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Month: April 2015

What is Justice?

The quote is attributed to Martin Luther King but “fairness” insists that you know it actually comes from Amos 5:24.  Amos was famous for calling for justice and you will be hearing about justice until you are blue in the face in the weeks ahead.  There is a lot of bleating about “justice”, but there are not many definitions out there.  Luther was so frustrated with the term “justice” in the Bible  that it drove him to distraction. What is justice?  There are principles of justice that serve as definitions but the problem comes in when people try and actually practice the principles. One principle is “fairness.  Legal philosophers have a field day with this concept. Any pastor who’s ever taught confirmation class can sympathize with the ultimate question of what fairness is. A pop quiz on the second article of the creed is absolutely fair to the smartest kid in the class. It’s considered unfair by everyone else.  The very subjective nature of “fairness”, can be seen every day simply by listening to the political cacophony that surrounds us. Yet in many ways this will be the principle I would probably look closest at in making a case for the kind of justice that people will call for. What does it mean to be fair?  I remember playing ball back in the day and the other team said...

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Fields of Grass

“ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS, AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF, 25BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.” And this is the word which was preached to you.  1 Peter 1:24-25 Powered by Cincopa Video Hosting. Share this on:...

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The Rise of the Tantrum.

I’m sure some will say this is really simplistic and silly but…..we are surrounded by tantrums.  The ESPN chick that melted down at the impound lot; the movie stars and college students that threw fits about “American Sniper”; the press officials who never answer questions and get mad when they are asked, and maybe even some policemen are throwing tantrums.  What is happening in Baltimore is a big tantrum.  I am convinced that the nature of human beings is the belief that they are the center of all things.  That really is original sin.  It is respect and love and trust in self rather than in God.  It is the Korean Airlines commercial writ large – “It’s all about you!” Children come out of the womb believing that they are the center of the universe and we have raised generations that have fostered that belief.  As we enter the graduation season we will hear again how this new batch of grads are the best, most educated, brightest and greatest generation in history but please print their graduation card because they can’t read it otherwise.  So we brainwash a generation into believing that they can do anything without giving them the tools and the education.  When they realize that the world is tough and competitive they have tantrums. Baltimore is and example of a huge tantrum.  What happened to the...

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Arrest This Mom!

As CBS News so eloquently said many times last night the issues in Baltimore involved “children”, poor little waifs that got caught up in peer pressure and the frustration of being black in white America.  Then along comes this mom (at least we believe this is a mother and her son) who finds her little boy throwing a rock and she gives him five or six upside the head, humiliates him in front of his friends and classmates, practically frog marches him through crowds and past the press and cameras and it is all over the headlines.  The mayor wanted to “give those who wished to destroy space to do that”, (that is a quote, she said it) and young ones took her at her word and now this mom gets mad and humiliates her son.  How will children ever grow to be law abiding adults if they never have the space to destroy stuff?  What she did was child abuse and when the police have time they should find her and arrest her. I’m kind of expecting someone to say something like the above sometime today .  Watching this mom go after this kid in front of his friends was actually kind of neat.  Embarrassment is a huge motivator.  I remember my mom chasing me home after finding me doing something stupid and it changed the way I acted and...

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The Mission Society and Mission Societies.

A society is the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.  As disordered as it may seem the world has become one rather large and more or less ordered society.  I remember sitting in the living room of the Earth Watch Institutes compound at Wamba, Kenya, which to me was pretty close to the end of the earth, and finding folks from Brainerd Minnesota had signed the quest book.  This sign struck me at how small the world has become.  Have you been to West Africa in the last 21 days? I don’t believe that I am wrong about this – in my life time there was a time when it could have taken you 21 days to get to West Africa, or at least the place where you were going to visit there.  I was involved in a conversation about a book written in 1962 in which the author spends a huge amount of time describing a flight from London to New York.  The writing is great and makes you fell like you are on the flight but the conversation revolved around the amount of time spent in the description.  One of the folks in the conversation said, “we need to remember that when that book was written, few of the people that would read that book had been or would be on a flight from...

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