Hate In the Name of God

December 18, 2012

Westboro Baptist Church.

Ring a few bells?
This is the  Kansas-based church group who gleefully picket soldier’s funerals and preaches absolute hate against homosexuals. It is a small congregation of only a few dozen led by a man named Fred Phelps.

Although I agree that homosexuality is condemned in the Bible, I have to question the excessively venomous attitudes the church teaches. Yes, the Bible says that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God — but did you know that they aren’t the only ones on that list? According to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, there are plenty of others who will not inherit the Kingdom of God:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Holman Christian Standard Bible
Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, 10 no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom.

Look at this list and think about the other things on it:
Sexually Immoral: Ever have a consensual sexual experience before marriage?
Idolators: Ever put God aside for other things? (Like, skipping church for a day at the beach, or a ball game, etc.)
Adulterers: Ever looked at someone else with lust? (real people, internet, magazines, etc.)
Thieves: Ever take something from your job, on purpose, that you didn’t pay for, such as paperclips or pens?
Greed: Ever hide something that you didn’t want to share? Ever take more than your fair share of anything?
Drunkards: Ever have a little too much to drink at a party?
Verbally Abusive: Ever let the bad words fly when you’re angry?
Swindlers: Ever flim-flam someone in order to get what you want?

Every single one of us is guilty of some of these things; and note that all of these things are on the same exact list as the homosexuality. Even though it’s only a paperclip, if you didn’t pay for it, you stole it. Even if it’s just a girlie picture hanging on your wall, if you fantasize about it you’re committing adultery. Even though you got angry in that fight, those abusive words still put you in that list.

You see, it isn’t only the homosexuals who are barred from the Kingdom of God…. it is ALL OF US. Not one single one of us stands clean in the sight of God, unless we have Jesus Christ to cleanse us of our sins. Not one person is any better than another. Sin is sin, and all deserve punishment from God.

And that is something that the Westboro Baptist Church is missing.

Oh, but there is more…..

It has come to my attention that this pseudo-Christian group is planning to bring their hate-picketing to the funerals of the little children who were slain by a deranged gunman last week.

Yes, you read that right.

It is their belief that the gunman was sent by God, and the slaying  of dozens of children was God’s way of punishing this country for its ongoing acceptance of homosexuality. They ignore the Scriptures that say children will not be punished for their parents’ sins (Ezekiel 18:17 ). They ignore the Scriptures that say bad things befall both the good and the bad (Ecclesiastes 9:11). And, as pointed out earlier in this post, they especially ignore the fact that ALL people can technically be barred from the Kingdom of God.

I can’t help but wonder how many of the members of the Westboro Baptist Church are guilty of some of the sins listed in the above Scripture. My guess is, all are guilty of some of them, because all of mankind can find themselves somewhere in that list. Funny how they won’t picket the fornicators, the idolators, or the thieves. Why should the homosexuals be the only target, when ALL sin damns ALL OF US?

Is there a sin we can commit that doesn’t result in death?
No. The type of sin doesn’t matter. And the Children should not be seen as the brunt of the punishment.

I suggest that we pray for the Westboro Baptist Church, that the members begin to recognize the unholy hate they are preaching. Pray that they begin to see the Love of Christ, and that they change their tactics from that of hate to that of showing Godly love to others. Not a one of us has the right to condemn another, that is God’s place to judge. Instead, it is our duty to help others see the truth in the Bible, the truth in God’s Love, and the truth about hate-ism.

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Mary, Did You Know?

December 16, 2012

Poignant Christmas video I must share, by CeeLo Greene:

Mary Did You Know….

The Star of Bethlehem

December 13, 2012

It’s that time of year when we start hearing debates centering around the Star of Bethlehem.
Was it real?
Was it only a myth?
If it were real, then how did it happen?

Recently, my church’s adult Sunday School tackled this topic using the research provided by Rick Larson. I believe the information is compelling and convincing, and so I am sharing it with all of you.

All information in this post is a quick re-cap based on research performed by Rick Larson.
More information on Larson’s research is at the end of this post.

Before we get into the science of the matter, let’s first review what the Bible account says about this Star:

Matthew 2:1-10, New King James Version:

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’” Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

First, we have the question: What was it about this Star that signified to the magi that a King of the Jews had been born?

