As Christians in America, we have long benefited from being under “Christendom”—the protection of and goodwill towards Christianity by the State and society at large. Today, however, those protections and this goodwill is breaking down. From changing poll numbers to changing laws to recent Supreme Court rulings, it is clear that we are living in a society that increasingly is moving away from Christian values and a Christian worldview.
We all probably feel the angst and loss from this change in society. We worry about the world in which our children are growing up in. We fear for our future, our jobs, our security, and we mourn for our nation. While all of this is new and difficult for us, this state of being was the norm for God’s people at various times throughout their history—from being slaves in Egypt to exiles in Babylon to Christians under the Roman Empire.
The book of Daniel is a great book of the Bible from which to learn how to deal with the changing culture in which we find ourselves today. It is a book which chronicles some of God’s people while they lived as exiles under the Babylonian Empire. Daniel and his friends faced unjust laws, ungodly politicians, proud and unreasonable kings, and overt persecution. What lessons can we learn from this?
Let's look at the different major stories of the book of Daniel.
What lessons can we learn from Daniel in dealing with Empire issues?
What issues/themes do you see in the book of Daniel which are helpful in dealing with "Empire" issues today? What lessons can we learn from these?
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Dr. James Nored (Doctor of Ministry, Fuller Theological Seminary) is a preacher, evangelist, church consultant, writer, and missional leader located in Fairfax, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C.
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