Just from Sin and Self to Cease

by Alexei Laushkin

One of my favorite hymns is ‘Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus.‘ Surprisingly simple and to the point. A fairly simple refrain too: ‘O for grace to trust Him more,’ and ‘Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him.’

Trust, love, grace.

Dwelling and being. Simple, straightforward, almost childlike. Not like a meaty hymn or things that are equally true of God, but just pure and to the point and life giving if we take the time to dwell in it. Consider Matthew 18:3:

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

There’s something about the life of faith that has the quality of simplicity, peace, rest, and non-complexity. A profound beauty that enters into our lives of chaos and busyness and says-be still. That says to us in a decisive way, no not these things, but these things.

You see that’s what the delight and joy of children do to you. They point out your world and invite you into theirs. Theirs which is a simple, pure, delight in being in your presence, or playing outside, or just finding something funny, as if for the very first time. As a busy adult, entering into the life of a child, is jarring and very freeing. Try it sometime.

You’ll find a simplicity that pushes back against the complexities of life that to often determine the pace of our days as adults.

It’s echoed best in these lines from the hymn:

Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

Taking life, taking rest, taking joy, taking peace. It’s almost like entering into the quality of the beauty and refreshment of what it must have been like when the world was first made. Those early days in the garden. We’d want to lose ourselves in that kind of peace and wonder.

That kind of peace is an aspect of faith. It’s the aspect less tied to sin and more tied to self.

Open to New Possibilities 

Turning from self is perhaps one of the most difficult disciplines and dilemmas that Christians have faced in every age, but is particularly poignant today.

The American life is filled with kinds of promises, kinds of means of salvation, kinds of good news. If you work hard, play by the rules, you should be given a chance at a good life. It’s a great promise, but when it becomes an idol it really can drive things in unfortunate ways.

God’s presence entering into our lives can sometimes feel like a strong wind. Think of how God used the wind to part the Red Sea.The work of the kingdom can feel like a great wind, drawing us from our own-selves and complexity into something entirely different.

One response to this wind is to be overwhelmed, another response is a kind of childlike awe. That quality of humble delight is often much better suited for those moments where we are being pushed beyond our comfort zone into something much healthier.

This requires a different inner expectation. An expectation open to new possibilities, open to how God might use the circumstances of our lives for purposes we didn’t really fully imagine for ourselves. That’s an aspect of living by faith too.

God invites us to sit at his feet like Mary, to learn of his ways, to understand his purposes, to enter into the mystery which was the life of Paul’s, the mystery which was the revelation given to the Apostle John, of God working with us in real time, and making himself known to us in simple, small, but steady ways.

Like Moses encountering God at the burning bush, he didn’t know the God who would work through him to rescue God’s people out of Egypt, or the God that would speak with him as a friend, the intimacy and trust wasn’t there yet. Before Moses could speak to God and had his face shine brightly from the encounter, he had the bush. And the God of that burning bush began to re-orient Moses.

Moses needed a faith that was open to his expectations of his life changing. God met him as he was and gave signposts as he worked with Moses.

And the aspect of faith that is ok with change, is childlike.

It’s the simply taking, life, joy, and rest from God. It’s one way we know God is with us, God as Emmanuel, being open to our plans and ideas changing, because God is anchoring down the aspects of us that need anchoring for the journey ahead.

This hymn like the last one I covered, is just a profound and simple reminder, how trust and re-orienting ourselves to the living God produces some marvelous moments of joy and peace. And that childlike pleasure in the love a child has for his parent is available to us in the faith.

That’s also an aspect of journeying. Just enjoying who God is and how he works. A relief from the weights and toils and a foretaste of the kingdom.

Alexei Laushkin is Vice-President of the Evangelical Environmental Network,  a Board Member of the Kingdom Mission Society,  and writer of the Foolishconfidence blog. His views are his own. 