To answer this, it is important to note that, in those ancient days, all heavenly bodies were viewable only by the naked eye because telescopes were not invented until 1600 years after Christ’s birth. This means that the ancients saw two kinds of stars in the sky: Fixed stars (which we now know are real stars), and wandering stars (which we now know are actually planets, whose positions change in the sky each night). From the vantage point of Earth, these planetary “wandering stars” are often observed making looped paths through the night sky through the course of each year. These magi were educated in the study of stars and understood the precision of the movements of these celestial objects.  So, at this point in time, what did they see?

Because the planets and stars all move in clockwork synchrony, it is possible for us today to know what the ancients saw at any given time. Rick Larson, the man who researched this Star, made use of  astronomy software, specifically “Starry Night“. There is also a similar program you can download for free, called Stellarium.  By adjusting the dates and coordinate features, this software can show you the exact positions of the celestial bodies, even from as long ago as Jesus Christ’s birth. This is what the ancients saw:

The “wandering star”, Jupiter, was known as a King star.   Thus, over a certain time period of time, the magi noticed the path of this wandering King star pass over Regulus, which was known as a fixed King star. The path of Jupiter seemed most unusual though: From the moving platform of Earth, the planet Jupiter appeared to loop back and forth over Regulus a few times, as though it were “crowning” Regulus (this movement would have happened over a period of weeks, not hours). From this, they deduced the announcement of a king.

Along with this phenomenon, that fixed King Star, Regulus, is one of the stars that makes the constellation of Leo, the lion. And, interestingly, the tribe of Judah (from which the word “Jew” originates) was often symbolized with a Lion (which is why Jesus Christ was called the Lion of Judah- Rev.5:5).  From this, the magi deduced the king was from among the Jews.

From the vantage point of Earth, as Jupiter continued it’s path across the night sky after “crowning” Regulus, the planet Venus — the “mother star” — seemed to catch up with Jupiter. The combined light from Jupiter and Venus added to each other, making them look like a very bright, single star in the sky to the naked eye. The magi deduced that the wandering King Star combined with the Mother Star signified the birth of said king. Ergo, they came to the understanding that a King of the Jews had just been born. Apparently this excited them enough that they decided to travel to Jerusalem — the royal city in Judah — to see this newborn king. It is thought that these Magi probably came from Babylon, meaning they had a journey of several hundred miles to undertake. Clearly, they were very intrigued by these heavenly signs.

After finishing with their visit with Herod, they continued to follow the “wandering star”, Jupiter, in hopes it would lead them to this newborn king they were seeking. According to Scripture, the Star appeared to stop over the place where Jesus was staying at the time. Notice that Scripture does not say the Christ child was still in a manger — at this point He was staying in a home. This signifies a certain passage of time since his birth — perhaps some months after the magi first recognized the signs in the sky, since it would take some time for the celestial bodies to complete these movements.

So now we have the big question: How did Jupiter actually STOP in the sky? Aren’t planets “wandering stars” that continually move? The thing is, when a planet is looking like it’s making a loop, it appears to be briefly stationary to the naked eye before it reverses position in the sky. It is this timing that made the Star appear to be stopped over the residence of the Christ child.

 

As I stated at the beginning of this post, this is only a quick review of the fascinating research done by Rick Larson.  I couldn’t go into the riveting details because the post would just simply be too long — there is MUCH more to this than what I’ve posted. I strongly recommend that you look at his presentation for yourself for it is scientifically sound and absolutely amazing. He released a DVD presentation of his work that, I believe, will convince you that this was no myth. For more information on obtaining his DVD click the following link:
http://www.bethlehemstarmovie.com/

May you have peace and blessings through this season of Advent, as we prepare to commemorate the first coming of Christ.

Thanksgiving

October 30, 2012

Here in the United States the fourth Thursday of November is celebrated as a national holiday known as Thanksgiving Day. The short history of the holiday: In 1621, the American colonists shared a large feast with the natives of the area — the Wampanoag Indians. It was an Autumn harvest celebration of a successful year of life and sustenance for the American colonists. For more than 200 years Thanksgiving was celebrated yearly on various dates throughout the country. In 1863 the president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, proclaimed the fourth Thursday of November as a nationally recognized holiday of Thanksgiving. From that point on, friends and families gather together on that date each year to celebrate the blessings and successes they’ve received over the previous year.

