Mainline Protestant churches are in steady decline, and rightfully so. It is a heavy indictment against evangelical leaders when the vast and overwhelming majority of evangelical church members openly support someone whose morals and actions are diametrically opposed to Jesus Christ.
Not only is such a degree of Biblical illiteracy simply stunning, the complete unawareness of who Jesus was and His basic message is beyond my comprehension. Even more damning is the fact that most evangelicals do not care about Trump’s racism, lying, greed and basic immorality.
Churches filled with members who openly support the exact opposite of all Jesus did and taught are no longer churches of Jesus Christ. Call them whatever you wish. They deserve to be closed, and the sooner the better.
Congratulations to Doug Jones the new US Senator from Alabama! Congratulations to the people of Alabama! Congratulations the people of the United States!
Decency won big! Democrats won big! The Senate won Big! The people of the United States won big!
And the world watched as the people of Alabama said, “ENOUGH!” The win for Doug Jones is a statement that even in the one of the deepest red states in our nation there is a growing desire to return to common sense, common decency and common values.
Thank you to all who stood up, spoke out, and most especially, all those who exercised their right to vote. Citizenship is alive and well.
Close to 50% of citizens refused to participate in the last election for the President of the United States. That is their right. But the cost, ever more apparent to the entire world, is not only painful, it is far more damaging than we can imagine.
Our right as citizens is one of the greatest gifts we have been given. To choose not to exercise our right to vote is the ultimate disrespect all of those whose sacrifices have given it to us. Choosing to not participate, even at the most basic level, in politics is what guarantees that we have the government we deserve.
I get an almost constant stream of comments from many in my congregation that they would prefer that my sermons were less political. My response is that if a sermon isn’t political it’s not relating to what’s real and immediate for us.
If our spirituality doesn’t help inform who we are as citizens we have created a false dichotomy. Our values should come from our beliefs. Those values should be what guide us in the choosing of who we desire to serve us as elected officials.
John Wesley stated it plainly. We need to exercise our freedom to vote. It’s a gift many do not enjoy. We need to vote for the person who most closely reflects our values. And then, we need to demonstrate the love of Christ and not engage in trash talking the opposition candidates or their supporters.
Personally, I have the most difficulty with that last piece of advice. As a disciple of Jesus I am called to be an ambassador of love and an agent of reconciliation. That makes trash talk off limits, and I admit I’m not there yet. It’s an area in which I am still working…
The Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar’s funeral is tomorrow, but his legacy will live on. Here is a short quote taken from his book, MIDDLE CHURCH. His passion to engage people of faith resonates in every sentence.
Never since Jesus walked the earth have Christians been as powerful and comfortable as they are today. That may be the problem. Gene Winkler, a United Methodist minister in Chicago, now retired, identified the heart of the matter in a sermon a few years ago:”Christians today are not persecuted; we are ignored. We are not ridiculed; we are faced with indifference. We don’t lose our jobs or our heads because of our faith; we lose our courage to talk about our faith.” It’s time faithful Americans to regain that courage. Not simply to talk about our faith, but to vote it; not just to go to the church or to the synagogue or mosque but to reach into our communities. For all of us, opportunities for making a difference abound.
I share Bob’s passion. Making a real difference in our world is not difficult. Working together, we can end hunger in our lifetime. We can truly change the world. As Bob wrote: “It’s time for faithful Americans to regain our courage.” I know Bob would agree; the future of the world depends on it.