Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tell me how to vote, God, or Greg Boyd or someone!

No girls allowed! Out of copyright.
Here it is again, Wednesday Wisdom at my blog.

Is a person who is often torn between
     (a)compassion and
     (b)common sense/letter-of-the-Law/K-selected (*1) options less upright than a person who never seriously considers alternatives to common sense/letter-of-the-Law/K-selected options?

Two hot-button issues come to mind:
 (1) to acknowledge, or not, the validity of transgender identification and homosexual partnerships.

 (2) to welcome, or not, into one's country potentially dangerous refugees from lands whose complex internal conflicts have been exacerbated by destructive  military interference from one's own country.

Claims are coming-- from points all along the religious-political spectrum--that my views on the above issues set me firmly on the side of either treason or spiritual depravity or both.

It has been my experience that when I have myself convinced that only an irredeemable heretic would be in conflict over these issues, I've been afraid and, frankly, loath to pray. (Welcome, my unpardonably sinful Internet friends!)

It has also been my experience that when I approach the Throne of Grace as... well ... a Throne of Grace, I am able to put that turmoil aside momentarily (*2) and ask for the wisdom I need to represent the love of Jesus, just for today, to the extent my limited understanding, sphere-of-influence and level of faith will allow. A mustard seed is all it takes, or so I've heard.

You'd think I'd have finally divined, now that decision-making days are dwindling down to the single digits, which presidential candidate the Real Jesus is throwing His Social Media All-Mightiness behind.

Not yet! Meanwhile, I'm keeping internal "you're a heretic" accusations at bay by steeping myself in the wisdom found in articles like Bonnie Kristian's "In Praise of Christian Anarchy."  Staying away from polls and political discussions isn't necessarily recommended. Staying grounded in spiritual reality is.

[Christian anarchy is] a commitment to remember that the "hope of the world doesn't lie in someone finally coming up with the 'right' form of government," explains theologian Greg Boyd, a leading Christian anarchist. Rather, the "hope of the world lies exclusively in Jesus Christ and the willingness of his people to partner with him in bringing about God's will 'on Earth as it is in heaven' by imitating him."...
For the Christian, no electoral outcome can fix or finish our world. The promise that all will be made right in the end is no politician's to offer. But the good news, the very gospel message, is that it has already been offered, and we realize its fulfillment not on Election Day but on Christmas, in the story of power not sought but sacrificed.


(*1) "K-selected" is a fancy word for smart and responsible.

(*2) Reading this passage out loud is a way to prime the pump if, for just that reason, you haven't prayed for awhile.

Psalm 103:13-18  KJV
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesday Wisdom: Don't be Afraid to Pray

Grape harvest in.  Experiments with making raisins. Grape jelly turned out very well. Mr A glad I chose to make the low-sugar version, as I did with the berry jam and peach jam this summer. Neither one of us can imagine wanting something sweeter now.

I'm reading the story about Jesus and the Samaritan woman for a Bible discussion group I go to on Thursday mornings, and it's bringing back memories.

One summer, years ago, a supervisor asked me to talk with a co-worker who was acting crazy. He wanted me to calm her down and get her back to the task at hand. Either right before or right after the supervisor spoke to me, the Bible reference "John 4:27" came to mind. I didn't know what words went with the Scripture, so I looked them up before I walked over her way.

"And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or Why talkest thou with her."

I was just a kid in college back then, but for some reason the foreman thought I'd know how to handle this.  Maybe it was because I carried a Bible to work with me back in those days.

The lady was saying some crazy stuff about her being Jesus' twin sister. It all had to do with hormones, I was told. There were people at home who knew of her situation, but she was considered well enough to go to work. I remember praying with her. The coincidence of the John 4:27 verse coming to mind helped with my not being self-conscious about doing that, even in the middle of the factory floor. She did calm down and get back to her particular task on the assembly line. I was called over to calm her down a time or two more before the summer break and the summer job ended, and I went back to school.

We were making eyeglass frames, using pantographs to do it. Bet that's a new word for you, isn't it?!