We often hear about the "Christian Right," or "Conservative Christians." Yet, if you think about it, Jesus was the original liberal.  He cared about motives more than the deeds themselves (Matthew 23:5 & Mark 12:41-43) and more about compassion than adhering to rules (Luke 6:1-11 & Luke 13:10-17). This blog will reflect liberal Christian values of compassion, tolerance, mercy, charity, a thirst for knowledge & understanding, and, above all, love.

Friday, April 3, 2020

There's a Light

- In the velvet darkness,
- Of the blackest night,
- Burning bright,
- There's a guiding star.
- No matter what or who you are.
- There's a light
- Over at the Frankenstein place.
- There's a light
- Burning in the fireplace.
- There's a light, light, in the darkness of everybody's life.

I’ve had this song rolling around in my head since this viral sleigh ride began. OK, in Rocky Horror these lyrics were ironic, Brad & Janet thought the light in the house was their salvation when it was actually luring the to all kinds of trouble. Throw the context for everyone moment, and focus on the lyrics, especially the last line.

“There's a light, light, in the darkness of everybody's life.” Granted, it’s hard for many of us to see the light in the proverbial rainstorm, but it’s there. The light emanates from those around us who are going out of their way to do kind things during this difficult time.

A 4th grader girl is sewing masks for health care workers battling coronavirus pandemic in the Boston community.

From Chula Vista to Oceanside, local residents spreading gifts, food, art and good cheer

In the small town of Coos Bay, also in Oregon, coffee shop owner John Beane is hosting virtual story times for kids after shutting down his cafe.

These are just a few examples of good people making an effort to alleviate suffering. Even when certain parts of government seem to be befuddled and bewildered, everyday people are stepping up to do their part. Focusing on their example, or even pitching in, will help us hold onto ouch humanity and stay sane.

With this in mind, I've created a new Facebook group, A Light In The Darkness. I want it to be a place where people can share good news, so we can all focus on the humane as our guiding light.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Times of Fear

“Do not fear the terror of night,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at noonday.”

~ Psalm 91:5-6

A few weeks ago, most of us were bopping along, doing what we do. We were in our grooves, taking care of business, then, WHAM! Schools and restaurants are closed. Sporting events and church services are cancelled, and we’re being told to stay indoors. If that wasn’t enough, some people began hoarding canned goods & toilet paper, leaving grocery shelves bare as if we were reliving the Cuban missile crisis.

We’re scared. As a people, as a nation, and as a planet we’re scared. Not only were any plans we had suddenly put on hold, our normal routines were completely up-ended. Like I said, some people are reacting negatively to their fears by hoarding supplies before their neighbors get anything.

Keep in mind, these probably aren't evil people who are wringing their hands, conscientiously trying to hurt the people around them. They're frightened, not just of the germ, but they don’t know where they fit in this new world.

However, we also have members of society who are reacting to their fear in positive ways.

• Jon Poteet & Ryan Ruelos, owners of Shine Distillery & Grill in Portland, Oregon, are making and giving away hand sanitizer.
• Grocery stores are designating “seniors only” shopping hours, so senior citizens can get what they need without battling crowds.
• Blake Lively has donated a million dollars to anti-hunger charities.
• Ryan Renyolds, Ciara, the Seattle Seahawks, Jimmy Fallon, and Lady Gaga’s makeup company have all made similar donations.
• My friend, and a high-ranking dean at Pacific University, Mary Von, is baking bagels & cookies for swamped doctors and nurses.

I'm absolutely positive there are numerous acts of kindness and compassion, stemming
from the coronavirus outbreak, which I’m not aware of. No matter how bad things seem to get, we have the ability to hold on to our humanity by allowing God to work through us.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Angels Are Angels

I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, but each of them had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands . All four of them had faces and wings, and the wings of one touched the wings of another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved. Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle.~ Ezekiel 1:4-10

The History Channel airs a weekly program dedicated to the exploration of the theory that mankind was shepherded by beings from another world thousands of years ago. Learned men, dressed in tweed jackets and turtle necks, point to pyramid drawings of supposed astronauts and ancient models of our solar system as proof of such visitations.

One piece of evidence these “scholars” cite is the above passage from Ezekiel. According to them, the wheel and cloud was a spaceship and its occupants were mistaken for angels by early man.

I thought about this, and a question came to mind. Why is it more educated to believe in aliens rather than angels, galactic travelers rather than God?

Don’t misunderstand, I don't think we’re alone in the Universe. John 10:16 refers to, “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold…,” which could, conceivably, refer to life on other worlds. I simply don’t understand why it’s seen as open minded to believe in the possibility of extraterrestrial life, but viewed as superstitious to believe in God.

Surely if there is life out there, it too had to be created by something. I have to believe an all-powerful God is capable of creating more than one world.

In any event, I have no trouble believing that angels are angels.