This will take more than one song I suspect. The first up is a favorite that simply lays it out there.
If you have suggestions, let me hear ‘em
This will take more than one song I suspect. The first up is a favorite that simply lays it out there.
If you have suggestions, let me hear ‘em
Have you seen the video, with the apocryphal ending (like Job or Esther) that makes it better?
This is what she said,
“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it—we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy. So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?”
Yes, it is a heresy, stupid, and wrong. But, so is the Arianism of liberal Christianity, the gnosticism (rejection of the good of the material world) of fundamentalism, and the denial of the Trinity of oneness folks. This is simply American Christianity.
Why are we judging her for speaking power to what too many people believe is the truth? She’s not at fault; we are. Recent studies have shown that pastors would rather be successful than preach Christian orthodoxy. People would rather be told the world revolves around them. Americans are laughed at because we often have this air around us that nothing outside this border matters. What Victoria said is exactly what too many people believe already. She is simply being the pastor many want.
Don’t blame her. Blame those who don’t teach orthodoxy, who don’t want to hear it — blame those who want to give an hour a week to God and expect him to pay out money in return. Blame civic religion.
I was asked by a good friend the other day regarding if I thought that the way society goes will or should the Church follow. My contention is that no. The Body of Christ stands in a safe and abiding place, and must in of itself protect society.
You can find the rest here…
Notable quotations from Catholic social teaching on the theme of Work and Workers’ Rights
Work remains a good thing, not only because it is useful and enjoyable, but also because it expresses and increases the worker’s dignity. Through work we not only transform the world, we are transformed ourselves, becoming “more a human being.”
On Human Work, (Donders translation), #9
The obligation to earn one’s bread presumes the right to do so. A society that denies this right cannot be justified, nor can it attain social peace.
The Hundredth Year (Donders translation), #43
Human work is the key to the solution … of the whole “social question.” To consider work is of decisive importance when trying to make life “more human.”
On Human Work, (Donders translation), #3
All work has a threefold moral significance. First, it is a principle way that people exercise the distinctive human capacity for self-expression and self-realization. Second, it is the ordinary way for human beings to fulfill their material needs. Finally, work enables people to contribute to the well-being of the larger community. Work is not only for one’s self. It is for one’s family, for the nation, and indeed for the benefit of the entire human family.
Originally from here,
But, I think it has moved…
To the Coal Miners, to the Steel Workers, to the stay at home mothers, to the workers who labour…God bless you.
Monday, September 1 is Labor Day in America. Labor Day is that special day when recognition is given to the millions who make up the nation’s working force. It’s a day of recreation, citywide parades, end of summer barbeques and political speeches. For some it will be just an extra day to relax quietly at home.
Both work and the worker are certainly worthy of a holiday of their own. Jesus placed much emphasis on the dignity of labor and the rights of workers. Interestingly, he never identified with professional religion as a career. Instead he was a simple carpenter by trade and his followers were working men. In Luke 10:7, Jesus said, “The laborer is worthy of his hire.”
Wherever the gospel of Christ has been influential the nobility of the worker has emerged. Many fail to realize that the improved working conditions of labor in the West are due much to the influence of Christianity. It was during the industrial revolution, for instance, that the devout Christian statesmen Lord Shaftesbury sought to change the abysmal working conditions for the masses in Great Britain. Men worked as much as sixteen hours a day – six days a week. Women and little children labored in the mines and in the factories. Little boys were hired as chimney sweeps. The necessary protections for workers were not provided and some died in accidents – others just from sheer exhaustion. Workers were little more than objects of an employer’s economic exploitations. Shaftesbury’s legislation brought relief to these injustices.
Work is inexplicably linked to the great truth that all persons are made in the “image of God” (Genesis 1:36). God has made mankind like himself – able to create, to conceive, to build and to make a difference. Idleness in life, however, strikes at the very heart of an individual’s personhood.
In Jesus’ “Parable of the Laborers”, the men standing in the market-place were not just loafers lazily whiling away the hours. They were men who had come looking for a job. Many brought the tools of their trade with them in hopes of getting hired. Some would wait until late in the evening for work because they were desperate to feed and clothe their families. But then the master came and took pity on them, sending them into his vineyards and paying them generously. Commentator William Barclay notes: “This parable states implicitly two great truths which are the very charter of the working man – the right of every man to work and the right of every man to a living wage for his work.” 
It’s unfortunate that many every day have to go to a job that they don’t enjoy. But even when this is the case, work still has its value not simply for monetary reasons, but for reasons of the soul. “Thank God every morning when you get up that you have something to do that day which must be done, whether you like it or not,” wrote Charles Kingsley. “Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance and self control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content and a hundred virtues which the idle never know.” 
