Interpreting the Statement of Lament, Confession, and Commitment from members of the Florida Conference

If I have learned anything from progressives, it is this: correctly interpreting the written word is difficult. A plan reading of the text cannot bring to light what a passage is really saying. The method of interpretation for progressives is fluid and requires buckets so it only makes sense that reading what they write would require similar methods.

For example, saying they appreciate those who “tirelessly worked to preserve unity” while undermining and violating the vows they took at their ordination doesn’t make sense. Unless, of course, unity doesn’t mean what you think it means, or it is culturally bound, or it is in the wrong bucket, or it has evolved to mean something new in the twenty-first century.

I want to help people “realize a diversity of faithful interpretations of the text.” So as I read the Statement of Lament, Confession, and Commitment from several colleagues in the Florida Conference, I thought I would do some interpreting of their written word using some of the same methods they use to interpret the Word of God.

To begin with I’m not so sure I can take their letter at face value. The cultural context surround the timing of its release was right around April Fool’s Day. This could be one big joke. Humor is a great way to diffuse tension and make peace. Like Tom Brady tweeting out that he was going to retire, perhaps this means progressives are communicating they are ready to uphold their ordination vows.

The word “lament” is used several times throughout the letter, but it is an archaic word. It is not used much outside those who read the King James Version of the Bible. Yet, they keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means. If we look to the actions of other progressives at GC 2019 to determine the meaning, we might use “temper-tantrum” to understand what the Spirit is saying to us in the text today.

The signers of the letter asked forgiveness “for too often loving polity more than people.” Polity can be interpreted as “power” and “position”. A look at who signed the statement shows a veritable “Who’s Who” of the Florida Conference. There are district superintendents, Conference staff members, Chairs and members of numerous committees. These are all impressive positions and would be difficult to give up, even for the sake of justice. It must be very difficult for the LGBTQ community to hear progressives promise year after year, not deliver, yet see them hang on to their “polity.” At some point I would think the LBGTQ community would have to ask, “Are they really committed?”

Well, they say they are committed to “discovering and creating a new expression of Methodism.” But if they really meant that, they would be leading an exodus of those harmed by the Discipline out of an institution that is “broken and dying.” The promised land is before them. The Traditionalists tried to provide a gracious exit plan in St. Louis, but progressives were too busy “lamenting” to see the Red Sea parting before them. They have been promising this land of full inclusion for years, but I interpret they prefer to stay in Egypt. I wonder if they really have the courage of their convictions. Their statement didn’t say anything about that so it is left open for us to interpret that they do not.

Each person who took the vows of ordination is expected to “Be accountable to the United Methodist Church, accept its Doctrinal Standards and Discipline and authority, accept the supervision of those appointed to this ministry, and be prepared to live in the covenant of its ordained ministers.” (Paragraph 304.1J, Book of Discipline.)

That’s why it is so difficult interpreting this commitment they have signed onto. It is a commitment that brings them into direct conflict with the vows each of them took. They cannot do both. It is probably a good thing they gave themselves an out by “committing ourselves not to a specific path or plan, but a direction.” And they call themselves progressive? How is vague leadership progress? But I understand why they don’t commit to specifics. Specifics only lead to accountability, both with the LGBTQ community and the church.

While there may be many more “faithful interpretations” of this text, one thing is crystal clear: As long as their names stay on that letter and they remain in the UMC, no one can take progressives at their word.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Reactive Racism

It is a downward cycle that has no end. We do not listen to someone different than us. We all have built in assumptions from past experiences. Valid assumptions from experiences that harmed us or those we love. Our histories are replete with examples. I'm not suggestion that what people have experienced does not matter or that we should get over it. This world is a broken world and each human in it is in pieces. But we will never have better than what we have right now if we continue to be reactive.

What happened in Charlottesville is reactive racism in action. Everyone's actions were really reactions based on assumptions from past experiences. Experiences that are reactions to experiences that began before anyone in Charlottesville was born. (Remember Billy Joel's song, "We Didn't Start The Fire"?) One side said take down a statue. Another side said no. Mind you there are more than two sides to any story, but these two sides showed up for a fight. The media showed white supremacists wearing helmets and body armor, using a car to kill and Black Lives Matter people carry rods to beat people. Both reacting. Is this the only way?

We need a proactive way that does not discount the hurt from past experiences, yet sets a new foundation from which to operate. Is there such a way? I believe there is. That way is Jesus, Himself. Let me explain.

Jesus does not discount anyone's experience or pain. He bears it. Did you take that in? All of the hurt, bitterness, injustice, anger, and hatred that was displayed in Charlottesville, Jesus picked up and carried. Jesus hears the cries for justice, "Someone must pay for the wrongs done!" He answers, "I'll pay."

Isaiah 53:4-6, "Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."

Jesus paid all the injustices, hurt, oppression, and violence you and I have experienced in our lives. And, let's be clear, He has also paid for all the injustice, hurt, oppression, and violence you and I have caused in our lives. He was innocent yet He loved each of us – black, white, etc – to pay the price when we demanded justice and when others demanded justice from us. Justice – social, racial, economic, etc – was satisfied at the cross.

And therefore there is another way, a proactive way, to move forward in race relations. It is found in Christ. Colossians 3:9-11 tells us, "…you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in the image of its Creator. Here (in Christ) there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all." We could add to the list "no black or white, republican or democrat, liberal or conservative."

The way of Christ does not gloss over the past wrongs or tell us to get over them. No, Jesus bore the full brunt of the evil in this world on the cross. And if we surrender our burdens, hurts and bitterness to Him, and allow Him to transform us from the inside out to be the people we were originally created to be – renewed in the image of God, then we can be proactive with love and forgiveness and not reactive.

