We live in a city of enormous power, dominated by politics and many weighty policy questions ranging from refugees to racism. We live under the shadow of dramatic events, from impeachment proceedings to the 2020 presidential election. How can we be faithful, Spirit-filled disciples here in this place? What are the idols of our city that we must reject in order to love and serve and proclaim the One True God? How can we respond with joyful faith in Christ to the barrage of news we hear when so much of it is bad?
Over the next four months there are four events taking place in our area which can equip each of us to better understand how to think and live biblically as Jesus’ disciples here in our city. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to scan through these opportunities and consider attending whatever might be helpful. I’m planning to attend several of these myself.
January 19, Occoquan Bible Church
“On Sunday January 19, Occoquan Bible Church (3700 Old Bridge Road, Woodbridge), is hosting Darren Carlson, founder and president of Training Leaders International. He will be preaching in the morning and hosting a screening of Jesus in Athens in the evening (6:00pm). Jesus in Athens is a recent documentary on the refuge crisis that turned into an evangelistic opportunity in Greece.
“If you are not familiar with Darren and TLI, let me give a quick intro: Just over 10 years ago Darren started this ministry to train pastors all over the world. Birthed at Bethlehem Baptist Church (Minneapolis, MN) under the ministry of John Piper, TLI has become a global leader in addressing theological famine and equipping indigenous pastors all over the world. One of our members is going to serve with TLI this month with a former intern at Capitol Hill Baptist Church.
“This ministry loves the gospel, is faithful to Scripture, is Reformed doctrinally, and wise missiologically. It is doing great work all over the world and continues to add staff to meet the growing need of training ministers of the gospel. This is a ministry to partner with and to pray for.” – Pastor David Schrock, Occoquan Bible Church
February 16, Christ Presbyterian Church and Redeeming Grace Church
nar·cis·sism /ˈnärsəˌsizəm/ (noun) excessive interest in oneself and one’s appearance
“We live in a city and world which measures success by power, position and possessions. These traits, often the seeds of narcissism, are highly prized. In contrast, the Old and New Testament teach a very different set of values. The gospels, both in example and lesson, accent the importance and way of humility.
“Held in partnership with Christ Presbyterian Church of Burke, RGC is hosting a seminar on Power and Humility. Our speaker is Chuck Garriott, Executive Director of Ministry to State, which has a mission to deliver the gospel to the members and staffs of all three branches of government. He has written a new book Love & Power, which captures his insights into the relationship of the use of power to Gospel love.”
“Please note: this seminar was originally titled ‘Humility and the Gospel.’” – RGC website
March 5-7, Del Ray Baptist
“The goal of Just Gospel 2020 is NOT to engage in partisan debate or endorse any party’s platform. Nor is our goal to bind the consciences of attendees to a particular policy prescription the Bible does not require. We will not recommend or even comment on any candidate.
“The Just Gospel 2020 conference goal is to help Christians think biblically and deeply about being Christians and taking our Christian identity and perspective into our political lives. We hope to aid each other in our discipleship. We are “strangers and exiles on the earth” who “desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one” (Heb. 11:13, 16). We hope to model how Christians who differ in secondary and political matters can nevertheless do so charitably and in a way that preserves both unity and freedom of conscience. We hope to make a difference—for the Church and the country.” – Just Gospel Conference website
April 24, McLean Bible Church
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities” (Romans 13:1)
“But what if you don’t agree with who those authorities are and how they are governing? How does this apply to different types of governments in different parts of the world? How does this command apply to the persecuted? In summary, how should Christians relate to government? Should we gladly submit to government, work to change government, or both, or neither? And what do Christians do when they disagree about political positions and personalities, cultural concerns and challenges?
“Secret Church 20 will explore how the gospel transforms the way followers of Jesus relate to governing authorities in any nation for the glory of God in all nations. The purpose of this Secret Church is definitively not to advocate for a political position, party, or candidate in any particular country. The purpose of this Secret Church is to establish biblical foundations for understanding how the character of God and the content of the gospel totally transform the way Christians relate to government.” – McLean Bible website