Monday, June 30, 2008

The Race Card

I heard it yet again this morning from a Barack Obama supporter. He said (on the radio), “I am suspicious of anyone who won’t vote for Barack Obama. He is at best a racist and at worst a Nazi.” So there you have it. I’m a racist (or Nazi). I guess there is no consideration given for viewing candidates on their records and beliefs. Barack Obama is a left-wing liberal. I’m a conservative – too conservative for the Republican Party. I wouldn’t vote for Barack Obama if he was green, white, yellow or a combination thereof. To call me a racist is pretty stupid. Give me a break – I grew up in South Providence!

But then, I’ve been a racist for a long time, according to those who can only see color. In the 1970s, while I was a school teacher, I was against mandated integration of schools via school busing of children out of their own neighborhoods clear across the town or city. I was called a racist. There was no consideration of the fact that I was against busing because I believed in neighborhood schools. No children of any color should get up in the middle of the night so that they can ride a bus to a school in somebody else’s neighborhood.

BTW, I’m still in favor of neighborhood schools, if we have to have schools at all. Mega-schools at least contribute to the Columbine-style shootings. Also, let it be known that I am aware that many people opposed busing because of race. That does not warrant an automatic designation of “racist” to all who disagree with a flawed public policy decision.

Then, of course, I was also a racist when I thought OJ did it. Opinion on that one did seem to come down strictly according to race. I guess I could claim that I had the misfortune of having been born Western European-American Caucasian. I’m a victim. I could also claim that it sure seemed at the time – and seems more abundantly clear as time goes on – that OJ was guilty of murder. Another clarification is in order, though. I did not follow the trial religiously, as much of America seems to have done. I was not a witness to the crime. I don’t have all the facts. I could be wrong about OJ.

In for a penny, in for a pound. I might as well state that there seem to be quite a few pastors who find it considerably more important to be black than to be Christian. They have thrown in with Barack and are happy to distort God’s Word in whatever manner necessary to get their man elected. Being black, or white, or brown, or yellow will not get us into heaven. Even if Barack Obama wins two terms, his time will pass. Eternity will not. Another clarifying statement: I know that some white people also distort God’s Word to suit their own purpose. It won’t get them into heaven either. Be careful, folks.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"All Roads Lead to Heaven,"
According to "People of Faith'

In a disturbing, but not totally shocking, report out this week, it has been revealed that most people who claim to be "people of faith," believe that there are many possible paths to heaven.
Let me be quick to insert John 14:6 here.
Jesus said,
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

That's an absolute statement. There is no other way to heaven but by Jesus. Period. Full stop. Game over.

Here is a quote from the news coverage about that report:

America remains a nation of believers, but a new survey finds most Americans don't feel their religion is the only way to eternal life — even if their faith tradition teaches otherwise.

The findings, revealed Monday in a survey of 35,000 adults, can either be taken as a positive sign of growing religious tolerance, or disturbing evidence that Americans dismiss or don't know fundamental teachings of their own faiths.

Among the more startling numbers in the survey, conducted last year by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: 57 percent of evangelical church attenders said they believe many religions can lead to eternal life, in conflict with traditional evangelical teaching.

In all, 70 percent of Americans with a religious affiliation shared that view, and 68 percent said there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their own religion.

You can read the entire story here.

The numbers are startling. The causes are obvious. First is Bible illiteracy. The people simply don't know what the Bible says. The second reason is more offensive, however. The major fault is behind the pulpit (or on the stage or dais, or wherever people allegedly preach these days). The preachers are so enamored with programs and feeling good, and involved in major decisions such as which coffee to serve at the church cafe and the auditions for the band, that they simply have neither the time nor the inclination to search the Scriptures and preach God's Word.

I had a personal brush with this last week. My wife and I were away and looking for a church for Sunday morning. We chose what we thought would be a conservative congregation with a conservative worship style (this conservative worship style, BTW, is not a Biblical requirement, but a personal one). There was 50 minutes of non-worshiping, non-theological music, then a "preacher." It was not the Pastor. This man never opened his Bible, though he had it in his hand. He made a few references to references, even getting one of them wrong. The Pastor could not correct him, though, because he didn't even have a Bible.

So we went looking for a church that might have an evening service. We never found one, although there are many churches in that area. It was sad.

Brothers and sisters our nation needs strong, informed Christians now more than at any other time in its history. Weak-kneed, pusillanimous, people-pleasing, ear-tickling, preaching will not strengthen us nor encourage us.

Men of God stand up. Preach God's Word. It's hard at times. If it's too hard, you're not called. Get out of the way.

People of God stand up. Call for your preachers to preach the whole counsel of God. If they won't, then leave! Find someone who will. They are out there, and they are risking their lives preaching what God wants preached. Stand with them.

Let's turn this nation around. Let's get it facing heavenward - through Jesus, the only way to eternal life.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Couple of Political Notes

Imagine my chagrin when I went to vote yesterday and found myself registered as a Republican. I am not a Republican. I am supposed to be registered as "Unenrolled." The Town Clerk told me that I enrolled as a Republican and went to the file cabinet to find the voter registration card which would prove her right. Surprise. It said "Unenrolled." Clerical error. No wonder I've been getting so much mail from the Rs. We changed it back on the spot.

There is a reason I cannot be enrolled as a Republican - I'm a conservative. The party left me i the dust when it lurched leftward. One need look no further that the two Republican senators from my state of Maine. Neither resembles a conservative. Enough said about that topic.

Next is the topic of change. Every political challenger for just about every office in the land is running on a promise of change. They are all going to go to Washington (or Augusta, or "fill-in-the-blank") and change things. Now I agree that the changes are necessary. Why, though, after they get elected, do things never change? Then, when they run as incumbents, the "change" mantra is long gone.

Just wondering.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Dopes in the Pulpit

Instances of preachers gone mad have abounded in recent months. Dr. Jeremiah Wright certainly needs no introduction at this point. The Catholic priest who made a fool of himself, his church, and the Gospel has gained a good bit of coverage as well. In case you are among the few who haven't seen or heard these rants, the video is here.

Now a Bishop in the Church of England has decided that anyone who doesn't agree with Pope AlGore and his leading scientists like Michael Moore are at least as evil as the Austrian animal who kept his daughter locked up for decades, raping her and fathering numerous children with her. We are, he claims, robbing our children's future, and that makes us no better than Josef Fritzl. Can we talk?

Now preachers being involved in the political process are no new thing. In the history of the US, until Senator Lyndon B. Johnson put a stop to it, there were regular political sermons - even "Election Day Sermons." Not all were were off the ranting and raving variety that we are accustomed to seeing at YouTube recently, but not all have been sane, civil, and Biblically-based, either.

Let me make an appeal to preachers - and those who listen to them and may have some influence over them: Preach the Gospel. Yes, there are many moral issues that are intertwined with politics and we must address those. We should not be afraid of the IRS when we feel we must address social needs. But, we should never be hucksters for a particular candidate or party. Our preaching must be from God's Word, not our own agenda.

NOTE: If you are in the area around southern Maine on Sunday evenings in July (13,20,27), stop by to join in the discussion we will be having on "Church and State: Politics and the Pulpit in American Society.
" All are welcome. For info contact me directly.