Sunday, September 04, 2005
Why New Orleans?
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Jefferson and Madison Separation
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
The Globe is just pointing out the ridiculous point in trying to reach out to us dense Christians. The Globe implies: "Is there really any sense in even trying to reach out to the Wilkerson's?" The article begins with the premise below, but the lack of any summary or conclusion addressing it, emphasizes the Globe's resignation to the fact that Christians are likely unreachable, given their beliefs. When I read it, there is a sense the Globe is saying in a mocking tone: "Would we (the Democrats) really want the Wilkerson's? I mean, c'mon, can you believe that they actually believe that Bible stuff and are using it for a guide to live by, you've got to be kidding me."
The Globe repeatedly states the Wilkerson's belief in Jesus as the only way to heaven. This seems to be an attempt to put down the Wilkerson's as extremely close minded and intolerant. There appears to be little or no understanding of what conviction to your faith and living it out really means.
The Globe intended to make a case for how to reach the Wilkerson's and people like them, but in the end simply gave up. They ran it to show how hopeless (from their liberal view) and pointless it would be to even bother to embrace all those Christian Bush backers.
Even the title reflects the Globe's inability to comprehend that it is beliefs in action, not their religion at the base of the Wilkerson's politics. The distinction is crucial. The depth of their conviction and personal faith and relationship with God drives their life including their politics. The requirement to surrender ones self to God and establish a personal relationship seems beyond the pale for the Globe, lacking the personal experience, the only way the Globe can describe it is the term religion.
The Globe expresses a sense of contempt for the Wilkerson's and in their amazement, even failed to write a coherent article. Maybe God had a hand in it and is using it to spread his message through a rather unlikely medium.
Here is the presumed premise of the story:
To them, the president is ''a godly man" and Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts is not.
Such thinking is prompting many Democrats to rethink the party's message on religion and abortion, and how to reach out to voters for whom religion plays a critical, determining role. But in the Wilkersons' four-bedroom home, nestled between a creek and a cul-de-sac, a political conversion seems unlikely at best.
The Wilkersons oppose abortion and stem-cell research, consider homosexuality a sin, and regard same-sex marriage as the work of activist judges who cater to a
dangerous fringe group. The future holds either heaven or hell, and the only way
to paradise is to accept Jesus Christ.
Friday, March 25, 2005
This week we were impacted by the dreadful news from Red Lake. I read of a cell phone conversation, between a child and parent. It was simply a plea for help and safety. "Mom, Come and get me". Jesus words are a plea too, but they are in stark contrast to the words the student, or you, or I, would likely utter.
Rather than a plea for help, Jesus pleads with his Father to be forgiving, and excuse his persecutors actions, due to their ignorance.
Looking closer, we see that Jesus is simply demonstrating the Love he spoke of during his ministry. In Matthew 5:44 (slightly paraphrased), he commanded: "Love your enemies, do good for those who hurt you, and pray for those who persecute you." Jesus prayer from the cross, fulfills perfectly his own command. Jesus forgives his persecutors.
He is fully aware of their blindness to the fact that they are actually Killing God's Son. It is difficult to imagine the anger the Father felt. We know of the Love a parent feels for a child. As any parent will attest, we have a strong desire to prevent our children from being hurt, as expressed so painfully in Florida this week. While Jesus wasn't a parent, he was rather perceptive about the anger his heavenly Father felt. And the need to pray for the Father to be forgiving.
The words of Jesus from the cross, are very much in character for the Savior we know and Love. We want to hear Jesus speak those words of forgiveness on our behalf. Our need to hear those words, is based on our knowledge, that our sin is the reason he allowed himself to be crucified. He died on the cross to forgive us. It is worth noting that even though they are not repenting, Jesus prays on their behalf to the Father. This is a real comfort to realize that even when we haven't yet asked or realized our need for forgiveness Jesus forgives us and prays for us.
Jesus prayer on the cross isn't only about Him forgiving those who actually put him to death. Jesus words to His Father, are also a guide for us to follow at times when we find ourselves angry about an injustice or disappointed by someone. He says, "Forgive them" Expressing our anger or disappointment is natural, but we are also, like Jesus, a child of God. We should follow his example and even in those most difficult times, be forgiving and pray for our Father's forgiveness for those hurting us.
Let us pray
Father, thank you for hearing the prayer of Jesus and for forgiving us through him.
Jesus, thank you for dying for our forgiveness.
Spirit, help us to follow Jesus example to forgive and pray for those who hurt us.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
For a very good stewardship sermon: "The Best Stewardship Sermon Ever" March 6, 2005
I came up with this alternative:
Monday, March 07, 2005
From a sermon by Pastor Paul on Sunday. We always want more, but are never satisfied.
Friday, February 11, 2005
Why'd you do it?
The Gospel begins:
Jesus said, "Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven."
I see a slight inconsistency, between this verse and the idea of just living your faith and being a witness as you do your daily tasks. I believe the distinction is the motivation behind your actions. Going to church or asking someone not to swear in your presence, when it is being done just because you are living and expressing your faith. Is not what this passage is talking about.
Contrast this with the verses later in the Gospel that clearly speak of the motivation as the essential problem: "so that they may be praised by others", "so that they may be seen by others" or "so as to show others that they are fasting."
It is not a minor distinction. Outwardly, your actions might be the same in either case, but what is in your heart and mind that is motivating you is what distinguishes the two. You and your God, know your motivation.