Weekend reading: conflicting kingdoms, radical Sabbath, and a lost PIN

Weekend Reading is a weekly collation of 3-5 articles that have caught my attention, published on Saturday mornings. Previous editions can be found here.

1. Elections and Kingdoms (hopeforhome.blogspot.com)

In a democratic republic such as the United States, the politics of the nation are simply a reflection of the hearts of the people. Fallen and unredeemed people elect godless and corrupt leaders. And, as the church has focused more and more on political solutions and less and less on disciple making, we have seen the nation decline, along with the quality of our leaders. Increasingly we find ourselves holding our nose while we vote because the quality of the candidates of both parties have declined horribly. We tolerate words and actions from our leaders (and even defend them) that would have been absolutely intolerable 30 years ago. Yet the church continues to insist on political solutions and engagements even as it makes itself increasingly inefficient at reaching people for Jesus.
The only hope for our nation is Jesus Christ. And not Jesus Christ dictated from congress or the White House, but Jesus alive in us and our neighbors. And the only way for that to happen is for you and me to focus on making disciples by loving and reaching to people of all walks of life and background, regardless of their lifestyle, choices, or political opinions. And, in order to do that, we have to tone down our politics and turn up our Jesus.

‘Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.’ The commandment smacks of obsolete puritanism – the shuttered liquor store, the cheque sitting in a darkened post office. We usually encounter the Sabbath as an inconvenience, or at best a nice idea increasingly at odds with reality. But observing this weekly day of rest can actually be a radical act. Indeed, what makes it so obsolete and impractical is precisely what makes it so dangerous.

When taken seriously, the Sabbath has the power to restructure not only the calendar but also the entire political economy. In place of an economy built upon the profit motive – the ever-present need for more, in fact the need for there to never be enough – the Sabbath puts forward an economy built upon the belief that there is enough. But few who observe the Sabbath are willing to consider its full implications, and therefore few who do not observe it have reason to find any value in it.

3. ‘I forgot my PIN’: an epic tale of losing $30,000 in Bitcoin (Wired Magazine)

I barely slept that night. The little shuteye I managed to get was filled with nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasn’t so much the $8,000 that bothered me—it was the shame I felt for being stupid enough to lose the paper and forget the PIN. I also hated the idea that the bitcoins could increase in value and I wouldn’t have access to them. If I wasn’t able to recall the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me for the rest of my life.

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