About: In this Ministry Helps booklet Christian McShaffrey, MDiv gives an encouraging and needed lesson for Christians who feel like strangers in a strange land in America given the many unprecedented events in their country lately.
His lesson teaches American Christians how to come to terms with their current cultural situation and survive it, and he does this by summarizing Jeremiah’s letter to the captives in Babylon in Jeremiah 29:1-14, and offering five practical words of advice from the passage that believers can apply to their lives today.
From the Introduction: Few, I suppose, would deny that we are living in strange times. The word “unprecedented” has been essentially worn out through over-use and while I will not review all the “unprecedented” events we have recently experienced in America, I will say this: Most Christians are starting to feel like strangers living in a strange land.“An encouraging and needed lesson for Christians who feel like strangers in a strange land in America.”
That is a very good thing. No, it is not a good feeling, but it is good because that is how the Holy Bible describes us. In both Old and New Testaments, we are described as strangers, pilgrims, exiles, those who are IN the world, but not OF it, citizens of heaven who are seeking a heavenly country; but who are also (even at the same time) citizens of earthly commonwealths, stuck in godless cultures, surrounded by unbelievers, and sometimes even oppressed.
The reality of that dual-citizenship had hit Jeremiah’s friends like a ton of bricks. Their city was sacked, their temple destroyed, their houses burned, the able-bodied men put in chains, and their brightest minds put to work in the Babylonian palace. They were very much in shock and some, it seems, were even in a state of denial; so Jeremiah sent a letter that they come to terms with their situation and survive it.
I am convinced that Christians today need to do the same (i.e., come to terms with our current cultural situation and survive it), so please allow Jeremiah’s letter to the captives to accomplish that good end. His counsel can be summarized into five practical words of advice. -Christian McShaffrey, MDiv
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