Just A Closer Walk With Thee

by Alexei Laushkin

There’s something very simple in these powerful lines from “Just A Closer Walk with Thee.” Consider:

I am weak but thou art strong

Singing from such a simple place. I am weak without you Lord, help me walk closer, help me draw near, help me be more confident in my walk with you. Help me know you walking with me, help me make you my desire and confidence today.

The author of this hymn, is giving us a timeless Christian prayer.

Lord I need you more, help me draw closer. Grant me the desire and unceasing focus to draw ever-closer and lean ever-nearer into my daily walk with you.

Desire is the Beginning of Christian Formation 

We have to desire and want to draw closer to God. How that desire comes about is different for everyone, but we can say desire is so key whatever the starting point.

We can also say that desire becomes a great treasure to us, a pearl of great price, helping to cement our deepening love and walk with the Lord. At that point we start seeing the fruits of living a fully Christian life. Not the fruits of changed circumstances, but the fruits of a God who brings in his wings, healing, worth, affirmation. We begin to know a God who says, I know you very well, and I am well pleased with you, I am glad I made you and took the time to create you. I delight in you because you are my son, you are my daughter, and that’s reason enough. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, to me you are very worth while.

For many that kind of deep and intimate loving affirmation is really what helps them know and see a truly loving God.

Usually when we know him well and we feel the love of him knowing and accepting us fully, wanting to know him better comes fairly naturally to us. The way you might miss a friend or loved one, you begin to miss the Lord when your attention has been drawn away from him. And so you strive to make more complete the promises of faith so that they might re-anchor and re-orient your sense of time and meaning and purpose. 

When this occurs, no matter what happens to the Christian that simple confidence of faith is never shaken. Christianity displaces the life of the Christian, it re-orients his sense of time, it re-orients his loves, it re-orients his commitments, it displaces secular time, and fills him with great joy, because it is durable through the trials, waves, temptations, storms, pains, and tragedies of life.

It’s durable not as an escape from time, but as a reformation of time, a re-orientation of time, through the Holy Trinity we are drawn into God’s sense of time and goodness and provision, and that sense is so much more trustworthy and durable and full than the day to day we used to experience that it grants us great contentment, because our contentment is re-oriented towards the kingdom of God.

This is the victory of the saints. His blessed assurance. Not well being, but a very intimate and loving God who intervenes and makes things well in this life and the one to come through his presence. This is the ark of rescue, and in this way Jesus makes a mockery of the sin, evil, and decay in this world.

Begins with the Daily Walk 

This victory is for the Christian, and it is accompanied by the prayers of desiring that closer walk.

Just a closer walk with you, that’s my plea. Jesus grant it, let it be. Daily drawing closer to thee. Let it be Lord, let it be.

Alexei Laushkin is Vice-President of the Evangelical Environmental Network,  a Board Member of the Kingdom Mission Society,  and writer of the Foolishconfidence blog. His views are his own. 

Creating Space in Your Life for God

by Alexei Laushkin

So how do we end up creating space in our life for God, for our faith to flourish, for our inner man to grow? How do we grow in daily confidence in order to trust an all gracious and all merciful Lord?

Does such space just happen because we desire it?

How many times have you opened the scriptures or set aside time for prayer and been left feeling that it was rather root and lifeless.

How are we to create such space and such a life for ourselves that we might more fully take on the character and characteristics of Christ.

The Gospels Point to the Way

The beatitudes have some very telling examples. Let’s take a look at some of them in the Gospel of Matthew. Here’s Matthew 5:6:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.

And Matthew 5:8:

Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.

When I was in college I can remember reading the Sermon on the Mount in this way. So when I read Matthew 5:6. Blessed are those who thirst and hunger for righteousness, I thought to myself, oh Jesus means, blessed are those who really want to be righteous. So if I really want to be righteous than I’m blessed.

It took me years to think differently on some of these passages. Or consider the Psalms. Psalm 34:8:

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Taste, see, thirst, hunger. 

