A Little Bit of O Kingly Love

O kingly Love, that faithfully
didst keep thine ancient promises,
didst bid the bidden come to thee,
the people thou didst choose to bless,

This day we raise our song of praise,
adoring thee,
that in the days when alien sound had all but
drowned thine ancient, true and constant
Thy mighty hand did make a trumpet none
could silence or mistake;
thy living breath did blow for all the world to
hear, living and clear: *

(To be Continued)
(I love that line about the trumpet. Wherever “worship” is going these days, God won’t let his trumpet be silent.)

*Text: Martin H. Franzman, 1907-76
*Tune: Richard Hillert

Should Christians Look Different (So Others Will Believe)?

So I’ve been thinking about whether non-Christians should be so impressed with Christians’ behavior that they ask us why we’re different. 1 Peter 2:12 speaks about keeping “your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation,” which is not absolutely clear. Peter could be speaking about the fact that they become Christians (“glorifying God”), or it could be simply in the same sense that “every knee will bow.”

In the interest of clarity, let’s be clear: I am not arguing that one should not do good works–we should. I am also not arguing that no one will ever ask you about why you do good things–they very well may.

Here’s what I am suggesting (“suggestion” meaning this is just an exploratory question, and not an absolute statement): that we should not do good works in order to show our Christianity. In fact, it seems that Jesus preaches against just this show of religion (Matthew 23:5)! [Admittedly, we do not have phylacteries or fringes, but what about our Christian t-shirts and our See-You-At-The-Poles? Just a question.] I know the conventional wisdom is filled with St. Francis’ aphorism about always preaching, and using words when necessary; and “they will know we are Christians by our love.” But unless we make clear that “we love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19), we are only showing off our goodness, and not God’s. And, for that matter, what does it “preach” if we do not use words? Again, we preach only ourselves.

Since I wholeheartedly agree with Philip Melanchthon when he writes in the Apology, “Nothing can be said so carefully that it can escape misrepresentation,” let me say it capitalized and in boldface: YOU SHOULD DO GOOD WORKS. The only question I am raising is whether people will come to know Jesus Christ solely because of what you do.


Sheehan Arrested

As Cindy Sheehan was arrested today for breaking the law, the other protesters chanted, “The whole world is watching.” They should have concluded with, “…and cheering.” Well, I was, at least.

And what does Cindy say in the comments of her journal at DailyKos.com?
“i am watching cnn and it is 100 percent rita…even though it is a little wind and a little rain…it is bad, but there are other things going on in this country today…and in the world!!!!”

Unfortunately, it seems her solipsism was a little much for people, even on Daily Kos:

Shame (3.20 / 5)

it is 100 percent rita…even though it is a little wind and a little rain
I’m in Southeast Texas with family on the coast and in Lake Jackson, LA.
I’d like you to tell us it’s just a little wind and rain. They’ve lost their homes, jobs and businesses and gone through fear and panic while you bask in your fan’s adulation, party with your celebrity friends and play the star.
Shame on you, you’re jealous of media coverage of other’s suffering. You’ve become a caricature and I no longer support you. I’m ashamed I ever did.

Followed by an ostensible apology:

“i am sorry (2.75 / 4)

when i was watching cnn this morning, that’s what it was…i know it was much worse earlier and it was devastating, i didn’t make myself clear and i apologize.

i also know that the media will cover anything else besides the war.”

And then, this:

“Before today I would have just believed you, but.. (3.00 / 7)
Cindy, these posts have time stamps.
when i was watching cnn this morning, that’s what it was
Four hours before your post, the eye hit just east of Port Arthur and west of Lake Charles. Between then and two hours after your post, hurricane force winds were tearing through Beaumont and Orange, TX and all through Vermillion Parrish, LA..
Imagine, if you can, what was happening to those poor people while you were watching tv and getting upset about them covering “a little wind and a little rain” rather than your special day.
it was devastating earlier

And during. And after.

You might also realize that the people in a hurricane’s wake don’t suddenly get happy and whole an hour after the eye passes over. It’s still not a little wind and a little rain to them. Do you know they are still very afraid down there – right now, Cindy, trying to find 1,000 people lost in Vermillion as I type..
You can find the story now on CNN’s website. I’m very sorry, it’s slightly above the story about you – that’s just so unfair too isn’t it.
i also know that the media will cover anything else besides the war.

Well Joan Baez sang for you today, and you got your smiling-happy picture taken with Jesse Jackson today, and your story is still front page on CNN.com today. So it was a very good day. Yes it was a beautiful day for Cindy wasn’t it?

Except for a little wind and a little rain earlier.”

But that didn’t stop the real Kosers from calling this person a troll.

See more opponents of Cindy’s selfishness here.


No Sense of Irony Whatsoever

Today I saw a bumper sticker on a car, also sporting a Kerry/Edwards sticker, that said, “The Constitution is a shield, not a sword.” No little irony in that, coming from a (presumably) Democratic supporter of the erstwhile presidential candidate. Can anyone say, “Constitutional ‘right’ to abortion”?

Another good display of bumper stickers: a Kerry/Edwards sticker next to a Gore/Lieberman sticker. What’s next, a Clinton/Obama sticker? 0-3!