1 Corinthians 2:14-15a (NIV) 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things...
Three things have happened recently that I believe God has something to say about. A man was arrested by ICE for overstaying his visa. Two, a US Senator has attacked the Catholic Church, and three, health care will be debated in the Senate.
How is that for hot button issues?
First, Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, was discreetly asked by the Bishop of Rhode Island to stop taking communion because of his stance on abortion. Patrick decides to make it public - unlike his drunk driving and philandering, which he preferred to keep private - now the church has to respond. They did, they said the request was confidential and pastoral; that it was about Patrick's spiritual health, not some political issue - the way it should be. Bravo Bishop Tobin!
The church is saying that you cannot be pro-abortion, and be right with God.
Now come the pundits and three Massachusetts Roman Catholic candidates hopeful for Ted Kennedy's ultra liberal senate seat in the primary December 8th.
"We need the separation of church and state." Mary Ann Marsh - Democratic Strategist
"I don't think it's the churches business, especially a church that overlooked the Church Sex Abuse Scandal. It's an affront to good Christians and Catholics. " Martha Coakley
"No wonder people have stopped going to church!" Mike Capuano
"Excommunicate the spoiled little brat! And add to that John Kerry and the rest of them that are pro-abortion Catholics. It's pure hypocrisy!" David Johndrow
1 Corinthians 5:4 When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
One down, two to go.
I have written about health care a couple of times. Now that we are going to debate it in the Senate, I find that the camps are polarized because of their political views. The Democrats say provide it regardless of the cost, the Republicans say let Darwin handle it, and the church is divided.
I was reading the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Matthew - the one where the robbers beat a fellow and went away, leaving him half dead. A Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
Church we have and obligation, regardless of what the government does or doesn't do, to care for those that God does not supernaturally heal. Sure, I think we need more faith healing - so, are you out there doing it?
Who is going to pay for health care anyway? I don't know. But that does not relinquish us of our responsibility. Can health care be done more cheaply then it is now? YES!
The whole problem with health care is the way politicians are going about it. One party is for the health care unions, the other seems to be for the insurance companies, BUT the church needs to be for the sick, the poor, the widows and those in jail. We must count the cost, we must participate, we must pray, and we must not shirk our part in this mess.
This week a good friend of mine, actually my closest friend in the world was arrested for an immigration violation. He overstayed his travel visa. He's been whisked away to a holding facility in Texas. Bond has been set at $7500.
I am often disappointed when people point at the bad behavior of others to rationalize their own bad behavior - like Martha Coakley above. So, I won't say that we have child molesters and felons that get lower bails. That's just what I'm thinking, not what I'm saying.
My friend was wrong, but he is not a felon. He is well educated, speaks 4 languages fluently, and has invested most of his adult life in ministering to folks both here in the US, Columbia, Israel and of course, Brazil. He's a man of good character.
His dream is to minister around the world, to work hard and to have a family. And after trying to get a green card for nearly 10 years, he fell prey to the rhetoric that our new President might give him amnesty.
God will prevail in his life. Hopefully he can raise the bail money before tomorrow (Wednesday), or he'll be deported. God have mercy.
What makes me angry is that our country doesn't really have an immigration policy - at least one that is uniformly enforced and fair to all potential immigrants. There is no line - it more like a crowd of 20,000 screaming Bon Jovi fans trying to get the best view of the stage with "arena seating." The rushing, pushing, stomping, screaming, crowd funneled through a few small doors to the promised land.
In my opinion, wouldn't it be wise to say these are the rules. Come after a background check, having a place to stay, see an INS officer every 6 months, and in 2 years, if you haven't committed a felony, and you have learned English, you can become a citizen of the greatest country on earth.
I confess, I don't know what Jesus should do about my friend. I just know what I am supposed to do.
Hebrews 13:1 Keep on loving each other as brothers. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. 3Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.