Fear - Courage

Do What You Can

“Ring the bells that still can ring
forget your perfect offering
there is a crack in everything
that’s how the light gets in.”
-Leonard Cohen

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  • Thanks bookaholic and Frances for the intelligent and deep discussion…

    By the way, last Sunday the Hastings First Baptist Church (under the American Baptist Church banner – very reasonable people) declared Larry Harvey as their new pastor. I am delighted, because this has been a four month long project of seeking a church near our kids and grandkids, finding housing, selling our house, moving, and candidating to pastor this church.

    In his acceptance speech, he said “We will together learn and grow in the project of ‘Loving God with everything we’ve got, and loving our 30,000+ neighbors as ourselves.'” I know for a fact that he will be a nourishing pastor who promotes love and true peace and justice – and who not only does NOT buy into that new false version of Christianity, but gently exposes it and provides an antidote for it.


  • That is what is so scary about the new “Christians”. I grew up Christian and what I learned as a child until more recent days is love of your fellowmen. Jesus changed the 10 Commandments to 2 and basically when you follow these 2, it will take care of the others. Loving your fellowmen means for peaceful living. Now, it is all about hate. They hate the gays, they hate everyone who don’t conform to their ideas and they hate more and more. I stopped going to church because I cannot stomach some of the ideas that are expounded there. I still love my fellowmen. I told a woman at a party once when she was talking about hating gays, “Only God can judge us. We are all sinners and we have no right to judge anyone. Just take care of your soul and the others will take care of their own.” She actually felt embarassed after I told her that.

    It is so easy to hate, and difficult to love so we have to try hard. But if you look at people as creatures of God, how can we do otherwise.

    “Love God with all your might and your neighbors as yourself.”

    I agree with your comment about being able to find a verse in the Bible to back up what people what to do or to believe. They should stop and think because it could backfire.

  • Okay, so things are slow here and Larry’s busy. How about a discussion? Did anybody see the Sunday PBS program on Al Quaeda? It was called “Jihad: The Men and Ideas Behind Al Quaeda” and it dug pretty deeply into the history of Islamism in general and Al Quaeda in particular. Several speakers were Muslims.

    Somebody made the point that Islamism (in contrast to Islam) took the spiritual content out of Islam and replaced it with political ideology. The desired outcome is to replace secular society (where faith is a personal choice) with a very strict code of behavior enforced by the religious police. The more fundamentalist the person, the more likely that he would find this ideology attractive.

    One big development was when they decided they could “excommunicate” (can’t remember the Arab word) fellow Muslims and then it was okay to kill them. Apparently the Quran says Muslims should not kill fellow Muslims. If you are a fundamentalist you can’t go against the Quran, so you have to do some fancy theological footwork to make it come out the way you want. Well, they did it, and now it’s okay for them to declare a fellow Muslim isn’t really a Muslim, and when you’ve done that, it’s okay to kill those folks.

    It hit me like a ton of bricks: that’s why all that Team Jesus stuff seems so off-putting, and so different from being a follower of Christ. It’s replacing the Spirit with some “us vs them” thing, and reducing life to an agenda. Of course most Christianists aren’t killing folks, and I doubt that killing would be their style anyway as long as they think they can use political activism to gain control of city councils, school boards, legislatures etc. and establish their own version of Christian law. And of course we do have a tradition of Christan law: in the early days of New England the Puritans made everybody toe the line and even burned people at the stake.

    There’s a Bible verse to back up anything that mean people want to do, and I think it’s up to the Christians to keep the Christianists from going back to the bad old days of the stocks and the pillory and the witch hunt.