Feb 1, 2017
DONALD TRUMP AND THE STRANGER
For Christians, in the 25th chapter of Matthew, Jesus makes
clear that how we treat “the stranger” is how we treat him.
That’s what the Gospel text says. And the “stranger” means
immigrants and refugees — the citizens of other nations living
and traveling among us. Therefore, this is a faith issue for us
as Christians. Donald Trump’s executive order on “Protecting
the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”
is in conflict with our Christian faith, and we will oppose it as
a matter of faith.
President Trump’s executive order is not about security; it is
All of us want and value security. But these refugees have
already been thoroughly vetted. They are mostly women and
children who have had to flee situations of violent conflict —
for their very lives. They are in danger; they are not a danger.
They are refugees fleeing from violence, not the agents of
violence toward us. The world’s experts on refugees around
the globe clearly contradict what the ideologues of the new
White House are saying.
This is a political policy, not a rational one. This is a cruel
policy aimed at refugee families in great need and danger;
not a protective policy for American families. This is a
payback policy aimed at satisfying a political base that has
become hostile and hateful to refugees and immigrants. This
is a dangerous policy that is already alienating our partners
around the world, will be used by our enemies to recruit
against us, and will make us less safe.
We will oppose the executive order as a matter of faith.
This is also a policy aimed at a religion: The seven
nations cited are Muslim-majority nations. Furthermore,
the executive order directs the government to prioritize
admittance of refugees (both as possible exceptions to
the current ban and to get special treatment when and if
the refugee ban is lifted) who suffer “religious persecution”
and belong to “minority religions” in their countries. This
amounts to showing preferential treatment for Christian
refugees over Muslim refugees, which President Trump
admitted to a Christian broadcaster. Giving special
treatment to Christians fleeing violence over Muslims
doing the same is both religiously offensive — to many
of us who are Christian — and contrary to America’s best
and constitutional values.
This policy is also aimed at race: The Muslims being
banned by this order are primarily people of color; and their
targeting is directly related to the white nationalist ideology
that has now taken up office in the White House, which is
a great danger to America’s future. The use of religion and
race for political purposes undermines the United States’
fundamental commitment to being a pluralist and democratic
Christian leaders who supported Donald Trump must speak
up as Christians against policies that attack “the strangers”
for their religion and their race.
Christian leaders who supported Donald Trump should also
stand in opposition to Donald Trump’s recent re-embracing
of torture — which is contrary to Christian values and
principles. Torture is anti-Christian, most Christians believe
that, and all of us must now say that again.
Whether it’s the banning of refugees, the targeting of another
religion, the subtle or direct appeals to racism, or the
endorsement of torture, it is time to speak truth to power.
Religious leaders must speak up against these moral choices
of our new president. There is more than politics at stake here;
at stake is the integrity of our faith and the future of our country.
(Jim Wallis is president of Sojourners)
Posted at 08:04 am by preacher314
Jan 31, 2017
Jesus begins in the Sermon on the Mount by affirming
that everyone in his audience is called, loved, powerful,
and valuable. This was remarkable in his day because
the religious people in Jesus' day liked to say some
people are out and some people are in, and the way
that you get in is by doing things the right way and not
being sick. People like lepers and people with bleeding
diseases were believed to be cursed by God because
of a sin of their parents. There was this system in place
where some people were in, and some people were out.
Jesus comes on the scene in the Gospel of Matthew in
Chapter 5, and he begins with the beatitudes in which
he says that everyone belongs. He begins by saying
"blessed are the poor in spirit." Don't misunderstand,
being poor in spirit is not a virtue. Poor in spirit means
you're spiritually bankrupt. Blessed are you if you mourn.
Blessed are you if you've been a doormat your whole life.
In Luke, he says blessed are you if you're poor, if you're
persecuted, if you're unwanted, if you're uninvited. Jesus
says to these people you are called, you are loved, you
are light, you are salt.
Dear God, thank you for accepting me. Even through my
weakness, illness, and sin, I am loved by you and the
salt of the earth.
REFLECTION: If you were there in Jesus day, do you
think you would be in or out?
(Pastor Bobby Schuller)
Posted at 07:54 am by preacher314
Jan 30, 2017
Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore,
love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:10
But no one should ever be locked away
simply because they share the same race,
ethnicity, or religion as a spy or terrorist. If
that principle was not learned from the
internment of Japanese Americans, then
these are very dangerous times for our
democracy. Fred Korematsu
God, remind us that all of humanity is
invited to feast at your table.
adapted from Common Prayer
Posted at 11:15 am by preacher314
Jan 27, 2017
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God. Matthew 5:8
The outstretched arms of Jesus
exclude no one, not the drunk in the
doorway, the panhandler on the street,
gays and lesbians in their isolation,
the most selfish and ungrateful in their
cocoons, the most unjust of employers
and the most overweening of snobs.
The love of Christ embraces all without
exception. Brennan Manning
Surround us with living saints who
remind us of the sort of people we
are trying to become. Common Prayer
(**A special note- Today is International
Holocaust Remembrance Day. Let us
remember the millions of innocents
murdered by the Nazis, the many
Christians who put their lives on the
line so that Jewish people might live,
and those who survived but still struggle
with bitter memories and crippling poverty.
(International Fellowship of Christian and Jews).
WE REMEMBER THEIR DIGNITY AND
Posted at 06:51 am by preacher314
Jan 26, 2017
Donald Trump has just said that torture “absolutely”
works and that he would approve it in his
administration if his team agrees. That torture works
is a lie and a moral aggression that would directly
lead to the use of torture again by the United States.
