Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Newsweek

This is an account of my efforts to put into action what I learn while reading the Bible, an account of my journey to become closer to God.

Late and brief today; the storms passing through Atlanta yesterday fried my DSL line so I’m sitting in Starbucks along with a hundred other people hoping for a few minutes of free WiFi.

It’s going to be an exciting day: I get to learn about more Cameron, the young boy for whom I’m becoming a mentor, and schedule a date to meet him, and tonight is the commissioning ceremony for me and eleven others to become Stephen Ministers!

In the last four months so many people have asked me to pray for them I’ve started a prayer book to help me keep track of who I’m praying for. In addition to all my family, friends and neighbors, I record the names of people I meet on the streets, through the ministries, or over the Internet who have asked me to remember them in my prayers. After I realized I couldn’t possible keep all their names in memory, I began to write them down and then hold the little notebook as I pray, asking God who knows all to bless those whose names I’ve recorded. I hope it works.

I read an interesting article in the current issue of Newsweek, The End of Christian America, by Jon Meacham. In a nutshell it says more and more people are defining themselves as spiritual but not religious, meaning they are adopting comfortable quasi-religious beliefs rather than keeping strict adherence to any one set of denomination’s doctrines (this is what our pastor calls the Kingdom of Self versus the Kingdom of God). I recognized the conduct, having myself lived by that philosophy for so many years. The thesis of the article is that Christianity is becoming less of a force in U.S. politics and culture.

I’ll let you read the article if this sort of topic interests you. My point in bringing it up is to share the few sentences that really stood out for me: “… it is a mistake to think God is chiefly concerned with religion. ‘I hate the sounds of your solemn assemblies,’ the Lord says in Amos. Religion is not only about worshipping your God but about doing godly things; a central message of the Gospels is the duty of the Christian to transform reality through works of love.”

I’m no academic scholar so I’m not sure if this is what the author meant to say, but it seems to me his message is it’s okay for the Christian church as an institution to loose its influence on the political landscape as long as Christians are acting like Christ – walking the walk and talking the talk – Living the Word. I can accept that. After all, Jesus was a carpenter, not a politician.

I’m on the road in FL tomorrow so tune in Thursday for news about Cameron, the Stephen Ministry, and observations about the world from 36,000 feet.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and please pray for me and my family. Now go out and hug somebody!

No comments: