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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Evangelicals think torture is "ok"?

It's hard to comprehend that any person who holds to the authority of the Bible could think that torture of any kind is a legitimate use of force. Yet, according to a Pew Research study evangelicals who attend church more than more than once a week, favor torture by over 50%! How can this possibly be?
Does the admonition of Micah to "act justly" and "love mercy", not to mention "walk humbly with your God" only apply when we are not threatened? The incredibly painful irony is that if the nation of the U.S. would operate this way in all arenas the hate that is directed toward this nation would never have developed.
It would not surprise me to find out that these same "christians" probably have a desire for the U.S. to be a "christian" nation. No wonder people despise Christians and consider the American church to be irrelevant (Check out The American Church in Crisis).
Torture is in no way compatible with the teaching of Jesus or the whole of Scripture. The argument that it is somehow legitimate because it saves lives is morally bankrupt, not to mention it is utterly unbiblical. The dignity of life is not protected by destroying the dignity of a single life.
True, we may have to suffer the loss of life due to another's evil decision, but it is not righteous to save lives by performing our own evil act. Righteousness is to be our pursuit in life. Striving for every action, word, and thought to honor God and demonstrate love for our neighbor. As Jesus said, "love our enemy."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Keeping our heads out of the sand!

I love the words Jesus prayed when he said he wasn't asking for us to be taken out of this world! It is a great reminder that following Jesus doesn't protect from stuff when it hits the fan. We aren't protected from stench and there is a good chance we will have to bath regularly (think about the metaphor) if we are living our lives properly.
So often Christians either get into a "bunker mentality" or we simply bury our heads in the sand and ignorantly prayer for trouble to pass us by. As believers we are uniquely qualified and empowered to go after the problems of this world. If properly aligned in faith, devoted to God and our neighbors, our motives are always "other" oriented, which means we don't worry about the limelight, prestige, or fame. We concentrate on doing "right" for the sake of doing "right." In this process we experience that internal joy that defies the emotions normally expected in less than ideal circumstances.
If you are aware of a need, you are in the proximity of the need, you have a "job" to do! Pull your head out (of the sand), get out from behind the sand bags and tackle the problem. Get dirty, get smelly, it will lead to righteousness. God bless you.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New "normal"

For the first time in three years I don't have the over arching, always in the back of my head, thoughts concerning my doctoral program. What a great adventure it has been, but I am looking forward to see what my new "normal" will look like. There is much to do in the area of community development in the Highway City area. Creativity, vision, imagination, boldness, and collaboration will be the only way to accomplish the work. Time for my brain to be rewired and refocused to this next phase.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I am committed to the struggle to live according to Christ (Christian) in the urban environment (Urban) and to have a keen understanding of what I was and could be again, without Christ (Maggot). Worldwide there is a growing group of committed people learning to live, day to day, serving the needs and people of their communities.
I hope to communicate the necessity of the American church reaching back and understanding it has a unique role in serving the under served, under resourced, and the ignored. It is a mandate on us who claim to follow Christ to live like Christ, not just talk about Him.