Who are we to judge?

Who are we to judge?

Good morning and thank you for the invitation to lead worship this morning at Sugar Grove.One of the reasons I accepted Asel’s invitation even though I’ve had to turn down many other requests, is because when I think of Sugar Grove, I’m reminded of Ephesians 1:15: “I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks…

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  • 6 days ago
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History Channel goes off the rails

History Channel goes off the rails

Not that I ever thought he History Channel, and it’s sister H2, were particularly reliable sources of historical knowledge, but I always thought there was at least some effort at scholarship, even if it did tend to be shallow and focus on the sensational.</p>

<p>No more.</p>

During one of my too-frequent middle-of-the-night stints of channel surfing instead of sleeping, I stumbled on an episode…

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  • 1 month ago

Jacob, Esau and the 221st General Assembly of the PC(USA)

Jacob, Esau and the 221st General Assembly of the PC(USA)

GA221 Communion Ware(The following is the prepared text of a sermon delivered at First Presbyterian Church, Morgantown, WV., on Sunday, July 13, 2014, based upon Genesis 25:19-34, Psalm 119:105-112 and Romans 8:1-11.)

The Lord be with you. It is always a pleasure, albeit a daunting one, to step into this or and any pulpit. But I trust that whatever is from God will stick, and the rest will disappear, so I’m glad to…

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  • #Caterpillar #civil unions #divestment #Hewlett-Packard #marriage #Middle East #Motorola Solutions #pcusa #religion #sexuality
  • 2 months ago

Searching for Presbyterian campus pastor for Marshall University

I’m honored to serve as president of the board The Westminster Foundation, which supports campus ministry in West Virginia — including two full-time Presbyterian campus pastors at West Virginia University and Marshall University.

We are currently searching for an interim, and then permanent, campus pastor at Marshall. Here’s the advertisement:

Advertisement for interim position:

The Westminster Foundation of West Virginia, a not-for-profit organization that provides Presbyterian campus ministry at state colleges and universities throughout West Virginia, is looking for a full-time/part-time interim pastor to provide pastoral leadership on the campus at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. This person should be an ordained or eligible to be ordained Teaching Elder in the PCUSA.  The Foundation seeks someone who can both provide pastoral care to the campus – students, faculty and staff – along with leading a discernment process, in collaboration with the Foundation’s Campus Ministry Committee, as the Foundation looks forward to calling the installed, permanent pastor. A full job description is available on the Foundation’s website (http://www.westminsterwv.org). For more information about Marshall, go to http://www.marshall.edu. Specific information about the historic ministry at Marshall is available at https://www.facebook.com/groups/147285101959470/.

Please share this in any communities which you think might be helpful.

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  • 2 months ago

No factual errors, but still so wrong

Anyone who has read any of my infrequent posts probably knows my background: a long-time journalist and a committed Christian of the Presbyterian persuasion.

Yes, those two things can and do exist in the same human — in fact in many humans, but it is also true that many in both camps neither understand the other nor know much about what makes the other tick. Accordingly, I take it as a personal responsibility to help bridge that gap.

Yes, I tell my journalist friends, not all Christians line up behind Pat Robertson, Westboro Baptist Church/Fred Phelps and the like. (Even if they are from South Carolina, as I happen to be.)

Yes, I tell my Christian friends, not all journalists are antagonistic and/or ignorant about faith.

But in my current hometown, the second one of those statements just got harder.

The local newspaper carried a front-page story this week about Easter. I should have realized from the lead how bad it was going to be:

Break out the Easter eggs and the candy. This is Holy Week, a time for Christians to mark the final days of Lent and the days leading up to Easter.

Ouch. Easter eggs and candy? That’s the most significant thing about Easter?! Really!?

And then there was the next sentence:

Easter is traditionally celebrated on the Sunday after the first full moon of spring, Tree of Life Rabbi Joe Hample said, when asked about the relation between Passover and Easter.

Really? You’re quoting a Jewish rabbi on when Easter is celebrated? Easter, which Judaism does not acknowledge? (Forget how badly constructed the sentence was.)

There’s just so much wrong with this story. Such as this: 

Jesus is said to have saved the Christian people by sacrificing himself so God would forgive their sins.

No, Jesus is not “said to have saved the Christian people.” Jesus saves everyone. (Let’s not get into a debate here about universalism, or blood atonement or the rest of all that. Let’s just all acknowledge that all people can receive eternal life. We’ll leave the arguments about who, how etc. for another place and time.)

And the only Christian person quoted is a Catholic priest. No matter that even in this small city there is everything from fire-and-brimstone-hellfire-and-damnation to Unitarian-Unilateralist congregations, from non-denominational mega-churches to Orthodox to traditional, mainline Protestant congregations.

It is almost as if some editor looked at the calendar and said, “Hey, you, kid reporter, we need some kind of Easter story. Go write one.”

And then when it was done, the editor didn’t care what was written. “Easter story done. Check.”

One of the things I’ve tried over the years to get across to many folks, journalist and non-journalist alike, is that it’s not the big mistakes that have undermined the public’s confidence in media. It’s the little ones.

And while there aren’t really any errors of fact in this story, it displays such a complete lack of basic knowledge of — or even respect for — the subject matter that, taken as a whole, the story is a mistake from the first word to the last.

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  • #Presbyterian #faith #journalism #Christianity
  • 5 months ago
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Education is a wonderful thing!

A car at our condo complex had this license plate: C72UPOPS.

I’ve tried and tried to figure it out to no avail. So I finally asked the car’s owner, “What does your license plate mean?”

It seems he’s a med student from a family of doctors. He tells me the C7 vertebrae has a nerve connected to the middle finger.

I’m already chuckling when he says his father’s license plate says “C72U.”

Yes, education is a wonderful thing.

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  • 5 months ago

Just an elder/deacon? That’s a triple not-so-fast!

(The following is the Keynote Address delivered to “Officers as Spiritual Leaders,” a training event sponsored by the Presbytery of Homestead at Southern Heights Presbyterian Church, Lincoln NE; Jan. 11, 2014.)

Good morning and greetings to you from the P…

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  • 8 months ago

Day 2: What will the day of judgment be? For whom?

Well, this is an easy one. (Where’s that sarcasm font when you need it?)

This question essentially is at the core of belief, isn’t it? I know what The Larger Catechism says in today’s assigned reading:

Q. 89. What shall be done to the wicked at the day of…

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  • #grace #Judgment
  • 8 months ago

A new discipline for 2014

Well it’s the time when almost everyone is making New Year’s resolutions and starting new things. For me, I am going to try — emphasis on try — to adopt a new discipline of following the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Company of Pastorsregimin. In…

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  • #Company of Pastors #faith #Resurrection
  • 8 months ago
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It’s been a week since I posted about the current state of The Associated Press and…

It’s been a week since I posted about the current state of The Associated Press and some of the reasons it is in the shape it’s in. (Here’s a link to the original on Medium.) And, given the world we’re in today, I also posted it on my blog, which meant it…

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  • #AP #Associated Press #business model #journalism #media #news
  • 1 year ago