Dr. James Fowler
Paul’s statement has once again proven its practical value. “All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). The “good” (here used generously; i.e. the best outcome) of the Trump presidency is that his shenanigans and shifty double-talk have caused the world to hate religion. Identifying, as he has, with evangelical religion, he has exposed religious sentiment for the fraud that it so often is. The world has observed that the “Trump card” for religion is nothing but a sham – just a “joker” whose value will always be questionable and variable.
As the circumstances of national politics and international collusion work themselves out in history, we are all rather befuddled how any “good” can result from such shady conspiracies and cover-ups. It is, however, a “good” that serves God’s purposes to be aware that religion is the absolute obverse of the dynamic grace-operative of the Spirit of the living Lord Jesus that forms the impetus of Christian faith. Genuine Christians are Christ-ones, identified in spirit-union with the living Lord Jesus (cf. I Cor. 6:17).
The need of the hour is now to explain that Christianity (Christ-in-you-ity) is not religion. Nor is it some superficial “relationship” with the socio-religious image of Jesus. Christ-in-you-ity is the reality of the indwelling Spirit of the living Lord Jesus (cf. Rom. 8:9; II Cor. 13:5) dwelling within and living out from the spirit-core of one who has received the Spirit of Christ within his/her spirit. The Spirit of Christ within such a Christ-one will of necessity manifest the spirit-character of Jesus in Christian behavior (II Cor. 4:10,11; Gal 5:22,23). It is by that means, and that only, that the world will see the love of Jesus Christ in our social relationships, in the fellowship of our churches, and in the discourse of our national and international politics.