He is risen indeed!
Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν,
θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας,
καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι,
Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
And upon those in the tombs
To stand on one leg and prove God’s existence is a very different thing from going on one’s knees and thanking Him.
I went over to the Westboro Baptist Church’s website to read their statement about the death of Fred Phelps. While I was there, I surfed through the rest of the site, and the emphasis on hate was astounding.
The sign on the left appears in a banner across the top of their Home page. Contrast that sentiment with that found in I John 4:8: “He who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, for God is love.” I suppose that the members of WBC might argue that John was writing in some narrow senses about how Christians ought to treat one another. I believe such reasoning falls apart when set against the words of Jesus quoted in John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Of course, God’s love for His creation does not give someone who chooses a life of disobedience and estrangement from Him a free pass. God is also just. To the extent that WBC opposes sin, they are on the right track, but to the extent that they repel potential believers rather than attract them to God’s call, they are ignoring Jesus’s instruction to go and make disciples.
God knows his people, and Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that we would know them by their fruit. One doesn’t gather grapes from thorns—or love from hate. Who do you think led more people to a loving relationship with God through Jesus, Fred Phelps or Mother Teresa? A message of hate or a message of love?
The laws of nature are constructed in such a way as to make the universe as interesting as possible.
God has two dwellings—one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart.
Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” Vanity asks the question, “Is it popular?” But, conscience asks the question, “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe or politic, nor popular but take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
It is no advantage to be near the light if the eyes are closed.
—Augustine of Hippo
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace,
good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?
—G. K. Chesterton
My codefendant in the Kimberlin v. The Universe, et al. lawsuit Erick Erickson has a piece analyzing Mordor’s response to Phil Robertson.
That is something Tolkien got so spot on with Middle Earth. The evil things are corrupted or perverted things made to mimic the light and the good. Mordor has its own yard stick by which things can be measured, but its metrics are all based on evil.
Phil Robertson did nothing wrong. He just did not shy away from the parts of accepting Christ that make people uncomfortable. He loves people so much, he is not willing to give people the fast pass to Hell by telling them they are not sinners.
He did not judge. He just held up the yard stick and a whole lot of people did not like seeing it and realizing they’ve fallen short. In Mordor, after all, falling short is measuring up and measuring up is being a hater, homophobe, and judging.
Just so. Read the whole thing.
But the devil, when he purports any evil against man, first perverts his mind.
Now that everyone else (it seems) has had a say, here’s my two-cents worth on Phil Robertson and A&E. I support Phil and believe A&E acted stupidly.
First, Phil Robertson’s statement is about what he believes, and he expressed no desire to compel others to be bound by his belief. Why would anyone be threatened because someone peacefully offered an invitation to share a belief?
Second, I believe he correct in one of his beliefs. If you look at what he said about the mechanics of human reproduction, he simply noted that we are evolved to have intercourse in a particular way. Trying to assemble the parts incorrectly may be fun for someone, but a continual desire for infertile sexual encounters is an evolutionary disadvantage that removes one’s genes from the pool.
Third, I believe that he is correct in the core belief underlying his point-of-view. We all are sinners in need of redemption.
Let me add this on my own behalf: I don’t believe LGBT people should be the objects of hatred. I have had and continue to have friends and business associates from at least the LGB contingent. I think they’ve made some terribly unfortunate choices, but they’re sinners—just like me. Our sets of sins don’t completely overlap. I pray for them. I hope they pray for me.
Paul writes in Romans that we shouldn’t continue in our sins so that God’s grace can abound. Rather, we should let His grace lead us toward more holy living. Phil Robertson, LGBT people, and I all have a way to go.
Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.
—Abraham Lincoln, 1863
Why are there beings at all, instead of Nothing?
The power of choosing good and evil is within the reach of all.
By a lie a man throws away and, as it were, annihilates his dignity as a man.
We will never recognize the true value of our own lives until we affirm the value in the life of others.
Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again;
The eternal years of God are hers;
But Error, wounded, writhes with pain,
And dies among his worshippers.
—William Cullen Bryant
Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.
Truth and love must prevail over lies and hate.
First, the Obamacare abortion rules. Now, cutting off active duty catholic service personnel from being able attend mass during the government shutdown.
You see, there are around a thousand catholics serving on active duty for every active duty catholic chaplain, so the DoD has hired priests as contractors to celebrate mass for personnel servicing in locations without a suitable chaplain. Since they are contractors, federal regulations prevent these priests from doing what they were hired to do during the shutdown, not even as unpaid volunteers.
Is there no limit to the lengths the administration and the Democrats in Congress are willing to go to in order to continue inflicting as much pain as possible on the American people during the shutdown?
The Little Sisters of the Poor have had to file suit in Colorado over the contraception coverage mandated by Obamacare.
The Gentle Reader may remember that nuns take a vow of chastity.