Thursday, October 28, 2010
To be honest the main influencer of how many of us vote is the mudslinging going on in campaigns ads, funded by who knows who. Our politics has been degraded to nothing more than playground squabble, and the winner is the one who can tell the most and the best “Yo mamma jokes.” Essentially we are being told that we should vote for such and such candidate not because he is the best, but because the other candidate is the worst. In the response to the insanity we have people like John Stewart having a rally in D.C. to “Restore Sanity.” There are people pointing figures, money that is being thrown away, and voices rising to the top of their lungs calling America to raise their voice and vote.
If apathy can ever be a good quality it certainly is during election time. It is not that many people do not want to use their God given voice that many have died to protect to choose a leader, it is that there has been no leader to choose for quite some time.
I have followed politics more closely than the average American. I feel that as a pastor it is important to take note of the “leaders” that are being present in our world. I can say that there are some good leaders out there who try to do their best. However, there are many who have lost the essence of what it is to lead.
Jesus told his disciples
24When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, - Matthew 20:24-26.
Too often our leaders and politicians want to win not so they can serve the people, but so the people can serve them. As followers of Christ it is our calling to show true leadership by serving others in love. I think that is why our politics have become so disappointing because it does not matter enough if you have the strongest party, the best idea, or the least amount of scandal, what matters is if you are willing to serve.
On Nov. 2nd there will be another election with winners, and losers. However, this world was not left in the hands of whoever gets the most votes, but Christ left the hands of the world into his disciples and his church. It is our job than, despite the outcome of the election to lead this world through service and love and sharing the message of Jesus Christ. It is the job of the church to serve, to lead, to love, to be the hands and the feet of Jesus.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Such a reversal of expected behavior has led many reporters, commentators, and bloggers scrounging for answers. Some have humorously suggested that if you lived in Chile, a residency in a buried coal cavern is a better option than the political and economic chaos of their country. Some have suggested that there was some questionable behavior happening among the miners and that is why they wanted to stay to enjoy the crude behavior they were indulging in the cave.
I do not know the miners, I do not know their theology or faith, but what if their fight to be last was rooted in something deeper than fear of going back to every day Chilean life, or improper behavior? What if their desire to let others go first was based nothing other than in humility and in love?
Jesus’ disciples were caught more than on one occasion trying to win a favorable position with their rabbi. They had their own power rankings for who they that was #1 on Jesus’ list among the disciples. Jesus made it clear in Matthew 20:25-28 when he said that the great must be a servant and the first must be a slave. Perhaps the Chilean miners simply understood 1 John 3:16:
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
Whether that verse was known to them or not, we see the foreman especially showing true leadership and love, by not being first, but by being last. The foreman who kept the miners alive by rationing their food supply, the foreman who kept their spirits alive with his courage, made the decision that he was going to have the most noblest of positions by being the last one brought up. By making himself last he made himself first in our hearts and in the hearts of Jesus.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Let us see if Westboro is following the main tenant of Jesus which is love. Does love mean praising God for dead young men and women…no. Does love mean preventing people to grieve at the loss of a child…no.
First of all Jesus gets more frustrated at people's self righteous judgment than he ever does at their sexual misconduct. While both are dangerous and problematic, Jesus saves his worse condemnation for the Pharisees whom have a knack for condemning...well everybody. Second it is extremely dangerous to say you are speaking for God “by saying God is killing soldiers because of homosexuality” when God has never given you those words to say. Third, we find out from 1 Corinthians 13 that we are nothing without love. Westboro church is nothing. I am not saying Westboro is going to Hell, it is not my decision, and that would make me guilty of their sin, I am just asking if we can act better than this? In Revelation 2:4 the church of Ephesus is chastised for being a loveless church. I think we need to ask Westboro “where is the love.”
You may think homosexuality is wrong, you may think the wars that are being fought are wrong (war is never good, and never won), you may think playing go fish with a deck of cards is straight from the pits of hell, however, if it is ethics and right behavior we are worried about it is time we stop worrying about the speck, and start concentrating of the logs in peoples eyes (funny expression but comes from the mouth of Jesus in Matthew 7:3-5).