People make Jesus look bad.
See link to story here. Supreme court Rules.
The court is right.
However hateful and hurtful these fools have the right to say what they are saying.
Although I tend to agree with the one dissenting jurist, Judge Scalia, that some speech if it causes real harm is not protected by the first amendment. That however is part of the slippery slope we are always hearing about.
If these crazed un-American nut-jobs are not protected under the first then who might b next.
However, it is abundantly clear that they are:
1. Dishonoring the supreme sacrifice made by our young men and women in the armed forces. Their actions spit on this service and call dishonor down on it.
2. If Jesus had behaved in this way I would never have ever considered being a follower of Christ.
Do these delusional jackboots actually think that they are changing anyones’ mind about their extreme views on homosexuality?
More importantly, do they realize how may people they are driving away from Christ?
It makes me sick.
I’ll tell you who I hate.
These pretenders to the Kingdom and whoever is driving these folks to act out these disgusting and perverse acts in the name of Christ.
Update: I decided to restore this post and just take my medicine. Have at me.
I am sure I’m going to regret this but I was asked again today by a very well-meaning friend why I don’t attend a church of my choice.
I have some questions that I’d like answered and some statements.
1. My understanding is that the professional priesthood/ministry/pastor/teacher job ended when the veil split in the sanctuary (Matthew 27:50,51) forever ending the separation of God from His people. Is this not true? Did not Paul himself continue his trade while establishing local churches and exhort Timothy to do the same? I have a major problem with multi-millionaire preachers or even those who live better than the most humble of their flock. I believe the closer New Testament example would be to keep your day job and practice your spiritual gift of preaching, teaching, prophecy whatever.
2. Show me in scripture where tithing is called for in the New Covenant. It’s not there. If you’re going to live by the law then live by all of the law. Shellfish anyone?
3. What are these ostentatious and overblown buildings for? My understanding is that the old temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and will not be rebuilt until Christ returns and the only other temple is our bodies.
4. I recognize the need to have communion with other believers. In Acts these meetings took place in homes. If too many people start showing up start another group.
Churches and Christian groups do a lot of good in the world. Don’t get me wrong.
I don’t tell anyone not to go and tithe and be on building committees and on and on. If you want to meet and pay some person a salary to talk to you then by all means do so. It’s none of my business.
I also have never been able to get one Christian “professional” to answer any of these questions without a lot of spiritualizing and obfuscation.
I’m not proselytizing anyone.
All of this actually kind of pushes me to the Catholic Church because if you’re going to buy into it you may as well buy into the original brand.
If you want to talk or convince me then please do. If you want to be mad please don’t.
It is not my intention to offend anyone or belittle anyone’s beliefs.
The opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinions or views of management.
Read this story all the way to the end here. Texan of the Year Nomination
Although I disagree with Mr. Hitchens basic premises I find him to be articulate, witty and charming.
I recently read an article that was written by his brother Peter, a former atheist, concerning his own conversion and his relationship with his brother.
See that article here.
This morning my wife’s sister Nancy died from leukemia.
She had already survived breast cancer and had been doing great just until the last couple of months.
She was brave and faced her death with nobility and grace.
Her husband Joe is exhausted and obviously devastated.
My wife is also devastated as she has lost not only a dear sister but one of her dearest friends. they talked almost every day.
I had known Nancy since their family moved down the street from us 52 years ago. She was a baby.
Most people who knew Nancy remember that she was always laughing. And this is a woman who had plenty to cry about in her life beyond these terrifying illnesses.
Having said all of that I want to change the tone just a little.
There is nothing beautiful in death. It is ugly and gruesome in all of its forms.
Cancer is one of the most ugly and gruesome.
This killer, which is created by our own bodies, is pernicious and hateful.
It strikes babies barely out of the womb and as a cruel joke kills octogenarians just for a laugh when they should be having peace. And everybody in between.
Her new grandson will not remember her and that is truly a crying shame.
I will not have this bitterness in my heart when we celebrate her life and passage.
I loved her like a little sister and will miss her terribly.
I am very happy that she is now pain-free.
I am happy that she is reunited with her loved ones like her Dad who passed last year.
I know death comes to all of us but sometimes we are reminded of just how cruel and ugly it can be.
We don’t have to feel good about it.
We do have to live and that is what we will do until we don’t.
We all spend a lot of time and effort worrying about what matters.
We may call it different things.
We may call it being relevant.
We may call it “finding ourselves”.
Life is hard.
Anyone who tells you differently is either lying, insane or trying to get something from you.
Things don’t often go the way we think they should. Or maybe we just pay more attention to the bad things.
