Too many Christians have misunderstood what it means to be a peacemaker which has contributed to more chaos and a lack of morality to prevail in our culture. It isn’t peace at all costs, in fact, being a peacemaker sometimes actually causes conflict. It’s rather counterintuitive and vital to understand so you can equip your kids to be peacemakers in a more challenging world.
Join us in this important conversation with Pastor and Author Steve Crane as we discuss what Jesus actually meant during His sermon on the mount in Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God”.
We’ve been attending Steve’s church recently and when we heard his sermon on being a peacemaker we left so encouraged that rejecting passivity, standing for Biblical truth, and leading unapologetically for the purposes of the Gospel are being a peacemaker. We knew we had to have him on the podcast to share this with you all.
Steve also shares his experience being a pastor during COVID and shares why they won’t close their church. Please share this episode with your Christian friends as we all need to be courageously standing for truth and fellowshipping together.
In This Episode We Discuss:
- Sometimes conflict is a result of following Jesus.
- The problems with seeking peace at all costs.
- Many moral issues are lost because of passive Christians.
- Jesus was the Prince of Peace —-this doesn’t mean he allows unrighteousness.
- What Biblical peace is and isn’t.
- It is not peace if it’s not right, and if it’s not true.
- A Christian can experience peace if they are right with God despite the adversity.
- Sometimes peacemakers pay the price for peace.
- What’s needed in our culture is for Christians to stand up for truth so that there is peace.
- If you misunderstand peace as passivity you turn the gospel into a fraud.
- Peacemakers are making sure other’s relationships are right with God.
- What to do if you don’t feel at peace right now.
- Perspectives on running a large church during COVID and why you will never close.
Special Guest Steve Crane’s Resource List:
- Eagle Christian Church! (ECC)
- “Email Messages: A Minster Responds to Questions from His Congregation.”
- “Is Mormonism Now Christian.”
- “Ashamed of Joseph: Mormon Foundations Crumble.” College Press Publishing.
- “Basics of Islam: A Christian’s Guide to Understanding Islam.” Endurance Press.
- “Marveling with Mark: An Expositional Commentary on the Second Gospel.”
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Scripture In This Episode:
Romans 12:18 – “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
Matthew 10:34 – “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
Psalm 85:10 – “Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.”
Matthew 5:9 – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
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Welcome to Courageous Parenting Podcast, a weekly show with parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.
Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom, and I’m Isaac from Resolute Man. We’ve been married for 21 years and have seen the fruit from raising our eight kids biblically. Based on the raw truth found in the Bible, we can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children.
Too many children from Christian families are walking away from their faith by age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting.
Welcome to the podcast, we’re so glad you’re here. We have a special guest today, Steve Crane, the senior pastor at Eagle Christian Church, author of five books, and we were at his church and we love the church there. God is doing some incredible things. And we were at his church and we heard Blessed is the Peacemakers, a sermon that Steve gave. And I just felt. Both and I felt, we’ve got to get this message on the podcast. We’ve got to get Steve on the podcast. So welcome to the podcast.
Thanks for having me. It’s a great honor to be with you and your listeners.
Yeah. So glad to have you here. And it’s neat to see what God is doing through you in the ministry and this message. I hope everybody listens to the entire thing all the way through because of what we’re talking about today. Because I really after hearing the biblical version of peacemaker, which I had a little bit wrong, I even more identified with being a peacemaker than I did before.
And it was encouraging to me.
So I really appreciate that. So, by the way, just quick before we get into it, we’re so thankful that you’re part of the one million Legacy’s movement when you share, you know, social media or you give us five star review on iTunes, all of those things help the algorithms and help it get out there. And so we definitely appreciate that you can get all the show notes and everything that CourageousParenting.com, including links to Steve’s books or anything else we talk about, and free resources as well. All the notes and video of this episode of Courageous Parenting Dotcom hit podcast and you’ll get it all there. So I thought we would dive in, Steve, and just first talk about what is a peacemaker.
Yeah, I think it may be arguably the most misunderstood of all the Beatitudes. And most people, when they think making peace, they think about making peace at all cost or maybe even passivity. And sometimes people kind of blurred the lines between peace and appeasement. And those are not at all the same thing. In fact, the biblical definition of peace really is the presence of what God would have you be in your own life. And so you’ve got to balance peace with also right living. And maybe I go into a couple of words, biblical secret. So in Hebrew, the word shalom was often used as a greeting. In fact, it’s still used even today as a greeting. And so people say shalom, both coming and going.
