Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Friday, October 14, 2016
Monday, October 3, 2016
Our pride of people from our place can result in a kind of self-satisfaction that borders on idolatry, of thinking that prominent people deserve our attention while the weakest of people really need to be in the forefront of our thinking, planning, working and politics. Pride in place needs to be complimented by a wholehearted life long preoccupation with the protection of the ecosystem that sustains our civilization. If the words of the prophet are true, “the meek shall inherit the earth”, only if we are willing to perfect our meekness
Friday, August 26, 2016
We must question the sanity of anyone who would be enthusiastic about the creation of "jobs" in an industry explicitly designed to decimate all life on earth. Of course I am referring to the proposal for a missile site at the Ravenna Arsenal.
Yes, I understand the thinking," any job is a good job if you don't have one", but if the "work" that the job requires that we set aside our moral obligation to "love our enemy", as the gospel requires, and instead "defend" ourselves against the unthinkable, then we have not only lost sight of our work, but our humanity.
Don't get me wrong, those who work in the field of "economic development" are making their best effort, from the context which our society has framed our changing economic predicament, to find a way to generate tax revenue, which mostly comes through income tax. The problem however, is that we have lost sight of the fundamental problem of the continuous innovation of the industrial economy to always leave some people behind. Unfortunately, we cannot fix this so long as our faith in progress goes unabated, and our willingness to degrade our values increases day by day.
Dare I suggest that the 1000 acres of the old arsenal proposed to be used for such a base could easily support many more than 100 jobs, considering that 18,000 people worked there at one time. These jobs could be created by protecting the land and earning a living from it instead of filling wetlands and moving streams to make way for a killing field.
Of course I understand that some see this is a strategically vital and necessary development, given the "reality" of nuclear weapons in the world. The tragedy of course is that we are too preoccupied with a handful of "jobs" to ask the simple question. Don't we want the blessing of our Lord, who calls us to be Peacemakers?
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Every month, like clockwork, I receive an official “membership” card in the mail, and I have been for what seems like a decade. I mean, come on, I am only 59 years old!
I know, there are many among us that retire at 50 or 55, but most of us won’t be retiring any time soon, if ever.
I am not sure if AARP is desperate for members or just desperate. I mean, they are really just a front for businesses seeking our new customers aren’t they? I guess if you are retired, you have nothing better to do than hassle people that are younger than you.
Not that I have any issues with getting older, especially considering the alternative!
In recent years I have lost many friends and relatives that have not made it to the big 6-0. Believe me I am grateful to be old enough to be hassled by junk mail from a bunch of crotchety people with time on their hands.
I for one, am certainly glad to be participating in this thing called TIME. Yes, I know, when I leave this earthly realm I won’t need time any more. But I thank Jesus for every day that he has given me a little bit more of it.
Now if I can only work on being a little less grumpy.
6 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you.Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers![a] 1 Cornthians 6:5-8, ESV BIBLE GATEWAY
There is a clear process for doing this outlined in the 18th Chapter of Matthew.
15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[f]in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
While many churches follow this admonition about disagreements among their members in terms of doctrine and behavior, we aren't hearing about those that do so in civil matters. Does anyone know of those that do? Why aren't the churches setting up courts of arbitration to hear such cases?
Since scripture admonishes believers to set up our own justice system for matters between us, why are we surprised when our Muslim neighbors to do the same? Just asking?
Monday, August 15, 2016
Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, addresses sexual immorality within the church (incest in this case) and in the course of doing so, speaks to the different ways the church is to respond to such behaviors;
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders?Is it not those inside the church[b] whom you are to judge? 13 God judges[c] those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”1 Cor. 5:9-13