Been thinking I need to actually utilize this blog more.
Perhaps as I haven't tons of time anymore, it will be shorter entries rather than full-blown essays & devotions.
Been thinking, while I certainly still lean left politically & I'm not about to suddenly going to go quietly into the night, I'm thinking I may need to spend a little less time raging against the machine and more time reaching out to others regardless of party lines.
I've noticed that while Liberals and Libertarians disagree about the 2nd Amendment, they tend to both be worried about the 4th. So why fight about what we disagree about, when we could fight together for what we agree about?
I'll be up front with you- When I read Jesus' words, especially in Matthew 5 and Luke 6, and St. Paul's words in Romans 12, I see something radically different than what televangelists, radio prophets and Republican politicians are espousing. My personal faith walk and what Prof. Cornell West calls "deep-democracy" are both very important to me.
One of my chief goals with this blog (at least since 2007 or so) had been to show to my Liberal friends that not all Christians are Republicans and to my Christian friends that Liberals aren't actually going to Hell in any greater proportions than Conservatives are. From the looks of the Internet anyway, it seems to me that there are a lot more Progressives willing to be open about their faith and at least a few more right-wingers willing to concede that politics and religion aren't always monolithic.
Its still frustrating that folks around where I live don't get that global warming may have actually contributed to the recent polar vortex, they just think that the one's being disproved by the other. And it drives me crazy that I can't convince people that you'd reduce the number of abortions by reducing poverty or that even if the Bible prohibits homosexuality the 14th Amendment still prohibits discrimination- oh, and that the Bible also prohibits tattoos, horoscopes and shell fish.
Be all that as it may, I guess my feeling is that it would be more productive to talk about what I believe God wants us to do for others, rather than rail on what other believers seem to constantly rail on.
In other words, while I may still talk about politics here, I don't want it to be my sole focus. I'd rather have a soul-focus. I also want to be careful not to let it become too much of a stumbling block.
I may have a deeply Lutheran background, but I've also got a pretty Existential one. I've got people I love and admire that are Quaker, Methodist, Catholic, FourSquare Pentecostal, Church of Christ, and no lots of non-Christians too. Not to mention non-LCMS Lutherans!
This blog has never towed the official synodical/denominational-line (thus the pirate theme). I want to make sure that readers and friends know that the conversations and debates sparked here and the prayers and devotions shared here are more about the "red-letters" than doctrinal committee documents.
Although, Lutherans (perhaps especially my fellow LCMS Lutherans) should not mistake discussion, acceptance, prayer and encouragement or even the mere lack of condemnation for condoning or promoting mistaken theology. Likewise, mentioning or even appreciating ideas from Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Agnostics or even Atheists should not be assumed to be Synchronism or Universalism. I am, and hope God will always keep me Confessional, Trinitarian, Pauline and Christo-Centric, here I stand, I can do no other.
Unlike right-wing Christians, I actually appreciate and try to respect the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. I try to be very careful not to take advantage of my position as a public school teacher to us my classes as captive audiences for prostalizinng. As a Christian, I don't believe in coercion or manipulation as forms of evangelism anyway- only the Holy Spirit can work faith on someone's heart. Sure, faith comes from hearing, but that hearing is voluntary- Jesus didn't force anyone to follow him.
Be this all as it may; I also believe in encouraging and mentoring the whole student, spiritually as well as intellectually (so long as they approach me outside of the classroom, and I don't force my faith on them). Having said that- I have tons of students and former students whom I've prayed for and have asked to pray for me. If any of the kids in my wife & my Sunday School class wanted help with Social Studies, Art or Photography- you can bet I'd be willing to tutor them. Likewise, if any of my students at school want to talk about religion with me outside of class, or share prayer concerns- I will always be here for them.
Is There a Point To All This?
So I've been thinking, my prayer is that God will use this blog to bless others this year- not just left-wingers feeling alienated or marginalized by their fellow Christians who assume that you can't possibly be a real Christian if you don't agree with every right-wing political position. To seekers. To those who have yet to find a fellowship family (church-home), to those who don't quite fit into the traditional church-institutions, to those adrift on the seas of the internet.
Please keep reading. Look through my archives of posts over the last 7 years, skim through the devotional series I've posted, check out my Pinterest board, pray with me on Instapray, like the Prophet, Priest & Pirate Facebook page. I have this compulsion to talk about God. I want to know Him more. And I'm convinced He created us to support each other in this world. C.S. Lewis said that everyone is born with a God-shaped hole in their soul. My prayer is that Prophet/Priest/Pirate has something to offer you. If it does, I can't ask anymore than that you say a prayer or two on my behalf. God knows I need 'em. Thanks.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. -1 Thessalonians 5:11 & Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. -Hebrews 10:23-24