Saturday, May 2, 2015

Christoph Blumhardt--Seek Ye First The Kingdom of God

Friday, March 20, 2015

When Eugenics Was Politically Correct

An interesting paper.  One might disagree or agree with the conclusion of the article but the connection between the eugenics movement of the early 1900's and the mainline denominations (including our own) is fascinating...and horrifying.

Friday, June 28, 2013

God's Joy (Part II of Series)

It may be that we don't really understand what the New Testament is saying about men being attracted to men and women to women. In Romans 1, Paul is talking about the blindness of all society to Jesus, to the suffering servant. Because of this blindness, God hands all society over to its own latent sins and thus, we have women being attracted to women and men to men. For Paul and the apostles, men not loving women and women not loving men is worse than fornication, worse than covetousness, worse than murder.*  Read that list of vices for yourself. The rabbis always put the most serious transgressions first. But those who do any of these things, from the most weighty transgression to the lightest, are "worthy of death." Paul has a big surprise for us though, because for the "judge" (Romans 2) to condemn to death those who are caught up in these sins is to "do the same things," that is, to be blind to the suffering servant, the savior who saves us from our spiritual enemies, who saves us from the fires that we can't escape. As the song says, "I can't change, even if I tried, even if I wanted to."  That's the way it is, we are too deep in, we can't change. But Jesus was raised from the dead to save people like that, people like you and me. And he does and he did and I know he will. Because let's face it, all of us are prey to these vices that are listed here in Romans 1, at least one, if not a whole bunch. Now, we might have a question. Why is it that men going with men and women with women, heads Paul's list of transgressions? The reason is that Paul is simply following the Bible, in the very beginning God made Adam and then made Eve and Adam saw that Eve was the only one for him. That's Genesis, but we are constantly attempting to destroy Genesis. God generates, God gives the growth. We as sinners want to destroy life and growth. We want "de-generation." And here's the thing: the most destructive form of de-generation is when men don't like women and women don't like men and that describes a lot of us, a lot of the time. Women don't really see men these days and men don't really see women either. We just don't "get" why marriage and romance and men liking women and women liking men is very important but that's only because we don't see like God does. In fact, we don't see at all. It's only in God's light that we see light. Only he reveals what love is, what faith is, what is important and what is not important. All our reasoning, all our philosophy, all our science comes up with precisely nada, nothingness, chaos. In the early 20th century we reasoned and philosophized our way to eugenics and the holocaust. And we haven't changed one bit. Our way is always toward destruction. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life." He also said, "Come to me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." The Good Samaritan came to the man who had fallen among thieves, and who was pretty much as good as dead, beaten up by sin and death and the devil and he had compassion on him. We are that man. We are the ones who hate God and in so doing destroy ourselves and are destroyed. But God still loves us, he is crazy in love with us, he came to us while we were yet enemies. He is here, "the home of God is among men" and one by one we are lifted up in his arms and healed and saved. And as if that were not enough, to save us is his joy, his delight. We learn in the Bible that he sings with joy over what he has done through his only begotten Son. This is the entirely unexpected and undeserved face of God's justice and nothing can stop that justice now.

(Note: I follow the theologians William Orr of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and N.T. Wright of St. Andrews in this article, the song quoted above is "Same Love" written by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis)

*Update: I have changed my mind about this; I now believe this issue is as others have said, the "presenting issue;" mercilessness instead, being the depth of God's visitation on our willful blindness.  As we see throughout the Bible, God's visitation on our sin is suitable to the crime, "tit for tat," thus, women and men are first handed over by God to blindness toward one another but God's "betrayal" of mankind does not end there.  The miry pit is goes even deeper.   As another scholar humorously puts it, "the problem is fatal," but he continues, in the Lord Jesus our savior, "not serious" because it is order that God's justice, i.e., God's righting the wrong, may be revealed. Our betrayal by God to our enemies is simply preface to the coming of the our friend and savior, and God's glory.  And as we see in our day, those who were once sunk deep in the depths now lead the way into the kingdom of God, Rosaria Butterfield and Becket Cook being two notable examples.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Supreme Court Decision

Today is a day that we can be thankful for, even as we grieve what the Supreme Court has done to aid in the destruction of love and marriage. The mask has been ripped off government and we see the rot behind it.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Palm Sunday, The Things That Make For Peace

What if we are thinking of marriage in the wrong way? What if marriage is, as the French feminists assert, the smallest unit, the basic bedrock of community, and community is made up of men and women? What if the marriage between a man and a woman is a living, breathing, walking, talking declaration of the truth that man cannot get along without woman and woman cannot get along without man? If the Supreme Court rules that a man can marry a man, aren't they ruling that men don't need women and women don't need men? That we can get along on this earth without each other. In fact, if two men can marry, then what is my marriage to Farhad in the eyes of the law? Certainly it would not be that living, breathing, walking talking declaration of truth anymore! Remember why Jesus wept over Jerusalem? Because he saw that she did not anymore know the things that make for peace.---Posted by Amy, Tuesday, March 26th 2013, 9:08 am