As many diverse Christian leaders have said, torture
is anti-Christian. Will the Christians who supported
Donald Trump stand up against torture under his
regime? “Speaking the truth to power” is a necessary
and invaluable Christian practice and tradition which
may become central again in our witness to the
presidency of Donald Trump.
Perhaps John the apostle puts it best: “You will know
the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
(My Note- LET US REMEMBER EPHESIANS 4-
"We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and
blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s
trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But
speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every
way into him who is the head, into Christ…. So then,
putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to
our neighbors, for we are members of one another.”)
Posted at 03:02 pm by preacher314
God defends the cause
of the fatherless and the
widow, and loves the foreigner
residing among you, giving
them food and clothing. And
you are to love those who
are foreigners, for you
yourselves were foreigners
in Egypt. Deuteronomy
you have to understand, that
no one puts their children in
a boat unless the water is
safer than the land
God, may our lives, and voices,
say, "welcome." adapted
from Common Prayer
Posted at 07:46 am by preacher314
Jan 25, 2017
President Trump signed an executive order greenlighting
construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil
This action signals he prioritizes corporate oil interests
at the expense of environmental protection and the well-
being of Americans.
Tell President Trump: Keystone XL and Dakota Access
stand in opposition to our values.
As people of faith, we must stand together to resist
Trump’s actions that destroy the environment and
harm our fellow Americans.
This move comes a month and a half after the victory at
Standing Rock, where people of faith stood in solidarity
with the Water Protectors to protect our water and climate.
We’ve stopped Keystone XL and Dakota Access before.
Let’s stand together to do it again.
The Sojourners Team
Posted at 07:07 am by preacher314
Jan 23, 2017
This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the
builders, which has become the Cornerstone. And there
is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name
under heaven given among men by which we must be
saved. - Acts 4:11-12
In the 1800s, Queen Victoria was crossing the English
Channel on her royal yacht.
During the course of the trip, her eye fell upon a tiny bird,
who with fluttering wings, tried to follow the ship.
Apparently, the bird had been attracted by the brightness
of the silk flag which floated at the masthead.
The queen turned to her daughter and pointed to the bird.
As they watched, they could see the bird was becoming
weak and weary, darting down to the waves, then climbing
back up, trying to find some place to rest. But as this bird
was a fragile creature used to the woods and not the
company of man, it refused to settle down on the ship.
With a faint cry it rose from the waves, soared up to the
masthead and, unsuccessfully, tried to rest upon the flag,
which had drawn it from the land -- away from safety,
shelter and home.
The heart of the queen was filled with pity and she
commanded her sailors to save the weary bird.
Wishing to please his Monarch every able-bodied man
jumped to do the job Victoria had entrusted to them. They
used every art and every device to capture that bird. Sadly,
all their efforts to rescue the bird only terrified it more.
At last it fell upon the deck at the feet of the queen.
Her majesty stooped and picked up the dead bird and held
it tenderly in her hands. Victoria, Queen over an empire
upon which the sun never set, had been absolutely
helpless in sparing the life of a single, small, scared bird.
Her good intentions had not been good enough; her power
had proven to be insufficient to the task.
I would like to point out that some things don't change.
In the worlds of politics, medicine, education and
philanthropy, there are many who, with good intentions,
are eager to try and save us. It is true, they are willing, but
it is equally true, they are not able. Most certainly, they
may assist you with simple problems and minor difficulties,
but they cannot correct or cure the great sickness of sin
that besets and condemns our souls.
Nobody can save us other than Jesus.
That is because Jesus alone
• has lived a perfect life so that our sinful imperfections might
• has resisted every temptation so we might be found
innocent on Judgment Day;
• has conquered death and shown to this doubting world that
His sacrifice to save us has been accepted and is complete.
Dear Lord, we give thanks for those people of the world who
do their best to make a positive impact. Bless them in their
service. Most of all, we pray that every sinful soul may see
only Jesus can save from condemnation and damnation. In
Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
(Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)
Posted at 07:29 am by preacher314
Jan 20, 2017
NOW IS THE TIME FOR FAITH TO FLOURISH
Two Critical Roles for People of Faith Under a Trump
1. Faith must stand up for itself, for its values, for its
standards, and for its priorities.
2. Leadership means sacrifice for the greater good,
instead of just the personal one.
YOU MUST STAND UP WITHIN, FOR, AND LIVE
YOUR FAITH! IT IS MORE VITAL THAN EVER THAT
WE DO SO. AND WE MUST BEGIN NOW!!!!!!!
And perhaps the value that our country needs most
right now, in an age of almost complete cynicism
about politics, is the power and promise of hope. We
can decide to spend our time, energy, and the gifts
of our lives to make this a better world — for those
around us, especially for those on the edges, and to
be good stewards of the creation itself. That’s who
people of faith are supposed to be; that is what we
are supposed to do. And there is no better time to
do that than right now. No matter what politics says
and does, it is always time for faith to flourish and
(Sojourners, sojo.net, Jim Wallis)
Posted at 07:01 am by preacher314
Jan 19, 2017
DONALD TRUMP TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES
“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals,
for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” —
Leaders can easily fall into the trap of being out of touch
with the people. Most leaders of nations enjoy luxuries that
the general public does not. It’s easy to become insensitive
to the needs of the common man or unsympathetic to a poor
man’s plight. God, on the other hand, says “Don’t you dare!
My people are my precious children.” Moses was commanded
to remain as sensitive as he was at that moment until the day
that he died.
Insensitivity is a trap we all can fall into. It’s hard to empathize
with the hungry if your stomach is always full, or to feel for the
homeless when we are enjoying the comfort and warmth of our
own homes. But, friends, we who serve the Lord are on “holy
ground.” We must remain acutely sensitive to the needs of His
children and do our best to meet them, whenever and however
Posted at 07:15 pm by preacher314