But at the very core of that word, actually, it’s a relationship word where you’re desiring the highest good for the other person. And so when you say Shalom, which is translated piece, you’re saying, I want what’s best for you. That translates into Greek in the New Testament and the Greek word IRENA is actually also a relationship word. But in Greek it’s actually I want everything to be on the level.
I want everything to be on. Right. And so on the right on the level. And so it means I want our relationship to be on on the level.
I want our relationship to be good and pure and true. And so if it’s not right, if it’s not true, it’s actually not peace. And so desiring to have God’s best interests, desire to have what God desires, be present in your life as what true peace is.
It seems like it’s in the moment of decision. It’s these moments where, you know, we’re faced with potential conflict or, you know, something’s wrong is happening and you see it and you just want peace. Right.
And so then we don’t do anything and we kind of embrace almost subconsciously this passivity that seems to be in all of us. And it seems what I’ve experienced my own life and what I read in the Bible is you have to you have to purpose to stand for truth.
You have a purpose to reject passivity, because we naturally seem to grab onto it.
Yeah, we have this idea, a mistaken idea, really, that peace means I just want things to be calm and tranquil and we kind of define peace in a an errant way. Really. Then peace is not biblical. Peace is not the absence of war. It’s not the absence of conflict. It’s actually take a stand for what’s right. But having relationships built on that and so true peace does take a stand for truth. True peace does take a stand for righteousness. And what it does is I want our relationship to be on the level. I want it to be right and pure and true. That’s so cool. Yeah. And so if we if we define peace as appeasement, a lot of things would happen in life that just shouldn’t happen. And maybe we could talk about some examples that, for example, as a parent, if what you’re after is peace and what you mean by that is tranquility, that means you won’t correct wrong or you’ll let things happen. That shouldn’t happen. And in the sake of peace and quiet, we allow things to go on. Shouldn’t be going on. And that’s not true. Peace. True peace actually is based on what God wants for you, God’s desire for you. We’re going to put things on the level and make sure that things are happening as they should be happening. And so the only true peace is right, peace. It’s righteous peace.
So many times I’ve seen Angie just. In the moment, stop what she’s doing, stop her agenda and go address the situation because she sees something wrong, wrong character, a character flaw, and one of our children, or that they did something wrong to one of the other siblings or something like that. And she stops doing it and she goes and she deals with it and she corrects. And it definitely does it in the moment.
Create more peace, if you will. Right. But what she’s doing is she’s actually creating that right relationship with the siblings, with her, and most importantly, with God, because they’re sinning.
Correct. And so it’s setting a situation straight and putting it on the level. And so building character in our children. So often I think what we try to do with our kids is we try to be their friends. And it’s a it’s a problem today because our job as parents is not to be their friends. Yeah. Our job is to be the parent and to move them towards maturity. And so, so often something will go on. And because it causes conflict, rather than dealing with it, we look the other way. But not dealing with conflict actually breeds more conflict, and that’s the opposite of peace. So peace is setting the record straight and putting things in the right direction and making sure our relationships are on the level together.
And passivity is a huge problem. I mean, I think as we look at things, it’s the Christians not taking action, not standing for truth, whether it’s in their work, whether it’s in their family politics, all aspects of society in large part is a reason for a greater moral decay and challenges happening.
But a lot of times people go, well, God is sovereign. God already knows what he’s going to do.
And sometimes I feel like people use that as a reason not to take action in the moment, especially with moral issues.
We’re willing, in the name of peace, to look the other way because we don’t want to cause any hardship or any conflict. And so all kinds of moral issues in our culture today. Christians are just kind of turning a blind eye or turning the other cheek to when troops would actually take a stand and say there is such a thing as right and wrong. There is such thing as absolute truth. There is a right way to go about things. And if we’re going to ever experience what God wants from us and what God desires of us, Christians do need to be willing to take a stand on issues. And that doesn’t mean we’re looking for trouble or we’re trying to cause conflict. Actually, we try to do the opposite. We’re trying to bring resolution to something by taking a stand for what’s right and true love resolution.
That’s so good.