The most sublime beauty of the Christian concept of work, however, is that it can be connected with a divine calling. The apostle Paul admonished, “Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (I Corinthians. 10:31). “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Colossians 3:23) The late D. Elton Trueblood expounded on this notion, saying, “There was a time when the idea of calling was applied, almost exclusively, to the work of clergy and missionaries…Why, it is now asked, should not a man be called to be a brick mason or a banker? Why should not a fireman be conscious of a holy vocation? After all, he is certainly engaged in a work which saves lives and prevents much misery. Why should not a woman sense that she is called to be a mother, a wife, or a librarian?”  Indeed, all service when performed to the honor of God ranks the same with him. God makes the work holy and richly blesses it.
Work also produces the necessity for rest. Thus Christ invites all laborers: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). There is no greater burden – nothing more “heavy laden” – than a broken relationship with God. The work of sinful passions is spiritually exhausting and completely unfruitful. Such panders with the promise of prosperity, freedom and happiness, only to disillusion with an impoverishment and restlessness of spirit. So Jesus adds, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:29).
Could there possibly be any finer celebration of Labor Day than for one to cease from sinful labors and enter into Christ’s rest? And what joy would also be brought to the celebration by entering into partnership with the gentle Savior – to learn to labor for his glory and reward – to render every service as the light load of his love.
Rev. Mark H. Creech
Director, Christian Action League of North Carolina
4135.Rights of Workers
I. Biblical/Theological Background
Scripture teaches that human beings, created in the image of God, have an innate dignity (Genesis 1:27). God grants dignity to work by commanding human beings to be stewards of the land and to till and keep the earth (Genesis 1:28, 2:15). Work is one way through which human beings exercise their God-given creativity.
Scripture also teaches that an economic system should be ordered so that employees receive justice at their place of work and that concern for right relationships among people and with all of creation should be the heart of any economic system. Society and its institutions are to be structured so that marginalized persons participate fully in the shaping of society and their own future. Both the Old and the New Testaments show God’s desire that wealth and prosperity of society be shared. God’s covenant with the Jewish people required them to respect the gifts that God gave them and share them with one another. God condemned the bondage and abusive conditions the Pharaoh imposed upon the Israelites. The Hebrew Prophets decried the growing disparities of wealth and poverty. The Book of Acts describes an early Christian community that shared its goods with one another and throughout both Testaments, God’s people are urged to give special concern for widows, orphans, and immigrants. The basic principles are clear: all workers should be treated with respect and dignity, disparities of wealth and poverty should be avoided, workers should earn wages that sustain themselves and their families, and employers have a particular responsibility to treat workers fairly and empower them to organize to improve conditions.
The concern of The United Methodist Church for the dignity of workers and the rights of employees to act collectively is stated in the Social Principles. Both employer and union are called to “bargain in good faith within the frame work of the public interest” (¶ 163B). In response to the increasing globalization of the economic system, the widening disparity between rich and poor, and attempts to deprive workers of their fundamental rights, the church reaffirms its position in support of workers and their right to organize.
And that’s not all. For the rest, click here.
I don’t know much about the polity of the ECLA, but this is a statement from them:
ELCA Churchwide Assembly Action CA91.06.35
Passed by the 1991 Churchwide Assembly in Orlando, Florida.
To approve the following recommendation of the Reference and Counsel Committee as amended:
Whereas, Our Lutheran traditions affirm the basic dignity of the individual, and we place a high value on the human person and consider human well-being an important criterion for determining moral and ethical commitments; and
Whereas, Our faith makes us particularly sensitive to those who are adversely affected by economic dislocation and powerlessness; and
Whereas, The collective-bargaining process is fundamental for the attainment of economic justice in American society; and
Whereas, In those instances where the two parties are unable to reach an agreement, employees have the right to engage in a legal work stoppage or strike; this right to withhold labor as a last resort is an integral part of the collective-bargaining process; and
Whereas, For many years, it was generally recognized that employees who engaged in a legal work stoppage as part of the collective-bargaining process would not be penalized by the permanent loss of their jobs; and in more recent time a growing number of employees have responded to these legal work stoppages by hiring persons to replace permanently the striking workers, and, unfortunately, this practice is allowed under existing labor laws, but until recent years was not widely used by employers; and
Whereas, This practice is a direct threat to the collective-bargaining process as it has developed in this country since the mid-1930s, causing hardship in families and entire communities where employees have, in effect, been fired from their jobs for engaging in collective-bargaining, and a weakened collective-bargaining process deprives American workers of their right to participate effectively in decisions that impact their lives and future; and
Whereas, Legislation to protect the rights of striking workers is being considered in U.S. Congress and various state legislatures; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the 1991 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
- offer its support and prayers for labor and management who engage in collective-bargaining to reach acceptable agreements in their working relationship;
- urge employers, corporations, and workers to commit themselves to negotiated settlements;
- express concern for workers and their families who endure hardship and job insecurity due to the breakdown of the traditional collective-bargaining practices;
- call for and end to recriminations against workers who participate in strikes;
- call upon the appropriate churchwide units, synods, congregations, and members to support legislation that would strengthen the viability of negotiated settlements and prevent the permanent replacement of striking workers;
- call upon the Division for Church in Society to have available information to assist the members of this church to understand these issues; and
- commit itself to public policy advocacy and advocacy with corporations, businesses, congregations, this church, and church-related institutions to protect the rights of workers, support the collective-bargaining process, and protect the right to strike.
