Posts tagged ‘feelings’

July 12, 2012

It IS About Me

by pastortimfowler

Most of them are good attitudes, but from time to time, some attitudes get negative, including my own. This is the third line from yesterday’s blog. Why did I start with it today? Because I have been blasted from people telling me that it was inappropriate to talk about other people like that. DUH…It IS about me. I was saying that even a beloved pastor can get self-centered and if I can do it, I bet you can too. (Not a good thing)
I consider myself to be the most blessed pastor in the world. My church is full of people who “get it”. They love everyone that walks through the doors regardless of how the look, color, age, or any other descriptive characteristics. They make our church a great place for people to come and feel loved and relaxed and that leads to many people coming to know Jesus. That is the most important thing in the world, not how you or I feel. And that was the purpose of the whole blog yesterday.
It is so easy to get our feelings hurt or feel like someone is stepping on our toes. As a very confident pastor, I have a vision and a direction for my church that I truly believe God gave to me. The reason I believe this is because people come to our church and then come to know Jesus every Sunday. We don’t do a show of wealth or fluffy, feel good sermons. We are modern and our band is awesome and yes, we use some lights while they are playing, but other than that, things rely on God using us to love others. For those of us who have been in church a long time, we can often get our feelings hurt if we feel like we are being neglected or our territory is being invaded or our leadership is being questioned. That is often the time of the much-needed attitude check. And so, I had to check mine.
Sometimes we need to trust that the leaders that God has put in our lives are not only thinking about themselves when they have to put their foot down about a situation. Just like CEO of a company, the pastor is overseeing the big picture and every day is thinking about how to stay heading in the right direction. Sometimes those who work in a specific area, miss how the big picture is effected by what they do. Sometimes the pastor must be firm in staying a course and when that happens, this pastor, can be less than tactful. The old saying, “It’s not what you say but how you say it” comes to mind in this case. I don’t feel like I said anything wrong, but I sure wish I had checked the attitude sooner and said it better.
God loves His people, even those who screw up. He knows that we will never be perfect and therefore, He gives us grace. I love that and need that and I try to model that. But God also does not put up with our inappropriate behavior and will be blunt and to point in correcting us. It is at that time that we can either check our attitude and learn or we can continue to be self-centered and lose sight of the big picture. I am far from being God, but I am sure of the vision, this big picture, that God has given me and the direction our church is going. Too many people are coming to know Jesus for us to be doing too much that He does not like from His church.
It is about me though. I love me and you know it. I am one of my favorite people. But I am not perfect and I admit it. For those who just had your bubble burst, I am sorry. Perfection was Jesus, I am only His servant. If someone took yesterday’s blog to be about you, then maybe you should look in the mirror. If your mirror is foggy, it is not my fault. I am looking in mine and trying to find the Windex to clean it off; ’cause when I look in my mirror and its dirty, it IS about me.

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March 28, 2012

Justice

by pastortimfowler

Justice.jpg

According to dictionary.com, this is the definition of Justice: the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness. It does not mean do what you think is right. It does infer that there is a higher authority that determines what is right. I believe that higher authority is God. Otherwise that leaves the whole idea of right and wrong in the hands of mankind, who has the tendency of injecting feelings over facts. I have written about right and wrong and where we get the idea of what they are. It has little to do with feelings, but few will admit it. Justice is a word being tossed around by many in cases like I wrote about yesterday. Justice in America is accomplished through a system of laws and courts and civil authority, not random groups who feel like they have a better way.
Before I go any further I want to respond to one comment from a reader about yesterday’s blog. I said that clergy needed to speak out about the threats of taking the law into your own hands and this person said that there are no black pastors or churches that were not racist or had the guts to speak out. This is one of those times that I would like to slap someone who reads my blog. You could not be more wrong. The only reason I feel that I can speak out on such a sensitive subject and be as bold as I am is because my friends know my heart and know me. They know that the truth sets us free and not our opinions. Many of my friends are black and pastor churches full of people who love God and other people, regardless of race. While I appreciate your opinion, I take offense at your racist comment about my friends and brothers in Christ.
Now back to justice. The goal of justice is to make things just, or right. Right and wrong were never meant to be subject to feelings. They were never meant to be gray areas or ambiguous. There is a difference between and law and right and wrong. A law can be something that is totally based on feelings. For instance, the current health care law is a feeling that everyone has a right to health insurance. I can find no place that ever gives us a clear-cut right or wrong concerning this. If the law remains, it will be wrong not to follow the details of the law, but it is still based on a feeling.
Right and wrong is where there is a clear-cut determination, regardless of feelings. Murder is wrong. Stealing is wrong. Sexual abuse is wrong. These are things that almost every civil society in the world agree on. It is something that comes from the very moral fiber of humanity, which I believe comes from God. It is right to help the poor, but how, is left open for interpretation. It is right to work for what you have and to provide for your family. It is right to love and protect one another.
But justice is the process of taking a wrong and to the best of the ability of the legal system, making it right. That may mean to those who have stolen, that they give back. To those who have hurt another that they lose the ability to hurt again. The process most often takes time, and because of the human element, can sometimes make mistakes. That still does not give anyone the authority to take this into there own hands. We must first give the justice system time to work. In America we are innocent until proven guilty. We are protected from those who would take vengeance into there own hands and given a method to defend ourselves against all accusers.
The bottom line to this whole idea of justice comes down to God. He is the only righteous judge. He is the only one who knows the hearts of man and has promised that no sin will go unpunished. He did not limit those sins to the ones that we feel are worst, but to all sin that has separated us from Him. He made a way for the punishment for sin to be given to another. One who would be our sacrifice and take the wrath of God so that we may receive total forgiveness. Not based on who we are or how good we say we are, but totally based on His love for us and His hatred of sin that causes us to be separated from Him. God can do this because only a righteous judge can bring true justice with no influence from human imperfections. God has done this and will do this for those who repent.
Although His justice is firm and final, He has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ, our advocate, the Savior of humanity. Vengeance is Mine says the Lord. His judgment is true and His mercy is greater. Justice will prevail.

