Pastor's Corner

27 May
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Mid-Week Challenge

How do you know that the COVID-19 outbreak is getting better?  The voices of blame become louder and more pronounced!  It’s sad that the human default after a crisis is to look for someone to blame.  Instead of focusing on rebuilding, growth or what we learned, many people look for someone to blame.  Political parties are always a favorite.  This being an election year has provided us with plenty of mud on each side of the debate. Religion has never been off-limits, especially if someone found a clever way to blame Christians.  I’ve noticed in my life time that Christians have been charged as a group but as human nature would have it; even Christians find creative ways to distance themselves from the pack as to not have to shoulder the criticism of the world.  In my lifetime I have seen the Christian faith separated to Protestants, to subgroup denominations, to mainline, to progressive, to evangelical

https://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/#religions.  If we all believe in Jesus, why do these classifications matter? Because we need someone else to blame for all the things that we do not consider our fault.  When there is not enough Bible being taught, blame the liberal Christians, when there is a breakdown in the family blame the mainline Christians, when there is a question of what makes a Biblical marriage, blame the progressive Christians.  When there is a viral outbreak and a rush to return to church, blame the Evangelicals.  At least that is how the Washington Post frames it.  Evangelical Christians make up a significant portion of the Republican Party. Those nonaffiliated or opposed to the conservative movement believe the return to normal is happening too quickly so it is being said “they don’t take the virus seriously enough.”  This has led some in the media to claim that the Evangelical desire to go to Heaven will be to blame if the virus resurfaces.  Somehow gathering in large groups at Lowes is different than in controlled groups at church and it will be this rush to return to church that will be the cause of death for us all…well something like that, read for yourself   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/20/whats-really-behind-republicans-wanting-swift-reopening-evangelicals/  This leap to cast blame caused Steven Pinker, a professor of psychology at Harvard University to come to the conclusion on Twitter: “Belief in an afterlife is a malignant delusion, since it devalues actual lives and discourages action that would make them longer, safer, and happier. Exhibit A: What’s really behind Republicans wanting a swift reopening? Evangelicals.” https://twitter.com/sapinker/status/1263463995870269440

Pinker used the Washington Post story as proof that Evangelical Christians are in some hurry to die so they throw caution to the wind and rush to reopen church before the government can give the all clear.  I’ve never seen a belief in Heaven tied to risking the death of thousands of innocents in a pandemic but I find it humorous that Professor Pinker left out all the other faiths that teach the reward of Paradise if your death furthers the message of your religion.  Why single out Evangelical Christians?  Because we are easy targets.  If your faith is not complicated then it is easy to attack it.  Biblical Christianity is simply taking God at His word, setting personal standards that run counter to the typical worldview and choosing not to participate in many of the things the world celebrates.  

As we continue to come out of this there will be enough blame to go around for everyone. Don’t take the bait and be suckered into a fruitless argument.  Jesus warned this was coming.  John 15:18-19 If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me first. If you were of the world, it would love you as its own. Instead, the world hates you, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  The only way to win this battle is to love one another.  Don’t let your guard down but fight the desire to be defensive.  God has your back and Heaven awaits those in Christ.  Christ died to give us an abundant life, not just a trip to Heaven.  That is what those of the World fail to realize.  Christ made Heaven possible, but He also made living an abundant life on Earth proof of the invitation to join Him. 

Serving the Savior

Bro. Jonathan

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