10.11.2008

10 Years Ago

Click the title link to read an AP article about the murder of Matthew Shepard.

My wife and I were both in Laramie, attending the University, when this event happened. We were both there for the crazy protesters and counter-protesters; the media circus that followed the murder, another one following the trial a year later, and then another one two years later when they were filming the movie.

This should be a point of reflection and repentance for the Church.

Whenever we point fingers at 'them' we help to create an atmosphere where these kinds of brutalities can happen. The reality is that people engaged in homosexual behavior are no more or less broken than the pastor who calls them an 'abomination.' The reality is that homosexual acts are no more a perversion than a man having sex with his wife while fantasizing about another woman.

We are all created in God's image, and we are all stained with sin. We are breathing Icons of the Creator, but we are cracked.

We are all familiar with infamous Christians who live double lives. Roundly condemning activities publicly that they are covertly and habitually engaging in. Recently a famous Christian leader who was routinely making comments about homosexuality was outed by the male prostitute he had been having a three year relationship with.

I am more than willing to give this man the benefit of the doubt, his sincerity is not what I want to question, rather, I want to ask, 'how did this happen?' If this man had come forward with his struggles, if the Church did not create a 'super-sin' out of this particular issue, if the Church would place more emphasis on Jesus and less on 'good looks,' if the Church would be the first place where sin was able to be confessed instead of the last, if, if, if...

Reflection, and repentance.

It must begin in the Church.

10.08.2008

Politics and Religion



You‘ve heard the phrase about being ‘so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.’ This assumes that heaven and earth have nothing to do with each other; that spirituality and politics are two totally separate realms.

And yet, even on the surface of it, that doesn’t fit with our own cultural experience. Conservative Evangelicals as a voting bloc put George W Bush in the White House. Martin Luther King Jr. was a pastor first, and a civil rights activist second. The Church has historically been extremely influential in political issues like abolition, prohibition, prison reform, abortion, education, and many others.

So which party would God endorse?

...both?
...neither?

Does God even care about politics?

And where should the people of God stand on political issues?

Wisdom

To that question, the whole Bible offers one massive and obvious answer: Wisdom. That beautiful and haunting poem from the book of Job issues a call to rediscover the wisdom we need in the middle of the times we live in. I chose that reading long before the present crisis, but re-reading it now it leaps out at us that, in the previous chapter, Job denounces those who think they can make their financial systems last for ever: ‘though they heap up silver like dust, though they build their houses like nests, they may go to bed with wealth but they will do so no more; terrors overtake them like a flood; in the night a whirlwind carries them off.’ I remember being told as a boy that the Bible was as up to date as tomorrow morning’s newspaper, and there you have it in Job 27: a vivid and accurate picture of our world. And it is in that context – our context – that the poet asks, in chapter 28: Where then shall wisdom be found? You can dig for gold, you can trawl the sea for pearls, you can buy coral and crystal and jewels with money; but you can’t get wisdom that way. Indeed, we might want to add, if you spend all your time thinking about gold and pearls and crystal and money you can guarantee that you will not find wisdom.

NT Wright

10.01.2008

What am I?

What is human nature?

I have been asked this on more than one occasion.

We are fundamentally good.

We are God's image.


But there is a force at work within us. Evil unleashed, like a bengal tiger that has somehow been turned loose inside the royal gardens, or the proverbial 'bull in a glass shop;' we are completely and totally beautiful, purposeful, good, powerful, compassionate, just; but there is a force at work within us that claws and devours all goodness.


The term 'Cracked Eikons' is used by Scot McKnight to describe human beings. We are images of God, clearly reflective of who He is, and yet obviously no longer whole; like a cracked mirror will still reflect, and yet is also clearly not whole.