February 28, 2012

A Cruel God

by pastortimfowler

Revelation 21:4He (God) will wipe every tear from their eyes. There won’t be any more death. There won’t be any grief, crying, or pain, because the first things have disappeared.”
Is God cruel? After all, the Bible says that he killed many innocent animals and in many cases people, including women and children. That goes against even His own commandment to not kill.
Kill comes from the Hebrew word rāṣaḥ-a primitive root; kill (a human being), especially to murder :- put to death, kill, (man-) slay (-er), murder (-er). As you can see it does not have anything to do with animals. It has to do with taking the life of another human without cause.
I want to share a few thoughts in light of the verse from Revelation at the top.
Today, some people think that this life is the one and only. They believe that the only thing that matters is what happens now. Their reasoning of morality is based on feelings, mainly their own. If something makes them feel bad, then it is wrong, if it makes them feel good, then it is right. Here’s the problem with that thinking. Who’s to say my feelings, if different from yours are right or wrong? If I think that it is okay to have sex with little children, who are you to tell me I am wrong. Sure, that is an extreme. So what about if I want to smoke and feel like it is alright? Or what if I want to cheat on my wife and feel it is alright? If humans are the ones who determine what is right or wrong, which humans have the authority to tell me what that is?
As a Christian, I believe that all of mankind is flawed and we have only the morality of God be judged by. The problem with that for most is that God’s morals don’t change with my or your feelings. It does not matter if I feel it is okay to have sex with a child, it is wrong in God’s morality therefore it is wrong in mine. God’s law is the basis for most human laws on earth and have been for as long as we have been here. God is moral and good and loving, not cruel.

Don’t confuse love and good and moral with free from consequences. God has said from the beginning of time that sin brings on death, physical and spiritual. Spiritual death is for those who are not reconciled with God at the time of their physical death. Physical death is the result of sin being confined to the flesh. God’s plan from creation was for us to live with Him eternally. Our sin separates us from Him and God provided a substitute for us in death through Jesus Christ so that sin could die with the flesh and the spirit could be redeemed for eternity. Physical death begins eternal existence.
Now this is a blog, not a theological paper, so I am stating biblical doctrine that I don’t have room to elaborate on in a blog. But the point of this blog is that we focus on this life and that we should remember that there is something that happens after we die.Either eternal life or eternal death.

God does not want anyone to end up in hell. He made salvation easy and accessible to all. I believe the Bible teaches that some go to heaven even if they did not go through the church view of salvation as in the confess and pray for forgiveness. Mainly what I am talking about is children and those who can’t understand right and wrong. Then there are those who have never heard about God from those who believe. Romans 1:20 From the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly observed in what he made. As a result, people have no excuse. I believe this says that someone can look at creation and never hear about God, but make a logical assumption that something greater than them made it all and believe, that God is so loving and merciful that He will accept them in Heaven. Gods (gods) are not something that are new. Human societies have always believed in supernatural beings. They just want the ones who let them make the rules instead of a True Living God that makes the rules
So if innocent children and those who have no teaching of God die, like in a worldwide flood or a war, and they go to heaven and heaven is what God say it is, isn’t that good. Is it better to live in this world with death and pain and sickness or live forever where there is none of that? God even promises a new heaven and a new earth where animals will not even kill each other. I don’t know if animals have eternal souls, I have my opinion, but I do know that God has always cared for even a bird that dies. Matthew 10:29 Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s permission.
A cruel God? I don’t think so.