Posted tagged ‘love your neighbor’

God Talk about Guns

February 17, 2018

Depositphotos Image ID: 11354851 Copyright: Rajen1980

As time goes on, I have been more diligently and more earnestly aware of the assumptions we tend to make as Americans, and as American Christians, that may not supportable biblically. We tend to make certain assumptions, but we don’t question those assumptions or test them against Scripture. If anything, we work to make Scripture support our assumptions, rather than subject our assumptions to Scripture.

This is a human tendency, of course. I am not picking on Americans. I am one. I just know more about how Americans think than other people, so I can speak to it more definitely.

On the issue of gun control, I am finding a distinct disconnect between the popular Christian responses, the realities and what Scripture suggests. The popular Christian responses, at least among white evangelicals, of which I am a member, is something like this: guns don’t kill people. We don’t need more gun control; people need God (among other things).

That is a truism of course. People do need God, but that doesn’t really help to address an obvious issue that is utterly unique to our country of all the countries in the western world. We have a problem, and we should be able to acknowledge it.

As Christians, we could also say that it isn’t a gun problem; it’s a sin problem. That is right as well, but that also doesn’t help us. Does that mean we should ignore it? Condemn it but do nothing about it? (After all, people are getting what they deserve because all have sinned.)  Do these responses seem right to you?

They shouldn’t! Yes, people need God, and the root of all human problems is sin, but we can set back offering nothing but sayings and platitudes and be considered followers of Jesus who had a reputation of getting into right into the place where people lived, right in the middle of the ugliness of sin, and engaged people where they were, healing and delivering people as He went. If Jesus is our example, we can’t sit on sidelines without doing something.

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”[1]



The 2nd Amendment, Freedom & Responsibility

February 16, 2018
Second Amendment to the Constitution

Depositphotos Image ID: 173296888 Copyright: zimmytws

If faith without works is dead, then our thoughts, prayers and condolences are meaningless at some point if we aren’t willing to take some action to address the societal problem of school shootings and mass shootings in general. What is the Christian response to these tragedies? Is the 2nd Amendment greater than the 6th commandment (though shall not murder), the greatest commandment (to love God with all our hearts, souls and minds) and the second greatest commandment (to love others as ourselves)? How do we balance the 2nd Amendment with God’s commandments? Are guns really the issue? Below is an article with some thoughts to consider as we mourn the victims of another school shooting.

via The 2nd Amendment, Freedom & Responsibility


An Open Letter to My Fellow Christians

November 14, 2016

Dear Fellow Christians,

We won the election, but, it’s no time to celebrate. We won, but we also lost our credibility in the process. We helped to vote into office a man that people almost universally dislike for his brash, harsh, insensitive comments. It is the first time in history that xenophobe, racist and misogynist are words used to describe the President of the United States.

I understand why it happened. Trump sought us out. He promised protection for our decaying religious freedoms. He listened to us and courted us. Hillary Clinton vowed to continue the course of this country down a road that we have dreaded, and Trump promised us he would stop that momentum.

Hillary vowed to work to change religious beliefs to conform to official government postures. She gave no inch to the unborn. She admitted a private and public persona, two faces that could not be trusted. She represented the entrenched political machine that has shown us no favors for decades.

But now we need to face the stark reality of our success. (more…)

The Secret to a Happy Healthy Life

April 6, 2016


I recently read this entry in a local paper that allows readers to call in and leave anonymous messages of current and political import. Excuse the length of the following entry that I am reproducing here. I think it is important enough to reproduce in its entirety, because it bears some comment:

My parents had four daughters. We are all in our 60s now. Three of us earned master’s degrees. The happiest daughter is the daughter who spent a short time in college and married young. She has a wonderful husband and children and grandchildren. The other three are without husbands and can be very crabby. I know because I am one of them…. The three single sisters are all working because we have to work. Our married sister has a job, by choice, and loves her life. To all the 20-something girls out there… You cannot hug a diploma. A wall of degrees will not fill your heart with love. You will be alone night after night wondering what it would be like to have a nice guy at your side. Marriage is far better than a life of degrees.

Before commenting, I need to preface what I am going to say. Marriage is no guarantee of a happy life. Plenty of married people are unhappy. If that weren’t the case, the divorce rate would not perennially hover around the 50% mark. Marriage is no magic pill.

Gaining a college education is also nothing to snub. The reasons people go to college, however, are many: to get an education (duh!), because it is expected of them, to get a good job, because they don’t know what else to do, to find a spouse….

Looking back 40 years later with the kind of clarity that hindsight reveals puts those reasons into perspective, apparently. If only we could gain that perspective looking forward! But then, looking back may not really be 20/20 – unless you are looking back at a 75 year Harvard study. (more…)

The Evil We Must Guard Against

December 9, 2015
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / aaronamat

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / aaronamat

Immigration continues to be in the news with Donald Trump calling for a ban on all Muslims who want to immigrate to the United Stated. In the wake of widespread criticism, Trump is holding his ground on barring Muslims and tracking the Muslims who already live here until we can determine “where this hatred comes from and why”:

Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” Mr. Trump said.

