Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Elder's Request at Belvidere Brewers
8-15+ members and friends of our family of faith at Belvidere, Illinois' First Presbyterian Church meet every Tuesday from 8:00-10:00 a.m. at the local Starbucks, a few arriving by 7:00 a.m. because they know I get there between 6:00-6:30 a.m. after a few earlier morning hospital or nursing home visits, to load up on caffeine and talk about, uh, whatever comes up.
I started it almost a year after I arrived over ten years ago because people said they wished there were regular opportunities to talk with me about, uh, whatever comes up.
It's become a regular, uh, opportunity to talk with each other about, uh, whatever comes up.
It's called Belvidere Brewers.
Anyway, Jerry, an elder and chairman of our Mission(s) Committee who has just become one of our messengers aka preachers-when-I'm-away, said I should record part of our conversation about agape this morning.
Looking over the past few KDs - go to the right column and click on the last two or more - I think I get his request.
Sooooooo to the best of my recollection, here's what, uh, came up.
You can be the judge - and I know some of yu'uns are very comfortable in that role - of why Jerry requested this record.
We talked about agape as the distinct ethic of Christian behavior.
My definition: "...praying and laboring for the highest good for anyone no matter who or what or where or when or why without the need or expectation for response, regard, or reward.
Norby: "You're always so wordy."
Dean: "I heard someone define it as utter selflessness."
Norby: "That's much better."
Me: "O.K., I guess that's why nobody buys my books."
Norby: "We're always learning. That's why I like coming here."
Then we talked about agape as it relates to same-sex nuptials.
We talked of how there's no place in 2K+ years of Biblical, confessional, constitutional, historical, traditional, or common sense Christianity that affirms it.
We talked of how God's inviting, including, and welcoming character is expected in the agape of people who say they love Him: "As you do it to/for them, you do it to/for Me."
Asked how agape relates to same-sex nuptials, I responded, "God loves everybody no more nor no less than anybody. God expects our love for others to mirror His love for us: 'Love each other just as much as I love you.' That's why I will give my life for a gay person or gay couple if necessary. If someone was about to kill a gay person or gay couple and I had to be killed in order to save their lives, I would do it because my love for Jesus must be reflected in my love for them by dying for them. Of course, that does not mean I'd preside at their wedding. It's possible to give your best to everybody regardless and want the best for everybody regardless and really love 'em to death without affirming behaviors not in keeping with Jesus by the book. Heaven, if we didn't love gossipers that way, there'd be nobody left in the church!"
O.K., a little wordy.
O.K., some holes in the logic...especially for those to the left and those to the right.
O.K., I'm not saying there's no room for lots of improvement.
O.K., I'm just scratching the surface of my relationship with Jesus.
I've never said/pretended I know everything about, uh, anything.
That's just what I said at BBs.
That's when Jerry asked me to write it down for KD.
Sooooooo you can be the judge why he asked me to...
Blessings and Love!
Je suis Charlie!