Reblog: Question: So About Abortion — I Am Pro-People | The Way Everlasting

I can safely tell you one thing: no one in the history of anywhere ever has thought, When I grow up, I would really really like to have an abortion.

Read the whole post: Question: So About Abortion — I Am Pro-People | The Way Everlasting.

Blaze

If we as Christians would complain about the mounting evil and growing spiritual darkness in our country…we should ask ourselves the question: where is the light? {Source}

Election day

Tomorrow is election day in the United States. What goes on there has a huge impact on the rest of the world, so let’s spare the country, its citizens and the presidential candidates a thought and prayer as Americans cast their votes.

A few weeks ago Carlos Whittaker at Ragamuffin Soul suggested people pray for the candidates. On the eve of the election, let’s take up that prayer again. Let’s pray

  1. That both leaders grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and submit to Him and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
  2. For their marriages, their spouses and their children.
  3. For the people around them, that they too will submit to the working of the Holy Spirit.
  4. That we will be humble and generous enough to bless both candidates, and to continue that blessing when the elections are over.

– – – – –

Here are {one}{two} prayers to pray for your own country.

Reblog: Conservative vs. Liberal Christianity: Which is Better? – John Shore Christian Blog

I know a lot of Christians, and they’re split pretty evenly between conservative and liberal.

I like the conservative Christians, mainly because they’re so clear about what they believe. They know what the Bible says; they know who they are; they know what they’re doing in life; boom—they’re solid. The whole “backbone of America” thing is no joke; the strongest trees, after all, have the deepest roots. Not a lot of wafflers in the conservative camp. Plus, they’re super dedicated. Conservative Christians don’t wonder if they’re in the mood; they go to church. They go to Bible study. They show up for the church functions. They actually do stuff. Conservative Christians also tend to be, in practice, extremely loving. Liberal Christians think conservative Christians are harshly judgmental, and sort of fundamentally (ha, ha) hardhearted. They think that if, in the middle of the night, a clearly gay guy showed up at the home of a Christian conservative in need of help, he’d summarily get a door slammed in his face. But he wouldn’t. All the conservative Christians I’ve ever known are serious about putting God’s love into practice. The fact that they’re so sure of what they believe makes them more open to new thoughts, ideas, and experiences. If you’re sure of who you are, you’re a lot more open to discovering who others are. When things get rough, it’s good to know a conservative.

On the other hand, conservative Christians can be too sure they’re right about everything. It’s too easy, when you’re a conservative, to boil down what you believe into a really simple set of assertions, and to then never again question or allow those assertions to evolve (har, har). Then it just becomes about rules; then it’s too easy to make everything about who is and isn’t on the right side of right. When it comes to something as complex as God and history, it’s too easy for “keeping it simple” to become “keeping it stupid”—which too easily becomes “keeping it mean-spirited.” Conservatives have a troubling propensity for closing their minds.

I like liberal Christians because they’re so generous with their love and respect. They’re seriously focused on God’s love, and they’re not afraid to insist that anything that hinders that love must be suspect. They love Jesus; Jesus preached love; they’re all about loving as Jesus did, period. Also, I like the way liberal Christians are so thoughtful. They listen. They reflect. They refine. They search. They question. They study. They understand that part of their job as Christians is to actively try to access the mind and heart of God, and they’re disinclined to let anything interfere with that goal. They’re not afraid to get inspired. They live with the confidence that God will never fault them for loving too much.

On the other hand, liberal Christians can waffle like IHOP on a Sunday morning. They too often fall prey to thinking that the emotions of their loving feelings is really all they need to guide them, with the result that they never feel a need to be clear on what they actually believe at all. Maybe Jesus was mainly a social activist. Maybe the cross is a metaphor. Maybe Jesus walking on water was an optical illusion. And so on, until they may as well be astrologers. Yet for all their comfortable ambiguity, liberal Christians can also be altogether too smug, too sure, too condescending toward those who take the Gospel as gospel. They tend to think they’re smarter than they are. In the main, the problem with liberal Christians is that they can stay so busy remaining lofty and above it all that their rubber never hits the road. Many of them are better with compassion as a theory than a practice.

