Posts Tagged ‘hypocrites’

Throwing Stones

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

three_throwing_stones01I was talking to a friend last week whom I had not seen in a long time. In the conversation he made the comment that things are not like they were when we were growing up. He said back then it seemed that we were all pretty much on the same page in the USA. At least when we disagreed it was an honorable disagreement rather that the vitriol and outright hate that many Americans seem to have for each other today. There is no doubt in my mind that we are now living in an “US v THEM” culture.   Perhaps it is because almost by default human beings tend to “need” a whipping boy in order to feel better about themselves. As an outgrowth of that kind of screwed up thinking we have come to a point where most of the church regularly accepts certain sinners as being part of US and puts others over in the THEM pot. The truth is that according to Jesus’ own teaching many of the folks, both in the pews and up on the platform on any given Sunday, are openly living a life that Jesus himself called adultery. With few exceptions that is fine with the church folks.

One of the biggest televangelists, John Hagee, who quite often preaches messages that seem to me to be of outright hate at homosexuals, liberals, Catholics and some others is himself openly living in adultery after leaving his wife and young children many years back to shack up with his church secretary. When caught he admitted his affair, resigned his job, divorced his wife and kids, married his adulteress, opened a new church which has in fact grown into a megachurch. His son conceived in adultery occupies a seat on the platform each Sunday, whereas his children from his first marriage are nowhere to be seen.  I find it interesting that the Old Testament calls for the same punishment for adultery as it did for a man “lying with a man”.  It is human nature to throw the stones at folks who are not like us. I find that very sad. Jesus had a word which itself is a very serious sin that he spent a lot of his very limited time on earth preaching against. Here is a suggestion grab your Bibles and see how many times he singles out “hypocrites” as the worse of the bunch.

Something to Think About

Weird

Friday, February 6th, 2015

057199205_Super_Babies_xlargeLike the picture I am a bit weird and a study in contrasts. I much prefer chicken over beef but enjoy them both. I own two guns but think guns almost everywhere is a terrible idea. As far as I’m concerned, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush are both good men, but possibly the two worse presidents in my lifetime. I believe that global warming is a reality but I’m not sure about the cause or the solution. I believe that President Obama means well but is a highly ineffective leader. I believe that I can and should eat healthy  but sometimes I do not. I am a season ticket holder for the Titans, but have not been to a game in years. I agree with the verdicts in the Vandy Rape trial, but am heartbroken not only for the victim, but the rapists too. I do not like paying taxes but do not want to do away with them. I follow both Tennessee and Vanderbilt but sometimes I like it when Vandy loses.

I have always considered myself “Pro Life” but I’m not sure any longer what the term means. For me it means exactly what it says. “Pro-Life” is much more that than being anti-abortion, which I am 99% of the time. The way I see it “Pro-Life” means protecting life both inside the womb and outside. I believe that to figure out what “Pro-Life” means, all I have to do is look at the message of my Savior Jesus Christ. I think it is time for some of us with “Pro-Life” stickers on our cars to get a big, black Sharpie and insert the word “some” over the hyphen in the term. To deny health care to “the least of these” in our state is not Pro-Life any way political hacks try to spin it.  To me it seems a really weird thing to do. Pro-Life is not a bumper sticker; it is a lifestyle.  Most of the time I am happy; today I’m sad.

Something to Think About

High “F”

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Over breakfast a friend and I were talking about a certain individual whom I am somewhat ambivalent.  Suddenly my friend said he “despised” the person.  He said it with such vigor and anger that I was shocked, surprised and a bit taken aback. I equate “despise” to the word hate. I cannot think of anyone whom I feel that way about. However, shortly before my self righteousness took over my being, God brought to mind someone I did despise for many years of my life. Any way we try to spin it “despise” is always the antithesis of the Jesus’ command to love.

Perhaps this has happened to you: You mention to some friends that you have forgiven and are now praying for somebody who hurt you and someone in the conversation says, “I’m sorry but I can’t bring myself to do that”. That is code for I refuse to forgive or pray for them regardless of what God wants me to do.

It is only when we finally cut off the remaining tentacles of our self will and replace them with a complete commitment to the Christ of Christmas will we finally be on the long and winding road to Jesus truly becoming the Lord of our lives. Anything short of that gets us a grade of “F”. Oh, perhaps it is a high “F” but it is still failing.

Something to think about

Samantha

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Like so many others over the last twenty or so years, the phone call came out of the blue. It was a desperate cry for help — a matter of life and death. The call was from my friend Tim who is 6’3”, strong as an ox with a heart to match. Tim’s call was to request prayer for his beautiful four year old, Samantha, who was critically ill and facing emergency surgery within the hour.  Her infection was spreading so rapidly that the doctors were afraid that she might not survive the surgery; however, without it she would surely die. I felt both Tim’s frantic fear and boundless love for Samantha as he described the situation with a voice cracking with emotion. I promised I would pray for Samantha; I did as soon as I hung up the phone. For some reason I felt like things would go well.

Reflecting on the call I realized that only a man of great faith and dependence on God was likely to make that kind of request. It suddenly dawned on me that, during the call, not only did I sense Tim’s pain and fear but I felt his enormous faith. The call itself was God honoring and humbling for me. Later in the day I thankfully learned that the surgery was successful and that Samantha would be OK.

Were prayers responsible for Samantha’s recovery?  I’m not in a position to say.  Will it change this story to tell you that Samantha is a Miniature Schnauzer and not a little girl?  I hope not because the Bible says that doesn’t change things with God.

Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. 

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Blind

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

A while back a man died in a tragic accident. His death was well publicized and many people who knew him came forward to tell of how he had enriched their lives. I did not know him well, but I had been around him enough to come to the conclusion that he was the real deal. He was not a fake or put on, but rather a man with an unabashed love for Jesus Christ. He would tell anyone who would listen about Jesus in a style that was uniquely his. God gave him that gift! Yet, like the rest of us, he was far from perfect. He realized that Paul’s words in Romans 3 about all of mankind being together in the “sin boat” certainly included him. Unlike some, he never claimed otherwise. Sadly, there are twenty-first century Pharisees, blind to the log in their own eyes, who have arrogantly decided to pass judgment on this man’s very soul. In direct contrast to the Savior whom they claim as Lord, but obviously do not actually follow, they proudly cast the first stones. How shameful! One day in senior religion class at Father Ryan High School, the subject was who gets into heaven and who does not. After nearly fifty minutes of discussion, Father Alan Cunningham left us with this thought. “When we get to heaven we are going to be surprised at whom else is there and who isn’t”. Jesus referred to the Pharisees of his day as the worse kind of hypocrites. Some things never change.

Something to think about