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Showing posts from April, 2018

Knowing Justice - Deuteronomy 19:11-21 & Matthew 5:38-48

We don't always get our “druthers.” There are some things that life just not present to us the way we would prefer. I want a world without cancer. I want a world without strokes. I want a world without dementia and Alzheimer's disease. I want a garden that does not grow weeds. I want a world without war, violence, racism, greed, and famine. I want a Bible that tells me exactly what I need to hear with no contradiction, wavering, or uncertainty. I want God to play by my rules and accept my priorities. I can keep dreaming. We all can. At the end of the day, however, we have to deal with the reality before us. We don't get to live in Neverland. This is the world we have, and we have to accept it as it is. Today's passage is one of those texts that makes me uncomfortable. Deuteronomy expresses the legal code of Ancient Israel. In some places, it does a good job of presenting God and God's will in a way that Jesus would find acceptable. In other places like this chapter, …

Lest He Cry Against You - Deuteronomy 25:10-22

We are hard-wired to feel compassion on an individual level. We see needs around us and are moved to offer a meal, a pair of shoes, a shirt, a pair of pants, a coat, or a sleeping bag and willingly offer them to meet an individual's need. At least momentary needs within our grasp are elements we readily and willingly address. In so doing we often fail to address the larger issues that bring people to those conditions from which they may seek escape and the comfort of our band-aid compassion. The Bible is an ethical document in many respects. It is a compilation of ethical documents that are religious but advance very specific ethical teachings. We can't say the Bible is always consistent, for it includes various streams of thought which come from diverse traditions within the bounds of a Yahwistic faith. What we find ourselves having to do is read these various streams of doctrine, ethics, and tradition to determine the higher standard among them and so apply that to our lives. …

Time for A New Dream

Why were we so concerned with the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. that it resulted in his being shot 50 years ago? Why did we allow our fear of black people being granted equality to grow such that a bomb went off at a church in Birmingham? Perhaps it is because of the same fears that lie behind police violence against people of color, fears we have not yet effectively addressed. Perhaps it is because of the same tensions that cause us to blame the poor for their poverty and the victims of crime for the crimes against them. Perhaps it is because of the same political forces erected to limit the education available to people of color and the poor. Perhaps it is because we have not yet accepted that rising to the top of the heap means stepping on others to get there. Perhaps it is because we fear that an honestly level playing field will take away the advantages we grant to the white and the wealthy. Perhaps it is because we are afraid deep down that whites are not actually superior to others…