Monday, September 8, 2008

Standing Up for Our Faith

Sunday Morning as I was preparing for church I sat down while to watch a little television. The program that was on was Meet the Press. And Tom Brokaw was interviewing Joseph Biden, the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate. Now I’m usually not much for one on politics but I decided to stop and listen just to see what he had to say because I haven’t heard much from him. As I watched Tom Brokaw brought up the issue of abortion. As the discussion continued, Brokaw asked Biden where he stood on the issue. Brokaw quoted another democrat who had stated that the Catholic Church, which both this democrat and Biden are members, had not decided on the issue and had been debating it for the past 50 years, thus insinuating that the politicians couldn’t state one way or another. However church officials put out statements that the Catholic Church was against abortion. Then Biden gave his opinion which I completely agreed with. He then stated that he, like the Catholic Church, believed that life began with conception. At this point I was shocked, I had just heard a politician say that abortion was wrong and it was murder. But then what little hope I had was crushed. Biden then turned around and said that he couldn’t force his views on others though. That he couldn’t vote or push for abortion to be illegal because not everyone believed like he did. Basically he was saying that he would rather compromise his morals to get votes than to stand up for what is right. After hearing his speech about this I was totally put out with Biden.
It made me think that how many times do we do like Biden, not on such a major stage as the vice presidency, but when we know the truth but we decide not to stand up for it and let someone do or say something that violates our conscience. The scripture that comes to my mind here is the statement made by Jesus in Matthew 10:32. “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven.” We must realize that to acknowledge Christ is not an easy thing. If it were then the whole world would be made up of Christians. Jesus tells us that if we truly follow him then the world will hate us. John 15:18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”
I wonder do we truly acknowledge Jesus in all that we do? Do we acknowledge him with all that we say? Lastly do we truly want someone who is willing to allow things that violate his beliefs to be done or at least not try to stop them from being done in such a high position in our country?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Serving Evacuees

I had a very interesting experience today that I have not had before. There were people who had fled New Orleans staying at a local college while they were waiting the storms out. They had been there since this weekend. Like most of people, I have always heard and seen on television the devastation that hurricanes bring, but I have never really seen it firsthand. Today, though I caught a brief glimpse of some of that devastation, not the physical damage but the emotional damage that is caused. A few of the local churches got together today and went and fed the evacuees from Gustav. I knew that it was going to be an interesting experience but I didn’t know just how much of an experience it was going to be.
One thing I noticed was the congestion of it all. There were 150 or so people all living in the area about the size of a high school basketball court. There were rows and rows of cots right beside each other with only about a three foot aisle separating them from their neighbor. These were people who, from what we were told by the Red Cross volunteers, were told to get your family and your bags and get on a bus. No real choice of where to go or who to go with. On top of this they were taken to an area where they were placed in one large room where they would live for the next few days. There also was a large variety of age groups as well. I saw little babies up to probably 80 or 90 year olds. Who had no idea what shape their house was in. They didn’t know if they had a job when they got back. They didn’t know how most of their families were, save for those who were with them. And after I stopped and thought about it I realized you know the least thing we could have done was to provide them with a meal.
Then I think about the great Judgment scene in Matthew 25:31-46. And I wonder are we doing all we can to fulfill the statements that are made there in those verses. And it has caused me to do a real internal thinking about am I doing all I can to help those in need around me?
The other part wonder about is am I doing it so that they can see Christ or doing it so that I can feel better? What I mean by this is that we were told that there was only one other church besides our three that worked that showed up to not just bring food but to stay and serve it. We were told that one church brought food to the center’s parking lot but would not go into the center with the people. They made the Red Cross Volunteers and the National Guard workers come out and carry the food in. That struck me as very un-Christ like. I will be honest one of the things I enjoyed most about today was seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they came by and got their food and drinks as we served them. And again I think about Christ when he walked this earth how he never told someone to do his work for him, but he was the one who went to the “untouchables” and reached out and touched them when no one else would.
One last thought, you may be wondering what good did you all do there for Christ? One we fed them when they needed it. But secondly we gave out brochures telling the people about who we were and what we believed. After it was over about 6-8 people came up to one of the other preachers and said they were going to look the Church of Christ up when they got back home. Also one of the volunteers from the local areas came up and ASKED for literature about our Church because NO OTHER church else came to meet a need. We may never know how many people we might have reached today for Christ, but one thing I do know, above and beyond it all, is that the Church of Our Lord and Savior got all the Glory, and that is most important to me.