Friday, May 6, 2011

Two Paths into Heaven

There are two different ways to get into heaven according to St. Paul,  Salvation and Judgment.

First we must understand the difference between judgment and salvation.


Those who accept Jesus as the Messiah [Christ] and have lived accordingly will bypass the judgment and thus are saved from judgment. Saved by Grace not judgment.


All other people are judged by GOD according to how they lived in relation to the Ten Commandments even if they did not know them. I believe that God judges in a state of mercy and that a really good person might be judged as acceptable. 

I am thankful that it is up to God not us as to who enters heaven. Judgment is of course the most difficult way to get in but it is possible.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Moment of catharsis and death

was listening President Baraka Obama telling us about the death of Osama Bin Laden. Soon I to different voices on my television - whooping, cheering, bellowing voices from the streets outside the White House, from Ground Zero and from a baseball game in Philadelphia. All across the country and indeed around the world people danced in the streets and cheered the news.

Many of my fellow clergy denounced the celebrations of a man’s death just as we all denounced the death of over three thousand people ten years ago. I would agree that it is wrong to celebrate anyone’s death. But I think that these celebrations are different than celebrating a death.

These celebrations are much more than that it is a moment of catharsis and a release of a decade of pent up anger and frustrations that the one who led the attacks on 9/11 had eluded capture and still planed new attacks. Osama Bin Laden was a continuing menace to the world and America in particular. He was the driving force behind the terror and we have had him on the top of the ten most wanted list for almost ten years.

The jubilant celebrations were a spontaneous release of joy that the hunt for this killer was over. It is the same kind of catharsis that greeted the end of World War Two.  This catharsis is something we all needed.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

They Just Make it up

Some people will listen to and fall for anything that sounds plausible. Paul Harvey, in his rest of the story, told about four Denver journalists in 1899 who were having a very slow news day. They each had a deadline to meet and no newsworthy event had occurred in Denver that day. After the last train left town and with the deadline getting closer they headed to the Oxford Hotel to have a beer and discuss their common problem.

Al stated that he was going just to make up a story. At first no one took him seriously but as they drank the idea began to grow. As they each worked for different papers they decided to collaborate. A domestic story could be rather quickly checked for its truth. So it was decided that they would write an international story. They thought China was far enough away, so they would write about China.

John came up with the ultimate story about a group of American engineers traveling through Denver on their way to China. The Chinese government was taking estimates on tearing down the Great Wall. The story was that by tearing down the wall they would send a message around the world that they welcomed foreigners and foreign trade. These American engineers would be one of the groups that would bid on the job. By the 11 P.M. deadline the details of the story were worked out.
The next morning all four of the Denver papers carried the story on the front page. The TIMES headline stated it very clearly: "GREAT CHINESE WALL DOOMED! PEKING SEEKS WORLD TRADE!"

To the absolute surprise of the journalist, the story was not only on the front page of their papers but it was also taken very seriously around the world and especially in ChinaWhen the Chinese heard that the Americans were coming to tear down their national symbol they became very angry. There was even a group of Chinese who were already worried about foreign involvement in their country. This group attacked the foreign embassies in Peking, killing hundreds of missionaries.

Two month later 12,000 troops from six different countries invaded China for the reason of protecting their own citizens. All of the bloodshed became known as the Boxer Rebellion and all because of itchy ears for a lie.

Even today with our advanced communications we have people with itchy ears who are ready to believe any lie that is repeated enough. It is becoming so that we automatically believe that our political leaders are lying. We believe that even more when we receive an email about some one in the other political party.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Winter's Teachings

Finally, ‘spring is bustin’ out all over’!  And you can hear a collective sigh of relief.  For this winter--with its frigid, dark days, slick snow and treacherous ice—certainly taxed our patience, optimism, and resources to the limit.  The American humorist Garrison Keillor is fond of saying, “Winter tells us who we are as a people” So what do we know about ourselves as Christians from this winter just past?

This winter showed us to be a compassionate people. We answered the call of this difficult season to be a hospitable people: caring for those in trying circumstances.We continued to live up to our reputation as a generous people, freely giving time, effort, and energy to meet unexpected needs. These challenging economic times have found us working to be good stewards of our resources. And, most of all, the uncertainties of the season just past revealed us to be resilient people, mostly able to ‘go with the flow’, make the best of what was at hand,  and keep the larger goals in view.

The early Christians came from many walks of life:  business, the trades, merchants, farmers, even slaves. When they became followers of Christ, the wider society often discounted their influence and contributions, considering them such ‘peculiar people’ because of their beliefs and practices.

 When the elderly apostle Peter wrote his letters to Christians who felt unimportant in their time, he described their true identity:
  “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
      a holy nation, God’s own people,
      in order that you may proclaim the
                mighty acts of Him who called you
      out of darkness into His marvelous light.”   (I Peter 2.9)

Peter is declaring who these followers of Jesus truly are:  beloved people of God, called and prepared for a purpose. He encourages them to fulfill their God-given identity instead of accepting others’ opinion. He urges them to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” so they will know what kind of people to be:  loving, trusting, hopeful, patient, joyful, welcoming, and humble servants of God.   

It was not easy to be a disciple of Jesus in the 1st century, nor is it easy in the 21st century.  We always need to remember who we truly are—more than employees, parents, Americans, ‘boomers’ or Gen X-ers—as men and women whom God has put in this particular time and place and given a specific assignment. Whatever the details of that assignment, our goal is to live as people of the Resurrection who show the world the God we serve.

Monday, May 2, 2011

From the Libertarian Party Chairman

WASHINGTON - Libertarian Party Chairman Mark Hinkle issued this statement today:

"I am glad to hear of the death of Osama bin Laden, who had no qualms about slaughtering American civilians.

"Unfortunately, bin Laden leaves behind an evil legacy in the United States: the Department of Homeland Security, the TSA, the PATRIOT Act, warrantless wiretaps, the 'state secrets' doctrine, and other violations of Americans' civil and economic rights.

"Just like Osama bin Laden, these programs must be terminated.

"President Obama must also end the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. It's time to stop being the world's policeman. It's time to bring all those troops home.

"Our government should also end its foreign aid programs, which create future terrorists by funding many dictators around the world."

The Libertarian Party platform (section 3.3) states, "American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups."

In 2008, the Libertarian National Committee adopted resolutions calling for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.

The LP is America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.