The Bible

I recently began reading a book on the New testament. It has, unfortunately, been a long time since I have tried to “study” The Bible. Since I studied it for years, and ministered with it for years, I had convinced myself that I pretty much knew anything I needed to know about The Bible. Looking at this book, however, has reminded me of how easy it is to assume that what we think we know about The Bible is correct, and that what we think (right or wrong) informs our daily lives and interactions.

We praise things in one decade we would never allow in another decade. We laud one political party in one area of our lives and denounce them years later. We either assume everyone thinks like us, or we revel that we’re the outlier.

The Bible, however, never changes. Our interpretation of it does, and that’s the danger. If we are not careful, we simply use The Bible to prop up something we already believe, rather than let it say what it says. We proudly brag about feeding the poor, but gripe about food stamps. We boast that we ought to heal the sick, but scream about health care entitlements. I get so weary of reading social networking post by those who agree with me theologically, but get smug, dismissive, and demeaning about helping their fellow man. Remember how the prayer begins–Our Father.

I’m not holding my breath, but someday, I’m going to meet someone like Jesus, a real Christian, and I just may not know how to react.

For a handy little booklet on prayer, go see:  http://www.therealprayer.com 

Published in: on October 23, 2013 at 9:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Prayer Banned at High School Graduation

Prayer has been banned at the graduation ceremonies of  a high school in Castroville, Texas by Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery. His ruling came in response to two parents who thought prayer at a school ceremony would cause their child “irreparable harm.”

It became illegal to say prayer, pray, invocation, amen, or anything other words and phrases associated with Christianity. Talk about stepping on someone’s rights!

So we spend a full semester teaching them about freedom of speech, freedom of religion (not freedom from religion,) constitutional rights, etc., then take away these rights through the smoke screen of a misappropriated civil liberties argument. It’s kind of like the way we teach them basic science and the scientific method, then flush it all down the drain by telling them life spontaneously generated and developed through evolution in some magical way we can’t really explain.

I like to quote the words of song writer and producer Steve Taylor in his song Lead the Way, “The more I chew the less I swallow.”  Great line.

Later, more rational folk lifted the ban and the school’s valedictorian can at least say “amen.” See the article at http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/06/03/texas-senator-blasts-judges-decision-to-forbid-public-prayer-at-high-school/?test=latestnews 

And though I’m happy at the students’ restored rights to open or close their ceremony with prayer (or not to –if it is their collective choice) it saddens me that the argument ever lifted it’s head to begin with.

Pray everyday.

Go see: www.therealprayer.com

Mojave Cross Stolen

In the Mojave Desert, there is a homemade cross that has been there for years. The cross was raised by the VFW as a memorial over 70 years ago. It probably stood unnoticed until a few years ago when someone asked to put up a Buddhist shrine as well. The park service refused and a flurry of trouble ensued. The cross’ presence came under fire as a violation of separation of church and state. The VFW placed the cross there as a tribute to the sacrifices of the fallen, but after so many years, the original purpose was forgotten and the cross’s traditional status as Christianity symbol took precedence.

Recently, a lower court ordered the cross taken down. The Supreme Court, however, stepped in and stated that the lower court had not done it’s homework and that the cross should stay.

Today that point is moot as someone has stolen the cross.

Even though I am fairly conservative, I believe in the separation of church and state. The government has no business telling me what, how, or even IF I should worship or practice my religion. What we must not lose sight of is what one of the justices wrote:

“A cross by the side of a public highway marking, for instance, the place where a state trooper perished, need not be taken as a statement of governmental support for sectarian beliefs.”  (Anthony Kennedy)

And I might add that it in no way intimates the state trooper was a Christian. Even though I understand,  I think that non-believers have become too knee-jerk and reactionary to these ubiquitous symbols. My personal desire is to see a return to the idea of what the old-schoolers called “personal piety.” I can pray, believe, worship, –whatever and however I wish. And I don’t have to advertise it.

For an easy to use workbook on prayer, go to:

www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on May 11, 2010 at 2:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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