Today I opened Facebook to discover a notice: “So ‘n So’s” birthday is today. Normally I would be pleased to see this and to respond properly to it. The unfortunate circumstance is that my high school friend had died during the past year and his account had not been deleted. The tragic part of this episode was the number of people who with great intentions wished him a happy birthday!
On my birthday I did a google search and was pleased to see a birthday cake in honor of my big day on the search page. But then I realized that it merely a computer responding to an analog sequence!
All this to say, we live in world that appears to be highly personal. Our names are spelled correctly, our birthday recognized, and our tablets and phones talk to us. But all these are merely machines. They are not real.
Compare that to our Heavenly Father:
Isaiah 49:15-16 (RSV)
“Can a woman forget her sucking child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
16 Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands . . . Isaiah 49:15-16 (ESV).
The clear word of Jesus:
14 I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, 15 as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep John 10:14-15 (RSV).
When we walk with Christ Jesus we are not a number or a marketing target. He is not a computer program set to “respond” at the proper time and “appear” human. He is the one who came into our world to show us how much we are loved by God. Who knows us, sin and all, and yet never stops pouring his love upon us.
Just a thought! A group of us meet once a week to discuss anything and everything. We are a diverse group with both working and retired. Politically we extend from one end of the spectrum to the opposite. All of us come from professional backgrounds. It is so encouraging because we do not agree on many things, but we listen to one another. Often we leave asking ourselves why we hold a particular position, return home, and assess our positions
How different from the too many bigoted postings on Facebook. (for those who do not know the definition: biɡədəd/adjective bigoted “having or revealing an obstinate belief in the superiority of one’s own opinions and a prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of others.” Seems to me most postings are not posted for discussing issues but to put down others who do not hold the same position which I believe is called bullying.
When will we ever move beyond this and start listening, learning and becoming more human. Just a thought
I receive a number of ministry webpages geared to help the pastor do a more productive job in ministry. . . creating ministry, using one’s time more effectively, etc. What is becoming apparent is the lack of biblical dependence by the writers. It is most like there but hidden (I hope this is the case). But I fear this is not the case. It is academically more impressive to refer to the Atlantic than the Bible.
I grew up mainline until I accepted Christ in university some 54 years ago. My pastor came out of Boston University and gave us a diet of Saturday Review and the Atlantic. There was the nod to Scripture from the lectionary and that was it. Eighteen years of Saturday Review and the Atlantic.
My concern is that as evangelicals have we ditched the Bible for other sources in our quest to be relevant? This is not a call for “proof texting”. It is a call for serious, scholarly grappling with God’s Word and how it relates to world today. It is a call to be shaped once again by Scripture and not by the world.
I am a retired minister. I am first and foremost an evangelical Christian who had the opportunity to study at one of the greatest evangelical seminaries in the nation studying under the founding voices of the evangelical movement. I am eternally grateful to God for this opportunity. I believe in the sovereignty of God, the saving grace of Jesus, and the inspiration and authority of God’s written Word.
I am here to examine life under the scrutiny of God’s Word.
In the movie 28 Days the world is nearly destroyed by the unleashing of a virus that brings out rage in the infected. In our world it seems that we have reached the point in society controlled by rage. When things do not go our way or an obstacle is before us, we are turning to rage. If unable to handle a situation, eliminate it with violence. Can’t handle life? destroy the lives of others. Take out people. Waste human life with a knife, a gun, a bomb, or any other means of killing. Cain used a club to kill his brother. The method is not the problem, the root cause is.
Could it just be the biblical diagnosis still is the root cause: sin?