So how do we do this? How do we stand for truth? Because the Bible also says we’re supposed to be loving. Well, actually, that is the loving thing to do.
Right. But how do we do this now?
You probably talked about tough love. Yeah. And a lot of times love. Actually, we love people enough not to leave them where they are. We love them enough to move them towards what they should be. And that’s what God did for us. Now, in terms of his his son, of course, there’s all kinds of grace and forgiveness in Jesus Christ, and we’re so thankful for that. But Jesus saves us not to leave us in our sin and leave us where we are. But Jesus saves us to move us to what he created us to be in the first place. And that is actually true love. And we bring about peace by setting things straight, by moving in that direction.
Well, Jesus is the ultimate example for us, right? He says follow me. And what did he do?
Absolutely. And so and we call Jesus the Prince of Peace. We know we serve a god of peace. We talk about the peace, which surpasseth understanding. And so but that peace is not allowing decay or allowing immorality. Jesus obviously took a stand for truth and for righteousness, and he corrected people. Now, oftentimes I’m the one that comes to mind is the woman at the well, she she’s in sin, but he’s willing to correct the sin. Or there’s even one lady that she was caught in the act of adultery in John Chapter eight. And remember this all the time, that Jesus stops and writes in the ground and all the people that have brought her before him, they start walking away one by one. And Jesus says to her, where are those who condemn you? And she says, well, they’ve gone. And Jesus says, well, neither do I condemn you. But if we stopped short, we miss the point of the story. He says, go and said no more. Yeah. And so he confronts her with her problem. He offers his grace and truth and then challenges her not to live that lifestyle.
You know, I’m glad you brought that scripture up. The scripture is really special to me because when I became a believer when I was twenty three and I was wrestling with what’s true and reading the Bible, and I read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and lee strobel’s book A Case for Christ. And I wasn’t a believer and I was going to church on Sundays, while I was at school at University of Washington as a non-believer. And either either the Bible is true or it’s not. And I was trying to find out if it was true. And I remember I was really into leadership at the time and voraciously reading all kinds of leadership books and growing as a leader in the business world. And I remember. Are reading that scripture and just realizing that Jesus is God from that scripture and others, but that one really stuck out to me because he was in a part in an impossible leadership situation.
Actually, no matter what he said, he was going to get into trouble in that situation. Yet he said the only thing that could be said that I don’t believe a human would have thought of that great.
And then just walked away. And I’m like.
That’s God, absolutely.
That was a pivotal scripture. I love that scripture, so Jesus, the ultimate example in this, how does this, you know, affect relationships? Because right now we’re in a world where relationships are getting torn apart. We have the election with people taking sides on masks. We have all kinds of things. We have a lack of morality in our culture around the world. What is this what does this have to do with relationships?
Yeah, of course, are to talk about the fact that I think it’s the most misunderstood beatitude and we have this attitude of do nothing or peace at all costs or appeasement.
We’ve missed the whole point. And so it’d be really easy as our world. I think our world is crumbling around us and it’d be really easy just to look the other way and in the name of peace, not do anything or for the sake of a relationship, we let something go that really needs to be corrected. And again, the example of Jesus is love and grace and truth, obviously, but also correcting the situation.
And so in our relationships, we need to care enough to make corrections or to speak the truth and to and that that can actually be a true peacemaker sometimes can cause trouble. And we think, well, how is that possible? But Jesus even says he says, John, Chapter 16. He actually says, my peace. I give to you, not like the world gives in this world. You will see trouble. Right? And so actually, when we think that the peace means the absence of conflict, it doesn’t we’ve got to love enough and care enough to point people in the right direction so they can experience true peace.
And we’ve defined that already as the presence of what God desires in your life.
You know, it’s interesting. I’ve never experienced as much conflict as we have in the last two years since we started courageous parenting ministry and since we’ve been doing this as our hearts is to serve and to share the truth and to help and equip. And obviously, the podcast is doing great. God’s taking it. But on the flip side, we’ve also experienced the most conflict. And so it’s really interesting sometimes. And you can think of your own situations listening here. You sometimes can question yourself, am I doing the right thing when there’s conflict? And so I think this is super encouraging to hear.
