Wednesday, June 14, 2017
"There are sins of omission as well as commission.
Both insult God's holiness and injure others.
Yet, the former may be worse than the
latter because they rarely invoke
and the repentance
"They renovated the chancel area and put a seat
fit for a king right behind the table for me.
I never sat on it...
They put my name in big bold brass letters in
front of the church. I protested and said
I would leave the church unless mine
was replaced with...
After arriving, I was told about a Lenten
drama in which my predecessor
played Jesus...I said I have
never felt comfortable
I like reserved parking spots for the handicapped and elderly.
They need them; and nobody else deserves them.
I have always refused them because of
something He said about being a...
Lamentably, just a few specks of fidelity on a
beachfront of personal and enabled..."
Because lots of folks don't believe in charismata in a Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 kinda way, I don't like to talk about one of 'em; but I've gotten into more trouble for what I haven't said and done after seeing...if you know what I mean.
His holiness has been insulted and people have been injured when I haven't been an undershepherd to the Good Shepherd in a Psalm 23, Matthew 10, and John 10 kinda way after He has provided apocalyptic moments to prevent insults and injuries.
When I haven't spoken or acted upon revelation, others not me have paid the price of my omissions.
I guess I've been like most other...
I'm too often too concerned about being liked when called to love; for it's easier to be pathetic than prophetic when you've got car payments, college bills, mortgages, and...
It's that thumb that the Rolling Stones sang about.
When you've got so many masters, it's hard to be faithful.
I knew he was a problem within days of arrival.
He ignored me when I asked him to stop parking in a spot reserved for the handicapped.
He defied me when I told him to stop parking in a spot reserved for the handicapped.
When I told staff, officers, and members about it,...crickets.
We took down a sign reserving a parking spot for the handicapped and replaced it with a sign with his name on it.
He wiped out my beloved truck not long after that; driving into the church lot like a bat out of hell, ramming it, and bringing a Caliber into my life.
He showed no shame or responsibility; though he thought it was kinda funny with a strange smile and demonic wink that would be repeated over and over and over and...
I didn't tell anybody about it because the church had been through a rough interim period and I didn't want...to be hassled.
Besides, I was new...and knew staff, officers, and members would turn against me because he was just a lovable old goof, bungler, fool, and...
That was over a decade ago.
I knew then.
So many, many, many other confirmations since then.
Now, a family has been devastated, lives ruined, and...
I've always said it's more important to love than seek cheap, superficial, and temporal favor or be liked.
I didn't trust or execute my charisma.
I joined the long list of those who enabled him to...death.
I did not protect the sheep and beat away the wolf.
I forgot two lessons that I have given to so many others.
No, that's not right.
I wasn't obedient.
1. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. How liberating! That means we should feel compelled to do the right thing according to Jesus, the Bible, and common sense.
2. Shepherds don't follow sheep because shepherds know sheep are too dumb to take care of themselves. Shepherds guide, protect, and beat away and even beat down predators.
Omissions are more easily rationalized than commissions.
That's why they are much, much, much more problematic and painful to God and others.
With that in mind, it's time to repeat a decades-old discernment about and challenge to Islam.
It's been said before but must be said again.
More than ever before, I understand the cost of omissions.
An Open Letter to Muslims
Dear Followers of Mohammed,
I am writing to you as a follower of Jesus; meaning I believe He is Lord and Savior and try to behave accordingly.
Christians regard Jesus as the perfect personification of God and the Bible as providing the perfect prescriptions for following Him.
Assuming you are trying to follow your leader Mohammed according to your sacred literature, I have increasing concerns about how you participate in civilization.
Surely, “Muslims” are like “Christians” in diversity of beliefs and behaviors; acknowledging any connection between some beliefs and behaviors and their founders by their books are often just coincidental.
I differentiate between posers and authentics.
Posers follow their leaders by their books when it’s convenient to their egocentric wants, feelings, needs, and opinions; as in, “I know that’s what Jesus/Mohammed says, but I think…”
Authentics follow their leaders by their books; surrendering the egocentric to the theocentric; as in, “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.”
While my guess is some of what I am writing may appeal to posers who are moderately committed to their leaders – “Yeah, that’s right! I am a moderate! I’m moderately committed to Jesus/Mohammed as long as it doesn’t, you know, conflict with my wants, feelings, needs, and opinions!” – I am hoping this will attract attention from Muslims who are trying to follow Mohammed by the book.
I have two concerns about how authentic Muslims participate in civilization.
First, from everything that I’ve read about Mohammed and observed in Muslims who follow him by the book, it’s noticeably barbaric from most civilized points of view.
I mean, let’s face it. Cutting off heads for apostasy, cutting off other body parts for lesser infidelities, and degrading women in so many ways just doesn’t seem very, uh, civilized from most, uh, civilized points of view.
