For the next time you wring your hands over an upcoming business meeting, I recommend that we all take the time to read this.
Okay, perspective. Yes, perspective makes a difference. Help us all to remember that story!
Steve,Yes. What really touches me about this situation is the difficult place the Chaldean Christians face: The NYT piece criticizes them for funding Al Qaeda. But what would you do? Here are people put into a terrible quandary.So among the many lessons of the story, in my mind, is not only the perspective that some people face worse consequences than we do, but also the perspective that some people face really difficult decisions in this world.
Bart, correct you are on all accounts.Sure seems like we get way too caught up in the color of the carpet, whether or not the pulpit is made out of glass or wood, or what time do we begin Sunday School.I remember once when my church members argued for 30 minutes about a $50 line item in the budget for flowers (in case someone didn't put memorial flowers on the altar table one time a year, the church would pay for them). At the time, our budget was $400,000+, yet they argued for 30 minutes about $50! All budget items are somewhat important, but give me a break. Priests and believers are dying around the world because of their faith. Christ followers are jailed, beaten, and murdered because they worship the Risen Savior. So much of what we spend our time on is insignificant when compared to what happened in Iraq, and is happening in so many other places in the world. God help us to keep the proper perspective!
Bart - Not to hijack your post, but please follow this link and watch the very good debate between a Jewish rabbi and Sam Harris (author of the "End of Faith"). http://www.jewishtvnetwork.com/?bcpid=533363107&bctid=1329234778This is what we need to be busy about. IMHO
Bart,It is good to sometimes be reminded that not everything is cut and dry. Sometimes things are complicated.
Causes me to consider what we are doing with so much of our money. Seems we really are spending it on fluf in so many of our churches today. Of course that begs the question...Can you reach families without a McPlay Place for a children's department?
Dr. Barber,Thought you might be interested in this question: http://mattmillsap.blogspot.com/2008/06/controversial-question-1.htmlCharlie
Steve,It not only causes me to realize the unimportance of trivial matters (e.g., the color of the carpet), but it also causes me to realize the tremendous importance of our biblical convictions…things for which other people in other places willingly risk their lives.
Ben,Hijacking is a federal offense.
Joe White,Yes, we need to remember that not everything is cut and dried.We also need to remember that not everything is as complicated as we want to make it when we're busy rationalizing.Wisdom sorts out both categories correctly.
James,On the other hand, funding for a McPlayPlace is probably money better spent than extortion payments to Al Qaeda!
Charlie,You guessed wrongly—I'm not interested at all. The "supporting the alcohol industry" argument is not one that I've ever advanced. Nor do I believe it to be important at all to the justification of abstinence.
Speaking of business meetings:I'm going to stir the hornets' nest here, but I have posted a motion I would like to present at the 2009 Convention concerning trustee accountability and how messengers might respond in the future to trustee actions with which they disagree. If you would like to comment, please see my latest post entitled "The denominational stool revisited…part 4: trustee accountability"
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