Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Winning by Losing

In the movie, "White Men Can't Jump", Rosie Perez's character
tells her boyfriend, "Sometimes when you win, you really lose,
and sometimes when you lose, you really win...
" Jim Elliot,
a missionary to Ecuadoran Indians (and who was later murdered
by them, along with others on his team), put the same thought
in more serious and profound terms: "He is no fool who gives up
what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose.

So yesterday's mid-term Elections were taken as a "defeat"
by many voters, especially some conservatives and quite a few
so-called "evangelicals"... With abortion bans voted down
in South Dakota, Stem Cell research voted IN, in Missouri,
Democrats winning back control in Congress, and other signs
of danger to (what many believe to be) the underpinnings
of American morality, Wednesday morning's results may, for some,
foreshadow some dark days ahead...

"America will cease to be great when she ceases to be good,"
we hear some preachers tell us; but exactly what role does
America being "great" play in the marching orders we have
as Christians? Loving God with all our hearts and souls and
minds and strength, and (as a way of putting FEET to that)
loving other people with hands-on, servant love -- this certainly
includes being good and responsible citizens, but would that
mandate be any less binding on us if America becomes a
nation filled with openly gay couples, abortion-on-demand, corrupt
Democrats in power, rampant Inflation, and even the censoring
of all "traditional" Christian speech, gatherings, and displays?

Revelation 2:4 warns us about leaving our "first love" even in
the midst of "serving the Lord", and other Scripture passages
caution us about "turning to other gods"... Given the mandate
to LOVE, and the SIN of dividing ourselves into "Us" vs."Them"
groups (especially along political, economic, ethnic,and
sexual lines), it is perhaps important right now to leverage
the "defeat" of this election as a reminder that eternal values
are the ones Christians should remain primarily focused on,
exchanging Labels for LOVE and Politics for PEOPLE.

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
-- Mathew 6:21


Friday, November 03, 2006

...and the Moral Confusion continues...

A story on CNN's website today gives us all yet another
example of the rampant confusion in our times over what
is "moral", what is "immoral", and who gets to decide
which is which...

The situation with Colorado Springs pastor Ted Haggard
and his accuser, Mike Jones, is a sad situation, no matter
what the eventual outcome is; but what caught my attention
about this story was Jones' quote on WHY he came forward:
    "I cried many nights; I got sick tormenting myself
    about whether I should do this," he said. "I finally
    had to come to peace with myself. ... I had to do
    the moral thing."
Mike Jones has been identified as a drug-dealing, gay,
male prostitute, and is presumably these things because
he chooses to / wants to be; hearing him invoke some vague
moral imperative is like seeing violent street gang members
taking part in a Peace rally...

Make no mistake, Jesus passionately loves Mike Jones, as He
does every single one of us, regardless of our "brand" of
Sin; and even in his sinful state, Mike Jones (like the
rest of us) demonstrates hope for his own redemption by
even supposing that one thing is "moral" and another thing
is not (though many of us disagree, of course, with his

But -- and as I have said here before -- the fact that ANYONE
in modern times openly invokes the Moral imperative with
one breath while disparaging any absolute standard of Morality
with the next breath is, to me, an indication that many people
in our time are too lazy to think and too confused as to
where to begin...