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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sunday Offering #4: What my faith tells me

Are you there? Are you reading what I am writing? Are you upset or outraged that you opened up my blog and hear the gunfire and obscenities, the DEATH. I'm NOT going to apologize to you. I am NOT going to say I'm sorry for disturbing your existance today, a Sunday, when if you are a Christian you just MIGHT be attending church. If you did attend church today how was it? Did you put on your Sunday best? Maybe you went "casual" as people do these days, casually strolling off to church, maybe wearing jeans, who knows. You might see friends, chit chat, go out to breakfast before, lunch after, maybe a nice picnic in the park. Or, you might just be staying home, you never attend church, that's ok by me, because I couldn't care less if you attend church. What I care about is WHAT DOES YOUR FAITH TELL YOU TO DO, and by faith, it could be anything, because you do have morals don't you? You do have some kind of sense of right and wrong don't you? Or, does that just apply to your own cozy existance? Does life matter at all other than your own and the people you know, oh, maybe your caring extends a little further, maybe you care about your fellow citizens, who knows, but you care don't you? Do you draw a line about who to care about? Where is that line? How did you draw it? WHO told you to draw it? Maybe I'm getting a little personal here, sorry. No, I said I wasn't going to apologize, so just let it linger there for a while, ok?

It's hard for me to talk to you. Because I'm not an eloquent writer. My feelings don't always transfer to my fingertips to write. So, if I have a hard time expressing myself, how are you going to even come close to understanding? It's not important to me for you to understand, because my thoughts don't matter. And neither do yours, except for what actions they lead to. It's not enough to say you love someone without expressing that love in all of your actions, right? Is it enough to pray or send good thoughts to someone? Sometimes it is, because the power of prayer is a known. Who fulfills prayers? Is it always God's invisible hand? Or does God work through people mostly because he depends on us to fulfil his wishes for us by our own actions? You see, again, I don't have the eloquent words to tell you exactly what I believe. But to put it simply, I don't believe in depending on God for miracles. I believe God gave us the miracle of life so that we fulfill his love for us. I don't believe that God picks out certain groups of people as his favorites and I don't believe that God wishes for us to focus on worshiping him only in thoughts or words. I believe that our creator is the creator of ALL of us and he is unselfish, all-knowing, ever-present, ever-loving. I don't know all there is to know about him because I can't. I can only understand what I see. When I see people suffering, I CANNOT look the other way.

Now I've gone on, and I'm loosing my train of thought, because remember, I admit fully, I'm not an eloquent writer. I also vacilate between rage and absolute despair often. The noise and evil from the video below is a prime example. I was enraged when I first viewed it, I was enraged when I posted it. Now I feel despair, because I am talking to you, and I don't know how to get you to see how wrong and immoral our invasion of Iraq was. I don't know how to make you do something to make it stop because I don't know you most likely. You're just reading some woman's rambling words that probably don't make much sense. So I'm just going to make it simple. My faith tells me that prayer is not enough and that deeds are needed. Those aren't empty words I hope because what we are doing in Iraq are deeds, horrible, evil, crimes against humanity. I can't make you understand that when each innocent Iraqi dies that is blood on our hands unless YOU feel it in your own heart. That's why I ask you, what does your faith tell you to do when you see an injustice? Is it only pray or maybe even just recognize it as an evil? Or does your faith tell you that you should stop and help? I can't make you do anything, but I'm gong to just ask you to do this, please look inside yourself, PLEASE look at what our country is doing and PLEASE take action to stop it. Why? Because God works his miracles by using our hands to help our fellow man.

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?
Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.
If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.
You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?
Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?
You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.
And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend.
You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
(James 2:14-26)

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