By clicking on the various links you will be taken to my Google Document's site where you can access different articles I've written on various subjects.

Confession Prayer
Separation of Church & State
Why I'm NOT a 'Conservative'

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Faith Shouldn't be Political...

Okay so by now, most people who know me, most who read this, should know my stance on Faith and Politics. They don't mix [Not to say that a person's Faith doesn't impact their actions, I'm saying though I don't believe ANY civic leader should legislate from the pulpit or vice versa!]

Recently, well not just recently, some loud critics have been making an issue of President Obama's Christian Faith. They ignore the facts that he is on the record stating his belief in Christ Jesus as HIS PERSONAL SAVIOUR. He was a member of a church in Chicago for over 20 years. He seeks spiritual counsel from Christian Ministers. He receives Bible Devotionals EVERY morning. The list of supporting facts goes on and on. It's so long in fact, that, and this may ruffle some feathers, I won't even cite where to find the record, due to the fact that the amount of sources is that extensive. You don't believe me [or don't want to believe me] Google it...

Ok so now I ruffled some feathers! Now IF you read my other blog you will know my take on the Muslim center near ground zero [as Americans they have the 'right' but I don't think it's a wise choice ] Sadly some loud critics claiming to speak for Christians [and certain political groups....more then one] are bashing the President and claiming he is a Muslim. Not only is that not true and said on very weak standing, but it's just NOT RIGHT.

Reading the news I found a nice article about some, well a good number, Christian leaders who have drafted [and signed, not all who signed drafted the letter] a letter declaring that Faith is not a political issue. That it shouldn't be. That the evidence says President Obama IS a Christian and furthermore the letter urges people to stop this circus.

Well, I am proud to say, that I SIGNED THE LETTER tonight. I'm not about to say you must sign it. I'm not going to try to guilt you in to signing it. I'm not going to do anything but challenge you to listen to reason and at the very least, research the issue yourself [don't take my words....and just because someone is loud doesn't mean that what they say is true] and read the letter...then make up your own mind [to sign it or not].

Please, don't challenge the basis of this post, I will tell you right now, I will NOT allow any comments [for or against this issue].I don't wish this to be used as a tool...even if it supports my position.

Remember, while we can judge...IF we choose to judge we MUST allow ourselves to be judged by the same exact criteria. Nowhere does it say though, that we are in any way qualified to judge as to whether or not someone is truly a Christian [i.e. honestly saved]. We can give our best guess, but the only salvation you can be sure of, is you own!

The link to the letter:

vaya con Dios!
~Rev. J

Thursday, August 12, 2010

To shun or Not to shun...that IS a good question!

hey all~

ok so this may be a hot temp fair warning...and a kind admonishment, let's play nice lol [as i think we always seem to :P]

to shun or not to shun....first, a definition: to avoid [deliberately and persistently], to banish or expel from a community or group.

now who shuns people? many do...Christians and non-Christians alike. we can find shunning [sometimes by different 'names'] in Roman Catholicism [excommunication and/or withholding of communion], The Amish, Various Protestant denominations, Muslims [both in 'not associating with 'infedels [unbelievers] and put out [of the community] those who break the sha'ria [religious law]] even some tribal religions practice it in one way,shape or form.

for this article we will concentrate on the Christian practice...
a quick look at The Word of God, on this topic, can produce seemingly mixed results....we can see where it says we are to live in the world but are not of the world. we see where we are told to beware of adverse interactions with unbelievers [and those who bring bad influence] but we can also see Jesus Christ Himself associating with both unbelievers [many] and believers who have fallen astray [peter at times] and we learn so much about the Love of God!

now some may say that the early practice of shunning was put in to place to keep the early church in line. then some may say the practice morphed in to clerical control over the body of believers. yet others may contend that it a legalistic practice that should not be done at all...

me? well i didn't really have my mind made up until i came across [years ago] a passage tucked away in my favorite Book of the Bible [Job]

most of us know the story int he book of Job. An upright Godly man, who God allows satan to attack [side fact: there is NO evidence at the time of the initial attach that Job was being punished for some sin...quite to the contrary, it says Job was an 'upright' man. sometimes, bad things happen to good people]. Job had vast wealth [in livestock, property, prestige etc] and a large family. He lost EVERYTHING....he falls in to despair...his faith is challenged and his friendships are strained [side fact: it was the YOUNG friend who gave the good advice....with age CAN come wisdom....some wisdom though, comes straight from God. we should never dismiss someones words simply due to their age or experience ] in the end, Job learns a lesson, he has more restored to him then he lost...and we learn a LOT of valuable lessons! and here is one...tucked away towards the beginning of this great book. 

Job 6:14
To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friends. Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty' [NKJV]

read that closely a few let's break it down...

to him who is afflicted: pretty self evident. anyone who is having hard times, regardless of the cause[s]
 kindness should be shown by his friends: kindness -defined as- the act of being warmhearted, considerate, humane, sympathetic. to forgive! so who are our friends? those we associate with. those we like to be around. those we look to for help in hard times. [especially our local Christian's]

Even though: this fact, that kindness should be shown is NOT an IF/Then statement. it's NOT IF you do certain things THEN you get certain things. It is simply a fact....kindness should be shown by the friends of those who are afflicted!

forsakes the fear of the Almighty: essentially, one who abandons God. one who turns away. one who falls in to sin [not fearing ]
so we see from this little gem, that when someone in the body of believers makes a mistake. s/he should be forgiven. should be encouraged. taught the errs of their way. not with an intimidating strong arm. not by forcing them out of the church. but by loving them!
now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying there should be no punishment for sin. I'm not sayin' that if a pastor embezzles funds from building project that s/he should keep being the pastor. I'm just saying, that they shouldn't be driven out...they shouldn't be shunned.
that's my take....what's yours?
vaya con Dios!
definitions were taken from the top definitions on a google search for the definition of the word. most came from the Princeton university website [i think that's what it was lol]