August 04, 2006

The Left Has Their Wing Nuts Too

A group of left-wing extremists have joined together to write a manafesto and set up a web site called As I understand their views after visiting their website, they want to extend marriage rights and legal recognitions far beyond same sex couples. Among the various and sundry relationships they want recognized are "households in which there is more than one conjugal partner."

Oh crap. This DOES NOT HELP LGBT people who want to have their committed relationships recognized as a legal marriage. It does not help at all because this is foddder for opponents to use in scaring their sheep to fall in line opposing equality. There is an excellent essay about the damage this will inflict on the GLBT community on the Independent Gay Forum.

The American Family Association has already seized upon this extremist rhetoric, portraying it as "Pro-Homosexual Marriage Proponents Go Public With Their Agenda." Of course, the clear implication is that all marriage equality advocates subscribe to these extreme views.

The AFA continues "In short, they want to totally redefine our society by eliminating the very concepts of marriage and family, and the battle to redefine traditional marriage is just the beginning. The proponents of homosexual "marriage" admit it and they have posted their manifesto online."

I suspect what the people at will ultimately accomplish is helping to keep same-sex marriage beyond the reach of loving, committed same-sex couples. They are providing organizations like the AFA with effective ammunition for their campaign to discredit proponents of equality and scare people who won't put forth the effort to investigate the issue on its own merits.

August 03, 2006

Braves Chop Out "Focus On the Family"

Last week, the Atlanta Braves baseball team held one of three scheduled "Faith Day" events, which features post-game Christian evangelism. The Braves' organization dediced that the next two would be held without the participation of Focus on the Family.

The Braves' declined to state why they have disinvited Focus on the Family, but kudos to them for doing so. I'm happy to see they are not endorsing the hatred and bigotry these folks propigate, but according to the report from the Think Progress website, they are scheduled to participate in others. There is an e-mail address on their website where you can contact the organizers and discourage them from being associated with an group that promotes hate and exclusion, and I would encourage you to do so.

August 02, 2006

WHOSOEVER: Hold on or let go?

The cheerful little girl with bouncy curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them, a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.

"Oh, please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?"

Quickly, the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading eyes of her little girl's upturned face.

"A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you to do and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday is only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."

For the next week Jenny did more than her share of chores, and on her birthday her Grandma did give her a new dollar bill. At last she had enough money to buy the pearls.

Jenny loved her pearls. She wore them everywhere. They made her feel pretty and grownup. She even wore them to bed.

Every night when Jenny was ready for bed her daddy would read her a story. One night as he finished the story he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"

"Oh, yes Daddy, you know that I love you"

"Then, give me your pearls."

"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess, the white horse from my collection. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me? She's my very favorite."

"That's okay, honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And he kissed her goodnight on the cheek.

About a week later after story time Jenny's daddy asked again, "Jenny, do you love me?"

"Daddy, you know that I love you."

"Then, give me your pearls."

"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She's beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."

"That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you." And as always he kissed her goodnight on the cheek.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed. As he came close he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear was rolling down her cheek.

"What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"

Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. When she opened it, there was her pearl necklace. With a quiver in her voice she finally said, " Here, Daddy, these are for you." With tears in his own eyes Jenny's daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store pearls, and with the other hand reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her the real thing.

So it is with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap imitations in our lives so he can give us beautiful treasures. Isn't God good?

Are you holding onto things that God wants you to let go of? Are you holding onto harmful or unnecessary partners, relationships, habits or activities that you have become so attached to that it seems impossible to let it go? Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in His other hand, but do believe this one thing........ God will never take away something without giving you something better in its place.

July 31, 2006

"Disowning Conservative Politics Costly for Pastor"

Some of you may have already seen this news item from the New York Times (via AOL here) but it is just too closely related to the message of this blog to pass up linking to it.

The Rev. Gregory L. Boyd, pastor of the Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, took a stand and lost about 1,000 of the 5,000 members of his church as a result.

Rev. Boyd had the nerve (and I mean that in a good way) to stand up against being a conduit for conservative political messages. Here's an excerpt from the article:

"Before the last presidential election, he preached six sermons called “The Cross and the Sword” in which he said the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a “Christian nation” and stop glorifying American military campaigns.

“When the church wins the culture wars, it inevitably loses,” Mr. Boyd preached. “When it conquers the world, it becomes the world. When you put your trust in the sword, you lose the cross.”

It is important to point out here that he is not merely doing this to advance the political causes he believes in. He is anti-abortion and does not think homosexuality is something God would sign off on.

Rev. Boyd, however, puts his views in perspective and subjegates them to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, an increasingly novel approach these days, especially in "mega-churches" that have thousands of members.

Rev. Boyd has written a book titled, "The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church,” which is based on his sermons.

I suspect that book is worth checking out. If I'm ever in the St. Paul area, I'd love to drop in and visit a church where I can be confident of hearing Jesus preached and not listening to a recitation of points from the Republican Party platform.

July 30, 2006

WHOSOEVER: "The Way Jesus Loved"

How can people recognize the love of Jesus in us? Well, let's take a look at the Scriptures and see. "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples." John 13:34,35 NIV.

If we are to love one another as Jesus loved, then how did Jesus love?

1. He hung out with them and became intimately involved in their lives. He wept with them and laughed with them.
2. He spoke the truth in love. He accepted them right were they were, but he loved them too much to leave them that way. :)
3. He served them by loving them the way they needed to be loved, without judging, all the while revealing to them a better way.
4. He trusted them and believed in them enough to put the future of the church in their hands.
5. He gave up his life for them.

Does this sound like a tall order? Jesus wouldn' t have asked us to do it if it couldn't be done. So, let's love one another the way Jesus loved.