Skip to main content

word is getting out...

last sunday i began my "ripped from the headlines" sermon series, a look at some of the moral questions of our time. the first subject was the politics of faith, meant to briefly examine the role of faith in the life of our political leaders. i wrote a posting on this subject, particularly with respect to dr. jeremiah wright, recently. in the sermon i echoed much of what i wrote here, mentioning the old testament prophets jeremiah and nathan as specific examples of pastors/preachers who listened and acted when God called them to speak truth to power.

the interesting thing is that finally i think the tide is starting to turn on the whole jeremiah wright controversy. here is a fascinating article from the dallas morning news that illustrates the viewpoints of many african-americans and anglo-americans on the issue. and this commentary on cnn.com shares my thought that moral questions-- and more than just abortion and homosexuality-- should be at the forefront at election time, not the background, as they so often are. as i said in the sermon on sunday, the point of the sermon series is not to say who is right/wrong, or to tell anyone how to think or whom to vote for. we want to understand better why we think what we think.

i understand that this year the economy is a major campaign issue-- i guess it is the campaign issue-- not that the president can really do much about it. and of course the war in iraq is a major issue, as we just observed its 5th anniversary. but i still think the candidates should debate moral questions in an election year. so i did a little digging in order to get their views on a couple of the different topics we're exploring in the current sermon series:

faith and politics
death penalty

i think the sermon series is off to a good start: no late-night phone calls, anonymous notes left under the office door, no one leaving the church... yet. maybe, just maybe, as the united methodist general conference gets closer, and the primary season gets closer to the election season, we'll have a reasoned, unemotional discussion of the issues. maybe we are smart enough to think for ourselves. hey, the baseball season just started: it's the season of hope, right??

Comments

Anonymous said…
why do you think Jeremiah Wright tried so desperately to go overboard after the first sermon raised his fears of reprisal? Do you think he is trying to force the candidate (Obama) to denounce him? Do you agree with the statements from Obama's people that the pastor is so media hungry, he couldn't stand for someone in his congregation to be getting more attention than he is getting, so he is doing these new publicity stunts as part of an ego trip? How do you view JW's racist remarks about the Jews and alignment with Farrakhan?
I believe that a pastor is sinning if he doesn't preach what God calls him to preach. Immature christians will take offense to any direction that a pastor gives them that doesn't go along with their own position. Mature christians expect their pastor to preach to them what God puts on his heart regarding politics and every other matter. Do you find it hard to keep the congregation 'happy' while you honor your calling? I respect that you are preaching your views on hotly debated topics. Do you feel that you are preaching God inspired views or personal views? Or is there any distinction for a man of God between the two?

Popular posts from this blog

The Famous Black Cat Band

This week my former high school band director, Mr Reinke, died. Mr Reinke is a legend in my hometown of Bay City. He was the leader of our Black Cat Band for many years. He was a fiery man, a perfectionist with extremely high standards. He was a gifted musician. He and I both played the trombone; one of us sounded like a goose being strangled. The other sounded like... well I can't think of a metaphor to properly describe Mr Reinke's horn. It was amazing. He would pull that thing out occasionally to show us how to properly play a part of a song and the sound was spellbinding. 
Mr Reinke was very innovative in his music selections. He had us playing the most random music, from popular stuff of the day by Michael Jackson to Also Sprach Zarathustra (popularly known as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey) to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. This song in particular was a great choice-- it's amazing, complicated; however, this was the late 1980s. The song was originally released…

Grief Is a Powerful Thing

"So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the Gospel of God but also our own selves." 1 Thessalonians 2:8
My first couple of Sundays at Grace, early in July, a couple of different people asked me this question immediately before worship: "How are you feeling?" My response: "Terrified." This was met with sort of shocked looks, then afterward the same person would say something like, "See that was ok." I've always been nervous before preaching-- the ramped up nerves help me to focus on my task and give me energy. But this seemed stronger. On Saturday nights my first couple of months at Grace I would hear an inner critic saying, "You're not prepared." "You're going to bomb today." Most Sundays he was wrong. A couple of sermons did bomb, but that happens. I decided to seek out a spiritual director to help me discern what was going on with me. I knew it was internal, but couldn…

a response to gideons international

last sunday prosper united methodist church welcomed representatives of the gideons to share about their ministry. how many times have you stayed in a hotel or visited someone in the hospital and found a gideons Bible there? and while no one can argue that reading the Bible is a bad thing, or that distributing Bibles to others in native languages is inherently harmful, i would like to offer some thoughts on the practices of the gideons, as they were described at church.

1. bravo to the gideons for distributing 73 million Bibles last year. however, most of the Bibles they sent were tiny new testaments with psalms. i am a Christian, and i love the words of the new testament. but those words have their foundation in the old testament, and to remove thousands of years of traditions and stories of God's powerful love and acts of salvation diminishes the power of the whole Bible. we must never forget that the old testament (or "first" testament or "hebrew Bible"…