Monday, December 26, 2011
Thanks to the availability of Social Media portals such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and blogs anyone can say anything they want and reach a global audience.
The quarterback of the Denver Broncos has garnered attention, because of his faith, and that has been linked to the season’s success that the Denver Broncos has enjoyed this season thus far. The Denver Broncos suffered a loss in their last game and Bill Maher took it upon himself to use this as an opportunity to tweet something inflammatory.
While I do not appreciate the comments that were made, I also understand that I can expect that sort of behavior from this individual. Bill Maher openly disregards, and makes fun of those, who profess faith in Jesus Christ. There is nothing new about this, Bill Maher just happens to have the ear of the liberal media outlets, that give him a global audience in which to spout his garbage.
I watched Pier Morgan of CNN interview Joel and Victoria Osteen last night. Pier Morgan spent the duration of the interview, trying to pin Joel Osteen down and get him to take a definitive stand on several inflammatory social issues, such as abortion, capital punishment and homosexuality. Joel Osteen did a good job of not getting pressured into making any type of statement, that would be construed as an official statement of Lakewood church or Christianity in general. Joel Osteen is labeled as the pastor of a mega church in Houston Texas, and therefore is someone that has a lot of influence over a lot of people.
Joel Osteen did reiterate his belief that homosexuality is a sin. He did not back down or apologize for scripture. He stated that he based his belief that homosexuality is a sin, because of what the scripture states. What Joel Osteen failed to say was that God loves all people and despises ALL SIN. Joel and Victoria Osteen stated that while they thought that homosexuality is a sin, that they would not have a problem attending a same sex wedding, IF the people involved were dear to their hearts.
I believe that the Bible says we are to love the person and hate the sin. The bible also says that if someone is openly living in sin, and has no remorse, or does not show a repentant heart, that we are to break fellowship with them. In other words, it is our duty to love them, and to show them what the bible says about their behavior. If they repent of the sin, and turn away from it, then we can have fellowship with them. If they do not repent and reject the counsel of God’s word then we are not to continue to be in fellowship with them.
I realize that blogging about religion and politics is not going to make me a popular person. Most folks shy away from those topics because they are so polarized and emotionally charged. We believe what we believe, and some folks say that these topics are too personal and private to be discussed in an open forum. I totally respect those people who tell me that they do not want to discuss these topics no matter what the reason is.
What I take issue with is people who use social media portals in order to make fun of folks who have faith in Christ or mock God with their statements. I also take issue with people of faith who use the same social media portals to openly attack people and wish them ill will or tell them that they do not deserve Jesus. When people of faith make that kind of statement they are doing more damage to faith in Christ.
Lets get this straight folks. None of us deserve Jesus. What did Jesus bring to the world? Jesus died on the cross for the sins of man for all time. Grace is the gift that God gave to mankind through his son Jesus. No one deserves that grace, but it was freely given for all. Instead of attacking people who do not agree with our faith in Christ, we should agreeably disagree with their opinions, but respect the person. If we are Christ followers, then we should act like Christ followers. If we are Christ followers then we will show the fruit of the spirit that Galatians 5 speaks of.
Please stop using social media to openly attack people who do not agree with your faith in Christ. Use social media to engage those people in a mutually respectful manner, that will open up a dialog to discuss our faith in Christ. No matter what be ready to agreeably disagree with those we chose not to believe in the way you believe.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Joy is in the spirit of reconciliation
Joy is in the spirit of forgiveness
Joy is in the spirit of generosity
There is one more but I have already forgotten it. As we draw near to Christmas Eve and Christmas day my prayer is that we can tap into the unspeakable joy that only God can put deep within our hearts.
Lets take the time to slow down and focus on the reason for the season,and to show the joy of Jesus to everyone around us. At all times preach the gospel of Christ and when necessary, use words. People do not care how much we know until they know how much we care.
Above all, lets remember that we have hurting people all around us that are struggling with what life has dealt to them.
Merry Christmas to you and your family from our family to yours.
My friend Bill Berry has this blog in his blogroll. Bill is a dear friend of mine that I have known for a very long time and he is very involved in ministry both online and off. He posts his daily devotional online via his Elderberry Blog. His dedication in doing this is very inspiring.
I spend most of my time producing content at our Lightourworld website/blog. Seeing as we have 31 followers on this blog, perhaps I should cross post my content on lightourworld, to here as well. Please let me know if you would like to see this happen.
As the blog post title says, We wish you a Merry Christmas. I hope that this does not offend anyone. but even if it does, I will not change it. Christ is the reason for the season. This is the time of the year when we highlight Emanuel, God with us. Christ IS the reason for the Christmas season. Instead of saying Merry Christmas some folks choose to say Happy Holidays. Unfortunately this time of the year is not always cause for happiness. We need to be aware of the fact that there are a lot of hurting people all around us and that this time of the year is not always a cause of celebration. Please be mindful of this and reach out to those folks in your sphere of influence that could use a kind word or a shoulder to lean on.
As I look around each year I see the familiar signs of the season punctuated by pretty trees all decked out with lights and ornaments of all kinds. I see that the neighbors have put all kinds of decorations and lights in their yards that are very nice to look at when it is dark. Radio stations are playing Christmas music which is nice to listen to when we are driving around.
One of the things that I do not like about the holidays is that they are marked by incredible amounts of advertising by companies that are competing for our hard earned dollars. Right after Halloween stores like Wal-Mart had their Christmas decorations out and Christmas music playing in their stores.
Another thing that I do not like is how some people act like idiots and ruin the Christmas season for others. All the stores have their black Friday sales, where they mark down items and cause people to stand or sit around in the cold, waiting until the next morning for the doors to open, so they can get this item or that. Once the doors open some people are so out of control in their quest to get what they want, that people get trampled. We all heard about the lady at Wal-Mart who used pepper spray to keep people away from the items she was after.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying gifts to give to your loved ones at Christmas. I just hope that we do not lose sight of what we are celebrating. We should be celebrating our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and that he came into this world to save us from sin, and to provide us with a way to spend eternity in Heaven with him. We should be celebrating the fact that God loves us so much that he pursues us and wants a relationship with us.
Katy and I live far away from our relatives in Texas. That means that we usually hang out with one another on Christmas day. On Christmas eve this year we will be celebrating Christmas at Coastal Community Church in West Ashley. We have been attending here for the last couple of months since it is very close to where we live. They are having a special celebration service at 5 pm and 7 pm at the Oakland Elementary School which is across the street from the church. If you are local to Charleston and you are looking for something special to do to celebrate Christmas in 2011 then you are invited to attend one of the two celebration services. Go to the link above and sign up for your free tickets.