Archive for September, 2010

Violence Begets Violence–Grace Breaks the Chain

Whatever you sow you will reap.  It is a biblical principle—something even non-Christians understand.  Much of the world refers to this principle as karma.  Many Christians believe that karma is a bad thing—evil as it is associated with eastern religion.  On this matter, I think that Bono, lead singer of U2, has best summed it up when he talks about karma, being broken by grace.  It is grace that breaks the chain of karma. 

We are all born in sin.  Our sin is ultimately what we sow and the wages of sin is death.  That is sowing and reaping, that is karma.  The only thing that changes that is grace.  Through grace we find the actions of Jesus that lead to our salvation.  Grace said that even though we deserved death and hell, Jesus would make the ultimate sacrifice and halt the effects of karma.  Thus, grace gives eternal life. 

So, what does this mean as to how we interact with the world?  Simply we have to find a better way to respond to crisis in the world around us.  It is not enough for us to respond to violence with violence.  We cannot respond to judgment with judgment.  We cannot respond to anger with anger.  We, as children of the most high God, have to break the chain of sowing and reaping.  We have to meet violence with nonviolence.  We have to meet judgment with understanding.  We have to meet anger with love.  We have to lead others the way Jesus lead. 

One of the most amazing things about the life of Jesus is how he responded to those around him.  When he met the women caught in adultery he did not condemn her.  He did not tell her she was evil.  He did not judge her sin.  And he did not excuse it. 

Instead, Jesus told her that as no one was there to condemn her neither would he condemn her.  He did not reinforce the nature of her sin.  Instead, he told her to leave and stop sinning.  He made it plain that she needed to live a better life, but he did it with love and support. 

Where are the followers of Jesus who can respond so well?  I want to be one.

The Difference Between Political Liberalism And The Gospel

            I was talking with my son earlier today and was trying to explain why some people are political liberals.  We started with the understanding that many people are liberal because it feels good, and it is good when we help others.  I went on to explain that liberals become conservatives when we personalize the questions.  Brad Pitt is against the death penalty when it comes to using the death penalty to punish criminals who have actually killed other people intentionally.  Yet, recently he has said that he would rethink his position when it comes to dealing with BP.  How absurd that we would be willing to use the death penalty to kill humans who have harmed the earth, but would not use it to punish those who have brutally murdered others.  Can you say hypocrite?  It is actually pronounce, Brad Pitt.  Political liberals want you and me to be better, but they do not have to pay the price—insert any liberal politician here and see how it works in the real world.

            As Christians we are called to be liberals.  To do that we have to understand what it really means.  You see there is a simple difference between political and spiritual liberalism.  Political liberals believe in helping others using the money of others.  They also believe in helping others and, at the same time, creating a dependence that feeds the problem rather than changing their lives so they can become productive people—reuniting with their family and their culture.

            Spiritual liberals believe that we should invest ourselves and our money to help others.  Spiritual liberals, something we are all called to be, means using our money and our time to feed the hungry, help the helpless, and any number of other good deeds such as made up the life of Jesus.

            Jesus did so much good that his leaders killed him for it.  Are you on anyone’s death list?  If not, maybe you are not liberal enough—spiritually speaking of course.


Books Worth Reading

C.S. LEWIS--Mere Christianity; CLAIRE BERLINSKI--Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis is America's Crisis, Too; BRUCE BAWER--While Europe Slept: How Radical islam is Destroying the West from Within; DAVID LEVERING LEWIS--God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215; THOMAS SCHIRRMACHER--The Persecution of Christians Concerns Us All; PHILIP JENKINS--God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis

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