We were never promised by anyone that is trustworthy that we would have perfect, pain free, tragedy free guiltless lives.
Those preachers who say that this is not true are either the worst liars or they have never read the gospels. Probably some of both.
So, what does matter?
Money. It comes and goes. When we die what good is it?
Family. You may not have a family as we think of it but there is a family.
Love. Hopefully we all have had someone who has loved us.
Last night I read the Beatitudes in Matthew.
Start at the beginning but if you are impatient start at chapter 5.
Don’t read it as though it is abstract or for some future date but as what Jesus was teaching us then and right now.
All those we love.
All those we hate.
I hear a lot of vitriolic talk today about the president and the government. I don’t agree with a lot or even most of what is going on. But, we are told to love our enemies and pray for them.
Those who are close to you.
Those who are not.
Those who have passed on.
Those who are estranged.
Those who hate you.
Tomorrow has enough problems of its own. Let’s deal with what is right in front of us and know what is truly important.
We cannot control what other people think or do. We can control what we think and do (sometimes).
Love like there is no tomorrow.
Laugh like you mean it.
Cry and be cleansed not defeated.
Be happy in spite of all the things and people that say not to be. Not stupidly as the prosperity preachers tell it but just because you can.
Do something sacrificial today. Or don’t and don’t feel guilty about it.
Tell someone that you love them and mean it. Or don’t and don’t feel guilty about it.
So? What matters?
I may be bankrupt in a few weeks.
My loved ones may be sick or hurt or hurting.
Love. Love. Love.
1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;7a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
As I write this my sister-in-law who I have known all of her life and is one of my favorite relatives is dying in the hospital with acute leukemia.
My wife, understandably, is extremely upset.
This young woman (early 50’s) has already survived a bout with breast cancer a couple of years ago only to be stricken again by this terrible disease.
As I thought about this tonight I remembered reading somewhere that it is God Who is in charge of the times and the seasons of our lives. I think on the internetmonk site but in a different context.
My sister-in-law is in His hands and has been since before the beginning of time.
It is hard for us to understand and accept but accept we must.
I don’t mean to not fight and try everything possible but when all is done and the science is insufficient then it is time to let go and seek peace.
She is in pain and suffers. If this suffering is to no point then I pray that it will end. Soon.
IMonk posted a very interesting message concerning God’s will and knowing it. See it here.
My tiny contribution there is this:
This post is a more eloquent description of one of the reasons why I reject most if not all of evangelicism.
God is not some big vending machine in the sky so that if we deposit enough coin (faith, tithes, obedience, etc.) then push button B and 6 God is obligated to give us our Twinkies (put your own desires in here).
God is sovereign.
The only clue I have as to His will are the very simple things that are told us in scripture.
To paraphrase Jesus, be nice to each other and worship God above all others.
To paraphrase Paul, go tell other people.
I won’t be putting out any fleeces or any of the other gyrations to know God’s mind. I can’t know it.
I can trust God’s mind.
So I am free to live and move within that mind of God without the constant struggle to make sure I’m making all the steps 1 through 12a to live.
Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty free at last.
Strangely, thinking about this has led me to at least the beginnings of another answer in my life.
I don’t want to be a Roman Catholic.
I am certainly attracted to the beauty, tradition and majesty of the Roman church.
But, believing as I have stated above, how can I be apart of a fellowship that teaches that if I confess to a priest and say 10 Hail Mary’s then my sin of lusting after a new guitar is expiated?
I realize that is an unfair simplification but it is what it is.
This leaves me with rejecting both orthodoxy in most forms and absolutely rejecting the evangelical church.
What’s a fellow to do?
Constructive comments welcome.
Last week we buried my father-in-law.
He was my father-in-law and my friend.
He was a remarkable man in many ways and a very simple man in other ways.
He was quick witted and quick tempered.
He was cruel and he was kind.
He was a war hero who refused to discuss it but in other ways one of the most vain men I have ever met.
I loved him.
About 3 weeks before his passing I had an opportunity to talk with him alone for couple of hours.
The conversation veered from the profane to the divine.
He told me many things I will remember but one stands out.
He said he was not ready to go yet. He put it this way,” I have not seen the light at the end of the tunnel yet but when I do I know where I am going.”
His faith was uncomplicated.
Believe and you are saved.
I will miss his jokes and music and wisdom.
I am comforted knowing that he is with the Lord and no longer suffering.
God bless you Glen and thank you for the beautiful daughter and the genes you added to my beautiful children and grandchildren.
Now rest a bit and then pick up your D28 and play some old time country gospel. I’m sure Jesus will enjoy it. I always did.
I want to know God’s thoughts; the rest are details.