These are all bodily senses. We taste, we see, we thirst, we hunger. When we want food and we don’t have it, we hunger. When we want water and don’t have it we thirst. When we taste we are satisfied. When we see, we believe.

Now let’s go over to the resurrection account in the Gospel of John. Here’s Jesus when Thomas sees him and believes. John 20:29:

Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’

The senses. They are a powerful tool for confirming and strengthening our faith, and just as powerfully thinking on the beatitudes, working the senses to hunger for Christ the way we hunger for food, to thirst for righteousness the way we might thirst for water, to cultivate the inner eye so that it does see and believe, and to desire the things of God, this takes grace and the physical interacting in such a way that the physical in our life changes.

We are so driven by our senses, that to attune our senses to the things of God is the first step to making time for God. Most of the time when we are having trouble making any time for God it is because our bodies and senses are operating according to a different principle.

If you were a school teacher and in the middle of a lesson to your students you were asked to do a task that was too outside of what you were doing (say prepare a meal), your mind and body would not and could not easily orient to this task being presented in the middle of your focus being elsewhere. You would literally fumble around and likely get irritated for being distracted from the task at hand.

Something very similar happens to our spiritual life, without focus and without the nourishment we need to depend on God and to know that more deeply, we can not bring ourselves to any attention to the things of God.

The Good News

Making time with God, especially time that engages our heart, mind, body, and soul is life giving work. If you attend to the Lord, it will be a rich blessing in your life. For some people, your life might be too busy, and you might literally have to take time away in God’s creation, or a special place that’s important to you to even start. For others, it may be a matter of not trying to fit God in to a busy life, but applying basic Christian principles to your work life or to your home life.

You might decide this week Lord I am going to focus on gratitude, and put attention to saying thank you to everything that you receive. Might be a routine work matter or a simple thank you for a greeting, but if you put attention to letting your faith sink more deeply into your life, you’ll start seeing more and more where you’d like to put your focus.

Growing in Christ, and growing in dependence, is a lifelong endeavor. There are guides for reading through scripture (click here or here), learning how to pray (click here),  finding resources for your kids (click here), and on and on and on.

Finding a good spiritual mentor or brother or elder may very much help you and encourage you in growing in time with God. But if you are having trouble start thinking about how your focus and your spiritual life interacts with your physical life and you’ll quickly find tools and places to grow.

Alexei Laushkin is Vice-President of the Evangelical Environmental Network,  a Board Member of the Kingdom Mission Society,  and writer of the Foolishconfidence blog. His views are his own. 


Living in Exodus

by Alexei Laushkin

The Exodus is a pivotal moment for the people of God. They are rescued from Egypt, where their lives were filled with slavery, toil, and oppression and they make it to the desert on the way to the promised land.

And what do they encounter? They encounter their hearts which are filled with self-slavery, self-toil, and self-oppression. They exchange the hardship of Egypt for the hardship of their own inner life.

And this inner life provokes them against God even in the midst of great blessing, and God having known and foreseen His people’s sin waits and tests and sees if they will repent and turn.

For that is open to all of us who know the mercy of God, to turn towards him during the times of trial and great difficulty, especially as we are often deeply caught up in our own sin. We turn, he responds.

Yet instead of turning and even while being daily provided for and being rescued from enemies far stronger than them, they wrestle with God.

The God who single handedly freed them from Egypt now keeps them in the desert for 40 years.  You can almost hear echoes of the famous hymn lines:

Born to wander Lord I feel it, born to leave the God I love

Every since Genesis God has been in the process of reconciling with his people. First we have Noah, where God provides a rescue plan, an ark, and a covenant.

Than we have Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Jacob is one of the more interesting of the old Patriarchs, for he steals his brother’s birthright and is hounded by his conscience. Jacob is the father of Israel, and he wrestles with God, wrestling with his identity and God’s promises, wrestling with how he has made and what he wants and what God wants of him.

Jacob is  a man like us, unsure and wrestling with the sin within.

You see, since Genesis we are waiting for restoration, we are waiting for Jesus.