In honour of the upcoming Thanksgiving Day I’m sharing an acrostic poem written by my congregation’s pastor, James W. Kerr:

THANKSGIVING

The glory of the Lord Most High
Has pierced this pilgrim’s soul:
Above, His radiance fills the skies —
No eye, here, can behold.

Knowing, now, the veil of darkness
Sightless here, no heaven’s glow.
Groping on in faithful boldness
In Eden’s East we’re oft alone.

Voyager, return to heavens
Infinite: A joyous day
Now, although the road be darkened
Grace lights up this pilgrim’s way.

Rev. Dr. James W. Kerr

 

 

Cross vs. Crucifix

October 3, 2012

First things first:
A Cross is the representation of the structure upon which most Christians believe Jesus Christ was murdered.
A Crucifix, on the other hand, is a cross that includes a representation of Christ’s body still attached to it.

It has been my experience that Roman Catholic members tend to prefer the Crucifix, whereas Protestant members tend to prefer the Cross (full disclosure: I am in the “Protestant” group). Quite frequently, I hear Protestants reject the Crucifix because “That’s a dead Jesus, but my Jesus is alive!”

It always makes me cringe when I hear that.
First of all, it’s just a Crucifix, it isn’t a real Jesus on a real Cross — it’s only a representation of the enormous Sacrifice He made for us, and nothing more. Secondly, Jesus wasn’t raised from the Cross, He was actually raised from the grave…. three days later. This means that there was an empty Cross with a dead Jesus in the grave for three entire days before He was raised up again, ergo, a Cross can represent a dead Jesus just as much as a Crucifix can. In fact, since the whole purpose of the Cross was death, I’m not sure how it can be seen as anything other than a representation of a dead Jesus. If one wants to represent a living Jesus, one should have a depiction of an opened tomb instead. Therefore, both Crosses and Crucifixes actually represent a dead Jesus and not a living one; neither is all that different from the other.

This should not be offensive.
It’s a Scriptural fact: Jesus Christ was required to suffer death in order to give us Salvation, there was no other way. His death is something we should keep in mind because without that event we would be forever damned!  But does keeping mindful of a dead Jesus mean that we worship a dead Jesus?

Of course not!

To begin with, one should not be worshipping a Cross or Crucifix in the first place. The Bible is very clear that we shouldn’t worship sacred pillars, poles, idols, or any other physical object. To pray or bow to a Cross or Crucifix is worship, and that is not what a Christian is called to do. If you are doing these things, then you are worshipping a dead Jesus, whether you are Roman Catholic or Protestant. But merely having such an object simply for decoration to express your Christian viewpoint is not any act of worship at all. And, since it is not an act of worship, it shouldn’t be twisted to mean that you worship a dead Jesus just for the mere possession of such items. To put it another way, if you aren’t directing your worship to the Cross or Crucifix, then you aren’t worshipping a dead Jesus. Period.

Having such objects in your home shouldn’t be a bone of contention for others — having a simple reminder of what Jesus did for you is no different than having a photograph of a dead loved one in your home as a simple reminder of that person. Just as viewing the photograph of the loved one shouldn’t be misconstrued as worship of the dead person, likewise having a Cross or Crucifix shouldn’t be misconstrued as worship of a dead Jesus.

Let’s stop being judgmental of those who prefer a Crucifix over a Cross because the argument is really twisted.

Peace, and Amen.

It’s Very Simple

September 21, 2012

Christianity is complicated only because PEOPLE make it complicated.

Some denominations tell you that you must perform particular works in order to be saved. Or that you must believe in only their doctrine. Or that you must perform certain rituals (which aren’t actually commanded  in the Bible). Some cherry-pick Scriptures to construct a teaching that really isn’t in the Bible. Some claim to be speaking for God and/or Jesus and require you to follow their every word. And some are extremely legalistic; embracing rule-keeping over mercy at all costs (Luke 11:42). And many are a combination of these things.

How can you know which one really clings to the truth as set out in the Bible?

First of all, you must realize that, at this time, there is no “perfect” denomination. Human influence has its nasty little way of getting in between ourselves and God. This is a situation we have to put up with until Jesus Christ returns and sets things straight.  Does this make our situation hopeless?

NO.

It simply means that we need to make a diligent effort to test any doctrine we are taught and see how the teachings hold up against Scripture.

