Wednesday, September 24, 2008

OK, That's enough! Stop it now!

I have decided to begin this post with my rant of the day! I am sick and tired of people declaring that they are going to live in unrepentant sin...for Jesus. This past week has seen both Ray Boltz and Clay Aiken come "out of the closet." Ray Boltz, if you are unfamiliar, was one of the biggest voices in Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) in the late 80s and 90s. He put out music that moved my soul. I sang "Thank You" and thought of my grandmother many times. Clay Aiken is not a CCM artist, but is a mainstream artist who has always been a professing Christian. But now they are both tired of "living a lie!"

There is no sin in struggling with weakness. The apostle Paul himself had a "thorn" that he struggled with. There are many guesses as to what it was, (I've heard everything from migraines to a miserable wife) but in truth we aren't sure.The sin is in what you do with it and how you handle your struggle.

Please hear me, being an acting homosexual is not commititng the unpardonable sin. Jesus offers forgiveness for EVERY sin. Many evangelicals like to act like it is the worst thing that you can do. I personally believe it is because we are comfortable pointing out sin we aren't committing. You don't hear a lot of sermons on other ways we defile God's temple. I have no hate for homosexuals. In fact, if you know me, you know I have a special soft spot for them in my heart for them. They tend to love my accent and my hair and get my jokes. I understand struggling with a weakness. God loves me no more than He loves each of them.

I'm going to step on my own toes here. I love food! For me to come out of the closet, would be for me to declare, "I am going to wake up every day and eat Ding Dongs until I pass out in a food coma! I am not going to temper myself or deny myself any caloric indulgence! I am going to wrap God's temple that is my body in so much cholesterol laden fat that He will never want to visit! It is OK because God made me this way. He knows I love Ding Dongs and would not want me to be miserable or deny myself the thing I love!" Of course, this is ridiculous. Not only would that be unrepentant sin, it is very unhealthy. So I struggle, but I don't kid myself. Sin is sin. Period. But continuous, unrepentant sin is quite another. Somebody has apples on their orange tree. The Word says we will be known by our fruit.

So for the fact that they are confusing the Body of Christ with their twisted doctrine, I am putting Clay Aiken and Ray Boltz on Notice! Stop pretending that your sin is exempt from being sin!! It is insulting to other people who struggle with sin and it is confusing to immature Christians. When faced with an amazing opportunity to be a witness to a whole group of struggling, confused people, you chose to claim your sin as God's best for your life. GIVE ME A BREAK! God still loves you. The Body is hemorrhaging enough. Please don't add to the blood loss.

I've been trying to think of an intelligent way to say what I've been thinking about this whole government bailout thing. Luckily, my friend Chip, wrote it first and so I decided to print it here. I have his permission. You don't have to agree, but I share this point of view:

Tough Love
We stand at the edge of a defining moment in the history of our great nation, again. These times crop up every once in a while and unfortunately they arise because of our past failures as a nation to do the right thing. Our demagogues that get elected every cycle haven’t in the past and apparently now in the present been able to grasp the simple concept of the responsibility they hold in Washington. I’m not sure at what point in our history this started eluding our politico’s but I do know that the prior understanding has long since disappeared in that Xanadu called D.C.
In our nations history we have had great sacrifices made by every generation that have protected and benefited future generations to come and we are all better off because if it. While not every one has the ability or desire to serve in the military we all face a very important opportunity in our lives currently; an opportunity for every person, regardless of situation, to make a difference for future generations to come.
Our elected officials in Washington are on the brink of passing massive bailout legislation which as of this morning might possibly now include student loans and credit cards. It is time for everyone to stand up and let Washington know that the time for some tough love is upon us. It is time to end this ocean of easy money and put a stop to this politically correct feel good notion that everyone is capable of owning a home. Truth be told anything that is obtained easily isn’t valued and we are seeing this maxim play out in spades. History shows these bailouts don't stop future ones because nobody actually pays a price for bad decisions. As a father of four I can assure you that if there is no price to pay for derelict behavior, the behavior continues.
This wont be an easy thing to do certainly, however the prudent and proper course of action rarely is the easiest. We all know our statesmen in D.C. wont make the tough decisions, their track records are evidence enough regardless of political party. So it is up to us to step forward and write that letter, type that e-mail or make that phone call to put a stop to this mobius strip we find ourselves on economically as a nation.
Just like our elected officials need a nudge to get them moving down the proper trail, here lies the prod for you. Take 20 minutes out of your day and do the right thing, for many it will be the first time to step out and make a decision that you know might be painful to you. However it is far less risky than decisions made by prior generations.
To get you started you can find the contact information of your Senator here you finish with them feel free to move on to the House. You can find your congressman’s contact info here
The one thing you can be sure of in Washington is that those who serve there only care about one thing, returning to their jobs upon re-election. It’s time again to use this fact to steer our country in the right direction since its obvious nobody currently has their hand on the wheel.

You tell 'em Chip. I'll vote for you. have you thought about running for office?

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