Jesus enables a restoration from our fallen nature of sin into the glorious freedom of the children of God. He is our justification from living like Jacob at his worst, or David at his worst or ourselves at our worst, to where Adam was before the fall. He restores and heals our fallen nature. Not all at once (though justification is all at once) but through a process.

Through a journey, into the wilderness. 

The wilderness was a time of testing for the people of God. Would they wait, would they stay focused even while everything was provided for, would they be content with trusting God’s goodness.

The desert tested God’s people, remove the comfort from a man and he’s lifted with a heart that is miserly, desires that are unmet, and a total lack of contentment.

Perhaps you yourself have felt these desert moments. These times when God seems absent, though he may be providing your every need, where your heart seems to wander and get lost in its own discontent.

God’s people having been rescued from Egypt, are in the desert. Their memories quickly fade, they begin to question Moses, they know God is with them, but what sort of God lets us wander aimlessly, when do we get to become like the Egyptians great and strong, instead of weak and dependent, a wandering nation.

Can you hear some of the dialogue of what might have been desired and yet what was experienced.

Yet God’s rescue plan for humanity is playing out in this same desert. His trying of character, as in the days of Abraham, so in the days of Noah, so in the days of Moses, is there no one who will follow me? Is there no one righteous to be found?

Why is God asking these sorts of questions of humanity? Like waters in a desert stream is the man who can trust in God despite his circumstances. You see our ultimate rebellion was to trust in ourselves, and so we reap what we sow. But when we trust in God even if nothing good occurs we reap a rich inner harvest for this life and the life to come.

Consider the very lives of Abraham, Noah, Jacob, Moses, and David. Where any of their lives simple? Where they not harassed, constantly facing danger and toil, and yet the Lord God delivered them from all these challenges, temptations, and tribulations.

Blessed is the heart of a man who is stayed on God and knows Christ as his true dependence, whatever he may face in outer oppression (matters of Justice) or inner oppression (matters of the heart). For both can derail a man from trusting God in his wilderness, and yet dependence, and yet blessed is the main whose heart remains focused and steadfast whether he sees oppression from without and from within.

Alexei Laushkin is Vice-President of the Evangelical Environmental Network,  a Board Member of the Kingdom Mission Society,  and writer of the Foolishconfidence blog. His views are his own. 

The Justification of the Tax Collector

by Alexei Laushkin

We face limitations. Life is full of them. Limitations on our job, limitations of our resources, constraints on our time. Limitations are a central feature of life. We feel the constraint on our time and the weight of our responsibilities.

And in many ways this is a very very good thing, but at times it can lead to a sort of hardness of heart. The story of the tax collector is instructive.  Consider Luke 18:9-14:

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:  “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Tax collectors were despised in Israel. They were symbols of oppression and the means by which Rome robbed Israel of its nationhood and the people of God of their dignity.  They were a constant reminder that Israel had no true king and was beholden to the nations. A daily reminder of how far they had fallen since King David.

Tax collector and sinner these were synonymous terms.

Tax collectors were betraying God. That’s how the people viewed them. Betraying the people. Imagine what this man must have felt, being a faithful child of God and yet being in a profession that put him squarely outside the camp of God’s people.

Yet Jesus says this man is justified.

This tax collector trapped by his circumstances is justified. Why is that?

Consider the heart of this man. He knows what he is compelled to do and it bothers his conscience, it trouble his heart. He cries out to God, have mercy, have mercy on me a sinner. 

Mercy Lord, mercy.

We often confuse the commands of scripture. We hear the story of the good Samaritan. We think that to truly do a just act requires me to bandage every wound, payout every expense, do everything in my power regardless of its impact, than I’ll be as holy as the good Samaritan. But when happens when we are constrained like the tax collector?

Not the sort of constraint of pride that led one man to bypass the injured man. Nor the constraint of disgust that prevented the other man from helping his brother. But the real constraint of time and resources and other good things that we are responsible for. What does scripture say about us?