Yeah, as a as a preacher, when you speak truth, it seems like inevitably it brings with it conflict. But we don’t give up speaking truth because actually true love and if we want to talk about tough love, tough love has cared enough to be able to correct situations. And sometimes that does bring conflict. Of course, Jesus himself, the Prince of Peace, was surrounded by conflict. People didn’t agree with him on course. Ultimately, Jesus goes to cross because of speaking the truth, the type of things.
And so we’ve got to be willing to take a stand in our culture around us. Again, I think far too often in the name of peace, we just let things happen and feel like we have have no right to take a stand or we shouldn’t take a stand when the very thing we should do again, not looking for conflict, but certainly we’ve got to address truth. We’ve got to take a stand for moral issues and for right and wrong.
So true, so true. And so often we can get discouraged. I just want to encourage everybody to stand for truth. And you know what that is? When our faith is in action, when we can’t handle the situation ourselves. Of course not. You need to not be operating in the flesh. I need to not be operating the flesh. We need to be operating the spirit. We problems are going to come. Challenges are going to come at a level that in ourselves we probably can’t solve them. But that’s where our faith shows in.
Your kids need to see that faith. And so if we only decide to do things, we only decide to take action on things we know will work out, then our kids aren’t seeing us live a life that is faith driven and not just belief, but belief in action to take the actions and faith that God will show up and God will protect me. It may not be comfortable, but he will take care of us. And I think that more of us need to realize that. And when there’s challenges and you respond correctly to them and your kids are watching, you’re creating an example for them to replicate when things are even harder down the road, right?
So I think this is so important from a parenting perspective. It’s as parents, you are leaders.
You have a team called your family. And how are you leading in these uncertain times?
These are new times. The world has changed in 2020. Now we’re in twenty, twenty one. And I guarantee you the world’s going to change within the next 60 days. Again, in some form or fashion, things are changing at a rapid pace, but we can have complete peace and confidence in the ultimate peacemaker to give us the courage and and to do the right actions, even that are right, even when it causes more problems for us.
Absolutely. You talk about change and things are going to change the next 60 days.
It’s amazing that things today, if we asked questions of the culture around us five years ago, they probably would have said that’s wrong. And now it’s being called right.
And it seems like almost every day another moral issue has been eroded away. And again, things that absolutely are wrong are being accepted and tolerated.
More than that being praised. And the problem is that Christians have been passive about that. They’ve not taken a stand for proper roles and relationships for.
Proper parenting for even issues regarding sexuality and marriage and those type of things, and in the name of peace, we’ve allowed those things to be whittled away one by one. And so, again, this misunderstanding of what a peacemaker is. One passage we talked about and I love actually is from Psalm 65 and it uses the language that love and faithfulness meet and righteousness and peace kiss. So it’s an interesting phrase when you think about, say, love and faithfulness and righteousness and peace kiss. And what does it mean that they kiss might take away from that is actually it’s not peace. It is not based on righteousness and it’s not love if it’s not based on faithfulness. And so the two come together.
And so if we think we’re creating peace and things aren’t right, it’s not it’s not true peace. And I think if we think we’re loving and not being faithful, we we’ve missed the point.
And so some so we’re missing part of the equation half the time. Righteousness plus peace.
Right. And a lot of times we’re just peace. And what we think peace means versus with the biblical truth about peace means. And we’re getting it wrong and it’s causing an increasing destruction around us. And you know what? We have a responsibility. God is uses his people to take action and stand for truth and take care of each other and all these things. And so, you know, maybe that’s a challenge.
Maybe you should have a date night and think about, you know, audit your life and audit your relationships and audit how you take action, audit your involvement in different things or lack of involvement and go, you know, where do we maybe need to stand for truth and how are we going to do that and then pray about it, like we should never just decide on our own. I mean, you could, but let’s get God above this. Pray about it and have him reveal to us a conviction in what we’re to do and exercise that muscle of rejecting passivity and standing for truth. And I think if more people do that, we’re going to see the most important thing happen, which is more people come to know the Lord, which is really cool.
Yes so stopping and finding what is not right in our life or what are we allowing to happen. That is not good.
Reminds me of Philippians four eight and whatever was true and beautiful and pure. And it goes through the list of all these things and after that passage.
But all these things that we’re supposed to dwell on and it says and the God of peace will be with you. And so it’s based on what is true and what is right, what is pure and what’s holy and what’s lovely. And then the God of peace will be with us. So taking a stand for what’s right.
