Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

corrupting influence

“[T]here remains [in some parts of the country] a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Govt. & Religion neither can be duly supported. Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded against.” 
― James Madison, James Madison: Writings

Madison’s words are as true today as when he originally penned them almost two centuries ago. Our nation’s founders separated government and religion to guard against this “corrupting influence on both parties.”

Today we are living with the results of not defending against this old error. Madison warned us to ever guard more closely against this unholy alliance.  We should have heeded his words.

Over 80% of white evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump to be our country’s next president. They knowingly agreed with, and endorsed Trump’s clearly stated anti-Christian values.

This is a clear and present danger. The majority of those voting in this election claiming to follow Jesus Christ cast their vote for a lying, racist, fear-mongering, bigot.  They supported a xenophobic, bullying, braggart who is the antithesis of the love of Jesus Christ reflected in the gospels.

How and why this happened should ring alarms for leaders throughout the faith community. When this large a percentage of “believers” abandon the teachings of Jesus to vote for hate and fear, it is a statement that something is drastically and critically awry.

Personally, I see this as a failure of leadership, itself. There has been a significant lack of courage to address the deep divisive issues of our society from the pulpit. Christian leaders have not led by example, and have played it safe and “made nice” rather than confront un-Christian values in our congregations.

And so now, one cannot tell the believers from the nonbelievers without a program. We have met the enemy and they are us.

 

 

 

the duty of resistance

History is full of unjust laws. When we know that a law is not just, Jefferson writes that we have a duty to resist that law. I have no problem with that. The question for me is how far to we go in our resistance. Are there limits to our duty to resist unjust laws?

The moral imperative to always move toward justice is clear. Standing against injustice is also demanded by my discipleship to Jesus Christ.

As a practicing Christian, my first and deepest allegiance is always to Jesus Christ. Faithfulness to the gospel demands that I respond to injustice in love.

With the election of Donald Trump this has become an existential issue for me. “When injustice becomes law, how far do I go in resisting? I think this is a question many of us are going to have to ask.

a “Christian lifestyle”

The Apostle Paul provides us with a clear and concise reminder of how we are to live as followers of Jesus Christ. These are traits that reflect God’s love, and they demonstrate a serious attempt to model our lives like our master and teacher.

If these traits are not evident in a person’s lifestyle it might be a sign of a shallow spirituality, or that there is no real depth to their discipleship. We demonstrate our faithfulness by the way we live, not by what we say.

cloaked in patriotism

This was written over 80 years ago. It was true then. It is true now. The only difference is that now it is here.

I am always amazed that we cannot tell the difference between patriotism and faithfulness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are not the same, and in fact, are polar opposite one another.

it’s all about our priorities, isn’t it?

All one has to do to see what is important to a person is to look at their checkbook. We spend our money on what’s important to us, don’t we?

Our federal budget reflects the values of our nation. What is very clear is that the values reflected by our spending do no match up with the values of Christ. The way our government spends our money (and remember, the government does what we direct them to do), reflects the values of selfishness, greed and fear. And none of these are Christian values.

We can act as if we are disciples of Jesus Christ, but our checkbook says we talk better than we follow.

seek and you will find

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Mother Teresa once said that true love doesn’t measure, it just gives without counting the cost. I totally agree with her. And what a perfect time of the year to accept and celebrate the incarnation of that love.

As we draw ever closer to the day Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, my prayer is that all of us, whatever our spiritual path may be, may come to the place where we find that true and perfect love that casts our fear. I pray that we go through that open that door which leads to peace and justice for all, and that we finally realize that we are all one gloriously disfunctional family.

a prayer for peacemakers

I praise you this morning, God. You alone are worthy of worship and praise, and so I pause to again give you glory and honor for your love, your mercy and your unending grace.

Thank you for your unconditional love and acceptance. Thank you for the grace of Jesus the Christ and for the explosive power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for creating such a perfect world.

This morning I lift up all the victims of senseless violence. Be with the families of those recently killed in Paris, but be with those grieving families in other areas of the world, as well. families in Syria, in Yemen, in Uganda, in South Sudan, in Iraq , Afghanistan, and even here in the United States. Let every member of every family touched by violence feel your love and experience your peace that passes all understanding.

And Lord I would pray that you grant all your children that perfect love that casts out fear. Help us live as your children should live, unafraid of whatever life brings. We now live in an age of growing violence and terrorism. Grant us all the strength and blessing of faith and faithfulness that we might be beacons of hope and light in a world darkened by fear and hatred.

Allow each of us to live alive, fully sharing the love you have first given us. Help us to be agents of reconciliation in every relationship you have granted us. Empower us to speak love and peace in the face of fear, bigotry and hatred.  Grant us the strength to be peacemakers in a world gone mad. And in the end, grant us the blessing of your eternal presence. Amen

 

a prayer for peace and good will

Holy God, you have made of one blood all nations that dwell upon earth.  Look with mercy upon us, and drive away our evil passions of fear and hatred.  Grant that united in good will we may live together in charity and joy, each in the praise of great achievements, in rivalry of good and beneficent deeds, and sharing in truthful and just dealings with one another; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

a prayer from Trinity Episcopal Church