Saturday, March 16, 2013

I Confess...

I have been dismissive of others objections to my speech and my opinions. I have little considered this offense against others, perhaps in weight against my other much more grievous sins listed here.

I have left too many things undone. I have neglected responsibilities and allowed myself to be distracted from important things and remained ignorant of injustice and suffering of others.

I've let myself be used and lied to and I taught lies to school children in every county I've lived in since I've been an adult.  Because of sloth did not educate myself to the truth nor take control of those under my employ in local governments.

I steal from the poor with monetary policy, printing money for banks and devaluing every dollar in the working man's paycheck and savings account. I create a separation of classes with progressively prohibitive tax measures, bureaucracies and fees to keep the poor from succeeding and securing power and wealth of an elite few.

I help to arm criminals in this country and around the world.

I help to disarm victims leaving them defenseless against criminals and tyrants only for the sake of comfort, to make people feel good and to give others a sense of accomplishment.

I persecute churches and people of faith, demanding they cede questions of conscience to the state and force them to participate in that which they hold most vile.

I hire people to murder, by the hundreds of thousands a year, babies before they are born.  I wish I could say it was totally at random but the truth is that it has been focused on minorities and the poor.

I have taken the freedom to govern myself, a gift from God and one that has been fought and died for by generations before me, and I've squandered it allowing myself and others to slip into serfdom and even slavery.

If you notice that several of these are in the present tense. This is because I continue to commit them.  I don't know if they can be stopped.  I do vow that from this day forward I will do what I can and say what I must until all of these sins are stopped and amends are made or until the day that I die.  When I die and I meet my maker at least I will no longer have to say that I did nothing.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Judas Lives

It seems we are seeing Judas everywhere these days.  He's is spotted more then Elvis.  We are easily able to see him in priests who are caught molesting children and in TV evangelist caught in a scandal. Judas, in the dictionary, is one who betrays another under the guise of friendship.  It is so commonplace that it no longer applies only to Jesus being betrayed, but to anyone or any group being betrayed by an identification of friendship. We've been trained in our culture to spot Judas and point him out. It's often used as a political ploy "Look at what he's done.  He's one of them!"

As bad as the omnipresence of Judas is in our culture, his presence in our church is so much worse.  This is were Judas does the most damage.  Remember Judas' betrayal was not just with a kiss. It first involved the establishment of another authority in Judas' life. It was not anything unusual in his day or ours for someone to be beholden to money or to the current power structure. It is only due to the contradiction in allegiance that the kiss becomes a betrayal. In Jesus' day only one of the 12 had this problem.  Unfortunately this sort of divided allegiance or double mindedness is common in today's church. Despite our ability to spot him everywhere, Judas goes mostly unnoticed among our congregations.

All too often, Judas is there when Jesus has started a ministry in the life of a lost soul and with some small hypocrisy Judas betrays the whole body of Christ in that person's mind. The outspoken Christian who is dishonest in business dealings is Judas to all he has cheated. The co-worker who is known to say "Praise Jesus" for every blessing but who is also known for not pulling his weight or shirking his duties betrays Jesus.  The less then faithful spouse who rationalizes what is "realistic" gives in to the worldly authority over God's. The citizen who votes to have the government do wrong in expectation of a payout or benefit takes his thirty pieces of silver.  The church leader who chooses peace over justice or who enjoys freedom for his church and supports, either actively or by silent consent, the subjugation of another is playing the role of Judas.

A friend once told me, nobody wants all doom and gloom.  So I must point out the uplifting joy in this situation:
Judas is in Heaven!
Judas was an apostle of Christ. Sure he is only remembered for his betrayal but he is saved never the less.  You ask how I know this? I must confess that I am Judas.  I have been Judas more than once and to more than a few people.  I have tainted and destroyed my witness in the eyes of others and Jesus' ministry has suffered because of it.

I do not know what I will be remembered for and yet, despite all of my sins, I do know that I am seen righteous in the eyes of God through the blood of the only worthy sacrifice, Jesus Christ!