In the end, who cares? Everything’s got its positive and negative aspects. All that matters, spiritually, is that each of us finds the place on the liberal-conservative spectrum where we’re most comfortable. Each of us has to carve for ourselves our own niche, the one that’s perfectly suited to us.

And from there all we have to do is live, love, pay attention, listen to God, and let him pull us ever closer to his divine and glorious reality.

Here’s to the idea that we’ll all eventually end up in exactly the same place.

FROM: Conservative vs. Liberal Christianity: Which is Better? – John Shore Christian Blog.

Christianity: madness

The cover of Newsweek caught my eye. Pretty hard not to. Hipster Jesus — some didn’t like it. But like the New Statesman cover, it grabbed my attention because it takes Jesus out of Palestine circa 2000 years ago, and puts Him right smack in 2012. Christianity as a religion is in decline because people are mistaking the church for Jesus, Who is ominously missing from His own Body. But there is more to religion than the church, with all its victories and failings. There’s Jesus.

While I don’t agree with everything Andrew Sullivan says, I did like this:

To reduce one’s life to essentials, to ask merely for daily bread, forgiveness of others, and denial of self is, in many ways, a form of madness. It is also a form of liberation.

Also this, which connects to my previous post:

There are times when great injustices—slavery, imperialism, totalitarianism, segregation—require spiritual mobilization and public witness. But from Gandhi to King, the greatest examples of these movements renounce power as well. They embrace nonviolence as a moral example, and that paradox changes the world more than politics or violence ever can or will.

And this:

I have no concrete idea how Christianity will wrestle free of its current crisis, of its distractions and temptations, and above all its enmeshment with the things of this world. But I do know it won’t happen by even more furious denunciations of others, by focusing on politics rather than prayer, by concerning ourselves with the sex lives and heretical thoughts of others rather than with the constant struggle to liberate ourselves from what keeps us from God. What Jefferson saw in Jesus of Nazareth was utterly compatible with reason and with the future; what Saint Francis trusted in was the simple, terrifying love of God for Creation itself. That never ends.

This Christianity comes not from the head or the gut, but from the soul. It is as meek as it is quietly liberating. It does not seize the moment; it lets it be. It doesn’t seek worldly recognition, or success, and it flees from power and wealth. It is the religion of unachievement. And it is not afraid. In the anxious, crammed lives of our modern twittering souls, in the materialist obsessions we cling to for security in recession, in a world where sectarian extremism threatens to unleash mass destruction, this sheer Christianity, seeking truth without the expectation of resolution, simply living each day doing what we can to fulfill God’s will, is more vital than ever. It may, in fact, be the only spiritual transformation that can in the end transcend the nagging emptiness of our late-capitalist lives, or the cult of distracting contemporaneity, or the threat of apocalyptic war where Jesus once walked. (Emphasis mine.)

I’m not saying we should abandon the church, but we shouldn’t follow it instead of Jesus.

“…anyone who holds onto his life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” (John 12:25)

Blessed, recklessly loving Easter, everybody :)

The road less unblessed

Now I’ve heard it all! Frustrated by the fact that religious leaders blessed a portion of highway in Florida, a group of atheists decided to “unbless” the road. Armed with scrubbers and a large container of “unholy” water, the group sought to wash away the work done by the Polk County organization known as Polk Under Prayer.

According to a story by Bay News 9, “Representatives from various atheist groups in the area scrubbed the road at the Pasco-Polk county line. They were figuratively removing holy oil that had been put on the road last year by a group of area religious leaders.”

(Via here.)

Apparently they were protesting state/church involvement, which is their full right to do, but one wonders what they gain from po(l)king fun at something meant to benefit all local residents, regardless of their religious or unreligious affiliation…besides massive Internet traffic, and being labelled harbingers of the end times.