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Monthly Archives: February 2012

My Last Blog (at least for today)

So some of you have noticed that I have gone from blogging 5-6 times a week, with discipline, to weeks without a post.

There is no particular reason, but here are some thoughts:

1. I am simply busier now.
Not only am I working 50-60 hour weeks, I also now have 10-15 hours of "take-home" work every week as well. ?There is simply just a lack-of-time and lack-of-energy to write these days. Additionally, I just took on a pretty big restaurant consulting gig that will last 3-4 months, am doing some recipe R&D at work, serve on the Board at my church, preach 8-10 times a year, and serve as President of the Board at MACC Charities. ?In other words, when I am not doing those things, I like to do nothing except sleep, share a nice bottle of wine with friends, or get with family and friends.

2. Facebook & Twitter are great.
I am finding that both Facebook and Twitter are more effective social-networking tools than a blog these days. ?People interact more and there is a better conversation — and after all, that is kind of the point. ?Plus both Facebook and Twitter take less time, are more immediate, and in many ways fulfill my vision for social networking platforms better: an open window into someone's life or an organization. ?It is more spontaneous, honest, raw, etc.

3. But…
I am not taking "Faith Autopsy" down… it is tells my story and an important (and mostly painful) part of my history. ?And I fully reserve the right to start blogging again… either once in a blue moon or regularly… entirely at my own whim, lol.

So if you aren't friends with me on Facebook, you should be. ?And if you don't follow me on Twitter, you should.

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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Stunning Grace

There is something stunning in this basic revelation of reality: not only is it true that God will never leave nor forsake us, it is also true that He has always been with us and has never forsaken us. Through all your past, pain and pathos… through all your past bad habits, hang ups and hurts… through all your past sin, mistakes and brokenness… God has been with us. That is why we call Him Emmanuel and that is why Grace is so Amazing.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Obama Is Wrong — And so is the Church

This week, the Obama administration made a ruling that essentially requires Catholic (and other religious institutions) must provide full insurance coverage for contraception (including methods that are post-fertilization).

The Roman Catholic Church has consistently taught that birth control is wrong — especially those methods that are post-fertilization (like the Morning After Pill, IUD's, etc). ?Many conservative Protestants, Jews and other religious people agree in varying degrees with this position. ?According to the Archbishop of New York, this directive is forcing the church to pay for something it explicitly considers to be immoral and thus violates the basic tenants of freedom of religion.

[Before I tell you what I think, let me lay my cards on the table: ?I am a moderate democrat, I am supportive of the use of birth control, though I have deep concerns about some methods that are post-fertilization. ?While I am personally anti-abortion, in terms of public policy I am a supporter of reproductive rights and choice.]

That said, the Obama administration is wrong on this issue.

Freedom of religion in this country is a fundamental right grounded in our founding core values as expressed in the First?Amendment. ?While religious people do not have the right to force their moral beliefs on others through legislation, we do not as a society have the right to compel religious institutions to violate their principals and beliefs. ?Moreover, individual employees should not expect their faith-based employer to violate their religious convictions in providing benefits to you.

But the church is also wrong.

While the church has the right to speak up and challenge the ruling, this is probably a case of "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's."

For example, I am virtually a pacifist, opposed the Iraqi war, and believe it was immoral, illegal, unjust and a violation of Christian ethics. ?However, my tax dollars — and yours — were used to financially support the war. ?I was compelled by my government to support something that I believe is fundamentally immoral and unjust. ?The same is true for people of faith in states that have the death penalty, when they oppose such penalties as part of their pro-life position (as is true for the Catholic Church). ?Our tax dollars are used to pay for that execution.

But Jesus teaches that we are to be good citizens, respect the laws of the land, and "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's." This is part of what it means to live in a pluralistic society (as the Roman Empire was in Jesus's day and in Paul's day.)

Are their times that we are called to be a prophetic voice — and even use non-violent protest as a means to create change — against our Government. ?Yes, absolutely. ?But we should think carefully before we make the issue of insurance coverage for birth control into one of those issues. ?For it is worth noting that no one is being compelled to actually use birth control, just to make it available to those who want to.

THOUGHTS?
 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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