Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sexual Revolution

Can anyone tell me who won the sexual revolution? And what exactly were the "spoils" of this victory?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

How Long....?

Monday marks the 34th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion in this country. Since that time an estimated 40 million plus babies have been murdered within the wombs of their mothers. While at times I attempt to take a meditative perspective on my topic, this time I am simply going to speak from the passion of my heart.

To abort means to bring to a sudden halt a process that has already begun. This is what it means to abort a mission, or a project. To have an abortion is to bring to a sudden halt the process of LIFE. It is no less than another human being who is being snuffed out, largely for the sake of convenience.

I am certain that were an army of barbarians to descend on a nursery, or a whole state of nurseries, and mercilessly slaughter every child within, there would be a national outrage. Well, we are the barbarians and we are slaughtering children every moment. Where is the outrage???

I get so sick of the politically correct newspeak which calls the baby a fetus, an abortion a choice, and sexual immorality freedom. Enough!!! This is truly madness. Our society is in complete meltdown before our eyes. We're more concerned about whales and trees than about our own flesh and blood. How did we ever get so warped?

What of those suffering from the effects of abortion? They are victims too. Women (and men) without number are suffering in agonizing silence over abortions they had long ago. No one talks about such things. Any woman who has felt the first stirrings of life within her knows innately what is taking place in an abortion. A part of her dies with that child. Many men are also victims. On the outside they have to appear cavalier as if they don't care. But they do. They really do!!!

Many think that the answer to rape or incest is to violate the poor girl again to suck the innocent child out of her. We are compounding the problem, not solving it.

I could go on. You get the drift. But when will it stop. When will America wake up? Will it be when the economy finally goes into a complete tailspin due to lack of young people to support the increasing rolls of retirees? Is it when we can no longer put a band aid on public education because there are not enough students enrolling in our colleges to maintain enrollment? Is it when all the flaming liberals of the baby boomer generation finally see that the fruit of their selfish decisions will be to die lonely deaths without the children to care for them because they were aborted? Really, when does it end? When do we wake up? When does the madness cease?

I have no confidence in politics or public opinion polls. Those people all suffer from the same malady that got us here: extreme selfishness! We put the Republicans in office on the assumption that they really gave a rip about life issues and what did they do? Not a lot! And not nearly enough! Now with the liberals poised to take control, do we think it will be any better?

As always our only hope is in God. The only problem is that God has committed Himself to allowing us to make our own choices. However, He is equally committed to allowing us to suffer the consequences of those decisions. Jesus said that those who live by the sword will die by the sword. If we have been merciless to the helpless and innocent we cannot expect mercy from God. The society that chooses the culture of death will simply die.

God is merciful, and He will receive our repentance. But apart from that, there will truly be hell to pay!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Blessed Are The Poor

Today is the feast day of St. Anthony.

St. Anthony is called the father of monasticism. He was probably not the first monk, but he was the first to bring it more to the forefront of the Church. St. Anthony heard Jesus calling when he heard the Gospel reading from Matthew which says, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you wil have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me," (Mt. 19:21). This same passage formed the call for St. Francis of Assisi. It seems many of the saints throughout the ages have felt the same call- this tugging towards gospel poverty.

What is gospel poverty? It is to live by only what is truly necessary in life. In some cases, some of the saints have even chosen to forego that and lived truly impoverished lives. What's more, they were truly happy to do so.

I, like many Americans, have a lot of stuff. I do not live an affluent life according to American standards. But I am sure that by the rest of the world's reckoning I am a rich man. And like the man in the story, I find it difficult to part with my things in order to follow Jesus. But it's bugging me. I am sure the Lord must be speaking to my heart too.

So I don't know how I will live out this ideal. I am not in a position to simply abandon all worldly goods, quit my job, and live by faith alone. That would not be responsible, nor do I believe it would bring glory to God. But I know I can get a lot closer to this ideal than I am currently. That's the problem.

While I haven't yet worked out the specifics, I do know that this is a path I must walk. What's more, I really want to walk it. I know that true joy and peace are found on this road. Gospel poverty brings with it gospel simplicity. Oh, how I long for such blessed simplicity!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Little Help Please

It happened again today!

