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, October 18, 2019

Putting Our Blessings Into Perspective

“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” ~ Luke 11:11-13

I’m on the last leg of a cold; I just need to shake this cough and I’ll be golden. I say that now, but a few days ago I was asking God why he had forsaken me. I was a good Christian. Surely, I should receive the proverbial egg, rather than the scorpion.

Of course, that's not the way it works. We can’t expect to skate merrily through life simply because we believe in God.

My mistake was not looking at the whole board. When I look at my life as a whole, I see God working on my behalf in multiple ways. I’ve never been truly hungry or homeless. I can wake up in the morning and decide what I want for breakfast, which is a luxury most of the world doesn't share. Occasional colds aside, I’m actually pretty blessed.

Friday, September 20, 2019

A Time For Everything Under Heaven

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ~
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.”

I just returned home from seeing the Downton Abbey movie. Utilizing magnificent vistas, ornate settings, and resplendent costumes, Julian Fellows wove a tapestry of stories together to allow fans to revisit their favorite characters.

Although, we were treated to a variety of tales, “the inevitability of change” was a theme which ran through the entire film, just below the surface. Being on the cusp of major changes myself, I may have been extra aware of such themes. I’m not sure.

I don’t handle change well. I’ve often remarked I’d like to live in the Simpsons’ Springfield, where nobody ages and the status quo remains constant. Of course, that's not what God had in mind for his children.

Life, is a series of linear and circular changes. We’re meant to grow, change, and evolve. Yet, such change requires letting go of the known and embracing the unknown. I typically drag my feet when faced with such change, fighting tooth and nail to hold onto what I know.

Ironically, every time I look back at such transitions, I can see almost all of them proved to be beneficial.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

A Stain On America's Soul

This entry will appear on my political and Christian blogs.

Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” ~ Luke 10: 30-37

Publicly Traded MEME
Pundits are trying to hang America’s penchant for hate and killing on one political party or the other. Granted, having our fearless leader joke about shooting Mexicans in the panhandle in front of an eager crowd doesn't set an example of patriotic unity. Nor, does it help to have the same leader stand silent for 13 seconds as hundreds of his supporters chant, “send her back,” as if Minneapolis Representative Ilhan Omar isn’t an American citizen.

Surely, President Trump has contributed to racial tensions across the country. Many progressive thinkers have cited this fact to lay the rash of recent mass shootings at his feet.

Others blame Mitch McConnell and the NRA for preventing the passage of gun regulations.  While universal background checks would probably prevent a few people from buying guns, there's no evidence to suggest that such legislation wouldn't prevented any of the recent massacres.

By my way of thinking, the problem lies with us.  Say what you will about the powers that be, they're only personifications of an America which doesn't value life.  Yes, the president created the zero tolerance policy for our southern border, but it was ICE officers who detained am American teenager for three weeks for the color of his skin.  Trump may have been at the podium, but it was hundreds of “normal citizens” who were chanting for a member of congress to be deported for the color of her skin.

At this point, I know what you’re thinking.  What does the behavior of ICE agents have to do with racism at political rallies and gunmen shooting innocent people at garlic festivals and entertainment districts.  They're all symptoms of the same stain on America's soul.

Put simply, we’ve become a country of people who can view certain portions of society as beings less than human.  Think about it.  People who value people don’t shout, “send her back,” simply because her skin has more pigment than theirs.  People who value people don’t separate families, trying to escape oppression, and confine them to standing-room-only pens of squalor.  People who value people don’t kill random innocents in order to relieve stress or make a point.

People who value people embrace people and accept, even celebrate, their differences.  People who value people welcome asylum seekers with food and blankets instead of guns and handcuffs.  People who value people find a mugging victim along the side the road and pay the innkeeper to see to his/her needs.