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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 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??


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?

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