Oh, it’s so important.
I want to take a moment and give you something for free if you haven’t got it already is the date night one. It is a beautiful document you can download that Will has some key questions on it for your date. Night did just get in alignment about what’s most important for your family. No matter what time of year, it’s always important to recalibrate. You can get that by going to CourageousParenting.com and subscribing to our mailing list. Also, you can get all of our show notes and everything at CourageousParenting.com. And I also just want to share real quick about the Parenting Mentor program. So many families are being transformed by going through this. It’s the six week self-paced program with live engagement from us and even direct interaction. So if you want to join us, here’s a little bit more about it and you can find out more at CourageousParenting.com.
Steve and I realized that we were getting too comfortable with the world’s vision of how to raise our children, but Angie and Isaac have done in creating this is literally phenomenal.
This program provided awesome scripture based teachings and just a really great practical applications. This class has just really rocked my world.
It has given me a vision for not just the different things that we might focus on as parents who are trying to raise our kids bibically like our kids are behaving or what we’re doing with discipline, but also the things of heart.
We now have a game plan to how we want to raise our children. We have so many answers to the questions that have been in our mind.
It’s not just these hypothetical situations or it’s not just this. Here’s what I think you should do. It’s let me show you where in scripture this is your legacy, a favor and yourself a favor and just do it. One of the best things that we’ve done this year, one of the best investments we’ve made this year, and I could not recommend it more.
We’re no longer fearing dark days ahead, but we’re so excited to raise the lights to be leaders for the next generation.
So let’s talk a little bit about what’s going on in the culture today. I’m sure a lot of people have questions. We have people that listen all over the world.
So Australia big lock down place, Europe obviously big lock down.
Canada, of all places, seems like one of the worst places in terms of churches being, I believe, persecuted tyranny against the churches. I literally feels like when I get these messages that they’re just like China. And literally, there’s a 10 million dollar fine recently that was threatened on a church and they finally closed down so they can’t even do a home church or meet in their homes unless they do it illegally. And so I know we’re in Idaho, you know, land of the free kind of it is out of all the states in the U.S., I think the best in that regard and the United States is better than some other countries in terms of freedom right now. But, you know, we’re seeing that erode around us, too. And I know you’re getting persecution and I know that you’re getting all kinds of emails in your inbox. My experience is that you’re open and that your for masks.
That’s fine. But let’s let people decide if they want to wear a mask or not. Let’s follow the rules and, you know, be responsible around each other.
But let’s not forsake the gathering. And I really appreciate that and respect that. But maybe you can speak to other pastors listening or your stance on this and in why you came to what you’re doing.
Yeah, first of all, we talked about rapid change and a year ago and year and a half ago, we would have never imagined some of the freedoms that were in the United States because of covid. Right. In terms of I’ve actually preached regularly in China and sometimes I feel like I have more freedom in China than I have more more recently in the United States. And when we talk about states that are around us, we are in Idaho. But talk about Washington or Oregon, California. And if you go across the United States, a lot of places they are not even able to meet. And ECC actually, when the pandemic first was was talked about and they asked us to shut down for a few weeks, we actually thought it was the right thing. So we actually did shut down. I say shut down. We never closed our doors, but we encouraged people to go and to watch online and we thought we’re doing the right thing in terms of trying to to stop the rapid spread of the coronavirus. And then in Idaho, fortunately, we were allowed to reopen and we set some guidelines in place to take things serious seriously. Right. And so but for us, we decided that no more that the church has been hindered. I think as many as a third of Christians will never be back in church because I’m just not continued in this habit of faithfulness. I think as many as a third of Church of the United States will not reopen because they closed their doors.
And, you know, we always hear about safety. And isn’t it loving your brother? And I want to stop and say, actually, I’m concerned. Yes, of course I’m concerned about people have died of coronavirus, but I’m also concerned about the people who died of coronavirus without knowing Jesus Christ. And that that’s a strong we can’t make the solution worse than the problem. Correct. And so I do understand that we encourage people are at risk to to stay home and watch. But we’re not meant to do Christianity online. Right. We need the gathering together. And I understand that the desire of some to wear masks, but our opinion is to let people be adults and weigh the risks. In fact, life is about weighing the risks. And there’s lots of things that we do in life, including my preaching the gospel in China that comes with risk in terms of smuggled Bibles to foreign countries where it was illegal comes with risk. But the name of the gospel, we’ve got to continue taking it forward and weigh the risks. And so for us, yes, we’re going to try to take precautions, but we’re not going to close our doors again. And we’re to let people be adults and say make your your choice about what’s going to what you’re going to do and what you’re not going to do. But we are not going to stop the gospel message of Jesus Christ going forward.
