Just Do It

There are some living parables that simply tell themselves.  Neither illustration nor explanation is necessary.  Nevertheless, I’ll go ahead and engage in a little pedantic theological overkill, just to make sure the point is driven home.

This article was sent my way by Matt Grove:

Highly Religious People Are Less Motivated by Compassion Than Are Non-Believers

Go ahead and read it.  Then compare the results of that study to the words of the Dude himself (with all due respect to Jeff Lebowski):

[Jesus said:] ‘What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went. The father* went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir”; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax-collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax-collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.  (Matthew 21:28-32)

Finally, here’s a video from Derek Webb, one of the only ‘Christian’ artists I can stand to listen to anymore:

How You Say It

Greetings all!

This has been an amazing few months in my life.  In May, the Presbyterian Church (USA) amended their constitution to allow for the ordination of LGBT deacons, elders, and pastors.  Then, last week, New York became the sixth US state to legalize same-sex marriage.  My wife and I participated in demonstrations both inside and outside our state capitol building.

I also had the opportunity to speak on the local news about the upcoming vote in the senate.

Here is the link to that conversation.

On the Sunday after the vote passed, the same news station surprised us by showing up with cameras in hand at our morning worship service.

Click here to watch the video of the segment they did on our church.

The responses have been myriad and diverse.  Here are some words I would use to describe the responses:

Reaching out

Look carefully at this list.  It would be a mistake to assume that all the “positive” adjectives refer to those who agree with me and all the “negative” adjectives apply to those who think differently.  As a matter of fact, the list is mixed for a reason.  I could use several of these words to describe people on both sides of “this issue” (although I am loathe to call it that).

What speaks the most about us in times like these is how we respond, and not just the content of our response.  I have felt such compassionate support from those who passionately disagree with me.  I have also cringed at the hard-hearted self-righteousness of those who hold views similar to my own.

I will continue to hold onto the views I express in these articles because I believe them to be good and true.  I honestly believe that I am following (however imperfectly) the lead of the Holy Spirit and the message of the Bible as I take the course I have chosen.  I know that not all of you will agree with me.  I won’t ask you to change your mind unless you want to.  I will not enter into a Bible-quoting argument with you unless you truly want to understand how someone can read the Bible differently than you do.

I encourage you all, wherever you stand, to look at the character of your response to others.  Is it in keeping with the Spirit of Christ?  In your words and deeds, are you loving your neighbor as yourself?

What you say does not say so much as how you say it.