Meanwhile, Loretta Lynch, the highest prosecutor in the land, pledged she will take aggressive action against anyone who uses “anti-Muslim rhetoric” that “edges toward violence.”  She has since toned down her own rhetoric following backlash on the grounds of freedom of speech, but she stuck to her guns on the pledge to protect Muslims against violent actions that might be inspired by “hateful speech”:

We always have a concern when we see the rhetoric rising against any particular group in America, that it might inspire others to violent action — and that violent action is what we would have to deal with,” Lynch said on Monday.

These heated words on opposite ends of the spectrum follow on the heels of the mass killing in San Bernardino, which the FBI now says was planned out by a couple who had been “radicalized ‘for quite some time’”. We barely had caught our breath from the mass killing in Paris by another group of radicalized Muslims who may or may not have had direct ties to ISIS.


Through a Glass Darkly

April 20, 2015


“We just can’t continue to look into the filter of our politics at our spirituality. It’s got to be the other way around ….” (Spoken by Andy Stanley speaking at Catalyst West at Mariners church, Irvine, CA April 17, 2015 as reported in Christian Post)

Are we, Christians, more identified by our politics than our faith? If it is the former, we have terribly missed the mark.

It may not be completely “our fault”. Political pundits are constantly categorizing and labeling Christians and determining our political leanings. Political analysts and prognosticators are continually defining and redefining Christians and their politics. But, we do play along and allow ourselves to be pegged by political affiliations and positions and, thus, allow ourselves to be defined by them. (more…)

To Bake or Not To Bake a Cake

April 17, 2015

Client at shop paying at cash register_

I understand a blog post has gone viral around the Internet called “Bake for them Two”. The blogger suggests that, when asked to bake a wedding cake for a gay marriage, Christians should not just bake one; they should bake two, even if they believe gay marriage is wrong. The basis for the blog article is this statement in the Sermon on the Mount: if someone forces you to walk a mile with them, walk with them two. (Matthew 5:41)

The back drop to the short parable is that Roman law required people to carry a Roman soldier’s equipment up to a mile if demanded. Such a request of a Jew in that time of Roman occupation of the Promised Land would have been anathema. It would have been a difficult thing for the religious Jews of Judea to stomach – to help their occupiers by carrying their equipment. The suggestion by Jesus that one should be willing to go two miles if required to carry the equipment for one mile was a radical idea (like turning the other cheek, praying for your persecutors and loving your enemies, which are also part of the Sermon on the Mount).

The Bake for Them Two blogger suggests that the same principle should be applied to the current controversy over wedding cakes for gay marriage. Even if a person believes that gay marriage is immoral, if asked to bake one wedding cake for a gay marriage, we should bake two!

Before I even read the first blog, I came across a video blog (Stand to Reason) in which the blogger questions the idea that baking two wedding cakes is the proper response of the Christian who believes that the union of same sex couples is sin/immoral. The speaker poses these questions: if someone asks you to steal a man’s cloak, should you steal two? If someone asks you to make one pornographic movie, should you make two? Going back to Jesus, who was a carpenter: if someone asked him to make one idol, should Jesus make two?

The video blogger obviously concludes that the Christian should not bake one wedding cake for the gay couple, let alone two. The argument might seem compelling to the Christian who wants to do the right thing and not endorse what is believed to be an immoral act. But does the argument logically follow? Is that what Jesus would really say?


The Isaiah 53:5 Project

Life: the time God gives you to determine how you spend eternity

Belong to The King

Christian, Faith, Jesus

Quantum Awareness

Are Buddhism and Quantum Mechanics saying the same thing in different languages? Let's finally bring the two together and have an enlightening discussion.


Writings & Ramblings


" Contrary to the claims of "sexual rights" propagandists there is no agreement at the United Nations that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) can be used to create "rights" to abortion, to be a prostitute, to be a child who has sex as they choose or for Men who have Sex with men (MSM) to engage in fisting, felching, rimming, farming, scat, chariot racing, jackhammering , anal penetration etc ".

Humanitarian Explorer

Informinig and raising awareness about humanitarian issues - Humanitarian News

Quotes, thoughts and musings

“God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes.” ~Apostle Paul

A Pilgrim in Narnia

a journey through the imaginative worlds of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Inklings


Science - Simplified

Paradigm Shift

A Godly Perspective To Refocus Every Day

Life, God, and the Universe

Inspirational insights revealing the secrets to a life of abundant joy, meaning, purpose, and love

Cat Battista

Faith. Family. Fête.

resurrecting orthodoxy

Joel Edmund Anderson

Spiritual Sisters

Embrace, Encourage, Empower.

Work in Progress

My thoughts as I journey through this thing called life.

Small Town Girl Taking on the World

"The world is a book and those who do not travel only read a page." - St. Augustine


Core Ideas of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Convergent Christianity

Where Evangelical, Charismatic and Historic church expressions are brought together in unity.

Wolff Poetry | Poems - Resources for Beginning Writers

Linda J. Wolff is poet & founder of Wolff Poetry. 75% Original Poems & the Go-To Source of Basic and Advance Writing Tools

The Truth Will Make You Mad

Skeptical believer. Christian anthropicist. Post-partisan Hayek-Friedman-Reagan classical liberal.

Larry Hurtado's Blog

Comments on the New Testament and Early Christianity (and related matters)


Women in Theology

%d bloggers like this: