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29 November 2011 @ 10:30 pm
I've noticed a lot of people on Facebook lately complaining about the so-called "war on Christmas" and how they are supposedly not allowed to say "Merry Christmas" and political correctness and holiday trees and blah blah blah.

Here's a post from the Facebook "Christian Left" community for those complaining about people leaving Christ out of Christmas.

"If you want to keep Christ in Christmas, worry about things more important than the signs and decorations at JC Penney. You think Christmas should be about Christ? Then take up your cross and follow Jesus — not into department stores, but into the prisons, the hospitals, among the poor and the outcast. You get angry when someone doesn't say 'Christmas?' Try getting angry over Christ's children dying of malnutrition or AIDS. Try getting angry over the fact that the Christmas chocolate you love so much was kept cheap on the back of the working poor. Try getting angry over the fact that Christians are keeping people out of churches with their closed minds and closed doors. You want to keep Christ in Christmas? Try putting Christ in your life first."
22 February 2011 @ 01:21 am

I'm borrowing this from my friends Jeanette and Kenny since I felt this needs to be repeated. They both have this posted on their Facebooks (it is based from a conversation they had), and this is a very powerful statement. Obviously it is connected to Romans 13: 9-10 about the greatest commandment.  It may very much go against the grain of most Evangelicals but I totally agree with it. If we are not living our lives in a loving manner for Christ and showing how much of a difference He does make, why would anyone who is not a follower be interested in knowing Him? We can evangelize to the cows come home and lasso Christ around people and drag them into the fold. But until they realize that it is a one-on-one relationship based in love and see proof of that in His followers, it will be all for nothing really.

I have no desire to bring people to Christ. I want to live and love in a way I bring Christ to people.

I believe us Christians are missing the point, it is not about saving lives, leading people to Christ, or trying to bring people into church. If you can't love for the sake of loving then stop doing everything else until you can.

I would be very interested in comments about this. Mods, if this is off-topic, feel free to delete with my apologizes.

Current Music: "Wild One"- Darius Rucker
28 October 2010 @ 11:35 pm

This was inspired by the previous post.

Under the law, it was bad to murder and to commit adultery. The Jesus came along and said we shouldn’t even hate our brother for no reason—or look at someone else lustfully.

Did Jesus say these things simply to raise the bar a bit on our moral behavior? Did He want us to go from being Pharisees who could consider ourselves morally righteous because we didn’t murder anyone or have sex outside of marriage to Christians who could consider ourselves morally righteous because we didn’t hate anyone with no reason at all or look at someone else with real serious lust in our hearts?

I doubt it. First of all, Jesus doesn’t say “I set the bar here—and no higher.” On the contrary, it seems that He is always willing to set the bar as high as He has to to make His point. In fact, when He encounters someone who claims to have kept the whole law, He sets the bar to the ultimate extreme, far beyond anything the law even hints at. He tells this person to give everything he has to the poor.

In other words, Jesus is setting the bar at the God level. He says as much when He tells the one who comes to Him “There is only one who is good, and that is God.”

Did Jesus point to His own moral perfection as the ultimate standard of goodness to condemn us or simply make us feel guilty? I doubt this as well. He plainly tells us that He did not come to condemn or to judge, but to save. So what could His purpose be?

I think it might be reasonable to suggest that He is calling sinners to repent. He is letting us know we are sick and we need a doctor. Even our noblest deeds are as filthy rags compared to the purity of benevolent, selfless love that we find in the divine order of things. Any hope we might have that our obedience to some set of rules we extract with tweezers from scripture will bring about our redemption is a feeble one. We will always make rules to suit ourselves. And we will always break them anyway.

There are no rules strict enough to form us into what God originally intended us to be: His own children in His own image and likeness. For that, we need Him. We need His life in us. We need Him to breathe on us, to breathe His nature into us. This is, after all, what He did when He first made us in the garden. And it is again what He does to His disciples when He gives them the Holy Spirit after His death and resurrection.

He Himself is the way and the life. Not rules or commandments—which, though useful as indicators of our sanctification can never be the agency by which that sanctification occurs. We need Him to transform us, to re-order us. By this re-ordering, we become righteous in a way that transcends mere rule-keeping.  We become as Him.

He call us to Himself, because in Him alone is our redemption. And He is sure and faithful to perform it for His own Name’s sake. Hallelujah.

15 October 2010 @ 09:49 pm
Some good stuff, crossposted from my journal:

18 April 2010 @ 07:32 am
A friend of mine forwarded me this article which I found to be a most fascinating read and thought I'd share:

11 April 2010 @ 03:01 pm
If anyone is interested in reading my musing on the Ministry of Jesus I have posted it on my journal page.  It comes from my having to give a message at my church which started from a passage in 2 Timothy and my thoughts that I didn't really think that Paul understood Jesus' ministry by focusing on the risen Christ and the idea of salvation to the almost exclusion of the other parts of his teaching.  Anyway if you are interested please have a read and tell me what you think.  I am still trying to figure out how to use LJ so if I have inadvertantly posted my essay on your page please forgive me.  E.
02 April 2010 @ 02:58 pm
I hope this is appropriate-my church sometimes reads this poem as part of our Good Friday service and I wanted to share it with you all.

