A World Without Mercy

Last week, I ran across an article from The New York Times that caught my attention.  It focused on what happens to people who become infamous for saying one dumb thing on Twitter.  PR rep makes a thoughtless comment that could be interpreted as racist if viewed uncharitably.  Soon, her tweet becomes the #1-trending comment on Twitter as tens of thousands pile on to condemn her.  She gets fired, has a nervous breakdown, and years later, still has trouble finding work and finding dates.  In either department, prospects google her, and, well, there it is.  If you’re curious, you can find the whole article here.

A few weeks ago, I read a similar article entitled “Is the Gay Community Scaring Away Our Straight Allies”?  It recounted the story of a straight man who attended a gay support group and innocently asked, “In a gay relationship, who is the boy and who is the girl?”  Oops.

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The Hand of God

While considering how to publicly express my love for my 'valentine' this morning, my thoughts wandered into the memories of our meeting some 31 years ago. As I thought over these memories, I was reminded of the many claims of "God brought us together" that I hear from time to time as others speak of such events. Dwelling on these thoughts caused me to consider how I believed regarding such an idea. Can I see God's hand at work in the series of events that brought JoBeth and I together? Yes! Do I believe our marriage was a result of God stepping into the dealings of men and women and causing them to take actions that led to our meeting? No!

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Would We Have Believed Them?

If we had been living in the first century would we have been receptive to the preaching of John the Baptist, Peter or Paul? Most would probably say, “Of course, for I receive them now!” But could it be that what they taught has become “socially acceptable?” And perhaps, have their teachings been presented to us in a more “non-offensive manner?”

But how would we have received the truth from them as it was originally presented? If we had been there, would we have believed them? Let us challenge our thinking along these lines.

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My Neighbor’s Electric Fence

Recently I have picked blackberries near an electric fence. As I did so I did a little meditating about it.

The purpose of that fence is to keep the cattle from trespassing. Regardless of how green the grass might be outside that fence, the cows could not have it. My garden is just a few feet away and the cows would like to get to my corn. They can't understand why they should be fenced out of it. But to go past that fence and get into my corn would be trespassing. Anything inside that fence is permissible for them. Anything outside is forbidden.

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Does Silence Authorize?

In arguing that Jesus could not be a priest on earth, writing to the Hebrew Christians, the author argues that the silence of the Scriptures restrict rather than giving license to act. He wrote, "For it is evident that out Lord sprang out of Judah: of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood" (Hebrews 7:14). God has spoken or caused to be written His complete will for humanity.  If something isn't found in the will of Christ, since it is the "prefect law of liberty," (James 1:25), that means it isn't a part of His will for man.  Jesus promised to guide the writers of His last will and testament into "all truth" (John 16:12-13). He either did what He promised or He failed. I happen to believe that He kept His promise and that agrees with what Peter wrote when he said, "as His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us by His glory and virtue" (2Peter 1:3). Perfection, completeness, or spiritual maturity may be achieved by believing and following what has been revealed in the Bible (2Timothy 3:16-17). What has been revealed is so adequate that should any man or even an angel teach otherwise than what was "taught" and what had been  "received" from these inspired men in the first century, Paul said "let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:6-11). The words of our Lord Himself state: "He who rejects Me, and receives not My words, has that which judges him-the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). These very words of Jesus were what the Holy Spirit brought to the apostle's remembrance as promised (John 14:26; 15:26). These words became our New Testament.

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