I lead off with a bit of politics…sort of. Mark Sanford, almost unbelievably, came from behind to win a Congressional seat in South Carolina. I don’t know if I should cheer our state on for understanding grace, or scold it for not understanding common sense. It’s a bizarre situation that I would have argued four-square against just a couple of years ago had it been suggested out loud. Of particular interest is Sanford’s spiritual references. Did God really help him win the election? Unless there is humility in the mix then humans tend to see their own course not as divinely helped, but messianic. There’s a big difference. But, maybe there is a humble and repentant Sanford who is just trying to get back to work doing what he seems to enjoy. Regardless, it’s almost assured that South Carolina will have trouble living this down for quite some time.
If you think there are hazards at your job, think again. Also, at social gatherings there can be a tendency to get into the game of “wow that’s crazy but you’ll never believe what happened to me” – and we attempt to outdo each other with more peculiar tales of injuries, situations, and near-misses…this guy wins every time.
I offer this article not because I agree with it, but because there are arguments for the compatibility of Christianity and homosexuality within it that need to be heard, mulled over, and dealt with. I can appreciate those who would simply respond to homosexuality with a terse, “the Bible says it’s wrong”, but it should also be known that the most powerful arguments being made, in my opinion, are for the Biblical validity of homosexuality, not just a social or cultural argument. Again, I believe the Bible bears out the truth that same-sex relationships of an intimate nature are wrong, but we all need to understand the actual arguments being made and not set up strawmen that we can easily destroy with tired and uninformed answers.
The Kermit Gosnell trial has brought some publicity to the horror of late-term abortion, and regardless of your viewpoint on the subject the kind of “consultation” that this doctor offers is absolutely unacceptable. There should never be a sense in which we elevate death over life, in any circumstance or situation. While conservative voices have focused on abortion, there are a myriad of other issues (some that the left champion much more consistently) that should be brought to the surface. Life is important. It is in fact one of the most marked signs of Christian thought. We believe that death is the ultimate enemy of humanity, which is why the resurrection of Jesus holds so much importance for us.
There is an art to storytelling and Garrison Keillor’s stories about Lake Wobegon, Minnesota are some of the best examples of the craft you’ll ever hear. If you’ve never heard Garrison Keillor’s baritone you should. He has the ability to tell a “slow story” in such a way that regardless of whether you care anything about the content or not, you won’t want to stop listening. Preachers, teachers, and anyone who engages in any sort of public speaking should hear him, not to emulate him, but to see how powerful “finding your own voice” can actually be in that setting. Plus he’s one of the masters of American, dry wit. Enjoy.