Friday, March 16, 2012

sermon on the chair, dear church of westboro

my heart is for God to be glorified in all things; this is the driving force behind everything i believe in and everything i wish i did/do; try to.

when i see God being used to glorify ones personal convictions, when His heart is misrepresented, when believers use Him to further political agenda, i get irritated. super irritated.

the reason:

if your not adopted, imagine you are. now, you have other brothers and sisters but they haven't met your adopted dad, who by the way is the most wonderful father in the world. some of these other siblings of yours have heard about this guy who claims is their dad, wants to be their dad, whatever, and some of what they've heard is good and true, but some of it is completely inaccurate and false. these siblings of yours need their father, and there you are in a relationship with him. so, would it make sense to introduce your siblings to their dad by first telling them all the things (you think) dad thinks their doing wrong?! or, perhaps, should you tell them about how loving and caring and kind dad is-about all the wonderful things dad has done for them and has in store for them, and when their ready, and dad will know it, dad can discuss with them those areas of their life that might not be good for them. it's a no brainer. no person in their right mind would be responsive to the first option, unless of course, i guess, that person has serious self-esteem issues that would bizarrely relish in that sort of criticism and perceived authoritarianism.

i see the above happen more often than i can stomach. i see it with how the church interacts with community and culture and how christians parade their politics. this seems absolutely asinine to me: what is our objective with the world around us then if not to bring those in it into dynamic relationship with their creator by means of demonstrating the power of His love?!? i can only hypothesize based on the design of the purpose that the purpose is creating a world in which "christian ideology" is preserved in both culture and government. which too seems totally and sadly, off.

God created us an individuals, unique beings each wonderfully and fearfully made. He also made us with free will, allowing us to choose Him instead of forcing us by omitting our will from the equation. now, why then would we, who have been given free will, decide it's necessary to assert our beliefs, beliefs attained through free will, on those who don't share the same beliefs?!? this seems completely hypocritical and contrary to His design. furthermore, how does this sort of power struggle advance His kingdom?! there are of course common absolutes, like all life is created equal, but these sort of ideas are natural pre-dispositions of humanity versus taught religious specifics (of course a perfect argument can be made, as was done by cs lewis, that said dispositions of human kind is evidence of a moral genesis). the church need not waver in what is right in the eyes of God and what is wrong-this is not a call for shades of grey to be exonerated, however, i do believe the church, certain churches, need to evaluate how His message is being delivered...and in certain churches cases, what the capital letter F message are you delivering?! because i'm pretty sure it came straight from down you know where.

remember, according to cornithians 13:1-13,

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

it seems pretty clear to me, deliver love with love and love God above all.