The cry of the tax collector is a more appropriate model. The tax collector knew he was constrained to do what his heart did not want to do, and he cried out to God. He said Lord have mercy on me a sinner.

This is instructive. The tax collector had a soft heart. That’s to be our lived reality. A softness of heart, a tenderness of spirit, to take in the humanity of the circumstance before us.

On a recent visit to Auschwitz Pope Francis was asked what he was hoping for in terms of his time there. And he said something very constructive and simple. His reply- the grace to shed tears. In light of the circumstance he wanted the softness of heart to be present.

That’s the sort of life we are asked to cultivate. The life of presence.

One of the great challenges of living in a secularized age, is the lack of humanity we often experience. The rush of time, the pull on the inner individual, the slow death of feeling less and less human. Time that prevents us from just being, let alone time that never allows us to be as God calls us to be. A loving and compassionate people, regardless of our station and ability to help.

That’s what the tax collector teaches us. He teaches us to be troubled when we are doing something that is beyond our ability to control or even do. To take the time to be softhearted.

Repentance for the tax collector didn’t mean giving up his job, it meant living into the reality of the brokenness of his experiences and finding the grace and love of God that was much closer to him than his fellow pharisee. 

The Lord enables us to thrive in our circumstances by depending more fully on him, but a good start and a good check up for us is simply are we responding  well to what is truly before us. Are we striving more fully to adapt the heart and compassion of God to close friends and neighbors in need or circumstance that are unjust but beyond our control. For wherever we find ourselves, the cry of the heart to say, Lord I know this is wrong but I have no other out, please have mercy, that cry is a surer place for our hearts and our lives to dwell.

Alexei Laushkin is Vice-President of the Evangelical Environmental Network,  a Board Member of the Kingdom Mission Society,  and writer of the Foolishconfidence blog. His views are his own. 


On Mercy

by Alexei Laushkin

Mercy is about patience. The patience of God really more than our own. Consider God’s standards of mercy. He patiently waits. Consider these words from 2 Peter 3:8-9:

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance

Now consider the words of Jesus in the gospel of Luke. Luke 13:6-9:

Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.

The profound waiting and mercy of God. He will wait to see if life can come from this tree (us) and this soil (our circumstance). Yes he does discipline, yes he does allow for difficulties, but the overarching character is mercy. Even what he allows and the discipline itself is meant for us to do something else. For us to display some other characteristic than the ones we are so prone to.

Consider 1 Samuel. Salvation and rescue is going to come through Samuel, and the young boy is born to a barren woman. A very minor person. What is happening here? Don’t we see the echoes of the Virgin Mary, or Sarah.

God is searching the earth to see if any have sought after him. And in the anguish of infertility he finds a woman whose heart is open, who is zealous to be used. Though her story seems so small and insignificant, her life would be integral in God’s work of bringing  back his people to himself in the midst of gross infidelity and waywardness.

Consider the Mercy of God

In a few chapters into Samuel, Israel will be defeated, though they had the ark of the covenant in their midst when battling the Philistines. This will be a watershed moment. A moment so shocking that the very identity of the nation will be thrown into question.

And yet, the story we are to follow isn’t the calamity (which is significant to awaken the people), but the broader story of the clearing of corrupt leadership and the establishment of Samuel and eventually of Saul (who would prove unfaithful) and David.

A high-mark of God’s faithfulness and his work among his people is around the corner, and yet the calamities are necessary to make the story and life of David even possible.

The mercy of God isn’t about getting what we want when we want it, it is about seeing the broader story of how God turns wayward hearts back to him. As with Israel so with us. We are wayward in our tendencies and yet God will use the circumstances of life and his goodness to make the possibility of restoration and faithfulness possible again.

