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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Choosing Sides?

Recently I have found myself with some extra time on my hands and along with many people my attention has yet again been captivated by the Media, Social-Political and Religious interest groups as President Obama has taken a more (Liberal ) stance on the institution of marriage as it pertains to all of society particularly the LGBTQ community. It seems that every meadia outlet from Twitter to CNN is focused in and choosing a side either in favor of or against LGBTQ marriage/relationships. What I find even more troubling as always it that the FAITH communities seem to be the first one's picking sides and setting up camp in their chosen area.

This is disappointing not because different faith communities have varying beliefs or stances, and it's actually a good thing to see faith communities/ denominations being proactive and not reactive. However my disappointment lies in the fact  most major Religions ascribe to some doctrine of love and value of man under God (higher being) but somehow cease to illustrate the love we speak of when dealing with issues so close to the hearts of so many. Instead I have found the exact opposite happens and even those who preach love, peace, tolerance, and compassion result to using fear, hate and oppression on those who think and or live differently. When our belief is challenged many faith communities and leaders leave the pastoral care and counseling books in their office wile holding tightly the doctrines, disciplines and dogmas that their faith institution has adopted as foundational.

I hope always and pray daily that those of us who claim to believe in something more than ourselves would live out our faith in loving compassion toward one another when troublesome times occur and difficult issues arise. As for me I am a Christian and when I find myself being bombarded with negative input from all sides my faith leads me to the Gospel text of John 3:1-21.

Let's look:
1 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee.
2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”
3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again,t you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.t6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.t7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’
8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
9 “How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.10 Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things?11 I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony.12 But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things?13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven.14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.t16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.
21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.

Many people are familiar with this text because of John 3;16, I felt it best to start with John 3:1 and the story of Nicodemus, because like many of us Nicodemus sought God through Jesus while dealing with difficult issues during uncertain times. I believe that the people of faith must also seek the God  who loves us all so much through Jesus during these difficult and uncertain times. We must also remember that if God loves us enough to suffer for our sake are not we challenged to love each other in the same manner despite  if we agree or disagree. 

Today I invite you to join me choosing God's side, choosing loves side. Won't you join in prayer for our fellow leaders and family in faith, for our brothers and sisters throughout the world, that even disagreement we may join into loving communication and compassionate dialogue. i trust that this prayer will be answered because you and I have the power to enforce it by reminding all we encounter today about God's love for us, in the name of Almighty God our creator we proclaim victory! Amen.

Please pass this blog along to someone else today so that they may be blessed and join in the fight for love. Be Well, Love P.J.

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