Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Think We Can Be Better


You don't hear much of Jude.  Maybe popular only by Paul McCartney, but not the book of the bible.  There were a couple of things I took from the text that made me think a bit.

Jude verses  22-23Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.

I think there are plenty of Christians that get this right a lot of the time, sure.  But sadly, so many don't.  I think of this when I see "christians" picketing or protesting some things. How many hateful and disgusting signs do you see being used at protests on the news?  At anti-gay protests, signs are so hateful and judgmental.  We are instructed not to judge others, that's God's job.  But we carry on doing it, like it's our right to do so.  Greed and love of money is a sin.  How come we don't see such a fuss from these protesting people about things like that? 

I guess I just think we have to start by looking in first, then we can start looking out more clearly.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me!

I should be thankful.  My eldest son says "excuse me" when he wants to get my attention.  He's just over 3.  It's polite, right?  The difficult thing is, when he says it, he demands eye contact.  It doesn't matter what I or my wife are doing, if he wants our attention, you can't just acknowledge it verbally.  You have to give him direct eye contact.  OK, sure, that is easy enough a lot of the time--but it means no matter what you are doing, whether it be the dishes, getting lunch ready, folding laundry, etc, you have to give eye contact. 
Today I tried to challenge myself in getting a spiritual lesson out of it.  I thought about praying and how we ask God for things.  I started to wonder if maybe we were doing the "demand eye contact" bit to God, the whole time asking Him to look at us...really look.  I tried to think of a way to make the analogy make sense, but I couldn't.

I think it makes sense the other way around.  He really wants us to look at Him.  Try to make "eye" contact with Him.  To try and really think about what it means to pray to Him and go beyond the "thanks for the good day" kind of prayer.  There are a lot of daily distractions that occupy our time and distract us from going anywhere deep.  I wonder how we can get to that place where we "look God in the eyes"?

Monday, November 1, 2010

God and Politics

To Be a Responsible Citizen
 1-3Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it's God's order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you're irresponsible to the state, then you're irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you're trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.  3-5Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you'll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you're breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren't there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That's why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it's the right way to live.
 6-7That's also why you pay taxes—so that an orderly way of life can be maintained. Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders. 

This sounds pretty simple, no?  Do you think we've taken our level of emotion too far when it comes to our involvement in politics?  Is this verse outdated?  Where do we go with this?

Duly constituted authorities...?  Are our politicians still duly constituted?  Or are they more self-serving than country serving?

I tend to think that politicians have used the interested voters as pawns for their own uses.  I know everyone who pays attention, myself included, has their own ideas about politicians in power, what they do with that power, and how it effects us.   Where does policy and faith meet?  Do politicians choose policy based on what the voters want, or based on how that policy lines up with their faith and belief structure?   

What level of interest in  matters of the government is healthy to a life involved in Christ?  Is it our duty to become involved in the process, to keep our country on the "right" track?  Do we, as Christians feel we have to help keep God in our country?  I think it is important to pay attention to what is happening in our country.  But how many people pay too much attention to politics, while ignoring God?  Where is that balance, and where do we need to be involved, as Christians, in the process?