More Media Cluelessness

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“The media took this as a comment about press freedom rather than its own failure to read the zeitgeist. In fact, it largely failed to tell any story other than its own.

New Yorker editor David Remnick, as good a representative of media virtue as anybody, before he went to bed last night took a moment to throw off a thousand words or so on the death of the republic, rather than to express much interest — awe might have been in order — at the enormity and meaning of what had happened. Truly, really, a new voice had spoken — but in a pitch so high and a language so obscure that none of us in the media picked it up.” – Michael Wolff, The Hollywood Reporter

God on Our Side or We on God’s Side

The use of the bible to defend one’s views is used prolifically among those seeking to hold or retain power. It is by no means confined to modern conservatives or civil war era slave owners. As I’m sure you know, the use of the bible to fight for the ABOLITION of the slave trade was even more vocal and ultimately succeeded. The two current front-runners for president were falling all over themselves not a month ago in competition over who was the most religious. A headline just today was cheerleading the Clinton’s charitable giving over Trump’s, complete with bible verses. Not a day goes by where I don’t see a liberal scolding a conservative, quoting Leviticus this or Genesis that or loving one’s neighbor or judge not lest ye be judged. Always the same predictable passages. It is so pervasive and ridiculous, the nuances of current day discourse will probably be lost on future generations, making it difficult to tell Christians apart on either side of the political aisle. 150 years from now, when the world realizes our generation criminally obliterated millions in the womb, I can just imagine the conversations blaming ALL Christians for the words of the few that got the most media coverage:

“I refer you to the following Google searched quotes for more information on the misuse of scripture by “Christians” in the 21st century to support their backward and atrocious views:

‘Jesus Would be Pro-Choice’
‘Jesus Was a Socialist’
‘Jesus Preached Communism’
‘Jesus Was a Palestinian’
‘Jesus and His Disciples Were Gay’
‘President Prays for and Blesses Abortion Trade Giant, Planned Parenthood’
‘Presidential Candidate Says He Would Make Great Deals With God’
‘Presidential Candidate Says Unborn Have No Right to Life’
‘Legislator States God Loves Gay Marriage’
‘God Hates Fags’
‘Not God Bless America…D*amn America!’
‘God Wants Me to Live Happy and True to My Self’

I could go on, but you should get the gist by now. Just because someone claims the bible supports their views doesn’t mean the bible supports their views. And it is obvious even from a cursory view of history that there are Christians or those claiming to be Christians of every stripe and philosophy. Jesus pointed that out himself. The wheat and the tares will grow up side by side. The sheep and the goats will grow up together. God knows the difference.

It *is* human nature to have a problem with what the bible actually says and there is zero support in scripture for same-sex coupling, killing the unborn’s body in deference to the mother’s body, or believing God is a respecter of a person’s status, whether racial, gender, occupational, political etc.

What exactly are we talking about when we say “liberal” and “conservative”? What were the defining characteristics of these labels prior to the 1980’s? What are the defining characteristics today? The South during the reign of the Confederacy did away with partisan politics to unify against the North, which was a plethora of partisan politics that nonetheless unified against the South. Are you saying that the entire North was liberal and the entire south conservative, as defined by current definitions? That would definitely be incorrect and revisionist. There are no clean lines like that.

My point in my earlier post is that there are Christians, real true Christians, saved by Christ and part of the church invisible in all political camps, of all earthly philosophies. Simplified for our current day purposes and this conversation, LIberalism is a political philosophy that emphasizes individual submission to government created and imposed “values”, whereas Conservativism emphasizes individual liberty and government protection of those liberties. There are Christians on both sides of this issue. In a largely Christian culture, whether by profession or common experience, a person seeking power will appeal to the culture using biblical references, whether chapter and verse or “Golden Rule” type language, because that is the way we communicate and understand the world. Scripture verses will be used to support whatever philosophy one espouses.

From the point of view of the church, Jesus’ main goal for us is to preach the gospel to everyone. This gospel is at home everywhere, because it will always achieve its singular goal for individuals in any culture and under any ideology: That Jesus is good news to all people everywhere, that if we confess with our mouth, Jesus is Lord, and trust Him, believing He lived, died, was buried and rose again, we will be saved from sin and be adopted as heirs with Christ. I’ve had a number of same sex couples live next door or in the neighborhood and had numerous gay or lesbian friends, coworkers or fellow students at school. I’ve shared the gospel with them. I’m almost 50 yo, so this is not a foreign concept or one that has suddenly become part of my life in the last 2 years because liberals have decided to make me aware that they exist. Perhaps white liberals never noticed until 2 years ago and now suddenly feel guilty and have to shove it down everyone else’s throat. I don’t know. I’ve always gotten along just fine with my neighbors without their help. Do some people do this wrong? Of course, but getting it wrong is also human nature and non-partisan.

