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Is Jesus Even Good News? | Looking to the Global Church to Cast Hope for our Faith



There's a lot to be hopeful for. I think about the global church and the way that the evangelical church is growing. I mean, we're seeing that in Brazil and some other countries, nationalism and nationalist rhetoric is certainly on the rise. But in other countries, Africa, parts of Asia and the global south, there is a wonderful, exciting emergence of evangelicalism that I think is a really beautiful global expression of our faith. I really try to take comfort in that context.

I think there's a lot of reasons to take a break from church. I think there's a lot of good reasons why sometimes we can't go. There have been Sundays when I've felt so much weight going into a service that I had to I had to literally just walk out and leave. I think there are reasons why it's not a safe place for some folks, but I also am so convicted that there are healthy congregations and expressions in America. If we can find them, if we can stay, if we have hearts burning within us to reform from within, we will walk a hard and really beautiful road.


When I when I talk about my faith with others, I have to start by talking about the church. And the church really is just the gathered body of believers that Jesus left us with. If we zoom out, I think Jesus is doing okay - a brown skinned refugee that was displaced in the Middle East, that spoke radical things, did radical things, and acted out of love and resistance of power is compelling.


The problem, of course, is the fine mess that we've made of Jesus' church. But I still believe it's the best hope that we have, because it's what Christ left us with. There is something beautiful and good to preserve and to hold on to. I have to believe that the church is here to stay and the work that we need to do is to show creative people and people that have various beliefs about politics and culture, that there is there is a place and a way forward. And that is hard work.


 

This excerpt was edited for clarity. Listen to the rest of the episode here and follow the Upwardly Dependent podcast on Spotify.


Guests: Sara Billups


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