I appreciate that. And I think that’s a powerful message for people to hear. And I would encourage you to talk to your pastors about this and just go, you know, know their stance, know what they’re going to do. I know for me and our family, if a church required everybody to wear a mask, we wouldn’t be going. If a church was closed, I wouldn’t be going back to that church. And the reason is, is because we’ve far gone beyond the reasonableness of seeing what’s going on, far beyond the timeline that they originally promised. And covid is real. Absolutely. But when you look at the statistics, it’s you can’t suicide. More people are dying of suicide in certain places than of covid because of their loneliness and despair and lack of, you know, brothers and sisters to run the race with. So it is so important just what’s happening to the youth. We did another podcast episode on kind of this challenge that what we see, the ramifications are going to happen to young people if parents don’t, you know, disobey in some cases the law of the land there. You can listen to other ones about civil disobedience. There is a time to disobey legal authorities. And that’s what I’m hearing from you at this point. You’re like, we’re staying open. We are.
And it’s interesting because we’ve grown during this time now.
We’ve grown from some some people have come because their churches are closed or we’ve grown because some some people are coming because their churches were so restrictive they didn’t feel like they could go and worship like they weren’t. Allowed to sing or or those type of things, and but the interesting part is we’ve also grown from people who are just looking for some sense of normality and every other area of their life just does not seem normal. And so they’ve come to you in church and say, this feels normal. We feel like we’re living again and we’re whole. And so it’s give us a great opportunity to preach the gospel of Jesus.
You know, I get this question once in a while for the people that believe differently than me online, which is aren’t you concerned about a super spreader event?
Yeah, we first of all, we’ve not had any case of people that have actually contracted coronavirus has not been traced back to us. And we’ve taken precautions that we have seem fit. But at the same time, I just never had I’ve preached in leper colonies. Right.
And in my because of safety, I shouldn’t go to a leper colony or again, I preached in in places where it’s illegal to preach the gospel. And at what point do you stop and say the gospel actually has priority over even my own safety or those type of things? And so we’ve not become a super spreader.
And in fact, I my own belief is probably a little bit the opposite, that the true vaccine is the virus and it’s got to run its course. Yeah. And but again, precautions and those people that are are at risk, we’re encouraging them to stay at home. Those people that really feel like they need to take certain precautions beyond what we’re demanding. They’re certainly welcome. At the same time, we want to open up churches and let the gospel go forward.
Well, definitely seems like there’s some mixed agendas going on. And it’s a fascinating time. Let’s talk about that, that sometimes people can be really discouraged, they say, with the election of the United States or discouraged with what’s happening in the world in these kinds of things, you know, how does being a peacemaker help you, regardless of what’s going on? Like how does that is? I mean, because we’re not we’re called to be joyful regardless of circumstances. Think of, you know, Paul and all he went through and. But how does that get lived out? Like, what is what are you telling people when you’re counseling and encouraging them if they’re just having a hard time getting over the sadness or despair or the challenge that they’re feeling?
I love politics and we’ve talked about this before. And so if I was not in the ministry, I might have even considered a life in politics. And when we look just at politics, things from my vantage point, I’m discouraged about what’s happened. But I want to say my hope is that my hope actually is not in politics. My hope is in Jesus Christ. And there are plenty of Republicans and Democrats. What we need to do is we need to point them towards Jesus, the prince of peace. And so there’s still hope. My hope is in Jesus Christ. And and maybe it’s during times like this when we feel like things are going in the wrong direction, that people may even be more open to the gospel message of Jesus. And then I also look back at my my Bible in the Old Testament.
God used like the king of Babylon to accomplish his purposes.
Right. And and so I think God can even use somebody that I disagree with or have different views from. And God can maybe even God could not maybe God can even use that situation and the church can still go forward.
That’s totally true. Yeah, that’s that’s great encouragement. Well, let’s talk about standing for truth. What are some practical applications to this people can live with in terms of standing for truth?
