Friday, September 04, 2009

Communicating Hate Sucks

Good Commentary on a bad situation. This is from the Church Marketing Sucks blog.

Communicating Hate Sucks: "

Steven Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Ariz., recently preached a sermon titled, 'Why I Hate Barack Obama.'

Whether you're for or against President Barack Obama isn't the point, but this next part is where it gets weird.

'I'm gonna pray that he dies and goes to hell when I go to bed tonight,' Anderson said in the sermon. 'That's what I'm gonna pray.' Anderson has elaborated that he doesn't condone killing but hopes Obama dies of natural causes so he doesn't become a martyr. 'I'd like to see him die, like Ted Kennedy, of brain cancer.'

This seems like a real live case of Lord, save us from your followers.

When Paul encouraged Timothy to pray for government leaders, I don't think he had death and eternal damnation in mind. You don't have to like the president, but this is a long way from the forgiveness and repentance at the heart of Christianity.

If you hate what Obama stands for, pray that God would change his heart, change his mind and change the nation for good. You don't pray for his death.

All this communicates is hate. Where is the love for your enemies? Where is the compassion? Where is the grace? In a political landscape that's as heated and polarized as ours is, shouldn't the church of all places be able to preach love in spite of our differences? Not too long ago the church did preach love in the face of hate and it changed the world.

And apparently this story isn't weird enough: In an ironic stumper, Anderson and his congregation are now receiving death threats for preaching, um, death.


Translation Tribalism

Good post by Scot McKnight over recent TNIV flap...

Translation Tribalism: "Translation.jpgI am very confident about the prospects of the new NIV (2011). I know those translators and know they are devout and they are accurate translators. I hope you are praying for them, and I hope you listen carefully to what Doug Moo, the chair of the Committee on Bible Translation, has said about philosophy.

But what depresses me about Bible translation debates today is tribalism. Some have raised the bar of this conversation to such heights that variation is tantamount to heresy. I want to do a few posts on translation next week, but today let's have a little fun with the tribalism that does exist, that seems almost inevitable, that does sometimes lead to uncharitable divisiveness, but that can lead us to see ourselves in humorous tones at times. Translations can also be a window to our heart and theology and preferences. So here goes with a sketch of tribalist translation tendencies. Each of these is partially true but not wholly true, so let's not reify but have a little fun...

NRSV for liberals and Shane Claiborne lovers;
ESV for Reformed complementarian Baptists;
HCSB for LifeWay store buying Southern Baptists;
NIV for complementarian evangelicals;
TNIV for egalitarians;
NLT for generic brand evangelicals;
Amplified for folks who have no idea what translation is but know that if you try enough words one of them will hit pay dirt;
NKJV and KJV for Byzantine manuscript-tree huggers;
The Message for evangelicals looking for a breath of fresh air and seeker sensitive, never-read-a-commentary evangelists who find Peterson's prose so catchy.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Sunday, September 5, 2009

This week we continue our study in the Gospel of Mark with the story of Blind Bartimaeus. It is in Mark 10.46-52.

This week's worship bulletin is here.

I plan to take some time for us to discuss this story, so if you want to read it ahead of time to be prepared, that would be great. One thing to think about is this: Why did Jesus ask Bartimaeus what he wanted? Bart sits by the road and calls out "Son of David, have mercy on me!". Jesus calls him and asks, "What do you want me to do for you?". One commentator responded with "Duh! He wants to see!". When this man's need was so obvious, I wonder why Jesus asked him. What do you think?

We will discuss and share and listen and have communion, and there will be 5 prayer stations/experiences based on the story of Blind Bartimaeus. These come from Blair Cameron.

Our prayer time will feature a prayer of confession from The Pattern of Our Days from the Iona Community.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Compassion Concerning Healthcare

This post is from the Everyday Liturgy blog.

Compassion Concerning Healthcare: "

I went to the doctor yesterday for a routine phsyical. I was in the office for about 45 minutes and overheard two conversations between very stressed out, uninsured individuals trying to walk the desperate line between finances and health.

The first lady was very concerned and hovering over the office manager when I came in. She had had a routine physical and an EKG but was uninsured, so she was setting up an installment plan to pay for the two services. Two routine services.

The second lady called in and spoke with one of the doctors, very upset that her prescription had run out. The doctor said that they had strung out the daily prescription for as long as possible, and that since it had been a year to the date since her last visit she would have to come in and see the doctor. The scenario playing out was that the woman was taking a daily medication for some ailment, but she couldn't come in and incur the cost of all the additional services that would come along with a simple doctor visit (EKG, blood work, etc.).

My heart really went out to these people. It must be such a state of helplessness. I was wondering what I could do, and I thought support health care reform, but that is just kind of business as usual and simply pathetic. We cannot continue to try to legislate Christian action through secular politics.

So what can a Christian do?


Praying for the President to Die

This makes me angry and ashamed at the same time.

Tempe pastor reiterates wish for President Obama's death - Phoenix Arizona news, breaking news, local news, weather radar, traffic from ABC15 News |

Posted using ShareThis