They Took Him Down

by Jimmy Owens from the cantata "No other Lamb"

They took Him down, His poor dead body,
and prepared Him for His burial.

They took Him down, His poor pale body
drained of life, ashen, and stained
with its own life-blood.
Click here to read more.Collapse )
Current Mood: touchedtouched
Current Music: Long Haired Radical Socialist Jew
21 March 2010 @ 06:58 pm
Err....this is more of a general theology question. I hope that's okay!

Which Bible verses are your favorites? What makes them your favorites?

My personal favorite is Jeremiah 29:11. It never fails to help me when I am unhappy about something happening in my life.
Current Mood: boredbored
17 March 2010 @ 08:34 pm
Hey all,
I'm not sure what I'm supposed to say here. I'm new and will be graduating college before too long. I'm Episcopalian.

I have a community that is like this if anyone is interested. lib_christians
14 March 2010 @ 05:42 pm
Hi, I have just joined LJ a few weeks ago and am starting to figure out my way around.  Thank you for letting me join your community.  I have enjoyed reading your posts!
I was raised in the Catholic church but was soured against it early on as my Mom was an ex-communicated Catholic as she married a divorced man.  My Mom though went every Sunday regardless and sat there while everyone else took communion.  I went to Sunday school etc and didn't understand at first but when I did I found it horrible that she would continue to go even though she was destined for Hell just because she had married my Father who is one of the nicest men you could possibly meet.  My Father is an agnostic (you know I will believe it when I see it).  I think that he has a belief in reincarnation if you really push him to it.  In fact he has some very interesting stories from when he was in India during WWII which lead him to believe more strongly in reincarnation.  Something which was completely outside the world view of a Church of England born boy from Yorkshire.  Anyway I missed my confirmation (went to Disneyland instead - you can see how important it was in my household - Dad is a bit passive aggressive LOL) and never really carried on in the Catholic church.

I did go sporadically to the Catholic church through my teens as I  always felt the Spirit and wanted to have some ritual meeting place where I could gather with others to worship.  When I was 20 I meet my spouse and when we were 21 we decided to commit to being life partners.  This was more than a bit of a problem as we are both women and the Catholic church and her fundamentalist church are not accepting at all of same sex unions.  Thus, we had to find another worship family.  When I was a law student (I'm a lawyer) I was volunteering at legal clinic and whilst talking to the other lawyer there we started to talk about spirituality and he invited us to a meeting of the Society of Friends (Quakers).  We loved it as you could worship in whatever manner you wished.  The only "rules" were that we were pacifists because we believed that the Light of God resided in every man and woman and thus, by killing or injuring another one was killing or injuring a piece of God.  We continued to worship with the Quakers until our first child was 2 1/2 but had to leave that wonderful spiritual group because there were no other children and we really wanted other Christian children for her to grow up with.  So we "shopped" around and interviewed the United Church Minister in the small town near where we live and have been going there for the past 10 years.  We are now members of the United Church of Canada.  I think we made the right decision though I miss being a Quaker sometimes.
My spouse and I were legally married about 5 years ago when the law changed in BC but we have been together 26 years on St. Patrick's day.  I guess the romance is dead because our 13 year old has convinced us to buy one of those big TVs for our anniversary LOL  We needed a new TV though as our old one is so old that we bought a blue ray DVD player and it doesn't have the right attachments for it (I think we had it before Mikhaela was born LOL).  Oh and I should also tell you that the Quaker community in Vancouver married us under its care in 1992 (it was not legal at that time) and at that point we were the first same-sex couple to be married under the care of a Quaker meeting in Canada.

So we have 2 kids - 13 and 11 - 5 dogs, a bird ( really nasty bird Cockatoo - didn't realize they were so nasty LOL).  My spouse is a professor at the local university and life is pretty good.

Again, thanks for letting me join your community.  I look forward to many interesting discussions.
11 March 2010 @ 05:16 pm
Hello!  My name is Gretchen and while I haven't posted here much, I do intend to establish a journal here and hope for some great conversation here on LJ.

I was brought up in a non church-going Episcopal home.  (lol)  I did convert to Catholicism about 15 years ago.  My children: however, have shunned the Catholic church, but that's another story...

We went though a brief Evangelical phase as a family, but left that church when the fledgling church we were attending split up.  I have some very fond memories of that church and made some great friends at that time.

I have had a lapse of faith recently, but realized that I am a liberal Christian who is just seeking the truth.

Glad to be here!!!