His ways are not our ways, nor our his thoughts, our thoughts, but we can be assured just as he was and is faithful to Israel that he will be faithful to his bride the church, and that he will even more like a tender shepherd be with each of us, as he arranges the circumstances of our lives in such a way where faithfulness and holiness, and mercy can take root. For all these stories are ultimately about our dependence on Christ and our seeming inability to see where we need to depend more deeply or see where we have not done so at all.

Alexei Laushkin is Vice-President of the Evangelical Environmental Network,  a Board Member of the Kingdom Mission Society,  and writer of the Foolishconfidence blog. His views are his own. 

Spending Some Time with Amos

by Alexei Laushkin

If you follow the Protestant world much, you’ll undoubtedly be aware that Mainline Protestants will use the Old Testament and the Prophets to justify all sorts of public policy positions. I can remember being at an event early in my vocation and it was an evening service, the Prophet Amos was being read. We came to some powerful lines, Amos 5:24:

But let justice roll down like waters,

and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

The immediate solution, free third world nations from their debts and obligations. That was the application to Amos 5. Let justice roll down like waters, free a wide range of actors from debt. Hallelujah.

I was recently back into Amos and had a very different take. I am very concerned with matters of justice and I think the scripture is too, but the narrative of Amos isn’t what you might think, although it does follow that what is happening in the life of the people of God ought to match their actions, no doubt about that, and in such a realm thinking about justice seriously and even arriving at certain conclusions is within the realm of prudential judgement. I.E. you could read the text and advocate for a progressive policy solution, but if that’s all you did with the scripture you’d be missing a lot.

Let’s take a longer section. Amos 5:6-15:

Seek the Lord and live,
lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,
and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,
O you who turn justice to wormwood
and cast down righteousness to the earth!
He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
and turns deep darkness into the morning
and darkens the day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
the Lord is his name;
who makes destruction flash forth against the strong,
so that destruction comes upon the fortress.
They hate him who reproves in the gate,
and they abhor him who speaks the truth.
Therefore because you trample on the poor
and you exact taxes of grain from him,
you have built houses of hewn stone,
but you shall not dwell in them;
you have planted pleasant vineyards,
but you shall not drink their wine.
For I know how many are your transgressions
and how great are your sins—
you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe,
and turn aside the needy in the gate.
Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time,
for it is an evil time.
Seek good, and not evil,
that you may live;
and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,
as you have said.
Hate evil, and love good,
and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,
will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

Imagine if you will the character of the people who are oppressing the poor, neglecting them, and essentially going about their day to day life as though nothing has happened. They don’t know that they are doing this, it doesn’t occur to them that their day to day actions have any bearing on the poor. It’s doubtful that the core audience knew what the Prophet was saying.

Consider some other passages of Amos. Here’s Amos 8:11:

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD

God is angry with his people, they are so out of step with his ways, that the possibility of finding those ways are being dried up before their very eyes. He is so disgusted with their slackness and inability to see how unjust their practices have become that their prayers and their worship has become unbearable to hear. It would be like listening to someone’s prayers and thinking it was just babble.

God’s people don’t know this, but God is very upset with how out of sync they are with his purposes.

God’s Justice

When many American Christians think about God’s justice, they think of Sodom and Gomorrah, his wrath or the plagues in Egypt. Meaning they think of punishment. Someone is wrong and will be punished.

Yet the picture in Amos is very different. There is a dearth of God’s ways, compassion, kindness, self-control, humility, people seeking the God of people outside of their economic or social group, people seeking after holiness in body (sexually) and spirit, people cultivating love and deep affection. These things are absent and so God is gently feed-up with everything.

God can no longer work with his people so calamities must come in order to see if the experience of hardship might produce better fruit.

The dynamics are so strong that Amos has a word of caution to those who see these things. Amos 5:13

Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times,
    for the times are evil.

Let’s not even begin to talk about what this might mean for the present day church. After all the council of Amos is wise, it is prudent to keep quiet in such times.

Alexei Laushkin is Vice-President of the Evangelical Environmental Network,  a Board Member of the Kingdom Mission Society,  and writer of the Foolishconfidence blog. His views are his own.