My dad often says, "A key to leadership is telling people to go to hell in a way that they're looking forward to the trip."
I'm not sure, but I think he means, "Just a spoonful of sugar..."
Isn't that how Paul wrote?
He'd tell 'em how great they were; and then he'd tell 'em how awful they are and that they'd better get their act together or...
A favorite line from Fredrick Buechner comes to mind: "A prophet's quarrel with the world is deep-down a lover's quarrel. If they didn't love the world, they probably wouldn't bother to tell it that it's going to hell. They'd just let it go" (Wishful Thinking).
When folks stop contending for something better, that means they've stopped caring.
Of course, that's got to be in the context of 1 Peter 3:13ff.
I care about my family, the congregation entrusted to me, our franchise, Rock Valley [Junior] Tackle Football, and America.
Except for family, the order is captive to my daily dosages of caffeine.
I think of the old priest telling the young priest in The Diary of a Country Priest, "Salt stings on an open wound; but saves you from gangrene."
Then there's the young priest telling the old priest in Mass Appeal: "What you believe has got to matter more than what people think of you."
Secret (thesis) #1: "Remembering you're going to live a lot longer with Jesus than anybody else makes establishing life's priorities a no-brainer."
Speaking of no-brainers, BHO's nutty pastor comes to mind.
The junior Senator from Illinois is running away from him quicker than Democrats from New York's Governor and Republicans from GWB.
All of this talk about BHO being under Jeremiah Wright's influence is silly to anyone who has ever hung around churches. Yeah, I know JW presided at the wedding and baptized their babies and pulpiteered while BHO pewsat for about 20 years. I've been preaching for over 33 years and I still can't people to turn tips into tithes or at least tithe when they tip over 15%. Hell more than heaven, I can't even get people to be nice to each other when they disagree on stupid stuff.
So don't worry about it!
BHO is just like most pewsitters who pay no attention to the weekly homiletical offering.
I'm not into this guilt by association thing anyway.
Why should Jesus be blamed for Christians?
Personally, I'm tired of my friends who believe in Jesus and the authority of Holy Scripture assuming I don't believe because I'm still in the PCUSA.
I'm a missionary to the mainline!
So cut BHO some slack!
He's just being slow about showing his pastor, uh, more, uh, light.
I don't know anything about JM's pastor(s) yet; but my deep throats are...whatever.
I do know HRC's youth pastor and continuing spiritual advisor is just about as nutty as BHO's.
By the way, BHO's pastor is a UCCer and HRC's guru is a Methodist.
A friend who actually reads those Metanoeite exchanges asked if it's pronounced meant-to-annoy-you.
Kurt Vonnegut preached at NYC's St. Clement's Episcopal Church on Palm Sunday in 1980; which goes a long way in explaining why they're so screwed up.
Anyway, he concluded, "People don't come to church for preachments, of course, but to daydream about God. I thank you for your sweetly faked attention."
Here's to my dad and BHO!
Blessings and Love!