"Hope is believing inspite of the evidence
and watching the evidence change...."
~Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Prayer: (adapted from Rev.Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'Dream Speech')
Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy.
Now it the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of
segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.
Now it the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial
injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
Now is the time to make justice a reality to all of God's
Dear Lord Jesus,
let the dream of little children one day living in
a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin
but by their character come true.
let freedom ring, let it ring from every
tenement and every hamlet,
from every state and every city,
help us to speed up that day when all of Your children,
black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics,
will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual,
"Free at last,
free at last.
we are free at last."
In Jesus name,
Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands.. Protect them as they
protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they
perform for us in our time of need. I ask this in the name of Jesus, our
Lord and Savior.
Prayer Request: When you read this, please stop for a moment and say a
prayer for our troops around the world.
Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine &others deployed in harm's way, Prayer is the very best one
Friday, January 14, 2005
Gracie Allen once said,
"Never put a period where God put a comma."
I don't always understand why things happen
or what Your plan is for me...
Help me to never give up,
but to always look forward
to how You can take even the bad things that happen
and use it for good.
in Jesus' name,
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Thursday, January 06, 2005
This past Christmas season there was a lot of hullabaloo about whether or not it was okay to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” For a couple of years now there has been debate over whether or not the Ten Commandments may be posted in public courtrooms. There is an atheist dad in California who doesn’t want his child to have to recite “under God” as part of the Pledge of Allegiance in public school. And now people are questioning whether or not the Federal government should provide funds for restoring the Spanish Missions in California because while they represent major historical sites, many are also active Catholic congregations.
So lets see if we can settle this once and for all. Is the United States a “Christian Nation.
The view from the Right: Sure this is a Christian nation. It’s an adjective, a description. By the numbers, the last census recorded that at least 41% of Americans claimed to belong to Christian churches, this is a large plurality. Only 2.2% are Jewish and barely 0.6%- six tenths of a percent are Muslim. According to the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) conducted in 2001, 77% of Americans call themselves “Christian.” So of course this is a “Christian nation.” What else would you call it?
The Washington Times reported recently that a 2001 survey by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York found that only 0.5 percent are Buddhist and a scant 0.4 percent are Hindu. Come on, face facts, we’re mostly Christian.
It’s also Christian in it’s heritage. Everyone knows that many of the first Americans fled Europe in search of religious freedom. The Pilgrims wanted the Plymouth colony to be a “city on a hill,” and thousands consider it “the promised land.” And everyone also knows that our laws are based, at least in part on Biblical law, like the Ten Commandments.
And most people know that most of the founding fathers were Christian. The First Amendment provides freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.
From the Left: No way is this a Christian nation. A 2002 USA Today/Gallup Poll showed that almost half of American adults appear to be “alienated from organized religion.” ALIENATED! The harder we try to force religion on people, the more they feel judged, driven away, and excluded. Only 50% even think of themselves religious- “religious,” not necessarily “Christian.” Maybe 33% consider themselves "spiritual but not religious," whatever that means. And at least 10% say that they’re neither spiritual or religious. You can never make people Christian by an act of Congress. It takes an act of God to do that.
Lets face it, like it or not, this is a secular nation, a pluralistic society. Everyone knows that many of the first Americans fled Europe in search of religious freedom. After the Protestant Reformation European Christians were at war WITH EACH OTHER for over 100 years. The first Americans wanted to be able to live together despite their religious differences. America’s foundation was laid in religious tolerance. The First Amendment guarantees that the government will not establish or promote any one religion of any others as an official religion. We don’t have to pay taxes to churches like they do in other parts of the world. The First Amendment guarantees that we each have the right to practice our own religion without fear of persecution. That’s what free speech is all about.
Most people know that many of the founding fathers were “Deists,” scientific agnostics who were culturally “Christian” but doubted or even denied the divinity of Christ. What’s more, many of them were also members of Masonic temples. I don’t know about Baptists and Methodists, obviously Anglicans/Episcopalians didn’t care, but the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Lutheran Churches all strictly prohibit membership in super secret and/or occultist organizations like the Masons. Who knows what Eastern mysticisms and pseudo-philosophical nonsense those founding fathers swallowed hook, line, and sinker.
Christian nation, indeed! The best thing about the founding fathers is that they recognized that they were human and fallible. We shouldn’t turn them into gods by assuming that they were so much more pious than we are today. That’s why they made ours a government of laws, and checks and balances, not of people, parties and churches.
And from the Middle: Well, it all depends on how you look at things. According to the last census, barely 37 % of Americans consider themselves religious. At least 16 % think of themselves as secular.
But more important than that is what do you even call “Christian?” I believe that only God knows what is in our hearts. Of all of the people who sit next to us in Church, how many are hypocrites? How many say that they’re Christian only because that’s all they’ve ever known or because they think it’s the “right thing to do.” How many attend because they think it makes them better than others? How many truly KNOW Jesus Christ in a personal way? How many are willing to make Jesus their “LORD,” and not just their “Savior.” The definition of “Christian” is “little-Christ,” that is imitator of the Anointed Messiah, or follower/disciple of Jesus of Nazareth only begotten Son of Jehovah-God. He was willing to be executed unjustly to save others. Am I? Are all Americans? Is America a single, living, self-aware, sensate being, capable of faith and receiving salvation?
Jesus was born in an occupied territory of the Roman Empire. Sort of a man without a country. The Mormons believe that He visited the Indians in North America after His resurrection. Of course most Mormons consider themselves Christian, but I don’t and neither does the Lutheran Church, of which I am a member.
So is this a Christian nation? Maybe better questions are; Should it be? And if so, how would you suggest making that come about? Two other very interesting questions could be, would Jesus be granted citizenship to the U.S. if He applied for it today? Barefoot, jobless, homeless, long haired, barefoot, itinerate preacher from Palestine. Hmmm. The other one is; If he came today, would America execute Him the same way Rome did? Hmmm.