By now everyone knows and many have participated in the so called “Ice Bucket Challenge” with the intent to help charity.
It is absolutely wonderful that someone helps charities and, often, the motivations and ulterior motives for one doing so, are ignored on behalf of the end result of an act of charity, regardless as to whether such act is sincere or just a stunt.
One of the greatest marketing campaign in my opinion, in the field of charity as a skillful way to make people publicly demonstrate their charity by using the proverbial “blowing the trumpet” through getting an icy self inflicted shower, this cleverly planned campaign made people who otherwise are not attracted to charitable giving finally show some interest in altruism.
Now, even if one for the gift sake, or the cause it benefits, may ignore the fact that self-serving, opportunistic giving is not “real” giving, I really can’t say that the benefits of genuine Christian charity can be ascribed, to those who participated in such a public manner. Jesus told us to practice our charity in private. As God privately rewards those who pray in private, He will reward those who give in private; as men reward with accolades and recognition those who do it all in public, no reward will be left to those who find public approval and acceptance.
I know that, for many the Bible is a book to be questioned, ant it is only a part of other sources of religious authority, but, if these apologists of plurality of Christian authoritarian teaching could tell me, I would like to see any of their own para-sources of authority that teaches that our charitable acts should be practiced in public… Oh, but it is all for fun, intended to combine charity with fun… I’d say that I own a company, inactive at this moment, called “FunRaisers” whose slogan is “We put the FUN on FUND RAISING”, so, I am for having fun in giving, but, when the fun of giving becomes a buffoonish way of being ostentatious about your giving and attracting the attention to you more than to the cause you’re giving, then, YES, giving can become and exercise in the futile violation of Matthew 6.
Am I splitting hairs? Am I being demanding and legalistic? Well, saints, the little foxes spoil the vines, and often the things that we consider to be unimportant, and faddish, perhaps even innocent, but massively practiced, are the ones that will ultimately water down and dissolve good and traditional Christian teaching and trivialize the cause of those who truly depend on charitable donations. It will be not so far fetched for me to say that henceforth it will be very hard to motivate people to give to a great cause without somehow affording them some type of public recognition even if it includes something as innocent and clownish as wasting cold water! It is already happening! People get naked in the streets for the protection of animals, radio stations offer donations for each cockroach one can eat (as it happened in So. America) etc. So, where is the good old secret and worshipful giving?
I congratulate all of those who risked so much with a bucked of iced water being poured over their bodies, specially in summer, who sacrificed so much for the cause of charity. I give you my recognition and so do many Facebook and Tweet readers and the overwhelming majority of the population. Now with mine and the world’s recognition, plus the thrill of the cold water suddenly changing your body temperature, “you have received your reward”; expect none other!
Journey from Genesis to Revelation with the “father of Methodist missions” as a guide. Thomas Coke’s Commentary on the Holy Bible provides an in depth look at both the Old and New Testaments. Coke—cofounder of the Methodist Church in America and the first Methodist bishop—was an influential figure in eighteenth-century Christianity and his commentary offers valuable insight into the development of Methodist theology.
In the Logos editions, the volumes in Thomas Coke’s Commentary on the Holy Bible are enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Above is a link to the Connectional Table of the UMC in case anyone who might read this is unfamiliar with it and it’s stated goals and mission. They have a new proposal that they are trying to put forward that is, in my not terribly humble opinion, crap. That is not what this is about, but it is the inspiration for this so it should be included for completeness. The Church world wide, not just the UMC, but every Christian church, has a singular connectional table. Most of our problems start and end with losing sight of that table.
Matthew 26:26-28. “Mat 26:26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it. He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take this, and eat it. This is my body.”
Mat 26:27 Then he took a cup and spoke a prayer of thanksgiving. He gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you.
