Friday, June 29, 2018

None of the above

What comes to my mind is Isaiah’s “a voice crying in the wilderness.” It was my Evangelical faith that drove me to “None of the above” in the 2016 Presidential election. I was part of that 5+% of voters that in voting 3rd party, denied both Clinton and Trump a majoriy of the popular vote. Yes, Clinton won the plurality, but she did not get the 50+% of total vote that defines a majority. I took a certian amount of heat from some of my Evangelical friends for doing so, and I was clearly in the minority among them in my “crying in the wilderness”. You may think it to much for me to say that I saw the nominations of both Trump and Clinton as a sign of God's judgement upon a materialistic and decadent secular society and culture that is reaping the whirlwind of its self-centered choices.

I was greatly disturbed when some evangelical leaders publically supported Trump and effectively “campaigned” for him. It is my sense that in doing so, the truth of the Gospel was compromised for a “bowel of pottage” of supposed “access and influence”. The prophetic voice of the American Church was compromised, and there were very few “John the Baptist”s to be a prophetic voice to the modern “Herod”s of our time. But though few, there were some who did.

I am not a fan of “pop evangelicalism” and a lot of what goes on under the broad umbrella of that term. But I am and will remain theologically Evangelical. Politically I am a person without a party, and as such, feel more keenly Peter’s description of the Christian as an “exile” and “sojourner” in this world.

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Politics of Rage

We are increasingly bombarded by the political use of the tactic of outrage. And it is easy to be outraged because there are so many stupid or unjust things being done that evoke outrage. Outrage is the meat and potatoes of right wing talk radio potentates like Limbaugh and Hannity, and of the left wing rags such as CNN and USA Today among others. After all “outrage” sells, and sales means money.

So many stupid and unjust things are being done on all sides, that one could easily come to the conclusion that they are done deliberately and with a view and intent of creating outrage that can be manipulated and exploited. Having lost a collective moral bearing where everyone does what is right in their own eyes, what did we expect?

But how long can a continuous string of outrage be maintained? The outraged mob runs from one outrage to another, figuratively lynching the perceived offenders, then off to the next outrage and lynching. What’s worse is some offenders probably do need “lynching” figuratively not literally, but as with a good part of vigilante activity, due process and careful sorting out of the facts gets brushed aside in a rush to judgement.

And it is also true that a continuous torrent of outrage over this and that and whatever eventually takes a toll on the emotions and psyche of a society and culture. The constant arousal of collective emotions of rage begins to dull the collective conscience. Collective emotional batteries run low and there becomes less and less energy to sustain the “good fight”.

At some point comes the real possibility of a collective cardiac arrest.

What happens then?

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Great Equalizer

The prophets talk about how the mighty kings of the earth are brought down low in death. They dwell in the realm of the dead with those who in life they oppressed and lorded it over. Their pomp and circumstance and their great deeds, mean nothing in the grave. In those prophetic writings, the common unknown dead of the earth mock and scorn those who were mighty and powerful in life, but have now been laid low by the great equalizer of death and the grave. The grave worms don’t care if you were mighty among the nations or not; nor do they care if in the eyes of the world you were in the top one percent of the one percent.

This world is not the end. There will be an accounting for all the wrong and injustice that has been done on this earth. By sin came death. It is in Christ we have the hope of life and the resurrection. He holds the keys of death and hell.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Theater of the Absurd

“The campus revolt in America is not unlike the French theater of the absurd: actors on the stage, moving about in crazy quilt patterns without discernible purpose, speaking their lines without listening for a response Everyday engaged in private conversation or in dialogues that make no sense. Nobody communicating. Just people on a stage, confined to their own little worlds, talking past one another.”

“The Test”; Walter Adams; (Macmillan Co,; 1971) pg 9

Not much has changed in the last almost 50 years since this was written.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Empty Manger

Yes once there was a baby in a manger, but the baby did not stay in the manger. He grew to be a man. Though the manger is important, the manger is now empty. .

Yes, the baby that was in that manger grew to be a man, and one day they took him and put him to death by crucifixion on a cross, but he did not remain on that cross as his dead body was taken down and placed in a tomb. Though the cross is important, the cross is now empty.

Yes, the body of this man who was once that baby in a manger and as a man died on that cross was laid in a tomb, but the tomb is now empty for death could not contain him. He is risen from the dead and hold the keys of death and hades in his hand. Though the tomb is important, the tomb is now empty.

Yes, the man who was once a baby in that manger, and grew up only to be put to death by crucifixion on that cross, and was buried in that tomb that is now empty, has ascended into heaven and now sits on the right hand of God the Father. From that throne he will one day come again in judgement and make all things new.

The manger, the cross and the tomb are now empty.

Jesus Christ is Lord.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Manner of Christians

For the Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. The course of conduct which they follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates of any merely human doctrines. But, inhabiting Greek as well as barbarian cities, according as the lot of each of them has determined, and following the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food, and the rest of their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life. They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death, and restored to life. They are poor, yet make many rich; they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonoured, and yet in their very dishonour are glorified. They are evil spoken of, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless; they are insulted, and repay the insult with honour; they do good, yet are punished as evil-doers. When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred.

~ The Letter to Diogentus (2nd century AD)