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.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

A Question Of Perfection

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"You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." ~ Matthew 5:48
A few days ago, I was talking about religion with a friend, and self proclaimed WICCAN.  Yes, I know religion is supposed to be the proverbial third rail among friends.  I'm sorry though, there comes a point in a friendship, where if you're still only discussing superficial things (the Kardashians, Real Housewives of Omaha, and Star Trek), it may be a stagnant relationship
Anyway, my friend asked, "If God made mankind perfectly, why have people such as Hitler existed?"
I puzzled and I puzzled until my puzzler was sore.  Eventually, I told her we were a perfect creation, but what we do with that creation is up to us.  She went home satisfied with my answer
I'm not
The answer is based on the idea that people are born with the same number of; abilities, resources, and opportunities; and our lives are shaped by our choices.  It's a nice fluffy thought, but BUZZ, sorry, wrong answer!  Thanks for playing; Rod Roddy, tell them about their consolation prize. 
We don't start out on an equal playing field.  Some people are born with chronic physical and/or academic challenges.  Others are born into mind numbing poverty.  Thousands are still being born into slavery to mine diamonds.  We aren't all created equally or perfectly, at least not by our definition. 
 I still think of the Holy Trinity as being perfect.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit reverently robed, watching over us from a white marble banister, surrounded by a host of angels.  It's how I drew them.  (see above)
Yet, it's a perfection I don't understand.  We may be so close to a single thread that we can’t see the  perfection of the entire cosmic tapestry.  It's the best answer I can come up with.  Yet such an answer, while making me comfortable with my Christian faith, does nothing for the five-year-old digging for diamonds in Africa. 
I have faith in you Lord, but I don't understand your perfection.  Amen.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Casting Hate Away

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"Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness." ~ 1 John 2:9

Not long ago, I wrote a blog about hate.  When I penned that piece, I was writing about hate in response to issues & politics.  Since then, the issue has hit closer to home.  Two close friends of mine have chosen to hate each other. 

And yes, I use the word, "chosen," intentionally.  Hate is a choice.  We can't choose what others do, but we can choose how we respond to their choices. 

Some will say, hatred of a social injustice can lead to justice.  Such people are confusing hatred with anger.  A mother can be angry at Johnny for taking the cookie, but she still loves him.  Likewise, emotionally healthy people can feel anger over a situation without allowing it to morph and fester into hatred. 

The baffling part is that people who hate don't want to give up that hate.  They clutch it tightly, as if it's keeping them alive.  I don't know about you, but I've never known a hate filled happy person.  The hatred actually chokes out the happiness and keeps it from coming back. 

If one had a rock on top of their head, which was keeping them from being happy, they would remove the rock.  Heck, if they tip their head the rock will probably slide off.  Yet, haters use their palm to press the rock into their scalp to MAKE SURE they don't lose it, giving themselves a headache. 
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Prayer: Help us release our hatred and heal from its effects.  Amen.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Eggs And Scorpions

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"And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.  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 11:9-11

|Subject: Luke 11:9-11 | Rights to PNGs secured from FAVPNG Premium |
We're not supposed to hate parts of the Holy Bible.  I mean, Job is a bit of a  downer for a sunny Sunday afternoon and Numbers is down right boring.  Still, it's the word of God, so we're supposed to find value in every part of it. 

When I was little I was a good Mormon boy.  The passage of Luke in question strongly suggests, if not outright says, if you go to God, in the name of Jesus, He will give you what you ask for.  Every night I'd ask God to give me the ability to walk, and every morning I'd wake up disabled with Cerebral Palsy.  Where were my eggs. 

Life happened, I fell away, dabbled in agnosticism,  humanism, WICCA, and eventually circled back to Christianity minus the Mormonism.  When I came back Luke 11:9-11 was there waiting for me with a wave and a, "Hi pal."

I didn't know what to do with it.  I was 40, and I understood different writers wrote the books of the Holy Bible from different points of view.  It was possible that the writer of Luke/Acts snuck that in there in order to attract people to Christianity.  Yet, the part of me that prayed everyday wasn't completely comfortable writing it off as PR spin.

In the words of Old Blue Eyes, "...I'm in the autumn of the year, and now I think of my life as vintage wine from fine old keg..."  I realize that everything good in my life was, in no small part, thanks to the good people in my life.  I've been surrounded by truly good people who have loved and cared for me in countless ways.  They’re my eggs.  They’re my blessings. 

Sometimes we have to look back at a situation, in this case a life, before we can recognize God's handiwork.  Yet, I think the proverbial eggs are always there.