Posts Tagged ‘charity

29
Nov
11

Lack of Focus

Or, perhaps, the title of this post should be “The Wrong Focus.”

Some of the most fervent people pursue their missions from entirely the wrong standpoint, and so it is with many conservative, fundamentalist Christians, because they aren’t really as focused on the fundamentals as their descriptor would suggest.

See, my problem with the “fundies” isn’t so much that they want to promote biblical ideals and Bible-based behavior as it is that they put at the top of their agenda subjects on which Jesus didn’t really focus and/or that are only hinted at vaguely in the Bible…while also putting at the bottom of their priority list those things on which Jesus spoke most clearly and directly.

So, on the one hand, they’ll pick out a Bible passage about ancient punishments for hitting a pregnant woman in the belly and killing her unborn child, along with God’s words in the Book of Jeremiah “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” and say, “See! God hates abortion! Let’s go have a huge campaign against women controlling their own bodies and hijack freedom of choice and science while ignoring more pertinent issues that affect more people.”

Never mind that causing the death of a woman’s fetus in an act of violence or irresponsibility was a crime because it assumed the woman wanted to give birth and you took that away from her (i.e. took the life that she had charge of). Also never mind that the quote from Jeremiah is about foreknowledge and foreplanning on God’s part, not about when life begins. Never mind that Jesus never once mentioned anything about fetuses, and his words are the ones Christians should focus on most.

And then, on the other hand, with poverty rising, kids and adults going without food, healthcare becoming increasingly inaccessible and the rich hoarding more and more of the money just because they can (even though they don’t need that much), you’ll see fundies cringe at any notion that even hints at socialism or talks about fairness and sharing, even though Jesus spent huge gobs of his time talking about economic fairness and taking care of the less fortunate.

Not to mention the fact the early Christian church essentially practiced communism, or something very close to it.

But they’ll ignore that and point to his parable of the talents and claim Jesus was a free market capitalist even though the parable is talking about spiritual growth and responsibility, not wealth creation.

Shaking my damn head…

10
Mar
09

Two-fer Tuesday: Blindness by Miz Pink

daydreaming pink hair girl in aviator helmetIt won’t be much a surprise to anybody I guess that Deke and I neitehr one of us will be talking about “real” blindness today. Though it is an important issue to be sure.

I wanted to talk about the way we sometimes fail to see the positives in life.

Its really easy I know. Sometimes those positives are buried under a whole heaping mess of crap. And it’s at those times that people who aren’t chrisitian (or spiritual in general) look at faith based folks and say that we’re trying to hard to find God’s grace and justify bad things and write off suffering as Gods will.

Suffering isn’t God’s will, not really. I don’t know exactly what happened to separate God and people aside from the story of the Garden of Eden and I have plenty of reasons to doubt that story happened like its told to us. But somehow somewhere for some reason we DID break with God (I don’t believe he broke with us) and created a spiritual rift between heaven and earth.

Suffering on this planet is typically the work of people. We hurt people directly or we refuse to help them.

But there are times when suffering is a way to reveal God’s glory or when it provides a chance for us to show God’s love through our own actions to help.

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. (Gospel of  John chapter 9, verses 1-3, New International Version)

God didn’t punish that blind man. Jesus says that right out. But did God make him blind? Just so Jesus could heal him? Probably not. Jesus didn’t say that God did it to make a poin. He said that it “happened” for reason. God works in little ways throughout the world and in our lives. People wonder why miracles don’t happen or why God doesn’t seem to intervene but he does. But he does so in small ways.

We aren’t chess pieces for him to move. But we are each of us a catalyst or an ingredient in something bigger. A  pinch here a pinch there, an addition here or deletion there…God doesn’t MAKE us do stuff. But he does try to make sure people are around where they are needed. He will not force us to do the right thing, but he gives us opportunities to do his work on Earth for the betterment of all.

If we could just open our eyes.

02
Mar
09

Two-fer Tuesday: Faces by Deacon Blue

facespectrumFaces in the crowd.

They’re easy to miss, aren’t they?

One person among a mass of folks. We see the multitude, but we miss the particular human.

Or do we? Have we missed that person, or intentionally averted our eyes?

Think about it. If you see someone sexy in a crowd, you often pick him or her out of the masses, don’t you, and you keep watching a while, right? If there is someone who annoys you or amuses you, you focus on that person well enough, and probably keep watching the person so that you can riff on him or her with your friends.

But what about the person who looks like they really need help? Maybe someone who’s standing by a dead car in a busy parking lot, and you don’t bother to take a few minutes to use the jumper cables in your trunk to help. Maybe someone who clearly is in need of food or shelter, and you won’t spare a measly couple bucks in your wallet to help. Or someone at work who could clearly use a friendly ear at lunchtime, but you decide to leave your lunch in the fridge and go out rather than lend that ear.

I’ve done that myself. That’s why I picked the examples I did. And it shames me how many times I’ve done all three of those things. And how many other faces in the crowd have I ignored? I don’t have the courage to count them all.

(Image from University of British Columbia Web site)




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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