Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Question on the Trinity

"Could you explain the Trinity to me please?"

The hymn goes “God in three persons blessed trinity.” What do we mean by that phrase? Most people just shake their heads and say it is a mystery and still others think we Christians worship three gods, which is not true. You will not find the word “Trinity” in the scriptures. For me the easiest way to think about all this is to recognize that there is only one God. Jesus said that. “God is spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and in truth” so this is our starting point.

Humans have a difficult time relating to a god that can not be seen or touched so we want to make pictures or statues to help us. That however is forbidden in the Ten Commandments. The early Christian church struggled with this relationship. They needed to express the different ways they experienced and talked about God. They saw that the one God was doing three things in relating to us and the terms they used were Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Father: God acting in creation to make all things by word of command.

Son: In the man Jesus God put His spirit and saved us from our sins.

Holy Spirit: God created us with our own spirit and contacts us directly as spirit.

The very human concept of Trinity is simply our way of relating to the different ways that God has used and continues using to relate to us.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Back To School Time

With school starting this week children are streaming back into the class rooms to learn all they can. The summer has been full of trips, relaxing and enjoying the fun in the sun. But now it is time once again to refocus their minds. It is also a good time for the rest of us to also refocus our minds. Some of us have traveled out of the country and some to other parts of the country. Some went fishing and some went to visit family and friends in different parts of the good old USA. Now is a natural time to get back to living at home and get back to weekly worship, Sunday school and Bible studies as part of our focus on faith.

It is ironic that in the age of super fast computers, when our access to knowledge and information exceeds any previous age, that confusion is rampant. It is not the new and improved that we need to seek but the oldest source of wisdom and strength, God’s Word. The words and witness of the prophets of the Old Testament and the saints of the New Testament tell us that faith is more powerful than doubt, that hope is more potent than despair, and that only God’s love can conquer those forces within.

The forty-plus writers of the Bible give us their witness of their growing relationship with God. Their life stories were a lot like ours. Life was a hard struggle then as it is now. Even with advanced technology, our basic struggles are the same. We face the same temptations to sin against God and against other people, just as they did. Some of them obeyed God and were blessed, and some of them turned away from God and paid the price of their folly. We can learn from their successes and mistakes that God is quick to forgive those who repent and love. If you find that life is just too much, turn to your Bible, and you will find that someone before you has faced the same problem and has given you a witness for overcoming that problem with power and faith.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Labels Liberal OR Conservative

I was recently accused of being a liberal by some one who took issue with a post I made. A short time later I was accused of being ultra conservative by another friend. To top it off both labels came because of the same post. It says something about the two people who gave me those labels.

Labels like liberal and conservative are often placed on us by people who want to put us in a box of their choosing. Some of us chose our own label to reflect where we think we stand in our community. We do not all share exact definitions of what those labels mean so applying them to others based on our understanding may be a source of friction.

It is interesting to watch the current political debate where politicians accuse each other of not being conservative enough. The truth is often not considered in the argument but is based on our own bias. On both sides of the spectrum there are people who get angry with others who do not fit their definition of liberal or conservative. Is there a test we all have to pass on this issue? I hope not.

I am an independent mind and the fact is that on some issues I am very conservative and on others I am very liberal. If you are talking money I am very conservative! In my home, city government and national politics I believe in balanced budgets and NO debt. However if you are talking personal rights and freedom I am very liberal. I believe that unless my actions are causing harm to others I should be allowed to make my own decisions without government intrusion

Politics, religion and relationships are all open to reflection and renewal for me. I don’t change my mind easily but I am always willing to look at new evidence and seek the truth. There is not enough truth seeking this year.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Politically Correct?

There are some who rail at PC or Politically Correct conversation. One in particular says that America does not have time for PC. This is something that I have been thinking about for a long time. Most of the people I know who gripe about PC are not able to be PC. They say what ever come into their mind no matter who it hurts.

What does politically correct really mean? We do not really have a law that defines it and people are free to use what ever words they choose. So why all the anger? Perhaps it is because our society has been changing so much that using derogatory language has become unacceptable to most people?

PC can also mean Polite Conversation that cares about the feelings of others. Most people are aware that unkind words can hurt deeply so they refrain from using derogatory words based on gender, race, national origin or orientation. PC is all about being respectful of others no matter who they are.

My mother use to tell me that Jesus teaches us to love all God's children with our words and deeds. She was always PC because it was in her heart to love as Jesus loved.

Enough said!