Thursday, May 15, 2008

Saul and Politics

I was a little surprised to see the similarities

1 Samuel 8-11 tells the story of Saul becoming the first king of Israel.  In these passages, you see several things occur.
  • The people asking for a king because of protection
  • God allowing a king to be chosen
  • Samuel warning the people but anointing Saul king
Because of the book I have been reading, I am more sensitive to the issues of tying following God with political agendas.

Then I saw the start of chapter 11... Within a month of Saul becoming king, Israel was embroiled in war.  Now this seems to be a common occurrence with Israel but here is the "God-chosen" leader being sent into war right after he was made leader.

What similarities you ask?  8 years ago, a movement lead by political conservatives, including many Christians elected George W. Bush president. Within a year of him taking power, we were embroiled in a war against terror which lead to a war against Iraq. I am not going to make any judgments other than this....

Many Christians were putting their political hope for peace and righteousness in their choice then.  The Bible, however, shows us that God does not want followers of him (then or now) to put their faith in anyone or anything but God.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Grace, Forgiveness -- What about 9/11

It has been a while since I have posted.  Over the last couple of weeks, however, I have been bombarded with information about God's grace and forgiveness.

It started a couple of months ago as I started to read Shane Claibourne's book "Jesus for President".  This book is wide ranging in subject matter from how radical Christ's words were (much more than we typically think) to how to live a life of forgiveness and grace.

Then, last week, I listened to the messages on "Grace - What's so amazing about Christianity?" and "Forgiveness - Why did Jesus have to die?" from here.  As I was listening to the last message I thought of someone I need to forgive.  Then my mind wandered to questions brought up in a conversation this morning.   What if, rather than reacting with vengeance for the events of 9/11, we would have reacted with forgiveness like the Amish did when their school children were murdered 2 years ago?

One other thought though...  Forgiveness does not eliminate justice