Monday, September 20, 2004

Pastoral Corruption

I've read with interest the LA Times for the last two weeks. They have followed Paul Crouch, TBN, and
the latest lawsuit alleging Paul Crouch's homosexual affair. Sadly, the twin culprits of the ministry seem very
evident, sex and money. Sex, Money, and Power are probably the three greatest temptations for people in
power. Pastors and religious figures are clearly not immune. In fact, in a certain way, I believe those in
religious authority are presented a special temptation that all too many can't resist, the seeming ability to
have God on our side when we do wrong. Pastors need to realize they are in an area of double-service: (1) Service to the Lord Jesus; and (2) Service to the pastor's congregation. I don't see the room for arrogance or pride. Too many people look at a pastor and believe they see God instead of looking at the pastor to see a hand pointing toward God. When we don't point to God, we become entertainers, at best, or charlatans, at worst. Either way, we become useless.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The Election and Christian Values

I've watched with dismay as the Republicans try to claim the mantle of Christ wrapped in the cloak of some of the purest hatred I've ever seen, especially the hate-filled figure of Zell Miller. If you think that one party represents Christian values, you are sadly mistaken. Jesus himself said that his kingdom is not of this world. (John 18: 36). First John noted that one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John 4: 8) It was hard to see any love in the vicious attacks in this campaign. Now, it is popular to say that both sides do it, but let's be honest. The overwhelming weight of bile and mean-spiritedness comes from the Republicans and the Religous Right. God is not honored. Jesus is not Lord when we hate in His name. Do I expect these people to show Christian love? No. History is filled with vicious hatred in the name of Christ. We are in for a rough patch as the Hate for Jesus crowd arrogantly struts across the stage of our culture. We have no need to fear them, beause love casts out fear. Let us stand up for Christ's good name against those pretenders willing to sell out Christian values for a vote, particularly the Republican Christian pretenders. I call upon all true Christians, who are Republicans, to stand up for Christ and against the self-worshipping idolaters misusing Christ's name for right-wing values.