I work in a retail establishment. I do my best to be fair and honest with my customers while fulfilling the goals and so forth that make my employers happy. In the course of it all, I have heard this phrase, or something close to it, many times... and it is occuring with increasing frequency. People will ask, "If you don't mind....", or "Can I ask a favor....?", or "If it isn't too much trouble..." But this is my job. This is what I'm here for. Why do people seem to think they're putting me out just for doing what I'm getting paid for?

I've asked about this. People assure me that it is very difficult to get help in many stores these days. I'm afraid I must concur. It isn't always that way, but I've had my share of exprience with it as well on the customer side.

A smile, a cheerful greeting, focused attention, honest effort at helping the customer- are these all out of vogue now? I certainly hope not. I don't believe it is true. But to hear some customers you would think it is.

Now I have also had my share of customers who have the misguided notion that slavery has not been repealed and that I am one of theirs simply because I wear a name badge. That's wrong as well.

As Christians, we have the obligation of looking at everyone else around us as if they were Jesus. We need to serve them as we would Him. It is only by showing such love to people around us that we can truly demonstrate our love for God. As John says, we cannot love God whom we have not seen if we cannot love our brothers whom we have seen. Mother Teresa looked on the poorest of the poor as Jesus Himself and she treated them that way. None of us will become Mother Teresas until we can treat the common people around us in this way.

If you're reading this post and you work in the public, let me encourage you to take this to heart. You may already know it, and you may succeed in this endeavor much better than I do. But if we will all commit to it then I believe there will be a lot less people going without the help they've come to find.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Gospel Simplicity

Here's an odd question: what kind of Christian would Jesus be? Sounds strange, doesn't it. But let's face it, Christians come in all shapes and sizes. There are the intellectuals, those into pop culture, mission oriented, Bible thumper (bashers, whatever adjective you like), praise and worshipers, etc. You get the point. So what kind of Christian would Jesus be? Well, I can't answer that question entirely. However, judging from what we know of Him I feel confident that Jesus would be a simple Christian, or to put it another way, simply, a Christian.

It occurs to me as I am thinking about it that supreme intellect is not required to become a Christian. One does not even need to know how to read. Furthermore, one does not need to understand the complexities of politics, history, or culture. One need not be a theologian, an ethicist, or a philosopher. One just needs to love God and obey Him. Really, that's all there is to it.

Isn't that what Jesus was continually getting at in His teaching? He was compelling us to a genuine relationship of the heart. This did not need to involve rules or rituals. It did not require forms and ceremonies. It simply was about loving God.

Now I can hear the critics screaming- "You've oversimplified it. It really isn't that easy." Then why did Jesus say that even children could do it? In fact, why does He compel us to become like little children if we're really going to enter the kingdom of heaven?

The more I ponder this idea, the more I'm sure it must be true. I must confess, I am not such a person. I get real heady about it all. I try to be an intellectual, a philosopher, or a theologian, but I'm really not that smart. Still, my approach to faith is very abstract and cerebral. Facing the Jesus that I have just described is really intimidating. For it means that I have not yet begun the journey down the road that I thought I had all but mastered. But I will also confess that it is a welcome relief to find it so. And so I am off to simply follow Jesus down this wonderful road of Gospel simplicity.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year

Hello friends!

Sorry to have been away so long. Life happens, and continues to happen. I am entering new fields of study. I am exploring new possiblities of vocation. Meanwhile I continue to do my best to be a good husband and father, all the while endeavoring to draw nearer to my Lord.

Like most, I have been typically prone to resolutions at this time of year. But this year I have not been. I know my frailties well enough to know that such things would be only setting me up for failure. Instead, I simply renew the same resolve that I begin each day with- to do my best to live like my Lord calls me to live. Where I fail, I fall into His hands of mercy and trust in His everlasting Grace. Where I succeed, I ask for His Grace to keep me humble and to remind me that I really have no strength but His.

As another year dawns, I look around me at a world that appears to be increasingly spinning out of control. I want to help. But I am not at a place yet where I can. I am not wise enough, or strong enough, or rich enough, or popular enough, or anthing else. I have no more solutions than many others that are better than me who are trying their best. Yet I know that our Lord Jesus Christ has the answer, and is Himself THE answer.

It is my hope and prayer that in this new year, the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ will continue to grow in Grace and wisdom, in purity and power. Furthermore it is my earnest hope that many in this world will finally turn to Him who is the fulfillment of all our hopes and dreams, our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and the eternal Prince of Peace. Join with me in echoing the words our Lord taught us to pray in this endeavor as we plead with Him- "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Amen!