Fired Up Missionary

Missionaries are known for their zeal and energy and desire to reach the lost for Christ. But there are exceptions to every rule. A 70-year old missionary has been accused of burning down one of the churches that supported him.

Mobley [the pastor of the burned church] says he’s disappointed to hear that his friend of seven years is charged with burning down his church. He says he hasn’t talked to Wilkins about the indictment. He’s waiting for an arrest.

Disappointed eh? I’ll say. It would be interesting to know his motive. I’ll bet their missionary conferences will never be the same after this. Perhaps he was trying to recreate the tongues of fire for this Pentecostal church. Our God is a consuming fire, maybe it was an illustration gone awry. Who knows.

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Thanks So Much

The other day my wife asked our four-year old daughter, Elizabeth, to get a tissue for her. After knocking things off the counter she came back with a can of Sprite. My wife said “Elizabeth, I asked you to get me a tissue.” I kid you not, my daughter said “I did.” and held up the can of Sprite to which my wife said “No, Elizabeth, that’s a can of Sprite.”

Being a father has given me a glimpse of what it must be like to be God. He asks us to love God, love our neighbor, and do things for eternity. We struggle and persevere only to hold up a can of Sprite.

The last phone conversation I had with my dad was on the day he went in for the surgery he never recovered from. It was a typical Sunday afternoon phone call where we discussed our sermons and our churches. He said something like, “The whole thing is funny. Sometimes you read the Bible and you get this glimpse that God is just laughing. He wants so much for His creation and we give Him our little piece and He says ‘thanks’ and smiles. It’s just funny.”

It is. It really is. Yet we take ourselves so seriously. We feel so good about that nice thing we just did, remind God about it a few times, maybe ask for a little sumpin, sumpin for our efforts. He smiles, pats us on the head, tells us He loves us. He wants so much more but He understands that we really don’t have a shot. He just wants us to love Him and enjoy His love.

I told my dad that Sunday that I preached about God’s love that morning and how we need to relax, not be so burdened with it all. I told him about a Robert Plant song that said “Lighten up baby, I’m in love with you” and how I thought that’s what God was saying to us. Relax. Lighten up. I believe that was the conclusion of my dad’s last sermon on that Sunday night.

I think this truth helped him die so well. He knew God loved him and he wanted to enjoy that. Enjoy it. Relax. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

C. S. Lewis Wouldn’t Watch Narnia

Recently, a letter by C. S. Lewis was posted on a literary website showing Lewis’ opposition to making his Narnia books into movies.

“Anthropomorphic animals, when taken out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery or nightmare. Cartoons (if only Disney did not combine so much vulgarity with his genius!) would be another matter.” He added that he would find a “human, pantomime” version of Aslan the lion to be “blasphemy.”

So, there you go.

Must Watch TV

The FCC is considering making cable companies sell cable channels a la carte (which means “you can pick the ones you want,” for those of you who read the NIV). I’m all for it. I’d buy about 15 channels and my bill would be considerably less no doubt. It is done in an effort to keep filthy programs out of homes where people don’t want filthy programs.

However, televangelists are up in arms over this! They fear that people will not choose their precious channels filled with mediocre programming and random shots of blank chalk boards.

“We don’t just want to preach to the choir; we want to reach the unchurched,” said Paul Crouch Jr. of Trinity Broadcast Network in Santa Ana. “The bottom line is that we want to be everywhere on cable.”

No, the bottom line is that you know you’re out of a job because only about 47 people in America believe your heretical gibberish you call Christianity. The unchurched are much better off being unchurched than they are seeing one of TBN’s blasphemous programs. Go FCC.

Limbo Mambo

Although the Catholic Church is capable of making strong stands on moral issues, their doctrinal history is filled with shifts and changes that should be disturbing to anyone paying attention. The Catholic Church is preparing to abandon their teaching of Limbo.

Limbo is the place where unbaptised babies go, somewhere between heaven and hell. It is a happy place apparently, even though it’s filled with babies, but it is not in the presence of God. The idea was made popular by St. Augustine back in the 13th Century. I will quote two popes:

Pope Pius X had declared in 1905: “Children who die without baptism go into limbo, where they do not enjoy God, but they do not suffer either, because having Original Sin, and only that, they do not deserve paradise, but neither hell or purgatory.”

Pope John Paul II said “The Church can only entrust them [unbaptised babies] to the mercy of God. In fact the great mercy of God, who wants all men to be saved, and the tenderness of Jesus towards children allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who die without baptism.”

This is intriguing knowing the catechal teaching that popes are infallible and speak for God. God sure changes His mind a lot. Changing Church doctrine is pretty tough if one of the Church doctrines you invent is infallibility. We all know there’s only one infallible person and I never change my mind.

Taking a Stand

The Vatican released a paper the other day saying that homosexuals would be kicked out of Catholic seminary. The Vatican newspaper also went on to say the following.

Homosexuality risked “destabilizing people and society”, had no social or moral value and could never match the importance of the relationship between a man and a woman. It (homosexuality) does not represent a social value and even less so a moral virtue that could add to the civilization of sexuality. It could even be seen as a destabilizing reality for people and for society.

The Catholic Church had a duty to reaffirm its position that homosexuality is “against conjugal life, the life of the family, and priestly life”. In no case is this form of sexuality a sexual alternative, or even less, a reality that is equivalent to that which is shared by a man and a woman engaged in matrimonial.

It said homosexuality was “a sexual tendency and not an identity” and repeated the Church’s stand against allowing gays to marry or to adopt children. It also called homosexuality “an incomplete and immature part of human sexuality”.

You have to give them credit, when they make a stand, they do make a stand.

Eternal Bliss

While thinking about my dad being in heaven, I got to wondering if he checks out what I’m doing from time to time. People have had theories about what goes on in heaven. I got some too.

Ever since people were people, we have enjoyed sitting around watching other people do stuff. Plays, movies, athletics and all kinds of other stuff show that people like to watch other people. People have always done it too. Where do we get this from?

Whenever there is a commonality among people, I wonder what part of God this is reflecting. We are all made in His image, thus we share characteristics with Him. God made a world so He could watch what was going on.

Perhaps those who are in heaven can take a seat and watch what’s going on down here. They have perfect understanding and could handle all parts of it, like mature Christians who can watch Rated-R movies you know.

Can I send him a message? Well, when I pray, Christ is interceding for me, my dad is in the Body of Christ, so how could I talk to Christ without talking to my dad? Is my dad watching me type this right now? Hey dad, how’s it going? Ask James about chapter 2 yet?

Makes you wonder. How could it be eternal bliss if he couldn’t watch his boy?!