When someone makes fun of Mohammed in a silly cartoon or sophomoric video, you go apoplectic. You make our snake-handling Pentecostals look like Emily Post devotees. Are you that emotionally fragile that you can’t handle people who don’t esteem Mohammed like you do? Yeah, I know you’ve got this convert-to-us-or-be-killed-by-us thing going. But think about us! We are a constant source of comic material for Saturday Night Live, Bill Maher, Kathy Griffin, and so many others who don’t have to worry about Christians declaring death warrants against them.
And what’s up with the masks when you do your beheading thing? You look like America’s old KKK on steroids! It comes off rather cowardly. If you have the courage of your convictions, man up, name it, and claim it!
Your leaders of your leader are quick to convince their followers that there are dozens of virgins awaiting those who get knocked off for your cause. While that sounds like something very appealing to Cub Scouts in heat, it comes off as rather juvenile to the rest of us. Really, is that what your heaven is mostly about? Sex with virgins? Whoa.
Second, if what I just wrote is really, really, really wrong about Muslims who follow Mohammed by the book, why don’t you condemn their barbarity and tell everyone that they’re not following Mohammed by the book?
There’s no such thing as a silent majority. Everybody knows silence about bad behaviors emanating from bad beliefs accommodates and enables them. If they’re wrong about Mohammed by the book, then you owe it to, uh, Mohammed to tell them about it and convince us that we’re wrong about thinking Islam is barbaric from civilized points of view.
Christians who believe in Jesus by the book have always been quick to criticize the bad behaviors of people posing as Christians.
Don’t even bring up the Crusades!
Jesus and people who really are authentically believing in Jesus by the book would never have approved of the barbaric behaviors emanating from the bad beliefs of the Crusaders. They were about as authentically devoted to Jesus by the book as we are hoping you will tell us are those barbarians masquerading as Muslims who go around chopping off body parts, degrading women, and declaring death warrants against anyone who disagrees with their version of Islam.
You can’t blame Jesus for “Christians” who need more than just “some” Jesus in their lives as we are hoping you will tell us about those barbarians who claim to be following Mohammed so closely.
I guess it does come down to our leaders.
Would Mohammed do the things that those murderously marauding “Muslims” are doing in the name of Allah?
If not, you have to speak up!
If so, admit it and let the chips fall where they will!
Would Jesus do the things that those murderously marauding Crusaders did in the name of God?
That means anybody who is truly following Jesus by the book will not!
Though what I’ve read and seen from the barbaric “Muslims” and what I haven’t heard or seen from the other ones doesn’t add up to anything positive or redemptive for the place of Islam in a civilized world, I confess not being an expert; which is why I’m waiting for the rest of the Muslims to provide a verdict on the obviously barbaric ones.
I’m just somebody who loves Jesus who is trying to follow Him by the book; and the Jesus of the book is compassionate, merciful, forgiving, and, in short, urging His followers to love everybody like He loves everybody which includes praying and laboring for the best for everybody without regard to who, what, where, when, or why with no need or expectation for response, regard, or reward.
That means Christians who follow Jesus by the book are willing to co-exist with people who don’t want to follow Jesus by the book.
That seems so different from Islam.
Islamists, the loud barbaric adherents and the silent accommodating and enabling ones, don’t seem to share such a commitment to co-existence.
Christianity, following Jesus by the book, can co-exist with everybody else.
Islam, from what I have read and seen, following Mohammed by the book, cannot co-exist with anybody else unless everybody else converts to it.
That doesn’t seem to leave many options for the rest of the civilized world.
I guess, when all is said and considered, either everybody else will have to go if they don’t convert to Islam or everybody else will have to team up and you’ll have to…
I hope and pray I’m wrong.
Please speak up and encourage us that we’re wrong about you.
For unlike what we’ve increasingly read about and increasingly seen from you, we would like to co-exist.
We’re not asking you to become like us.
We’re just asking you to be more conciliatory and recognize the planet has enough space for all of us.
Before everything but heaven breaks out, please show the world that Mohammed by the book isn’t as barbaric as we’re reluctantly concluding by the behaviors of so many of those who claim to follow him.
If you cannot get your house in order, we will not let you invade ours much longer.
A Follower of Jesus
I know some will say that's rude or intolerant.
I don't beg to differ.
Anyone who defends what just-left-of-center-to-right-to-extremist Islam does to women and our LGBT friends is intellectually dishonest, spiritually deceiving, and emotionally manipulative.
I don't get anyone from left, right, up, or down who defends...
I understand enabling.
Just confessed it.
It happens when we're ignorant, apathetic, deceived, double-minded, duped, selfish, fainthearted, or...part of the dark conspiracy to...
Blessings and Love!
Shatter the sound of silence!
Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!