Our Lord has claimed that we Christians will be known by the love we show to one another. He has also commanded that we love our neighbor- even non-Christian neighbors. He went even further to command that we weep with those that weep.
How is it that the secular world can see evil and punish it, and we, the purveyors of love at best are silent in the face of evil and at worse side with the evil? When a secular judge and jury state this is wrong and must be punished, how can we not concur? Why are we not leading the charge claiming this should not be?
Even Paul, when beaten unjustly, used his citizenship to gain justice (Acts 16). Here Paul appeals to the law of the land to protect his flock. Should we do no less for our fellow christians/neighbors?
We know God is never late! And neither should we be! Its not to late to get involved, to use our resources, our voices, our prayers for all that are made in His image.
OJ, Trump, Smollett...are they guilty? How will we ever know? Who cares? Do we really care? Why do we care? Are we guilty?
I think the last question is the more important, as it is in our control and has more relevance to our daily lives than the others. We sin daily, willfully, hatefully, hypocritically...and yet we can ignore our sins and become judges of others and their sin (if they have them!) The log in our eyes remains, festers, ruins...as we look out at what others may be doing. And as we look, we are guided by sinners- 'reporters', 'news casters', 'unbiased journalists'...sinners all. Our hate and distain for those we are programmed to hate grows...all while our log remains.
I posit: Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall
As a result (of the gifts), we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming...
The Holy Spirit, thru Paul, has commanded us to weep with those who weep- sharing the compassion that has been shared with us. But does that apply to those that are not like us? To the 'other', are they deserving of our compassion? Or should we first test them...to see how much like us they are. If they are close enough then we extend, otherwise, we focus on their shortcomings- is that our mandate?
Recently bombings in houses of worship are on the increase (although the US media is selective in its coverage), with New Zealand being the most current. This house of worship was a mosque...and the religion was Islam. Do we extend or do we consider their religion?
Eph.2:11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh...remember that you were at that time separated from Christ...having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
The Holy Spirit is saying that we were exactly like them OUTSIDE the kingdom, hostile...without God, having no hope. That was us. And God in His mercy showed us compassion.
Now, we must do likewise.
With every unarmed black man who is killed by police without repercussion,
I am reminded that to the world; I am still just a n*gger and my life holds little value.
I can be killed at anytime, have my past dug into, be criminalized, and my death justified. My son one day too...
Where do black people go when the world is dead set on reminding them, daily,
that their life does not matter?
The black church? Yes
Facebook? Probably not
Twitter? Probably not
The Lord & His Word? Absolutely
Kyle J Howard
"We Christians know that words have power...even our words. By His Word, the heavens were created...by our words are His people torn down. The childhood adage '...and words will never harm me' has been proven to be so wrong. Words do hurt.
We see that words can also be a catalyst to violence. We saw it in the school yard and on the sports field (go ahead...hit him!") We now see it in our 'social' media. Keyboard courage causes many to encourage violence against those they think they hate, with the result being a few taking their advice and 'hitting him', or in this case 'killing him'.
It wasn't good then and its not good now. Back then the ramifications of hitting might simply result in the hitter getting hit! Now, as that day approaches, we see the ramifications have been amped up. The hitters have been given a name: CHRISTIAN RADICALS (we have been known more by what we don't tolerate than by our love.)
We know persecution is coming...are we ready? Can we slow its approach by restraining the reckless use of words? By showing God's love to all of our neighbors? Can we encourage others to do the same?
I think we can be peacemakers. Lets just do it.
Are you bent out of shape over this?
Or are you more bent out of shape over this?
I get bent out of shape over his signing legislation!
The Shepherds Conference 2019 QnA was awesome! So refreshing. So revealing.
"When he saw the crowds, he had no compassion for them,
for they were clearly just seeking victim status." ~Matt. 9:36?
"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them,
because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." ~Matt. 9:36
Who is my neighbor? Who is neighbor to me?
When drama hits in my life, who can I talk with? Who can I confide in? Of course I can share with those close to me- family and friends, but, can they help? Do they lead me to Christ? And, the more serious the issue, the more the need to be led to Christ. Handling a financial issue doesn’t reach the heart as handling sin…or even recognizing sin.
In steps a pastor. A pastor may teach, a pastor may preach, but the greatest point of being a pastor is that a pastor lovingly guides his flock to Christ. A pastor would know his flock (today we sometimes are astonished if the pastor knows our name!), he would know their story, their trials. A pastor provides more than a 5-minute counseling session after service, or every other month by appointment.
Our Bible tells of Jesus having long walks and talks with His flock. Jesus ate with His flock, Jesus reclined with His flock. Who was busier than the God of the universe?, yet Jesus made time for His flock, such that they were comfortable enough to bring their questions to Him. And Jesus provided answers to them that led them to His Father, our God.
I want to be that neighbor and I am in need of that neighbor.
Sometimes preachers preach doctrine where the Bible preaches duty.
They replace the doxology of Christian living with the theology of Christian history. Both duty and doctrine are vital; they cannot substitute one for the other.
Attempting to substitute doctrine for duty or duty for doctrine is like giving birth to twins and saying, “Only one will do.” No. The mother and father leave the hospital with both children counting themselves doubly blessed.
So it should be with our preaching of both sound doctrine and the solid duty that comes from it.