Last Sunday I spend a good part of my morning and afternoon cooking for the week. Italian meatloaf (really turkey loaf), Cornish game hens, collard greens, black bean soup and spaghetti with mussels. Rewind almost a year ago and I was recovering from a cardiac arrest. Those that were there have told me the Doctors on the scene worked to bring me back longer than they should of, the priest who stopped in to see me each day in ICU called me miracle man. My recovery was quicker than was expected. My physical rehabilitation progressed nicely. 3 months after the event I went home from the rehab center and shortly thereafter returned to work. A miracle? Maybe but more likely just another day for the Lord almighty, who chose to reach down and touch me and say not yet my son there is still work for you to do on this Earth. Now I won’t lie it hasn’t been smooth sailing since the event some days are better than others there are bumps along the road health wise. Despite that every day I wake and can see and smell the wonderful world around me and know of all the love my family and friends have for me, a love so apparent during my recovery and no doubt a major factor in it. For this I am truly blessed, blessed that the hand of the Lord has touched me and given me this second chance at life. Allowed me to spend a Sunday cooking for the week because despite what bumps may be along the way, in my mind I know He stands over me and will allow me to wake another day, so I might as well have something to eat on those days. I do not know what His ultimate plan is for me but I do know he has touched me and he is guiding me and for that I am eternally thankful.
One of the great aspects of American society is the right to free speech. No matter how hateful and divisive it is. No matter how vile you may take the message to be it is the right of every individual or group to freely voice their opinion.
This weekend exactly one year after Unite the Right, the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, many of the same white-nationalist, paramilitary, and other right-wing groups are planning once again to come together once again — this time, in Washington, D.C.
In many ways it is a good thing that these groups are permitted to use their first amendment right to hold these rallies as it sheds light on the vile, dangerous and disgusting message of division and hate they preach. A spotlight for the rest of America to witness and be repulsed by, hopefully forcing them to admit there is a cancer in America that needs to be removed. Discussions about about race and social inequalities can not be swept under the rug any longer but must be confronted head on if we are ever going to move forward as a nation.
These rallies also shines a light on the sins of those individuals who preach hate. The majority of them who call themselves Christians but deny the undeniable, we are all one created in the image of our Lord.
27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27
They presuppose that they are greater than the Lord they claim to worship. That they have the right to determine which of the Lord’s children are worthy and which are not. A direct rejection of the Lord’s commandment to us. As is written in John 13:34:
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another
The Lord created each of us in His image He loves each of us unconditionally He does not play favorites based on the color of our skin or our religious beliefs.
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. – Galatians 3:26-29
Since the beginning it has been the Lord’s desire for us to live together in peace an unity.
1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! – Psalms 133:1
And He warned us to avoid those who would speak differently!
17. Now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. 18. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. – Romans 16:17-18
So this weekend let us stand at a distance watch and expose to the world those with malice in their hearts, sinners against the Lord.
Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. – Ephesians 5:11
But as with all things with the Lord reject their beliefs but be prepared to forgive those among them who repent their sins and ask for help in finding their way back onto pthe path of spirituality.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. – Galatians 6:1
Originally posted November 2014
I have a friend who I occasionally get into some heated debates with about God, religion and faith. During one of these debates he asked if God exist why is he so secretive. Why doesn’t he just let us all know he exists so that the fighting and killing that takes place in his name would cease. I told him it is because God’s existence is not for us to have tangible evidence of, though when you look around tangible evidence is everywhere, God’s existence to you is based on faith. His question however did make me wonder what if God did talk to us all directly today; What would we ask him? What would he reply? I thought about it some more and below is what I think an interview in today’s world with God might sound like.
Host: Good Afternoon everyone thanks for tuning in to a very special broadcast our special guest today is none other than the creator himself – God. Welcome to the show.
God: Hello everyone. Thanks for taking time out to listen in today, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve directly communicated with you but I felt that with the way things have been going lately on Earth now’s as good as time as ever to have a talk with you.
Host: Well we are very excited to have you here. So let’s jump right in with the question everyone wants to know the answer to. The proverbial elephant in the room so to speak; Who got it right? Which religion is the correct one?
