Miscellaneous Thoughts in Trying Times

I have been way too busy to be writing a lot.  Still WAY too much stuff to do…  But hey – it can all wait for tomorrow!  

FINANCIAL TURMOIL:  So we finally get to get a sense about how fragile the house of cards is that we are building!  Blame it on the bankers.  Blame it on the government.  But don’t forget the blame that goes to all those who decided they just HAD to have that grand castle of a house without the means of paying for it.  Yes, there are some who are hurting through no fault of their own, but what a bunch of irresponsible whiners others of us are!

ELECTION:  My only fear is not so much that Barak Obama will be defeated November 4th, but that he will be defeated for wrong reason:  his race.  I am interested to see how America votes and will be very pleased if he DOES get elected (not, by the way, because I will necessarily vote for him!)  I am just suspicious that all those folks who SAY they are going to vote for him in public will end up (in the cloister of the ballot box) following that evil racist instinct we all have – and vote for McCain because he is white.  If so, it will be a cheap and illegitimate victory for McCain.

THE CATHOLIC LETTER ABOUT ABORTION AND CHRISTIAN DUTY TO VOTE AGAINST IT.  Actually I have not read the whole letter that was published by our local Catholic Bishop, but only read many of the articles and letters in the paper concerning it.  The basic reasoning that is laid out is that the sin of abortion trumps other (sin-clouded) issues such as the question of whether the war was just or what is the best way to deal with poverty, medical insurance or the economy.  Does this stance have any validity?  Would we in the Lutheran Church have any such similar train of thought and practice?  And then would we be so brazen as to suggest that political leaders should not present themselves at our altar if they publicly and actively support abortion rights?   And the most humble answer to these questions?  YES!  (However we would have a differently nuanced approached to how we deal with the issues at hand.) 

Attending questions:  Does the church deal differently with political figures than with “regular” members who might vote “for” abortion?  What about political figures who are “members” of churches who go on at the mouth about how they are “good Catholics” – but then are thoroughly convinced they can speak (often falsely) about what a “good Catholic” believes?  Is Holy Communion and church membership a right or a privilege?  

SARAH PALIN, THE WAR, AND THE WILL OF GOD:  Much ado has been made of an old video of Governor Palin commenting that her prayer was that the war was the will of God.  For some people this was a sign that the lines between the state and religion were too blurred and that we certainly don’t need a religious nut in the vice presidency.  But when all the dust settles, I wonder what citizen would not want their leader to be understanding that there is a God that they are accountable to and that has a path for them to follow for the good of all mankind?  Sure, this prayer can be abused, no doubt.  But I would want to have a president who has this kind of prayer on his/her lips every minute of every day than any other.

AND ON THE ASSEMBLY OF GOD CHURCH, OF WHICH MRS. PALIN IS (WAS?) A MEMBER OF….  My two oldest daughters just came back from the Friday night Youth Night at the Greenridge Assembly of God.  They were rather… how shall I put it… WILD with excitement!  And so the question is:  how come our church can’t be like that?  How come it has to be so BORING?  Actually my girls are so great and they aren’t even as hard on me as they could/should be.  But it DOES beg the question:  What is WRONG with this sort of wild party like atmosphere that they create at the Assembly of God church?  What WOULD Jesus really think of it?  WOULD Jesus have anything to say on the subject if we could ask him?  The problem for us is that there just isn’t much in Scriptures at ALL (specifically) to make a judgement on it. So, IS there something wrong with it?  Well, the simple answer is no!  There is nothing we can point to in scripture to say “this is wrong.”  There is every evidence that the Lord would have us be happy and have a good time.  But, as much as I would secretly (and sinfully) lust over throngs of kids crashing the church doors every Friday night, I am just NOT very convinced that these kinds of activities are the actual foundation on which to build the Christian life.  The hormonal, loud thumping, thrill a minute kinds of enticements are fine for what they are, but in the long run, unless there is ALSO the solid, profound, sober discipline and nurture, our children will not very often be better off because of it.  All I see around in our youth is the addictions of the thrill.  I am not sure that imbibing in the thrill is what is going to edify our faith when our lives hit the fan.  But that doesn’t excuse “boring” worship -and I know I am probably the worst offender of the sin of leading boring worship services.  We need the solid food of God’s Word, His Uplifting Promises, true measured thought, repentance and forgiveness of sin – ALL WRAPPED UP IN A BEAUTIFUL AND ENGAGING WORSHIP!   May the Lord help me!  

But, you know… it helps if the congregation sings, participates, and is eager to worship!  PLEASE HELP ME!  SING!  LAUGH!  Every Sunday is THE DAY OF THE LORD!  PRAISE THE LORD, INDEED! AMEN! ALLELUIA!

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3 thoughts on “Miscellaneous Thoughts in Trying Times

  1. I have to agree somewhat on the financial responsibility of people who had to have more than they can afford, however, I also have to shine some light on those “sales” people who desperately convinced people they deserved a piece of the “American Pie”. “Don’t worry” they told everyone “this is an investment in your future. In a couple of years you refinance and then you can afford the house that was so expensive for the past couple of years”. All lies to convince people to live way above their means because they deserve the best. Yes everyone needs to take responsibility but their has to be better and more responsible creditors who will not give loans to those individuals who can not afford it. leaving it to the middle class taxes to bail everyone out. The term government bail out has to be paid by someone and it will by all of us.

    As for the election, I vote my values not who is the most popular or who will make better history. Who would be the better president? For this election that is very difficult to decide. But I know where my value and my conscience lie and that is where I have to vote.

  2. Oh yeah! No DOUBT about the bankers. LOTS of blame to go around! But it is easy to blame others! It is much harder to take responsibility for one’s own actions.

  3. Thing is, we’ll never know if EITHER candidate was elected due to his race! Let’s face it, folks: the POTUS as “National Review” usually calls that person (President of the US, for those who need a little memory-jog ) doesn’t have NEAR as much actual power as the columnists/gossip-mongers and we, the general public think he/she does!

    Re: AG Youth Night or any OTHER WILDLY EXCITING worship they might have…I say GO FOR IT! Right on, Pastor Kris – we could USE a little more “lively” in our services, which has little to do with your sermons. Your sermons are never dull, but WE are! Might I respectfully submit that the CHORUS or CHOIR or SINGERS or MUSICIANS were the FIRST IN THE LINE OF BATTLE in Old Testament times? Imagine what that would be like in Iraq or Afghanistan! Not gonna happen. But in CHURCH? Why not? WHY can’t we be riotously celebrating God’s victories in our lives? WHY shouldn’t we jump for joy at the sound of Jesus’ name? WHY shouldn’t we continue to give the Trinity our very best musically? Bach “didn’t write no junk” for Jesus! Different style, just as riotous and loud, in many cases….and Handel’s “Messiah” is nothing if not LOUD, and CERTAINLY JOYOUS!

    So, lighten up, Lutherans! Let’s give God all the glory and praise we can, not just on Sundays (which would be awesome) but EVERY day! GO, AG church! Go, Pentecostals! Let’s send those praises and thankyous up and out to our God EVERY time we think of it!

    Hey – smiling is allowed in God’s presence! If He’s big enough to withstand our anger when things don’t go our way, then He’s SURE big enough to withstand some shouts of joy and songs of praise!

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