Mat 26:28 This is my blood, the blood of the promise. It is poured out for many people so that sins are forgiven. ” This is the table that connects us all. It is amazing, it did not need a committee of church politicians to institute or make work, just a group of dedicated believers and even a betrayer. After this, and after the resurrection, the mission became clear as well…
“Mat 28:16 The eleven disciples went to the mountain in Galilee where Jesus had told them to go.
Mat 28:17 When they saw him, they bowed down in worship, though some had doubts.
Mat 28:18 When Jesus came near, he spoke to them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Mat 28:19 So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Mat 28:20 Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. “And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.”
Hard to argue with the mission there. Notice that Jesus did not give a whole lot of instruction on how this was to be accomplished…that is because the how is nowhere near as important (within reason and boundaries. No, we can not use nude dancers with tattoos of scripture as a sermon illustration for example) as the message. Again, no committee was needed to sort all of this out, just a dedicated group of believers.
I could go on and on with examples like this, but I shall not. Yes, I understand that the church is an organization and as such requires rules and administration. I think that the best way to handle it is not more committees and groups trying to push their answers, but rather a renewed commitment to the table that connects us and the mission entrusted to us. When those things arise that require solutions arise, I would like to refer to one of my favorite Franciscans, William of Ockham. “Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.” It is often stated in different language and stronger terms than was intended, but this is the original idea, translated from Latin. We have a table that connects us. We have a mission that unites us. Any other table who claims that it connects is an unnecessary multiplication. Any other mission that drives us that is not fueled by the commission from Christ is an unnecessary multiplication. What the church is going through (all denominations) is tragic, but stems from the fact that we are trying to unnecessarily multiply that which already brought us together as brothers and sisters in faith for all time. We have a table that connects us. We have a mission that unites us. Let us all put our faith and focus there.
The question was asked of me recently when it was that I actually realized I had faith…I decided to answer in this way.
My faith was born in blood. Not the blood of Christ as you probably would expect, but the blood of a young lady when I was a young boy. We were walking back to her grandparents after watching a movie. She was shot and died on the street. She noticed the car and the gun men, I was to busy noticing her to see it. She died that I might live. She had “no greater love”. That is the day my faith was really born. My faith is in Christ and Him crucified as is my hope, but it didn’t start there. It started with one of His servants not with him. Maybe I am odd, but I don’t think that my faith could have started any other way.
My faith grew as as a young adult in the blood of friends gone off to save the world. Friends who died that the Word of God might be spread to places like Afghanistan, China, North Korea, Pakistan, and the Sudan. Friends that believed that they not only could be a vehicle to change the world, but that they actually would be. With news of each death, the importance of the Word became stronger, not diminished. The need to share The Story became greater, not lesser. With each tear of sadness over lost friends came the blessed hope of Christ, and the joy of those who now believed. Eventually I would go to similar places myself. Maybe I am odd, but I don’t think my faith could have grown any other way.
My faith became solidified in the death of my grandfather. Watching him suffer for numerous years with illness and helping to care for the one who had taught me nearly all that was important. The one who taught me the importance of prayer and the comfort that God can bring. In the hospital, around his bed with those grieving as he was nearing the end, my faith became solid when I realized what must be done. I grabbed his hands, and we prayed. Somewhere in that prayer he finally found peace. Interestingly enough, so did I. Maybe I am odd, but I don’t think that my faith could have been solidified any other way.
We need to understand that we should not be passing out pamphlets about God but rather be passing ourselves out as people of God. We need to realize that we don’t need to hand out bibles until we have lived the bible for those who would receive. We need to understand that before inviting people to church we should be inviting them to dinner, and lunch, and into our lives. I love the scriptures, study and read them often. Try to live them as well. That was not where my faith started. I love The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost, but that is not where my faith started. I love the churches I have helped in and the churches I only attended but they are not where my faith started. These things have refined my faith and helped it grow. They provided an incredibly useful base of knowledge of scriptures. My faith did not start there though.
I knew these words long before a 12 year old girl lived them for a 12 year old boy “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his own life for the life of his friend”. They were words on a page. Beautiful, poetic and inspiring words, but still just words on a page. Then someone lived them, and they became so much more than words, they became a lifestyle. Maybe I am odd, but I don’t think a life based on any other words is worth living.
The title is my own
Ettelloc Publishing seeks papers from students in the fields of theology, practical theology, ethics and church history on the detrimental effects Reformed theology and especially Calvinism in its various forms have had on Black people whether in the past or present. If chosen all essays will be collected in an anthology that will be published in the year 2015.
Proposals of no more than 350 words will be due by October 1, 2014 and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org