Categories: Christianity, Oh, the questions
Hey 1 reader that stuck with me while I was busy, I’m moving my site to…
It has the same design of this site, but will soon have a new look and more content. Thanks!
Categories: Christianity, In the News, Oh, the questions, Politics
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Sen. Barack Obama told a church convention Saturday that some right- wing evangelical leaders have exploited and politicized religious beliefs in an effort to sow division.
“Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in remarks prepared for delivery before the national meeting of the United Church of Christ.
“Part of it’s because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who’ve been all too eager to exploit what divides us,” the Illinois senator said.
“At every opportunity, they’ve told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage, school prayer and intelligent design,” according to an advance copy of his speech.
“There was even a time when the Christian Coalition determined that its number one legislative priority was tax cuts for the rich,” Obama said. “I don’t know what Bible they’re reading, but it doesn’t jibe with my version.”
Obama is a member of the United Church of Christ, a church of about 1.2 million members that is considered one the most liberal of the mainline Protestant groups.
In 1972, the church was the first to ordain an openly gay man. Two years ago, the church endorsed same-sex marriage, the largest Christian denomination to do so. Obama believes that states should decide whether to allow gay marriage, and he opposes a constitutional amendment against it.
Conservative Christian bloggers have linked Obama to what they call the “unbiblical” teachings of his church. Theological conservatives believe gay relationships violate Scripture, while more liberal Christians emphasize the Bible’s social justice teachings.
Obama trails Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York by 33 percent to 21 percent in the most recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll among Democrats and those leaning toward the party.
Categories: Christianity, Oh, the questions
Ahhhh, finally a day off. I didn’t think it would ever come. There’s a lot on my mind, but right now I’m just going to talk about something I saw the other day that got me thinking.
I was driving through downtown Nashville (where I live) and passed a beautiful church that I used to walk by every day and admire. But, the church was no longer beautiful. There was a new steeple being built in front and construction everywhere. It was no longer beautiful and didn’t seem like it would be after the work was done.
So, why was there construction going on? Why was this church being changed for what I saw as no reason? I’m guessing someone working at the church wanted to make a name for themselves and look like they were doing a good job. Maybe it was an entire committee. Maybe it was a preacher. It doesn’t matter.
Using this church as a metaphor for the “Church” itself, I’m wondering how often ambition and the want to progress with the culture around us have led our leaders to make pointless decisions; decisions that move us further away from the center/heart of what our faith is all about. Away from the beautiful.
Although I’m not Catholic and might not fully understand how the papacy works, I think I can use the Pope as an example. Or just a leader in general like the President. When these people enter office and finally find themselves in a position of power don’t they feel the pressure to make a name for themselves? This will lead them to look around for things to change when a change might not even be needed.
Maybe progress is completely unnecessary. What causes change in the culture shouldn’t cause Christians to change our ideas of what our faith is. Didn’t we have it right in the beginning? If I ever find myself in a position of power in the church, I hope that I do not make decisions based on my selfish ambition, but on what God is leading me to do.
I had a blog? Man, those were the days.
Seriously, I’m still very busy. Hoping to find a little time this week to write a few entries about what’s been on my mind lately. Check back soon.
Categories: Books, Christianity, Oh, the questions
I just started Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and it’s great. Below is something that really spoke to me in the preface. I feel like it describes where I’m at in my life.
…It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not in the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in. For that purpose the worst of the rooms (whichever that may be) is, I think, preferable. It is true that some people may find they have to wait in the hall for a considerable time, while others feel certain almost at once which door they must knock at. I do not know why there is this difference, but I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do get into your room you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But you must regard it as waiting, not as camping. You must keep on praying for light: and, of course, you must being trying to obey the rules which are common to the whole house. And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint and panelling. In plain language, the question should never be: “Do I like that kind of service?” but “Are these doctrines true: Is holiness here? Does my conscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance to knock at this door due to my pride, or my mere taste, or my personal dislike of this particular door-keeper?”
When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are unders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common the whole house. (Lewis, Preface to Mere Christianity[Macmillan, 1960], pp.11-12)
I wonder if we’re supposed to feel like we’ve ever really found the exact room we’re meant to be in? More to come on this later…