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.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Healing Thoughts

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I haven't posted in some time for the simple reason that I've been in the hospital. No, it wasn’t COVID-19 related, but the problem with my innards was nasty enough to knock me down for the count, requiring emergency surgery.

Lying in bed, breathing through a tube, gives a person a chance to observe humanity from a unique angle.  On the TV above me, I could follow the story of a self-interested president trying to hold onto power, despite the will of the people. 

Watching this meglomaniac whip, gullibly uninformed, people into seething hordes of misdirected violence, one would tend to agree with Paul's letter to the Romans (3:10-18 ESV) ~ As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”

I don't buy it.  As I healed, a parade off people made their way through my room.  These people had all dedicated their professional lives to easing the pain of others.  The contrast between the televised selfishness, and the compassion which  I had been the beneficiary of, was striking.  Perhaps it's due to a lack of imagination on my part, but I can't picture such kindness being the result of "original sin."  Nor, can I see humanity as fundamentally unrighteous and worthless. 

I've said it before, and I'll happily repeat myself here.  People are naturally kind.  Humanity is naturally good.  When given a choice, mentally, and emotionally, healthy people will choose kindness & generosity over cruelty & selfishness. 

Yes, the world seems to be mired in a darkness right now.  The darkness in question is not a reflection the majority of humanity.  The darkness in question is the result of sick selfish people obtaining more than their fair share of power.  We fell asleep at the proverbial wheel & let it happen.  Yet, last November we rallied back and corrected many of our mistakes. 

As a whole, the human race values; 
  • kindness, 
  • compassion, 
  • generosity, 
  • healing, 
  • helpfulness, 
  • and love. 
I simply can't make myself believe that people with such values were originally spawned from sin.

Amen. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Giving Thanks

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"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song." ~ Psalm 95:1-2

Thanksgiving - noun, is defined by DICTIONARY.COM as
[ thanks-giv-ing ]

  1. the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God.
  2. an expression of thanks, especially to God.
  3. a public celebration in acknowledgment of divine favor or kindness.
  4. a day set apart for giving thanks to God
I look forward to Thanksgiving every year, but not for the reasons one might think.  It's true I'm a foodie, and always welcome a chance to feast on a variety of culinary delights.  Yet, what I REALLY look forward to is the opportunity to thank the amazing people in my life, for all they do for me all year 'round.

There's not a day that goes by that I'm not floored by the extraordinarily high caliber of people who are in my life.  I thank God, daily, for these precious gifts of family and friends.  Yet, we live in a society in which spontaneous gestures of affection and gratitude can be seen as creepy and off-putting.

When Sarah Josepha Hale pestered President Lincoln to declare a national day of Thanksgiving, she was trying to unite a broken nation via a common honoring of the harvest.   Yet, it can also be a superb opportunity to thank the people in our lives for the roles they play.   I actually find it baffling that Hallmark hasn't turned it into a mega card holiday by now.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Loving My Enemy Can Be A Tricky Proposition

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“But I say to you that listen: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also.” ~ Luke 6:27-29


Subject: President Trump at White House garden podium | Photographer: White House Photographic Office |As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
I'm an American liberal Christian.  Right now my President, the President who often mocked people for wearing Covid-19 preventing masks, is a patient at Walter Reed General Hospital stricken with Covid-19.  When I first heard the news I cheered.  Being a liberal, I've viewed President Donald J. Trump to be an enemy of everything I believe in.  Thus, I was looking for Champagne to pop.

30 minutes later, I found myself embarrassed by my initial reaction.  As an American, I should have respect for the office of President, if not for the man who holds the office.  As a Christian, I should love my enemy, even while I fight against their ideas and actions. 

I'd failed on both counts.  I need to do better. 

Don't get me wrong, I won't be buying a red "MAGA" cap or voting for him any time soon.  Yet, I will pray for him as I'd pray for anyone with this awful disease.   I will also pray that this experience will increase his empathy for others. 

Yes, I'll be voting for Joe Biden.  However, I don't need to wish Donald Trump dead in order to wish him out of office.