the bottom line: none of those descriptions applies to me. The closest I ought to come is suffering servant (small “s”), as I live out Jesus’ life with a basin and towel

I understand that men feel under attack in our culture. Yet getting men to believe they should all live out “warrior king” lives seems to be doubling down on a mentality that has enabled all kinds of abuse. Just an interesting side-note here: I’m writing this on the day when the Southern Baptist Convention released a significant report on sexual abuse in SBC churches. Issues like these are a black eye on the witness of Jesus that should concern all of us.

What also ought to concern us are the issues of pride, and self-sufficiency a warrior king mentality could bring, and the fractured society it would yield if all men (and women for that matter) ran around acting like warrior kings.

Is this not the antithesis of “give us this day our daily bread”?

Warrior kings don’t need to ask for daily bread, they just pillage and plunder. Asking is for the humble, the needy, the weak, the dependent; but not for warrior kings.

I might be reading too much into the “warrior king” idea. Yet, I believe it’s a cautionary tale. The warrior king motif directly appeals to the arrogance of our fallen nature. It stands as an example of what Jesus came to undo as He tears down our Babel edifices of human pride. When we mean the words “Give us this day our daily bread,” we step away from that pride towards a spirit of dependence on the one and only true King.

Neil Bassingthwaighte
National Mission Director