Bono it is not about charity it is about justice.

Ok I am on a Bono marathon of thought. This speech was given at the Washington prayer breakfast a number of years ago. I love how Bono uses his humour and the fact that he is not a preacher or a theologian, he is a rock star who is also an activist. He does not have to worry about offending people he can simply say whats on his mind and that is very refreshing. It is obvious that he is a spiritual man. His mom was a protestant and his father a catholic. Bono said he was not comfortable around religious people and I can relate to that. Bono is cynical about God politics but he is not cynical about God.

When he talks about the poor he makes a statement that “God is with us when we are with them/” Wow that is very powerful. He mentioned that Jesus was critical about the religious leaders and their response to the poor. He mentioned that Aids is the leprosy of this generation. He talks about ministering to the poor is not about charity it is about justice…I love that statement. The other great statement from Bono is, “where you live should not determine if you live.” The Church has responded and the United States has reached out in some amazing ways to help curb some of the problems facing the poor in our world but there is so much more to do.

If you are a U2 fan listen to Bono’s heart. I am so impressed with this man. We need more people who have the platform and the finances to make a difference. People who are not in the back pocket of some religious movement or political agenda. Thank you Bono for being you and saying it like it is. So What Do You Think?

Nina Grewal A Merry Christmas

Nina Grewal is a Sikh and she loves Christmas. She has no problem wishing people a Merry Christmas. Sometimes political correctness is anything but correct. What makes Canada a great country is that we can celebrate our various religious holidays. The bah humbug folks who are disturbed because of Nativity scenes on public property or the singing of traditional songs during Christmas are simply disturbed.

If there is one thing we can learn from each other is tolerance. Do you think someone is going to be damaged in some strange way because the story of Christmas is played out on our city streets or schools or public office buildings. YOu don’t have to be in agreement, but tolerant is not a bad idea. I know a lot of people who do not believe in the message of Christmas but they love the pageantry and they even attend church services and candle light services just because they enjoy the feelings and emotions that go along with the season.

So what do you think. Is it Merry Christmas or is it simple happy holidays. Personally I love Christmas it is the most wonderful time of the year. Gee sounds like a song.

The President Begs For Money

Michelle Obama wrote to me and it was the classic if you do not support Barak the country is in trouble letter. She uses statements like I know I don’t want to wake up on November 7th wondering if I could have done more. We’ve only got a few more hours before the deadline hits us..

Some of these emails are like the ones I receive from faith ministries and non profit organizations. The idea is create a crisis and make sure you put in some personal guilt and you may shake a few coins out of the supporters.

Now the truth is Obama , Biden, Michelle do not send out these emails. This is a tried and true approach to beffing, I mean fund raising. I really don’t see much difference than the homeless guy who sits outside of Starbucks. He has a cleaver sign that says, begging is humiliating but giving to the poor and needy is a great thing. Please help me feed my family.

So the president of the United States has a begging machine in place. It is very sophisticated and I am sure he is raising millions. Does anyone actually think the president is writing a personal note to them? It is a little like professional wrestling we know its fake but thousands treat it as if it is real. Now to be fair I am sure Mitt Romney does the same thing but I am not on Mitt’s mailing list. Perhaps he does not need to beg.
He is so rich that if he loses he could just buy the country and declare himself King.

So Mr. President I feel bad that you have had to resort to psychological manipulation to raise your needed funds. Perhaps you could persuade some college students who have some spare time to stand out front of Starbucks with a big bucket and perhaps they could have a life like poster of you with your hand out and they could say something like, do you really want to see this man out of a job, or better yet a cutout of the family including their dog and a caption that says, “ We do not need another provider out of a job, please support Barak Obama and protect this families future.)

So my final thought, why don’t we just cap the spending? Then perhaps we would not have to see the most important man in the united States reduced to a beggar so he can mount a good campaign for presidency.

Is homosexuality a sin?

Is homosexuality a Sin? I may make some of my good Christian friends upset but here is my response. The real sin is how some Christians relate to the Gay community. When I tell someone they are sinners the first thing that happens is a wall goes up. The second thing that happens is we alienate a group of people who God loves.

The problem with how many Christians is, they are only known for what they are against. They talk about a loving God and the power of relationships but they undermine what they say by the judgments they have against those who do not believe the way they do.

I have never been the Christian I aspire to but God has always been the God he promised to be. I also know that by reaching out and embracing people does a lot more than building a wall and alienating people.

The concept is simple, judge not unless you are willing to be judged. In the same way you judge you shall be judged. So I am going to lean on the concept of grace and mercy in the relationships that I have, because I desire to be judged with grace and mercy.

If there is any judging to be done , I will leave that to God. For now I want to work on loving people and not putting labels on them that only cause a negative reaction and does nothing to help them in their own search for God.

I have enough sin in my own life to deal with, to try to be the sin cop is not a roll that I want to take on. So is Homosexuality a sin? You can discuss that in your theological debates, personally, I have no desire to join the discussion. I refuse to cast a stone or judge the speck in someone else’s eye and ignore the pole that is in mine.

The War Of Words, Part Seven

War is hell! This is a true statement. The tragic loss of young people who fight for their countries and make the ultimate sacrifice is so sad. No wonder the Bible says, “blessed are the peacemakers.”
I have been talking about the war of words. It is words that create wars and words that bring peace. A speech can encourage a nation or it can incite hatred. When Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I have a dream.” it inspired a group of people to rise up out of slavery and bigotry and they lived to see the dream he spoke of become a reality.

On the other hand you can have Hitler speak his hatred for the Jews and then follow-up his hatred with unbelievable actions that resulted in Jews being killed on a daily basis by the thousands. Who was the one who inspired Hitler? It was the theologian Martin Luther who wrote the pamphlet, “The Christ Killers.” This pamphlet and the words of Martin Luther had a profound affect on Hitler and his world view.

Words on a personal level can challenge us to great heights of achievement, or they can bring us to the darkest moments of our lives. The question is what words are you listening to. Words are containers and they carry faith or fear. So faith comes by hearing, and so does fear. The secret to life is who are you listening to and what words are forming you. It really is a matter of life or death. So what do you think?