Marshall in the Middle

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Christian Face


As I have referred to a few times in this blog, I'm a pretty religious guy.  I go to church nearly every week, my kids are active and my wife sings in the "praise band".  I attend the Presbyterian Church, which sits well with me with its very long history, tradition, and tendency towards a "logical" approach to scripture.  Sometimes we're accused of being the "frozen chosen" because we're so traditional and somewhat unemotional.   I have to say that I have never looked forward to church as much as I do these past years.  The reason?  Because of our pastor.  Pastor Shawn has great insight into the meaning behind scripture and he offers ways of looking at verses that help in my week to week life.   Pastor Shawn gleans meaning that I think very effectively reflects what Christ was trying to communicate to people.  Not only that, but he walks the walk with adamant support for missions to help people in the community and the world and an unswerving determination to encourage more youth participation.  The man is the real deal. 

Our church has recently split apart due to the hierarchy of the "Presbyterian Church USA" denomination making a decision to allow homosexuals to serve as pastors, elders, and deacons in our church as long as it is approved by the congregation of each church.  Many members of our church simply couldn't take that entire concept.  So, they left.

As with most issues that get an emotional rise out of me, I always try to look at the core issue, "what is it that bothers me so?".  So, here it is;   In the New Testament Jesus Christ mentions the evils of judging, hypocrisy, disobeying the ten commandments and his actions were always towards healing the sick and feeding the poor.   These things are "what He's all about".   Not once did he mention homosexuals.  Not once.  But the evils of judging other people are very, very clear in the New Testament. 

1st Corinthians 4:5 

"So don't make judgments about anyone ahead of time--before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due."  (New International Version 2007)

Pastor Shawn had a sermon this week that concluded with the allegory of a talented wood carver who does remarkable work creating very realistic looking dogs.  When someone asks him how he does that... he replies "it's not that hard really, you just remove everything from the block of wood that's not a dog".   Shawn then concluded that when we need to make tough decisions in life that maybe "it's not  really that hard after all",  we just need to remove everything from the decision that is not love.

That's what Christianity is all about, Charlie Brown....

In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall
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