For example, the Bible states very clearly that we should never call anyone on Earth “Father” (Matthew 23:9 ). However, the Roman Catholic Church refers to their Pope as “Holy Father”.

Another example: Seventh Day Adventists teach that Jesus Christ is the Archangel Michael. They received this teaching from their founding prophetess, Ellen G. White, not from the Bible. Jehovah’s Witnesses also teach that Jesus Christ is the Archangel Michael, though in this case it’s a matter of cherry picking Scriptures to come to that conclusion. The article here explains how erroneous their cherry picking is.

In order to find truth in faith, it is vital that you read your Bible on a regular basis and become familiar with its message. Ignore the words of so-called prophets whose words cannot be solidly supported in Scripture. Do not succumb to teachings based on cherry picked Scriptures that the Bible does not clearly connect within Itself. And remember that true Christianity teaches mercy and love over rules and rigidity.

It is not wrong to scrutinize a group’s teachings as such scrutinization is the best way to avoid getting trapped in false doctrine. The Bible Itself teaches that testing the teachings is the right way to go (Holman Christian Standard Bible):

1 John 4:1
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Acts 17:11
The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

1 Timothy 4:1-2
Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.

Colossians 2:8
Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ.

2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new.

Galatians 1:8-9
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him!As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!

As mentioned earlier in this post, all religious groups today are burdened with the curse of human imperfection, but this shouldn’t stop us from finding as much Bible truth as is humanly possible. Real Christianity is not something you are taught from men, it is something that is taught to you through the Word of God — the Bible. Be sure that what men are teaching you are in direct harmony with Scripture, and be sure that you heed Scripture over the men when discrepencies occur. Be sure that the godly qualities of love, mercy, and forgiveness are promoted, and leave all judgmentalism to Christ instead of ourselves. True Christianity is not complicated, so don’t let other people make it so.

Peace, and Amen.

 

 

Blog Post I Just Have To Share

September 9, 2012

This is from the blog of Rebecca Hamilton, 16 year member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. You can read her blog postings here.

Here is her post:

I support traditional marriage. I have a public track record and the scars to prove it.

I voted to put an amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution on the ballot that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. I also authored and passed a resolution memorializing Congress to begin hearings on an amendment to the United States Constitution doing the same thing. That is as much as I can do to support traditional marriage from my elected position.

It’s not a complicated issue to me, and it has almost nothing to do with what marriage is not. It’s about what marriage is. What marriage is begins with the law. Marriage under the law is and should continue to be a union freely entered into by one man and one woman. But legal definitions are just the scaffolding we use to support the social structures of how we order our lives. The actual edifice, the reality of marriage as it is lived, is something much more complex and important than that legal definition can impart.

We focus our national attention on the definition of marriage under the law. We wear out our keyboards writing about it and revile one another over our positions on it. But despite the accusations and counter-accusations that season our debate, we ignore the home truths of marriage in this country today. The truth is, marriage has been a mess for quite some time. And homosexuals weren’t the ones who messed it up.

Homosexuals didn’t set off the epidemic of divorce in this country. Homosexuals didn’t create the millions of feral children who spend most of their time alone, raising themselves on video games, drugs and interactions with their peers. Homosexuals don’t cheat on our spouses. Homosexuals don’t break into our homes and yell and curse at our families. They aren’t the cause of the rising number of unwed births and the global pandemic of abortion. We did these things. Marriage is a mess and it was heterosexuals who messed it up.

We insist that the legal definition of marriage should be a union between one man and one woman. But we behave as if it says that marriage is a union between one man and one woman at a time.

I know that is tender for many people. I know that divorce cuts people in half and leaves them with broken hearts and shattered lives. I know that some marriages are so bitter, destructive and even violent that they have to end. I know that even if you want to hold the marriage together, sometimes your spouse won’t. I know all this, and it gives me pause writing about these things. I don’t want to pick at half-healed wounds and start them bleeding again.

But the truth is that serial monogamy is NOT monogamy. Serial marriage is not marriage between one man and one woman. And heterosexuals, especially Christian heterosexuals, have a responsibility before God to care for and raise their children, cherish their spouses and build enduring stable homes which can nurture a true family. Heterosexuals who have failed to do this are the root cause of most of the social problems we face today. They, not homosexuals, are the ones who have brought marriage to the sorry state it is in now.