Yeah. And so, again, we’re not when we take a stand for truth and we must take a stand for truth. And again, I hope you hear through this podcast clearly that peace is not being a mamby pamby or it’s not being a floor mat or a wet noodle that peace and righteousness kiss. And so there’s only true peace when a person knows the prince of peace. There’s only true peace if righteousness is prevailing. So pieces the presence of what God desires in our life. And so as Christians in the name of peace, we’ve got to take a stand for truth. Now, there’s a right way to do that in a wrong way to do that. And we should not be going out trying to cause havoc or trying to to find animosity. But we also need to go and we need to realize that unless there is justice, unless there’s integrity, unless there’s honesty, unless there’s truth, we don’t have peace. And unless there’s a thing as morality, unless there’s a thing as right and wrong and absolute truth, we won’t have a basis for agreement of any kind.
And so peace is not achieved by looking the other way or turn your back. Peace is not achieved by not taking a stand. Actually, the only way we can find true peace is finding the prince of peace and making sure our relationships are on a right level. In fact, yeah.
Oh, sometimes it feels like in the moment it feels like I’m going to risk a relationship. If I do this, I’m going to risk people like if I post something online or if I if I stand up for something in a loving way with a friend in person or something like that, you can actually feel like I’m risking that relationship. I don’t want to risk that. So what do you have to say? How do you overcome that feeling to do what’s right?
I’ve got two comments for that. I guess my first one is simply this that I have. People that I disagree with vehemently that we’re on the opposite side, maybe politically or maybe religiously, and I like telling them our our our friendship matters and so we can disagree about things and still be friends. In fact, I love you enough to share my opinions with you. And I love you enough to try to say here’s where I take a stand on that. And so to just set the record straight that, hey, we may have differences of opinion, but this does not ruin our relationship. But we can still be friends even though we have disagreements. But I do want to come back to that other point. The point is simply this, that if we truly care and if we want real relationships, we care enough to set the record straight. We care enough to correct a misunderstanding. That’s nowhere is that more important than with our kids that we want to correct misunderstandings. We want to set them in the right direction and and bring them to maturity and so loving people enough. And we said earlier in the podcast that fortunately, God loved us enough to send a son Jesus to die for us, to forgive us. But he didn’t leave it there. He forgives us. And at the same time, he wants us to become what we were intended to be, what we’re created to be. And so he loves us enough not to leave us where we are. And we’ve got to have that same type of love for our for our friends and relationships, for our kids, for our family. And so we can set some guidelines and we can say we can we can disagree about things, but we want relationships based on what is right and what’s true and what’s pure.
I’ll tell you, it’s been liberating for me in the last two years to be more vocal about biblical truth, to share it in love, to stand for what the Bible says. And it’s been liberating because regardless of what’s happening around me, I am going to stand for truth. I am going to share what I believe is right. I am going to try and correct things in love. And even though I’ve experienced more conflict because of that, obviously an online ministry, but also in everyday life, I feel a sense of peace. Actually, I feel a sense of freedom because at least I didn’t just allow them not to know the truth.
At least I did my part. I gave it an effort, even if it didn’t work out in that feels liberating to me. I feel it at peace actually, more than ever, even though there’s more conflict in the midst of conflict.
A feeling of peace. Yeah, that’s what you’re saying there. Yeah. And actually, I’d suggest that true peace only comes when you have a relationship with the prince of peace. And the truth of matter is that things can be falling apart around us and we can still have a sense of calm and assurance and true peace, no matter what’s happening around us, if we have a right relationship with Jesus Christ and truth matters, that’s what the gospel is about, the gospel and the peace that Jesus Christ offers.
First of all, it’s a right relationship between us and God, and that’s only available through Jesus Christ. And so having peace with God through Jesus Christ. But it extends beyond this vertical. There’s also a horizontal it’s having peace in our relationships. But again, I say true peace is only available through Jesus Christ when we start sharing the gospel message of Jesus and say, in order for you to experience this true peace, you need not Jesus. And so peace is both a vertical and horizontal relationship with God and a relationship of our fellow man.
So there’s the real purpose of being a peacemaker. There’s the real purpose behind peace is that you help people understand and know God have relationship with God.
And so maybe if we’re lacking a sense of peace, maybe we’re not being obedient and all that God has called us to. Maybe there’s more for you to do. Absolutely.
