Monday, October 9

I haven't had a chance to post since the horrifying events of the last week in Pennsylvania - the murders of the young Amish girls. What a testimony that community gave as to the counter-cultural nature of a life lived by the values of Christ. And it wasn't their rejection of modern conveniences that spoke so loudly, but their willingness to demonstrate compassion, grace, and forgiveness to the family of the murderer. Most of our cultural cries "an eye for an eye" but they demonstrated mercy and compassion. And the world noticed. They talked about their love and their values.

That is the kind of difference that brings glory to God. It isn't our rantings and ravings. It isn't our efforts to exert political or economic power. It will be lives that are lived by the values of Jesus, while clinging to the Truth of Jesus, that will be noticed. The world will notice compassion. It will notice mercy. It will notice grace. It will notice forgiveness.

I thank God for the faithfulness of that Amish community. They have allowed the world to see a different, deeper side of Christianity - one that is beyond the megachurches and printing presses. They have demonstrated a Christianity that takes God's Word seriously, that applies it to the affairs of man (regardless of how tragic or senseless), and that applies it with love and compassion - not with heavy-handed dogma or self-righteous rants. I firmly believe that this kind of witness will do far more to soften the hearts of those who are cynical about Christianity than our fine arguments.

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In light of their model, I read an interesting remark in the latest issue of Christianity Today. Sociologist Brad Wilcox noted that the highest rate of domestic violence in America today is among nominal Christians - those men who wear the name of Christian but rarely darken a church door. They also have a very high divorce rate.

What a contrast between those who just wear the name of Christian without any regard for what that means in their lives and values and those who have learned to incorporate the Word of God into the deepest parts of their lives.

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Here is an interesting column by Terry Mattingly on The New Campus Rebels.

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Here is Christianity Today's list of the 50 books that have most shaped the ways we think, witness, worship, and live. Many of them I've read, but my "want to read" list just went up!

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And, finally, to help with your Christmas shopping, check out the new items offered in the Neiman Marcus catalogue. Included are such things as a 500 horsepower BMW ($139.000), a backyard water park ($100,000), a trip into outer space ($1.76 million), membership in a Tuscan wine estate ($3.8 million). Of course, if those things are out of your price range, you can go for the hand-crafter Italian pet shelter ($7,000, but it does include a leather recliner).

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A few true confessions:
I like the "Man Law" beer commercials
I like the Vonage commercials - "One smart decision among a lifetime of stupid ones"
After all of these years, I still enjoy most of SNL

2 comments:

KC Kid said...

You had me up until SNL...lame humor...as if you are able to stay up that late and watch TV anyway, at your age!

Michael T said...

I didn't say I liked ALL of SNL, but my sense of humor has always been pretty lame. And, at my age, I catch SNL as I'm waking up from falling asleep in my chair!