Pro-Life and Politics

As any longtime reader of my blog knows, I am passionately opposed to abortion.  My views on the matter crystalized about 10 years ago, when my daughter Macy was stillborn.  As I struggled to come to terms with my loss, one thing became clear to me.  Life is a gift from God.  He is the One who holds the power to kill and make alive in His hands.  When we take that power upon ourselves, we put ourselves in the place of God and usurp His authority.  We wade in waters that are too deep for us.

I’ve also written a considerable amount (though with less passion) about my concerns with making political action (particularly on a national stage) a substitute for discipleship.  I don’t have any problem with Christians taking pro-life political positions.  In fact, if I believed that political efforts to defeat abortion in America had any likelihood of success, I would join them.  Continue reading

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Problems with Worship

While it is true that every page of the Bible has something to say to us, sometimes, one part of the Scriptures is made particularly relevant by something about our circumstances.  I think this is the case with the book of Malachi.  Like the Jews of Malachi’s time, we live in a post-restoration existence.  Like them, we’re part of a community of God’s people that has been serving Him faithfully for more than a hundred years.

However, as Malachi reveals, being part of a faithful tradition is not enough to ensure that we personally are pleasing to God.  Malachi points out several areas in which the Jews, rather than asking how much they could give to God, had begun to ask how little they could get away with giving.  This was true with their marriages, it was true with their tithing, and it was true with their worship.  Because our spiritual position is so similar to theirs, we easily can fall into the same trap.  Let’s use a context in Malachi, then, to evaluate potential problems with our own worship. Continue reading

Sending Someone Else

The story of Exodus 3-4 is truly a descent from the sublime to the ridiculous.  It begins with God Himself appearing to Moses in the burning bush and revealing His great plan for the deliverance of His people.  Moses’ job is to be the pebble that starts the avalanche, to go to Pharaoh and bring the people out.

However, the pebble has other ideas.  Moses throws up excuse after excuse, God patiently answers them all, until finally, in 4:13, Moses reveals his true motivation.  He says, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”

The problem here isn’t inclination.  Moses does want to see Israel delivered.  In fact, that’s why he’s in exile in the first place!  The problem is participation.  Even though it’s a good work, Moses flat doesn’t want to get involved. Continue reading