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Monday, January 24, 2011
Either this week or last week was Sanctity of Life week and my attention has been brought upon the horrors of abortion. I don't even know where to start to try and make a difference, so I'll just share with you what I wrote in my journal earlier today:
"Today I am thinking of the 1.5 million babies who will be killed this year and the 50 million that have been aborted since 1973. My heart is devastated. What evil our age knows! We are the most savage of men in all of history! We mask our evil and wickedness as 'progress'! We will do anything and everything for that ever lurking 'god' who we worship; the only measure of right and wrong; the foulest idol of god that ever the mind has imagined - the god of ME!
In the ages past man would elevate the sun or the moon, a great river, or an idol hedged out of stone and place it on the throne of 'god'. We call this foolishness and debauchery, and yet WE - the doers and proponents of evil, wickedness, and malice - WE are our own god! We bow to our knowledge and we worship our status. We stand at the precipice of history as that so-called great and noble 'modern man'.
And yet more blood was spilled in the 20th century than all the centuries past! Countless millions lost on the battlefields; 6 million Jews slaughtered by one man and a group of people who bowed to his throne; and now this- 50 million unborn, innocent children, ripped from their life support and thrown into trash cans by men in white-collared attire! And this is what we have come to! We stand for civil rights when it's ourselves that are in oppression and injustice, but what of the mass execution of innocent life? Who will stand up for them? Who will be the voice of reason, hope, and justice for the missing children of the world? I am in anguish and depression...and I think of Caden."
And at that moment I was drawn away from writing by Caden himself. Such a sweet little baby boy - a blessing. I have a whole new reason to despise abortion. I think back to that moment when Caden was born...the most beautiful moment of my life as the nurses lay him on Angela's chest. Machines are beeping, the nurses are shouting orders, and there is chaos in the room...but all I heard was one thing - the cry of my baby boy. A living being, breathing for the first time, not knowing what's going on. And suddenly those legs that had been kicking for room inside of Mommy's tummy had all the room in the world. Those mysterious sounds which he only knew from inside his cozy home became real and scary as he entered the light. Doctors will tell you that, even in the womb, babies experience REM sleep. This means Caden had already had his first dream. All of the DNA information of Caden Christopher Sanchez was present from the moment of conception, unique traits - his big blue eyes, his soft brown hair, his Mommy's dimple, his delicate pale skin - they were all there from the start, he just hadn't grown into it yet.
Now tell me, was it just tissue? Or was he a person? Abortion is murder.
Please, if you are considering an abortion, call a church in your area to find out the nearest clinic that offers other life-saving ways of providing for you new baby.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Pastor Josh at Trademark reminded us this morning of an old rhyme that every kid who was raised a Christian has heard before:
(see if you can remember the motions!)
"Here is the church, here is the steeple.
Open the doors, and see all the people!"
But, as he pointed out, there is a problem with that! 2000 years ago the veil was torn and the dwelling place of God is no longer confined to a building - the building isn't the church, the people are! Maybe the American church will begin to look more like Christ when we recognize this essential truth and stop feeding our children nursery rhymes with bad theology. It should read:
"Here is a building, it may or may not have a steeple.
Open the doors and see the church - the people!"
Monday, January 10, 2011
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
In both Luke 19:28-35 (the triumphal entry) and Luke 22:7-13 (the preparation for Passover) I noticed something. Jesus tells his disciples exactly how something is going to happen, and it comes to pass just like he said.
In the first example, Jesus says that the disciples will find a colt tied up. He says to untie the colt and if anyone asks what the heck they are doing, he instructs them to say, "the Lord has need of it." Well, exactly that happens. The disciples go, find a colt, untie it, the owners freak, they said it is for the Lord, and the owner lets them have it.
In the second example, Jesus says to go and prepare the Passover meal for them. They ask where, and Jesus gives a detailed account of what will follow - a man carrying a jar will lead them to a house with a large upper room. Verse thirteen states, "And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover."
My question is this: are we merely puppets on God's string? If Jesus had not asked the disciples to do either of these things, they would have never occurred the way they did - so you can't argue that Jesus, being God, merely foresaw the future. It wouldn't have happened had he not arranged for it to. So are we merely pawns in a game that God plays? This is the question that a lot of people bring up when it comes to God's absolute sovereignty.
Psalm 115:3 states, "Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases." I believe that we need to reevaluate the question we always ask. I suggest that it is not sovereignty or choice, but that it is sovereignty and choice. Do you think the disciples had a choice to do what Jesus asked? God is God, but he seeks our personal involvement. The disciples did choose to do as Jesus asked because that's what they wanted to do.
In Acts we read that Paul is promised by God that the boat that he is on will crash but that no-one will be killed - all will be saved. And yet, when a group of his fellow travelers tried to escape on a lifeboat, Paul recognized it was his responsibility to make sure they did not yet abandon the ship and he warns them that they will surely die if the leave the boat before it crashes. Did Paul not trust God? Or did he recognize that God's sovereignty did not mean he could neglect his personal involvement?
I'm not posing a solution to the question, but I am asking you not to have a closed mind and assume that it is either God's sovereignty or free will. It is not God's plan or my decisions. It's both.
Monday, December 20, 2010
In the hearing of all the people he [Jesus] said to his disciples, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation."
I don't know that Jerusalem in the first century had a ghetto, but I'm willing to bet it had some pretty shady people. Thieves. Murderers. Rapists. Alcoholics. These aren't new things, people have regarded themselves as god or found ways to solicit others for their own benefit since Cain and Abel. And yet who does Jesus warn us about? He doesn't say to his disciples, "Hey don't hang around 5th and Lincoln, you might get the junk beat out of you." Instead he says "Beware of the scribes."
Who were the scribes? Originally scribes were those who were trained in writing skills and were used to record events and decisions. During the exile to Babylon, they became heavily relied upon for the handwritten preservation and teaching of scripture. Ezra was a scribe who was called on by God to "study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel. " (Ezra 7:10) Doesn't sound like much of a punk does he?
Well, hundreds of years pass and something must have happened for Jesus to dub them dangerous. In this text Jesus reveals their hearts: that being a scribe is no longer so much about honoring God as it is about exalting oneself. The term scribe became a professional title only belonging to the religious elite who loved to bask in their own glory instead of God's. See the tendency of Jesus' disciples is not to become a criminal, it's that our hearts will become proud.
Jesus is saying to beware of pride in your heart. In my heart. Where is it that we can become proud in our lives? The easiest place to become proud is at church. When we begin to think that we are in any greater standing before God than the world around us because of our morality, or the extent of our knowledge of scripture, or whether or not we've read the ancient texts of Augustine, that is when we have already compromised the gospel of grace.
Beware of anything that can lead you into pride and approach humbly the throne room of God.