I have a public track record of supporting traditional marriage. I’ve got the scars to prove it. But I think that supporting traditional marriage, especially traditional marriage in the Christian sense, means more than being against same-sex marriage. I think that as Christians we are required to look past what we’re against and find what we are for. It isn’t enough for Christians to be against same-sex marriage. It certainly isn’t enough to do as some have done and whip people up into a rage and then cash in on that rage to advance your political career. That is just cheap demagoguery.

Leadership, especially true Christian leadership, mandates that we don’t just get people worked up against something. We have to lead them forward to something. In the case of marriage, we should be for true Christian marriage and we should live that kind of marriage in our own lives. Christians must be FOR marriage as a loving, giving, living institution that cocoons young children in a world of stability, positive discipline and love so that they can grow up and create loving homes of their own.

The bond between husband and wife, as the Bible says, makes them “one flesh.” This doesn’t refer just, or even primarily, to the physical union of marriage. Sex, apart from this bond of love, is a physical act. But true marriage is a spiritual bond. The deep, life bond of trust and mutual dependence that is marriage nurtures everyone within its reach. Marriage creates not just family, but home. I  do not mean a building where you sleep. Christian marriage creates home that is a refuge from the coldness of modern life.

This isn’t a hypothetical for me. My home and my husband are the living sanctuaries of my life. I could not endure the pressures of being a Public Catholic and all the controversy and criticism that engenders if I wasn’t able to go to my house, shut the door, and be Home.

Marriage is the progenitor of life, family, emotional safety and abiding peace in this life. It is a sacrament, given by Our Lord, to enable us to walk through life together and not alone.

If we are going to “save marriage” in this country, we certainly do need to resist efforts to alter its legal definition. But we also need to begin living the sacramental love and fidelity of marriage with our spouses and within our homes. We need to do this because it is what God intended for us. Marriage is His blessing on our lives and through it we can become blessings to our whole society.

Jose Luis Miranda De Jesus — PROVEN TO BE A FALSE CHRIST

September 8, 2012

Back in June I wrote a blog post about Jose Luis Miranda De Jesus; a man with a worldwide following who believes his teaching that he is the Christ returned.  In the post I also mentioned that he claimed that, on June 30, 2012, he and his followers would be transformed, be given miraculous abilities, the global economy would collapse, and all governments would quit — meanwhile, , all unbelievers would be destroyed. You can see my original blog post here:

Because this guy really means nothing to me, I paid no more attention to this after I published the blog post.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was perusing through my past posts and realized that I never followed up on that post.

This is the follow-up.

Obviously, although I am not a believer of his teaching, and yet I have not been destroyed. Neither have you, nor your neighbor, nor your co-worker….
Obviously, nobody has been “transformed” or performed miraculous abilities within his following. Doing so would have certainly garnered the attention of the worldwide media.
Obviously, the global economy has not yet collapsed (though it is very shaky).
Obviously, the world governments have not yet quit or resigned.

In short, Jose is proven to be a liar and a false Christ who should be avoided like the plague.

In the face of this, does he still have followers remaining on a worldwide scale?

That’s a mystery to me. I decided to go directly to their website to see if there was a definite effect in the group.

The first thing I noticed was that, in the “Latest News” roster, the news jumped from June 23rd 2012 to July 14th 2012 — completely skipping the June 30th date by several days on either side. Next, I saw that their “Tracings” roster also skipped the June 30th date. Also, several of  the videos they had related to this “transformation” on June 30th are MIA, totally deleted from the site. In short, it seems they’ve removed all information that pointed to this false date as predicted by their false Christ. I also had a hard time trying to find ANY webpages or videos through Google search related to this failure that was dated after June 30th.

So, I wrote directly to the website, stating:

Greetings!

I am simply curious. It was projected that there would be a grand transformation, and that your followers would be endowed with special gifts and such, the world would end, etc. etc. on June 30th. Since that didn’t seem to happen, what is the explanation?

In Christ,
Tami Dickerson.

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago.
I have yet to receive an answer from them.

Go figure.