God: Jumped right in you did. I am well aware that you’ve all been trying to find the answer to that question since well, almost the beginning of your time. Which religion is the right one? Whose god am I? Whom do I favor? Very deep questions all and the answer you seek is actually a very simple one. May I have a drum roll please. The answer is, all and everyone.
Host: All and everyone? I think I speak for our listeners out there when I say I’m not really sure what you mean by that.
God: I mean I did not create religion, I created you and in creating you I gave you the wonderful gifts of intellect and imagination. It is with those gifts that you created religion. I never cared how you chose to imagine me or what doctrines you chose to build your faith around. No all I asked is that you treat each other with love, compassion and respect. Sadly since the very beginning many of you have chosen not to that and even sadder you have chosen to use me as the reason for your destructive and violent actions. For that I have been greatly saddened.
Host: But if that’s true why would you let us continue to travel down that path of destruction.
God: That was not my choice to make. Lest you forget I also blessed you with free will, the ability to live your lives as you saw fit. Yes by allowing you to exist with free will there have been innocent souls who have perished and those they left behind have had to grieve. However would you have found your existence to be more enjoyable if your life on Earth was scripted by me from the moment you were conceived to the moment you died? That nothing you did, no choice you made mattered? That you were simply actors in a play for my amusement?
Host: Well when you put it that way I guess not.
God: I didn’t think so.
Host: Let’s go back to something you said earlier that you were sadden by the acts of violence committed in your name.
God: Yes that is true.
Host: So over time has that sadness ever turned to hate? Have you ever regretted creating us?
God: You know how it is said I created you in my image. Well that means a lot of things and to be honest we don’t have the time today to delve into what that fully means. But with respect to your question let me give you an analogy. A child is born to a mother and a father. They raise that child and instill in them what they believe to be guiding principles of right and wrong. The child grows and begins to develop their own identity and make decisions for themselves. Decisions which are morally wrong, decisions which bring great harm to others. The parents while horrified and saddened by the child’s actions at their core still love the child. Their love for their child is unconditional. It is that unconditional love of their child that is but one of the many ways you are an image of me. While I may be saddened by some of your decisions at my core I can never stop loving you, for you are all my children.
Host: What about those that question your very existence? That has to anger you a bit.
God: Well that very question presumes that I am vain and let me assure you I am not. If I was I would not having given you free will to decide for yourself if I do or do not exist. If I was I would strike down with vengeance all who do not believe in me. Yet there are millions who walk among you today who do not believe. No, as I said earlier my only desire is that you love and treat each other with compassion. If you need to believe in me to do so that is fine. If you do not believe in me but do so that is fine as well. But rest assured I take no satisfaction in the knowledge that you fully believe in me but show no love or compassion for your fellow human.
Host: What can we do to be better? How do we stop the hate?
God: Again that is not for me to say. Your destiny is yours and yours alone. I have provided you, above all my other creations, intelligence and the ability to reason. The power to communicate with each other and to create wondrous things. I have instilled with-in each of you the ability to be compassionate and the extremely powerful emotion of love. Each of you are born with the guiding principles on what is right and wrong. But it all comes back to free will, as humans you must want to walk in the light. You must want to sacrifice some of your own personal wealth and happiness so that as a people you benefit as a whole.
Host: That won’t be easy. We have never shown in our entire existence that we are capable of doing that.
God: It is because you have rejected the most basic concept.
Host: That is?
God: I created you as a people, one people. Yes you may look different but that is but on the surface. You are all my children you are all the same. When you are able to truly grasp that only then will you be able to love one another in the way that I truly had imagined you would.
Host: Maybe one day we will but we’ve come so far down the road I am afraid we never will be able to achieve that level of understanding and that must really sadden you.
God: It does but I have a great belief in you. After all you are my children. You may not be there today but you have so much potential that I know one day you will get there. After all you have only been here but the blink of an eye. There is still much growing you have to do.
Host: Well it is comforting to know that you believe we have a chance. I know you are busy and so we’ll end it there. Thank you for making this rare in person appearance we’ll try as a people to do better.
God: I know you will.