Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Sin-Sick and Broken World

This past Sunday I preached about our hope for the full restoration of all creation when Christ returns.  “We live in a sin-sick and broken world,” I said,” that awaits redemption and transformation.”

Monday, I got up to news of the overnight death of Jim Carr, an EPC pastor that I have known since we were both in High School in Charlotte, NC.  While his wife Vickie called 911 from a bedroom, Jim confronted a burglar in his home, was shot in the chest and died on the way to the hospital.  911 has a recording of his description of the incident and perpetrator as he lay bleeding.  Click Here for the story.

Rape and Abortion

Todd Akin’s recent comments regarding rape are reprehensible.  They also cloud the difficult discussion that our nation needs regarding abortion.  The discussion on these two subjects, rape and abortion, are two different ones, though at one point, they do connect.

So first: rape is a crime of violence and power, typically committed by men against women, that should be condemned by all, prevented to the extent possible, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law when perpetrated.

Next topic: abortion.  Obviously, there is not nearly the consensus regarding abortion that there is about rape.  That is what makes the intersection of the two subjects especially volatile.  For those who advocate abortion on demand for any reason, there is not a problem.  For those like me, who consider life to begin at conception, there is a difficult problem.  When the conception occurs as a consequence of an crime of violence, does that circumstance alter the ethical and moral considerations?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I'd Like Some Waffle Fries, But Hold the Culture Wars, Please!

It was an amazing story within an amazing story.  Chic-Fil-A president Dan Cathy speaks out in favor of traditional marriage.  Big city mayors and a host of enraged people are aghast.  Then as an afterthought, a minor TV personality talks up support of Chic-Fil-A and before you know it lines of people are out the door and down the block.  Let’s stand up for marriage with a side order of waffle fries!  In an instant, a skirmish in the culture wars had erupted all across the nation as a TV news battle. 

By the way, I was in line that day.  I’m a huge fan of Chic-Fil-A – their service, their business model, their remarkable care of their employess, their convictions AND their waffle fries.  But I digress.

In a backlash to the backlash a number of people then rose up to protest the protests of the protests of Mr. Cathy’s original statement.  These protestors – thrice removed – aimed to disrupt the support for Chick-Fil-A as a corporate purveyor of hate and all things un-American.

One of those people was Adam Smith.  Mr. Smith is married with kids in Phoenix, AZ.  He was adjunct faculty at the University and Chief Financial Officer for a large pharmacuetical company.  He had the revolutionary idea to disrupt “Support Chic-Fil-A Day” by ordering some free water in the drive-thru and giving a piece of his mind to the worker there.  As if a shout at her would intimidate Mr. Cathy?  As an expression of solidarity, Mr. Smith even had the foresight to video the entire episode and post it to You-Tube.  How different things look in the light of day.  You can watch the episode for yourself.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Not Alone In The Face Of Suffering

The past several months have been filled with a number of tragedies.  On every stage - international, national and personal - I've seen things happening that make the question of human suffering and the goodness of God very real and very close to home.

Different worldviews bring differed resources to such suffering.  My Buddhist friends in Asheville would tell me that suffering was just an illusion.  My Word of Faith friends would tell me I'm confessing the wrong thing.  Round and round and round.  Everybody has an "answer."  None of us feel safe or satisfied.

The challenge for Gospel-centered Christians is bringing together the Father's ability - omnipotence - and His will - loving character.  You know the drill, either He lacks the power to end suffering or He lacks the will.  Either way, my unbelieving friends feel like they have me on the point of a real "gotcha."

I've concluded over the years that no one has a neat and tidy answer that pulls together all the different strands of suffering and its reasons.  The Gospel does offer us a unique resource among all others though: A God Who Has Suffered With Us.
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