Jesus Didn’t Hate The Sinners

August 23, 2012

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, lived only a few short decades as a human among us.
And, even though He was the Son of God Himself, and even though He was sinless and perfect in every way, He still didn’t feel entitled to hate the sinners of this world. Instead of hating the sinners He showed mercy, peace, and love towards them: He forgave the adulteress who was facing the death penalty. He healed the crippled, even on the Sabbath. He taught that people should love each other in spite of their differences. He didn’t hesitate to reach out to those who were lost in their sins: He healed those possessed of demons, He forgave immoral women, He ate with tax collectors…  He even showed tolerance towards Judas, fully knowing he was going to betray Him.  Parallel to this, He did not tolerate arrogance, self-righteousness, or mercilessness. And He did not play favorites in any of these things.

Yeah, so?

So, we need to take a lesson from this:
Jesus Christ, who never sinned, did not hate the sinners.

We, as human beings, lose that lesson — instead, we tend to hate those who sin differently from ourselves.
We see people tolerating unmarried heterosexual couples living together while hating the gays who marry. We see people tolerating Atheism while hating the Muslims. We see people tolerating violent video games while hating drug addicts.

In reality,  there is no sin which doesn’t carry the death penalty.
The Bible doesn’t mince words: The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).  There are no exceptions and no loopholes: Sin = death. In other words, that unmarried couple is just as deserving of death as that married gay couple. The lover of violence is just as deserving of death as the drug addict. The drunken slob is just as deserving of death as the crooked politician.

And yet, Jesus Christ died for them (us!), so that we may not remain dead in our sins.

So, just as Jesus did not hate the sinners, neither should we. Instead, we should take a cue from Him and throw love at these people we don’t happen to like. My sin, your sin, her sin, and his sin may all be different sins, but we all remain in the same boat, and that boat is sinking without the love of Christ. If  He had hated the sinners, none of us would be Saved. Instead of hating on others, it’s better to do what you can to share the Love of Christ, so that they too may receive Salvation through Him.

 

Good Samaritans?

August 13, 2012

Yesterday at church the pastor read the Bible passage about the Good Samaritan.We all know the story: A man is robbed, beaten and left for dead. Two of his countrymen pass him by and don’t offer help, and then a Samaritan, a social outcast, came along and helped him at great financial expense.Nice, lovely story that everyone should take lessons from.

And it got me thinking: But how does this apply today? Nowadays, most of the “robbery” comes in the form of men with suits working in offices. And nowadays, nobody could care less if someone is from the geographical region of Samaria (Palestine).

So let’s update this:

You are driving your car through the Sonora desert and your car tire blows out. Your cell phone can’t get a signal, you have a spare tire but no tire iron, and you’re stuck on a hot road in the middle of the scorching day. You are in danger of heat exhaustion if you stay in it for too long, and you have nothing to drink. Your car prominently displays Christian-themed bumper stickers, so anyone can figure out where your views lie. And you see a car coming: Unbeknownst to you, the driver is the pastor of a large church who is on his way to speak at a Bible rally. He slows down as he approaches your vehicle, but since you currently appear to be okay he decides to continue on his way, after all, he is LATE for the rally.

About an hour later, another car approaches. This driver is also a fellow Christian, but he is also quite busy and can’t spare a few minutes to help you — he doesn’t even slow down, he just continues on as if you weren’t even there.

You are getting discouraged. And hot. And thirsty. And worried.

Another hour later, a third vehicle comes into view. This one contains two gay men who’ve just gotten married and they are traveling to their honeymoon destination in Mexico. They see you’re stuck, and stop to see if they can assist you. They clearly see your bumper sticker opposing gay marriage, and for a moment your heart sinks.
They probably hate you.

But no.
One offers you some water, the other starts changing your flat tire, and they stay with you until they are sure you’re going to be okay. You can’t possibly express enough gratitude for their help.

Or maybe it was a devoutly Muslim man who came to your assistance.
Or a Wiccan.
Or maybe even a prostitute and her pimp.

That’s what the Samaritan was to the man beaten and left for dead: A perceived unsavory element whom he wouldn’t be caught dead with — and yet that very person was saving his life.

And that’s the lesson Jesus was trying to convey: There is no excuse to put your self and your own views ahead of another’s well-being. We are all responsible for each other, regardless of lifestyle, religion, colour, nationality, or beliefs. We need to show love to everyone, not just the people we happen to like. That is what the true love of Christ is all about.

And that is the modern day lesson we can take from the Good Samaritan.


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