Blogtober and Halfway Through Another Semester of School

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I have been so happy and thankful to get back to school this fall, fresh off of August’s Global Leadership Summit and the excellent church services recently. I’m always excited to learn new Greek or Hebrew words and their meanings. Some Sundays, our pastor teaches both Greek AND Hebrew! 😀

Before this blog posts gets going, I would like to pray and thank God for his blessings.

“Dear Lord, Thank you for the many blessings you have given to us. Thank you for the days that we can be together, up early and ready to start a new school year. Father, we pray that you will teach us fresh, new ideas to make learning each day challenging and enjoyable. We love you.”

It’s a new school semester for me at college, and  another year into high school as a home school family, with our youngest son. He has added college classes this year, so technically he is a high school junior. Our older son was married last year and although he finished his 2-year degree and works in construction, he started back to college for Christian ministry this fall. Our oldest, and only daughter is a senior in college and will be getting married and graduating in the spring. Interestingly, my brother has also gone back to college. WooHoo for the internet.

Blogtober is here now and although I originally planned it as inspiration to encourage me to blog frequently once October ended, it has actually turned into an annual time to give my blog special attention. I’ve been haphazardly writing blog posts for over 10 years. It makes zero dollars and hasn’t made me famous. But it is here and I like to look at it myself. I have practiced a lot of writing here and tried to organize my thoughts on issues both in the news and in my life. I’ve also put a lot of bible study time in here. So, this is the official starting point for Blogtober, 2016.

My Eulogy

20150115_082243 (2)This semester, I am taking a death, dying and bereavement class. I had to write my own eulogy for my first assignment. I wrote it very quickly, but it is exactly right:

“How do we sum up a life in only a few short moments? How do we do justice to the memory of the person that was known intimately by many here who have come to say goodbye to their mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend? There are many things we could mention that would describe the most familiar and cherished experiences we shared with our dear Laura, but she wanted this last opportunity we all have gathered around her to be spent not reminiscing but rather looking straight into the face of our glorious Savior and rejoicing in a quickly approaching future:

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18″

Born-That-Way: Excerpt From a Conversation

1280px-Creation_of_Adam_Sistine_ChapelGod created all men in his own image. His design was to have men live forever in Godly perfection, however after sin entered the world all men (and women) are born fallen. In other words all people are “born that way”, but the point of all of Jesus’ teachings is that although we were born that way, Jesus came to heal us. His acts of physical healing in the gospels are physical representations of the spiritual reality that we all MUST be born again. We must be, or we will not fulfill God’s original design of living forever in Godly perfection. If one insists on living in their first born state, it is like a leper insisting to Jesus that he does not want to be healed, but would rather live in his decomposing state.

Parsing one born-that-way status with another trying to prove that it’s fine with God that we live within the sexual sin of our choosing is deadly. It really doesn’t matter which sexual sin you choose. There is only one manner of holy sex: That between a man and woman married to each other. So, my point to you is that it is a waste of time to try and compare what this Christian says, or that “Christian” says. Jesus was also very vocal about false teaching. Follow Christ alone. Read his words and understand that you must be reborn, and the way that you do that is 2 steps: Repent of your unbelief in Christ as Lord and trust Christ as Lord. Repent & Trust.

Expectations: Trust in Jesus, Grace to People

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If I become dissatisfied with my role, it is because I have developed expectations of myself and other people. This is why I like to start new things or reinvent the old all the time. A fresh look at things with no expectations except success is invigorating.  The opportunity for a failure of expectations is high though; not just our own, but those of the critics.

Lower your expectations. Lower them for yourself, for your leaders and for those under your care. Set the bar low enough for people to make it over, comfortably. I always run across the scripture “…perfect love covers a multitude of sins” at the exact moment when I have expected too much of everyone including myself. When you do raise goals for yourself or others, be ready for the challenges. Bathe it in prayer. Minister with joy in ALL that you do.  En-JOY. Think ‘joy’.  After making it through this holiday season, take it from the queen of overcommitment: Don’t overcommit! A mile wide and an inch deep is not profitable season after season.

Here’s an interesting video about expectations by the late Andreas Moritz: