Sunday, March 18, 2012

Two Different Agendas

I want to expand on something I said in the pulpit on Sunday. I said that we needed to avoid expending our resources on exerting political muscle and instead focus on the truly powerful qualities that stem from the grace of Christ. 

I did not mean that Christians should avoid being part of the community at large. Certainly, Christian individuals need to exercise their right to vote and speak freely and even campaign for things about which they feel strongly. 

But the church as an institution needs to focus on the mission of Christ which has a different perspective from political agendas of a government.  We change the world through the word of Jesus and acts of grace, which is different from a government’s perspective.

I wanted to be clear on this because in our congregation we have people who hold positions in the government and do a terrific job in their service to the community, and I do not want to devalue them.  In fact, I appreciate them very much.

And no, no one came to me with a complaint. I reviewed my sermon on Sunday afternoon and decided I needed to be more precise.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

What Will the Children Think?

I heard a parent on television object to taking her children to church because she wants to allow them to make up their own minds about religious stuff.  

That’s what I want for my kids, too. But to make good decisions, children have to have some information, starting with what their parents believe.

This is true about money matters, driving, dating, work, marriage and family, exercise, hygiene, lawn care, food, car maintenance, etc. 

Children do indeed grow up to think their own thoughts and make their own decisions about everything.  When they're young, we give them information, guidance, and structure, so they’ll be equipped to make the best choices they can.  

So why not help them with religion and spirituality? 

To put it bluntly, I think some of us have gotten pretty lazy about having spiritual convictions. If we are going to teach the children, we have to have something to teach them. If we don’t read, pray, think, meditate, show appreciation for God, and practice spiritual values, then we don’t really have anything to teach the children.  
And they’ll HAVE to find it on their own. 

I hope they’ll do better than the generation before them.