Saturday, May 8, 2010

Liberal/Conservative ???

Last Wednesday a strange thing happened to me that had me bemused and confused. One longtime clergy friend said I was a liberal and then later that day a different clergy friend said I was conservative.
Are they both right? Perhaps it depends on your point of view. One of them is perhaps more conservative than I am and the other is more liberal than I am so they each see me as being on the other side of the fence. So for the past few days I have been thinking about how I view myself. Like most people I am a mixture of both depending on the issue at hand. I also may define liberal and conservative in my own way. This is both political and theological though I try to keep those two items separate.
In some things I am very conservative and in others I am very liberal so here I am taking in the world and responding according to what I believe is right. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ecclesiastical Senile Dementia.

So what is Ecclesiastical Senile Dementia?What

That is what I call it when a church forgets that its primary mission is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus the Christ.
When any church forgets to proclaim the Gospel it begins to atrophy and eventually dies of old age.
It is so sad to me that this happens over and over again and it is not necessary.Chin

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Christian Nation ????

Lately I have received hundreds of emails from well meaning friends telling me [not asking but telling] to write President Obama and congress telling them that this is a “Christian Nation.” They also want me to pass the message on to all my friends. It would seem that there is a campaign afoot.
I do not think that they understand the term “Christian Nation” or they would not send those emails. While we are a country whose citizens are predominately members of the Christian faith, we are not now nor have we ever been a “Christian Nation” and as a Christian Pastor I do not want us to be so.
The term “Christian Nation” denotes a country that has established an official relationship with a Christian church. England is a “Christian Nation” because it has established an official Church/State relationship with the Church of England. Queen Elizabeth is officially the head of the Church of England. Spain is a “Christian Nation” because it has established an official Church/State relationship with the Roman Catholic church.
Our founding fathers established this country as one that provides us with total freedom of religion with a clear separation of church and state. As a Christian Pastor I believe that has been a major blessing for the Christian faith in America. With great wisdom they placed in our constitution the first amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
 Big Grin
We have always had other faiths than Christian in our country and their rights to freedom of religion have been respected here. There are over three hundred denominations of Christian church in the USA and their rights of freedom of expression in the practice of their faith are respected here. That would not be true in a country where a religion has been established as a state religion. Think about it folks we do not want the government telling us what church to belong to, not even my church.