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What a challenging assessment, Bev.  Thank you, for helping us to think deeper about this subject.  I would add, though, that the theme of the blogpost was not about political correctness; rather, it was about extending grace to others.  Also, in the passages you mentioned, Paul’s and Jesus’ words were advocating for, and a message for, change.  That labeling was part of the teaching, part of the correction.  I intended for my blogpost to make the distinction between correcting and condemning.

Conversely, the movie antagonist I referenced, Javert, and as I said, sometimes represents certain sections of society, used labeling as a way to shame and condemn Fantine and Jean Valjean.  Javert offered no hope, no message of redemption.  To Javert, what they (Fantine and Jean Valjean) were, was all they would ever be.  That is why Javert pursued Jean Valjean so doggedly, right?  Javert wanted to continually hold Jean Valjean under the banner of the sin he had committed.  That is what people do when they do not have the hope of the Gospel.  But, we have that hope, right?

Therefore, the impetus of the labeling is from a place of loving correction and is a precedent for change.  And, you are right, Jesus does refer to Judas as “a devil” in John 6:70.  In Matthew 26:50, Jesus also calls Judas “friend”.

Posted in: Someone Did Know

“…evil is part of the reality in this world, even in the church.”  That is so true, Michele.

And, the suggestion is not that we have to choose, between the two.  We see evidence of both in Scripture, don’t we, God’s presence and God’s protection?  The title was just to help generate some dialogue on this person’s perspective.  I found his comment and its context to be fascinating.

There are times in our lives when we think we only see His presence, which is why I offered this in the blog: “It is in His presence that we do find protection.”  Yet, protection might look different to our finite minds.  Protection might not always look like “rescue” or “reprieve”, right?

We often tell people and ourselves that God had a purpose for the abuse they/we suffered, and that is why it happened.  But, when people go through life never finding a justification or an answer to their "God, why?" question, churches are often ill-prepared to minister to people on that level. 

Thank you for sharing your perspective with us. 

Nope, David doesn’t get it wrong in Psalm 23.  And, he doesn’t get it wrong in other psalms, either, where he also talks of God’s protection.  But, in many of those psalms, David’s hoping in God’s protection comes only after David’s lament, and crying to God, and asking why God has abandoned him.  The psalms are indicative of where the writer was at that time.  This “The God I serve is a God of presence, not a God of protection" quote is indicative of one person’s experience.  Might that change, and evolve, and mesh into a different understanding of who God is, over time?  Who knows?

And, “goofy”?  Really?  Sometimes, God does say “no”.  Psalm 103:3 declares that God, “heals all your diseases”  Still, people die from disease, even after we pray for their healing.  So, God does not need a “free pass” or a “get out of jail free card” from the humanity that He created, because, well, He’s God.  He is the only One who can see our end from our beginning.

Posted in: Unbalanced Power

This is such a good point, Reverend Shannon!  Years ago, I was participating in a group presentation on the Gospel of Matthew and we were looking up artwork for our PowerPoint.  We wanted to highlight the four women referenced in the genealogy of Jesus: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba.  As we were looking for artwork, one of the things that struck me was, like you said, all artistic renditions of Bathsheba depicted her as a seductress.  Rahab was the woman actually identified in Scripture as a prostitute and Tamar presented herself to Judah as a temple prostitute.  Yet, neither of them are drawn like that in paintings.  It is like Pastor Arbogast stated, that is how we have been "acculturated".  Thanks for sharing!

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Unbalanced Power

This is a very good, thoughtful, and insightful post, Brendan.  It is biblically rooted as well as convicting.  I can relate to this on so many levels.  You could fill in the blank with any worship art or worship function.  What kind of Christian dancer do you want to be?  What kind of liturgical artist do you want to be?  Find what God requires of you, according to the gifts that He has placed inside of you, and press in to that.  Thank you, Brendan, for such a challenging and affirming post.  God bless you!

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