And no matter what happens around us, no matter what happens with a new administration, no matter what happens with new regulations, no matter what happens around us, with a coronavirus, we can still have a sense of peace assurance that God’s still in charge, he’s still on his throne, that Jesus is still lord of all, but also the ability to take peace forward to a lost and dying world and say our hope is not in governmental systems.
Our hope is not in programs. Our hope is not, you know, and we could say all kinds of things that the world puts its hope in. Our hope is in Jesus Christ and that we share that with people.
And potentially I’ve been, you know, 2020 kind of feels like a waking up of believers. And I’ve been praying and and I’ve been praying that 2021 is when the believers are fully woken and standing for truth and sharing love and sharing the gospel and living in greater peace, actually, because they understand the true definition of being a peacemaker, which is helping people have that right relationship with God.
And don’t you want for that for your kids to so his lead by example, let’s let our kids see our faith in action, see our love for people by being willing to not just let them continue. On a path of destruction, right?
And so that’s a waking up for them to. And so I was just blown away, really digging in and listening to Steve talk about blessed be the peacemakers.
What are some key scriptures for them to to go back to?
One of my favorite is Romans Chapter 12:18. And I just quote it. I’m going to come back and kind of dissect it a little bit. But if possible, as far as it depends on you live at peace with all three basic phrases in that. And first of all, if possible, now, sometimes it’s not possible. For whatever reason, it’s just not possible to go back and make reconciliation. So if possible, as far as depends on you and sometimes, honestly, it does not depend on you, you can go and try to make reconciliation or you can go and try to ask for forgiveness or grant forgiveness. And sometimes no matter how much you talk or how much you plead, the other person is not willing. And so, if possible, it’s not always possible. As far as it depends on you, it doesn’t always depend on you. But then the phrase live at peace with all, live peaceably with all. And so it’s our responsibility whether we’re the ones that have caused the tension or we’re the ones that have experience attention, whether we’re the ones that have caused the wrong or the one that has been wronged. Yeah. It’s still our responsibility to go and try to set the record straight.
So awesome. Thank you so much. I want to make sure people can get access to resources or things about the church or or what you have going on.
So why don’t you first just tell us the names of the books that you have and we’ll list them in a blog post. You can also get them on Amazon, but when you start there.
Yeah. And so several books that my favorite probably is one that simply called email messages. And what that is, it’s just through the years people have have emailed me and asked questions and for so long I just replied to those and didn’t really save them. Then I realized the questions that people ask. They ask the same questions over and over again. So I just started compiling those. And so here are messages in email form, their short, succinct answers to the questions people normally ask. And so it was a really fun one to to to write. I’ve got a commentary called Marveling with Mark, which is just what it sounds like. It’s a commentary on the gospel of Mark, and it goes through a kind of verse by verse. And then I’ve also got some books on comparative religion and things like that that comparisons between evangelical Christianity and what other religions teach.
That’s that’s fantastic. And so then the website, if they want to listen to a sermon or or visit your church or.
Yeah. EagleChristianChurch.com and on there you can go back and we keep records, including I challenge you to listen to this message on peacemaker and you can go through the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus teaching because they’re very needed today. And so go to our website and see those.
Now, just a warning. He even said it earlier. That is not a replacement for you to go into a church where you live. And as I’ve been saying, if all churches are closed around you, then you become the answer. You need to open your home to other couples and open the Bible and God. We have to trust the spirit of God.
You do not need a degree to teach the Bible now can help, sure. But in situations God would rather people still meeting and getting together in your home if there’s no churches open around you. And so I encourage you to do that in just, you know, God’s going to use you in unbelievable ways. He’s going to teach scripture, scripture and come to life. Why? Because your obedience beyond your flesh, you’re doing things that you know and feel you can’t do.
But with the spirit, we can absolutely so but listen in, in addition to going to your church. Absolutely. Well, thanks for joining us and we certainly appreciate you guys and your support of the ministry. Thanks for being here, Steve. Absolutely, my honor.
Hey, thanks for listening to this episode. For more resources, go to CourageousParenting.com and CourageousMom.com for free online workshop’s blog post and best selling courses. Also, we wanted to quickly tell you about our six week online parenting mentor program, Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week we release a video with a downloadable parenting package to make it easy for you to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.
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