Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Sermon Excerpt: 2006

The following was written  on  October 5,  2006, three days after the school shooting at an Amish School in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, very close to our neighborhood. 

“I find it increasingly difficult to identify with the Christian faith as it is being expressed in our American culture today.  I am embarrassed by what many so-called Christian leaders say, think, and do.  I cringe at their moral absolutism, their self-righteousness and their judgments.  I think we are living in a time that is very confused about Christianity.  We live in a time when the Bible, the teachings of Jesus, and the nature of God have been distorted to the point where the gospel has little chance of squeaking through.  Granted, I thought things were distorted forty years ago—but now that distortion has become so great that it is nearly intolerable for me.”

I am called a fool when I say that torture in any form, exercised upon any human being by any person, society, or government, is contradictory to the teachings of Jesus.  I am seen as unpatriotic when I say that vengeance, whether it is by war or by the building of legal and concrete walls to keep unwanted people out, is a violation of the Christian faith.  To refuse to talk to those whom we judge to be wrong, or who differ from us, whether persons or nations, and thereby isolate them and make them feel inferior is contrary to the teachings of Christianity.  The Amish elder, who, after the tragedy at the schoolhouse, said, ‘We must forgive, forget, and move on’ baffled the media and the nation with that notion.  The majority of Americans, including so-called Christian spokespersons, had already judged, bashed, and consigned the shooter to Hell.  And while we were glued to the tragedy in Lancaster County, we totally ignored the reality that the same thing (the loss of little, innocent human lives) happens in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Sudan, and other places around the world every day and we don’t seem to notice that or to care.”

These words were written and spoken over a decade ago.  

I don't know where I found this--but it speaks...

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