Monday, October 26, 2009

Their views aren't Gospel truth

For years fellow Christians have gone so far as to doubt my salvation because I choose to vote for Democrats.

Now they feel like affluent, conservative, White, Christians are persecuted in our society, especially by the "liberal" media. The poor things.

I'm sorry, but while I don't doubt their salvation or even the sincerity of their belief in Jesus as their savior- I have to say that I it troubles me when fellow believers so ardently defend the likes of Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Ann Coulter and their ilk.

Even if you can't see that they are demagogues, surely you can see that they're not infallible, inerrant or omniscient? Right?

Who is our neighbor?

If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be ... Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, "Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land."

- Deuteronomy 15:7-11

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No pain, no gain

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Giver of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we oursleves are consoled by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ.

- 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Sometimes from our greatest wounds, will come our greatest usefulness to God. Pain produce ministry? Sometimes. Why can we believe Romans 8:28? How can we consider it pure joy when we face trials? (James 1:2-3)

Because everyone goes through hard times, everyone faces trouble, but once you've gone through it, once you've survived with God's help, you can help other people get through it too. You can be there for them, you can love them through it and pray for them because you know what it's like. Not only can you offer sympathy, but you can offer genuine empathy too.

Yeah, God sure works in mysterious ways, but it's no mystery that we're all in this together, so why not lend a hand, or at least a shoulder to lean on?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October Surprise

I think I'm about finally to a point where I don't really miss writing a weekly column. But if YOU still miss reading my weekly column- HERE ARE SOME HALLOWEEN RE-RUNS from years gone by, Halloween, Reformation and Dia de Los Muertes columns, some spooky pictures, and even some surreal Lutheran images!

Have fun but 'don't eat so much candy that you go into a diabetic coma!

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Aint in the truth

Only when enough adults practice and teach children love and respect at home, in schools, religious congregations, and in our political and civic life will racial, gender, and religious intolerance and hate crimes subside in America and the world.- Marian Wright Edelman

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thursday, October 08, 2009

From Sojourner's daily verse & voice

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.

- Luke 6:32-35

To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name.

- Thomas Merton,
from A Book of Hours

Thursday, October 01, 2009

If you really trust God, do you have to advertise to everybody that you do?

Will NBC be surprised??

Here's your chance to let the media know where the people stand on our faith in God, as a nation..

NBC is presently taking a poll on "In God We Trust" to stay on our American currency.

Please send this to every Christian you know so they can vote on this important subject.

Please do it right away, before NBC takes this off their web page. Poll is still open so you can vote:

This is not sent for discussion. If you agree forward it, if you don't, delete it.

By my forwarding it, you know how I feel.
I'll bet this is going to be a surprise to NBC.

Sorry, I can't help it- discussion is going to happen, I'd like to help inform it. I am neither for or against removing this mottos- so don't get assume that I'm arguing one side or the other. I just want to offer food for thought. I'm not here for a fight or a debate, I just want people to know what they're arguing about when they argue with each other (not me) about it.

First of all, a check of says that this is not a hoax, there is such a poll.

Next, if you're interested in the history of the 'In God We Trust' motto and the controversy surrounding it, visit the Wikipedia page about it.

Republican President Teddy Roosevelt (member of the Dutch Reformed Church) opposed putting the motto on money because he thought it was blasphemous to put His name on "Mammon" (money).

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Matthew 6:24

"Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." Mark 12:13-17

The other question is, which god? The dollar bill has a Masonic symbol of an Egyptian pyramid with an all-seeing eye on it. Is that a pre-Judeao/Christian god? An ecumenical/universalist concept of a higher-power? A Mesopotamian or Mediterranean or Egyptian god? Many of the founding fathers were Deists, agnostics, Masons, and even athiests.

If you were really going to honor God, shouldn't it say "In Jesus Christ we trust?" Then what happens to the pluralism and religious tolerance which allowed Evangelical Christianity to flourish in the United States?

If we throw that out and throw out the establishment clause of the First Amendment with it, which Christian Denomination will get to set up the new Christian Theocracy? Catholics might not like it if a bunch of Lutherans or Presbyterians got to do it. As a Lutheran, I shutter to imagine a country where the Baptists or Fundamentalists got to dominate legislation. I'm sure many Methodists and Quakers would find it difficult too. What about groups like the Mormons, Adventists, and Jahovah's Witnesses who think of themselves as Christian but don't cut the doctrinal mustard with most other, more orthodox denominations? The reason the founders separated church and state is because European Christians had been killing EACH OTHER (not just Muslims, Pagans, Jews, Occultists and Atheists) for over a thousand years because Christians couldn't agree and kept trying to control each other.

While "In God we trust" has been on our money since the Civil War, was adopted by Congress as an "official" motto in the 1950's. Why? To truly and humbly honor the God of the Bible, or to puff ourselves up as better than the godless Communists during the height of the cold war? "Hey God! Look at ME! I'm not like THEM! I honor You, You should bless me and smite THEM!"

'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector! Luke 18:9-14

Riding the wave of the red-scare, politicians used God to get votes.

This is a red herring, a straw-man. Between war in Afghanistan, the worst unemployment in 26 years, the worst recession since the Great Depression, staggering health care costs, a continuing housing crisis and a likely H1N1 pandemic we have MUCH more important fish to fry that this highly emotionally charged, pseudo-pious, pseudo-patriotic non-issue.

Why does it matter? It's fine that it's on our money, but no one needs to get bent out of shape is a few people think it shouldn't.

NBC isn't some terrible liberal media force trying to debase our godly heritage, in spite of the fact that MSNBC seems to have become the anti-FOX NEWS in the last year or two. NBC is owned by General Electric- one of the largest military/defense contractors there is, they have every reason to promote right-wing politics. What NBC is is a big commercial interest, a corporation that makes money by selling ads by increasing ratings by drawing attention to or creating controversy. Controversy=Conflict=Drama, just like junior high, but it sells.

MSNBC has developed a left-wing line up in the last year and a half because there was a niche. Keith Oberman was drawing viewers from people who were sick of Bill O'Rielly. It's money, which direction the political wind is blowing, not actual idealogical principles. Back in 2003 MSNBC fired their lone liberal, Phil Donahue, even though he had good ratings, because he was opposed to the invasion of Iraq.

And by the way, if this viral email forward alarmed you- this poll was started back in 2005!