Thursday, March 24, 2005

What's at the center of our thinking?

Emotions have been running pretty strongly lately among Christian bloggers as we consider what's happening with Terri Schiavo. Amid this situation, David Wayne offers Christians a much-needed reminder about keeping the cross at the center of our thinking. David is upset at what is being done to Terri Schiavo by her husband, Michael:
Yet, with all of my moral outrage on this, I have to stop and ask myself if I am viewing this situation, and Michael in particular through a gospel-centered lens, or through a cross-centered lens?
David quotes Jerry Bridges:
“The gospel is not only the most important message in all of history, it is [the] only essential message in all of history."
David wonders about Christian reactions to Michael Schiavo -- will we respond as we should? How many of those now outraged by Michael Schiavo's determination to see his wife dead, David asks, will be praying in the future for the man's salvation?

Good question, excellent post. I know I needed to be reminded.

Correction: I originally attributed David's words to Adrian Warnock. While Adrian deserves a hat tip for pointing me to David's Jollyblogger article, he clearly indicated the words were David's. My mistake.

6 Comments:

Blogger John said...

Milton, I am reminded of the words of Paul...

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. -- Eph 6:12

We need to step up our prayers for Terri against rulers. authorities and the powers of evil...

There are many of us praying here in Australia and we believe this fight will be one in the heavenly realm! Keep up the good work!
GBYAY

1:37 PM, March 24, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Amen, John.

1:54 PM, March 24, 2005  
Blogger Laurie Ishii said...

I know this is very long, it's from my daily blog.


Terri Schiavo
I’ve been sitting here at the computer, wondering what to write. I’ve looked at some of what the other ‘bloggers’ are writing, and a lot of them have been writing about Terri Schiavo.

To be very honest, it’s almost embarrassing to say that I’m not too up on the world’s current events. I have ‘fasted’ from watching television for a couple of months now, and don’t watch the tube except once in a while when Daryl comes home from work and watches the news.

I figure that if something huge is happening in the world and it’ll directly affect me somehow, Daryl will let me know. Maybe that sounds dumb, but I think that the news can be so biased - sometimes I’ll listen to Frank Pastori on KKLA to get the ‘Christian’ world view of what’s going on, but otherwise, that’s about as far as my education goes as to what goes on in the world. I must sound pretty ignorant.

I have seen what’s going on with Terri Schiavo on the news… it breaks my heart. How can someone just let someone starve and die of thirst - and do absolutely nothing? What is our world coming to? I don’t understand why her parents aren’t allowed to take care of her until she passes away naturally - instead of basically killing her slowly? I understand that it must be quite a burden financially as well as emotionally for her husband, and because he obviously doesn’t know Jesus, he’s acting on what he thinks is best… but for who? Himself, of course.

He will have to give an account to God for the action (or non-action) he’s taking when he faces judgement day… but what about now? What can we do as Christians, to help him see the truth? We must pray for that man’s salvation, not judge him. God will judge him - he’s blind, and doesn’t know the truth.

I remember telling Daryl once that we need to be praying for the salvation of ‘Ben-Ladin’ (I don’t even know if I spelled that right) and he was shocked. I think that as Christians, we see injustice and have anger - even righteous anger - toward things we see and hear… but what do we do with that anger? God still loves the murderer, child molester, etc. - Jesus died for them too. Apart from God, we are ALL capable of doing horrible things.

I don’t ever want to get to the point where I’m thinking I’m better than anyone - even the worst criminal, pervert or murderer. I never want to forget where I came from, what God has delivered me from. We ALL, each and every one of us, deserve the penalty of death. It’s only by God’s grace that we are righteous (God’s righteousness) and able to have a relationship with Him.

Remember the apostle Paul, who killed Christians with zeal and fervor, before he met Jesus, the living God. It’s when someone claims to be a Christian that we have a right to ‘judge’ a person (1Corinthians 5:12-13) not someone who is acting in ignorance because they don’t yet know the truth. They don’t have the Holy Spirit, they’re only acting on what they believe (which very well may be a lie) or what they’ve been brought up to believe.

It’s fine to be angry about things we see that are wrong - but like the saying goes, “hate the sin, but love the sinner". Can you imagine how the world would be affected if someone like Ben-Ladin were to get saved? Wow! Maybe that seems impossible, but we serve a mighty God who can do anything, “For NOTHING is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

Shoot, if God could save and deliver someone like me, there’s hope for anyone!

3:26 PM, March 24, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks, Laurie, for visiting and for sharing your post. I'm glad you're in the Kingdom of God. You're right about needing to pray for those who do evil things. I spent years praying for those our culture hates the most--Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein. Noriega, at least, became a Christian. I'll be praying for Michael Schiavo, too. Peace.

3:39 PM, March 24, 2005  
Blogger HerWryness said...

We're told not to ignore chest pains. I did and now I know I needed a heart check up. I'm disappointed with myself for not seeing Michael as a lost soul to be evangelized. I was happy just sneering at him as a lost soul.

Sometimes a heart attack gives fresh new meaning to our lives and fresh new hope to others lives.

6:28 PM, March 24, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Robin. And a heart attack . . . when did this happen?

8:24 PM, March 24, 2005  

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