Sunday, May 22, 2011

So, what have we learned?

In the light of yesterday’s non-event (judgment day), what have we learned?
It seems every second month some self-proclaimed messenger of God makes statements that make many of us wince.
These past days it has been Harold Camping. Before that it was Terry Jones, the Koran burning pastor. Then it was Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church. In times past Pat Robertson made a stir with his words about Haiti. And on it goes.
But do we learn anything from the ill-advised comments/pronouncements of some who consider themselves followers of Christ? Are we gaining ground?
Or rapidly losing it?

For some, the back pedaling from Mr. Camping goes no further than repeating the mantra that the Bible itself tells us not to set dates. As if everything else Mr. Camping has been preaching is A-OK, but he shouldn’t have put a date on it.
And that Mr. Jones just shouldn’t have actually burned the Koran although his inflammatory rhetoric against Muslims is fine.
And that Mr. Phelps probably shouldn’t be picketing funerals—but his theology is otherwise kosher.
In other words, many are still holding to the main thrust of these ‘prophets’, just not the last step that put them over the top.
Many still totally see God as a terrible being, ready to toss his lightning bolts at anyone who doesn’t line up with some arbitrary interpretation of the Bible. They still preach that the ‘Good News’ of the Gospel is that God is anxiously waiting to judge almost everyone—except them. That his strongest desire is to populate hell with as many people as possible.

As long as we think the main thrust of the preaching of the Gospel is judgment,
we haven’t learned anything from the likes of Messrs. Camping, Jones, Phelps, Robertson et al.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

An open letter to Mr. Harper and Mr. Layton

Dear Mr. Harper and Mr. Layton;

The most important thing I took away from both of your speeches last night was that you plan on working together for the good of the country. You will support good policies, even if they come from a different party. That is what will make this country work.

Mr. Harper, 60% of the people who voted did not vote for your party, so your party does not represent a majority of Canadians. However if you choose to listen to and work together with ALL of the other members of parliament, we truly can begin to see our democratic system working again.

Many people voted for change. 2% more people (than 2008) wanted a Conservative government . 12.4% more people supported the NDP’s call for change. Although overall Green Party support dropped, they were able to elect their first ever MP. So, in many ways many people indicated a desire for change that did not point to the Conservative party.

Mr. Harper and Mr. Layton, the ball is about to be played in your courts. You can choose to hog it or fight over it, or you can choose to use it for the betterment of our country. You can use it to keep your friends happy, or to strive for the good of all.

We will be watching you both. We still don’t have a lot of faith in our political system, because we have been burned many times. You can help restore faith in our system, or you can give us every reason to say “I told you so.” It’s up to you.

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