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Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Wrong Target – A Preacher’s Position on Georgia’s RFRA Bill

IMG_7154With all of the politcal debate raging, I have reached the point where I hate the term “right(s)” with the rage of a hundred erupting volcanos. We have a “right” to refuse service. We have a “right” to marry. We have a “right” to tuition money. We have a “right” to healthcare. We have a “right” to practice our faith. It has become the word to scream when you want to get your way. I want to live this way, so I just yell, “This choice is my RIGHT!” It is played like a trump card to win the argument, but it has become a wall that has killed all profitable discussion. When I hear someone state, “We have a right,” it is like my toddler who throws himself to the ground screaming and crying because he didn’t get a second cookie. It has become nothing more than frustrating noise.

We are so engroseed in getting our way that we are ignoring the political and social discussion we desperately need to be having. Take my home state of Gerogia for example. I love my state. There are numerous reasons why Ray Charles had Georgia and not Michigan on his mind, and currently, we are in the national news for the politcal debate regarding Senate Bill 129, Georgia’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. You can read the current bill here that has passed and is awaiting the Govenror’s signature or veto. The bill’s purpose, according to those that passed it, is to protect people from having to compromise their personal faith. According to it’s detractors, it is legalized discrimination.

Both sides are throwing around the term “right,” right and left. Churches are saying we have a right to say no to outside groups wanting to use our facilities based on our beliefs. Individuals are saying we have a right of access to a business services. Businesses are saying they have a right to refuse service, and basically, we are ignoring the discussion we need to have.

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I Am A Moron – A Preacher’s Position on Refugees 2

imageI saw this meme with a picture of Jeff Foxworthy saying, “If you think it’s a good idea to bring in refugees who hate your country, your religion, and your culture…you might be a moron!”  This meme made me feel the need to address this mindset and discuss Syrian refugees again.  First, there is absolutely zero evidence that Jeff Foxworthy ever made this statement, and I doubt he did esspecially since he didn’t say what has been attributed to him about Muslims.  Now, as a lover of history, let’s allow some facts to help shape our opinions.

First, there are many Muslims in Syria.  That is true, but are you aware that Syria is one of the most ancient seats of Christianity.  Much of the foundation of Christianity was laid in what is modern day Syria and the surounding area.  They have loved Christ for a millennia and a half before America was discovered.

The Syriac Orthodox Church has been active from the earliest stages of Christianity.  There is evidence that several books of the bible were written in and around modern day Syria such as Matthew and Luke.  The Apostle Paul gave his life to Jesus in Syria.  Also, there are other early significant Christian writings from the Syrian area such as the Didache, Gospel of Thomas, and the Diatessaron.  In fact, the Diatessaron is quite possibly the earliest translation of the Gospels (that were written in Greek) into the common language of the people, Syriac, in the 2nd century.  To put that into some context, the Western Church strangled William Tyndale to death and then burned his body for translating the bible into English, the language of his people, in the 16th century because they did not want commoners to be reading the bible.

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