Does anyone else notice the irony that on the same day the Federal government shuts down, the Maine sales tax increased because of a deal reached this summer to prevent a similar shutdown at the state level? It seems we either have to keep paying more for government services, or shut them down all together.
But the problem is, governments at all levels have run out of ways to “raise money” because there are less and less people from which to collect it. So the question must be asked – who pays?
Most often, it ends up being the middle class
I’m a tad late on the uptake of this one, but the following quote was uttered by Marcus Mumford- the 26-year-old lead singer of Mumford & Sons- in the April edition of Rolling Stone:
“I don’t really like that word. It comes with so much baggage. So, no, I wouldn’t call myself a Christian. I think the word just conjures up all these religious images that I don’t really like. I have my personal views about the person of Jesus and who he was. … I’ve kind of separated myself from the culture of Christianity.”
As a blogger who attempts to write about how Christianity can and should relate to culture, his final phrase caught my eye. Is it Jesus [and His claims] that Marcus has a problem with, or is his issue with what he perceives as the “culture of Christianity”?
As Father’s Day approaches this year, it seems like a good time to reflect on my first full year of fatherhood.
Wow, what a ride! It may sound like a cliché, especially to you non-parents out there, but becoming a parent has been a life-changing experience like none other. My little guy, Max, just turned 1 at the end of last month and it already seems like he’s growing up so fast (I know- another cliché).
We have been blessed with a very well-behaved baby (from what we’re told). Aside from when Sarah had to wake him up in the night to feed him, he has almost always slept completely through the night. The first few months were the most worrisome for me, as I tend to worry a lot, and I always had to check him to make sure he was still breathing (by staring intently at his chest in a dimly lit room). However, I should have known better than to worry about such a God-given natural thing like breathing. Thankfully, as I got more used to having another life in the room with us (that’s where he spent the first few months), I gradually got more comfortable with his ability to inhale and exhale while sleeping.
Easter, the common name for the holiday marking Jesus Christ’s return from the dead, represents Christianity’s trump card- the unique claim to eternal life. All other world religions have had human founders that lived, then died. Their lives may have had meaning but ultimately their death meant nothing. In Christianity, Jesus Christ’s death meant EVERYTHING. It meant everything because by first-person historical accounts it was a death that lasted only a few days.
No other world religion has first-person historical accounts of their leader coming back to life. Why? For one simple reason- they all died and stayed dead and their bodies remain in the ground today. Jesus, on the other hand, left the tomb in which he was buried- and continues to live eternally today. This historical occurrence is what Easter Sunday, otherwise known as Resurrection Sunday, commemorates- not bunnies, baskets, or egg hunts.
Recently I was perusing CNN.com when a certain article, linked only about half way down the front page, caught my eye. The article was a community-submitted blog post called “Why I Raise My Children Without God”, and as someone who blogs about Christian perspectives I could not resist reading this mother’s take on things. I must admit I immediately felt an inner grieving of the Holy Spirit for her and almost clicked away after the first paragraph. However, I forged ahead and read through the whole article wincing with every sentence.
After finishing the article I sat in utter disbelief of this mother’s utter disbelief, and pondered what to do next. Should I just put it out of my mind and let her charges against God go unanswered, joining the large chorus of atheism becoming ever more prevalent in our fallen society?
Then I read it again…
It would be insincere to say I was surprised by the results of the same-sex marriage vote in Maine this time around. I uphold that as a supporter of traditional marriage, it was out of principle- not hate- to vote No on Question 1. But a majority of Mainers have spoken, and because we live in a democracy rather than a theocracy, we must begin to move beyond the debate over civil marriage as Christians.
While there are many places in Scripture that seem to exactly describe where our culture is today (Romans 1:24-32 is one New Testament example), the question that remains is what are we to do about it? One thing we should NOT do is just gloss over such warnings and ignore the Word of God at these uncomfortable points, or explain them away as not applying to our current situation. But correction and reproof from Scripture are for those inside the church, not those on the outside (see 1 Corinthians 5:12-13).
So what about the people “on the outside”?