“If it is going to be done, you must do it,” has to be one of the most sobering truths ever put into words. It is something one must admit when faced with difficult or unpleasant tasks that on one else is able, willing or available to do. Only I can fish those eyeglasses out of the toilet. Only I can clean up my kid’s vomit. Only I can retrieve that egg out of the chicken poop. I can dance around looking for someone in the clear…another receiver. Unfortunately, that play won’t work. After all, they’re my glasses, my kid, and my chickens…my job.
It is also sobering when others may be available but unwilling. I can’t count on someone else to pick up that litter, rescue that puppy, hold open that door, jumpstart that stranger’s car or return that grocery cart. It’s all a matter of personal responsibility and I can take it or leave it. But it’s still my job. If I don’t do it, who will?
Here’s the most sobering and unavoidable fact of all: when it comes to connecting the world to Christ, the default setting is…me. When Jesus says to be light to our world (Matthew 5:14-16), he’s telling me to shine. When Paul says that we are a fragrance of Christ to the saved and the perishing (2 Corinthians 2:15) the “we” includes “me.” When Peter says to “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles (1 Peter 2:12), “your” refers to yours truly. When he says, “…always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15), its my hope and my readiness he’s concerned with. It is me who’s supposed to shine the light, smell like Jesus, behave excellently and defend my hope. If it is to be done, I must do it. It’s my job.
By the way, for a good chicken story, check out my other blog: In The Charamon Garden: charamongarden.wordpress.com
Those who continue to think of the United States as a Christian nation need to face reality. Even though the nation was founded by believers it has not been perpetuated by such. We are now a secular nation driven by secular values and goals. Here’s the reality: we are now governed by greed instead of God.
While the legacy of Christianity continues in many ways (one example: we give more to charity per capita than any other nation) it should not surprise us that resistance to Christian practices performed in public (prayer, for example) is growing and being declared unconstitutional or illegal in more venues.
What bothers me is the response of many Christians: weeping, gnashing of teeth and hand-wringing. Folks, get used to it…we ain’t seen nothin’ yet! There are so many more important things than praying before a football game. At the moment still have free speech in this country and we can still proclaim the gospel to those who will listen. We can still call for justice and mercy. We can still serve those who suffer. We can still be Christ in our communities. We can still expose lies and false teachings. We can still stand for truth and righteousness.
Let us focus on matters that matter! It is not time to don sackcloth and sit in the ashes. It is time to be light in the gathering darkness.
In all the discussions about sexual abuse of children by priests, no one seems to be talking about one of the chief reasons that pedophiles and homosexuals seem to be attracted to the Roman Catholic priesthood. It is the “elephant in the room” that everyone seems to pretend is not really there.
The “room” is the Roman Catholic Church and the “elephant” is the requirement that priests be celibate. Celibacy is a great choice for those who wish to give their lives to ministry. It enables one to concentrate one’s undivided attention to prayer and the proclamation of the Word. The word “choice,” however, is operative. Nowhere is Scripture is celibacy required of anyone who wishes to serve God. While the apostle, Paul, thought it better to remain unmarried (read 1 Corinthians 7), he also maintained the right “…to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas…” (1 Corinthians 9:5).
Every man has the right to marry, especially if remaining single might compromise his moral purity (that certainly would apply to yours truly). And, allowing marriage is no sure cure for sexual abuse of children. Nevertheless, to require celibacy of all men who seek to serve God is unnatural and anti-scriptural. That’s right, a law made by a council in the fourth century is in opposition to Holy Spirit inspired Scripture. If that doesn’t make this requirement unnatural and ungodly, I don’t know what does.
Some are able to live celibate lives and remain pure (Matthew 19:10-12). Only God knows for sure, but I’m confident that most priests in the Roman Catholic Church fit this description. This does not change the fact that this requirement cannot be justified in light of divine revelation. The elephant in the room needs to be recognized, acknowledged and driven out.
Another great serving of soup from The Sacred Sandwich that proves a picture is worth a bunch of words. Please sir, can I have some more?