Christ is the only way forward I know of. If you have a better solution, I'm all ears.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Where Is The Middle Ground?

ropeThis is the question when it comes to sexuality issues for many in the United Methodist Church. For decades our church has wrestled with this question and tried to find the safe place to stand that holds both Scripture and culture together.  I am not writing to those who wish to rehash all of that.

I am writing to the majority of pastors and churches who wish to go on like this issue won’t affect them or their churches, to those who want to keep their heads down and focus on their local church, to those who don’t want to inform their congregations of denominational troubles because of the conflict it will bring.

I am writing to let you know, as politely as I can, the middle ground doesn’t exist anymore. Actually, I doubt it ever did.  We were only made to believe that it did because we were not forced to make a decision.  We could go on doing what we do at the local level and hide our dysfunctional denomination.  We could table the issue, talk in code, manipulate words, ignore the elephant and continue to dialog with a vain hope of discovering middle ground.

There is none.

The culture won’t allow middle ground. Sexuality has become peoples’ identity.  It is the core of who we are.  Our uniqueness, our distinctiveness, our individuality springs from our sexuality.  God made us this way and there is no ability, reason, or need to conform to an ancient standard.  To say otherwise is to deny our rights, our freedom, our God-given being.  We define marriage, parenting, and family in new terms that must be accepted, respected, and taught without question.

The Scriptures won’t allow middle ground either. They are clear about sexuality.  They state that our identity is much grander than our sexuality.  Our identity is found in Christ and He is remaking us into His image.  That process is called sanctification or, as Jesus put it, “Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.” Our sexuality has a context that is not to be desecrated or debased.  Throughout Scripture the message is clear: The context is within marriage between a man and a woman.  Anything other is to be left behind.

The church has reached the point of decision because the culture and Scripture do not coexist on this issue. One is right, and therefore, one is wrong. General Conference is only a few months away and again these two positions will clash.  Only this time, there will be no fence to sit on, no place to keep your head down, no middle ground.

The United Methodist Church will be the first large denomination to address this issue since the Supreme Court ruling on June 26th of this year.  Do you think the culture will allow the church to maintain its current position without a fight?  And do you think the news cameras will not be there to cover it?  And do you think your church won’t hear calls of bigotry and intolerance?  And do you think your people will not be confronted on social media by friends and family as to why they belong to a hateful church?  Don’t be fooled.  The culture won’t allow it.

When that happens, which way will you go? It’s the broad road or the narrow way, the rock or the sand, the sheep or the goats, the wheat or the chaff.  The middle ground is gone.  The time for choosing has come.


Filed under Church

Taxes: The Role of Family and Church

If it is idolatry to look to the government to provide life’s basics, then who is going to help the poor and homeless?  How are we to love our neighbor?  Whenever someone comes into the church looking for assistance (food, rent money, electric bill, gas) the first thing I ask them is “Do you have any family?” Why? Because just as the government is instituted by God to maintain justice in society, the family is instituted by God to care for individuals in society.

familyFamily is to provide for the basic needs of a person: food, clothing, shelter, etc. Look at what Paul writes in 1 Tim 5:4,8.

4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.

8 If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Family is the best institution for this kind of care because it is most able to adapt to the specific and individual needs of each person. I care for each of my children differently because they respond differently to discipline, attitudes, even food on the table. One size does not fit all.  But when government oversteps its bounds and begins to take on the role that God intended for other institutions, even with good intentions, bad things happen.

It does not take long to trace every social problem to the root. Pick one: poverty, poor education, crime, drug use. The root is simple: the breakdown of the family. Do you know what the #1 cause of childhood poverty in America is? Unwed motherhood.

And what do we do when we see these problems? We say, “the govt needs to….” Government has replaced fathers with a welfare check leaving men in many communities unwanted in the home. Do you know what the most common denominator of men in prison is? No fathers. An act of “compassion” ends up destroying families and locks people into dependency for life. The government has undermined the authority and role God gave to the family. We think we are being compassionate by giving people money, but putting our trust in government has brought more devastation than help.ebt-cards-300x206

I have found that in most cases, the people coming to the church have families but they can’t or won’t go back to them for help. They need reconciliation. Think about the prodigal son for a minute. (Luke 15:11-32)   Poor, hungry, homeless, destitute. He needs help. He could go to the welfare office and get an EBT card but does that bring transformation in his life? It hasn’t for millions of Americans. It can’t because there is no individual accountability, no care and nurture. His problem only continues.

How can we bring transformation to the prodigal son’s situation? What is his biggest need? Reconciliation with his father. His father is waiting for him to repent and come home. Not only are his material needs taken care of (finest robe, ring for his finger, shoes for his feet, and a beef brisket bbq) but, forgiveness and new life are found as well. That does not happen with a tax-funded government program. All he has to do is swallow his pride and go home. Do you think God is in the business of getting people to swallow their pride? Family keeps us humble. The family is instituted by God and is the most effective and efficient way to care for individuals in society.

But what if they have no family? The second question I ask someone who comes into the church looking for help is, “Where do you attend church?” Why? Because a church family is going to know you! It is still about RELATIONSHIPS.

churchGod also institutes the Church for the betterment of individuals and society. Through the church we have the sacraments to receive God’s grace, the Scriptures to preach salvation and the good news of Christ to society, and to know right and wrong. How is the family and the government to know what pleases the Lord, what is right and wrong if the church remains silent? The church is to be the conscious of the state. To put that in the vernacular, we must speak truth to power. The church is also instituted by God to be agents of mercy. But she has abdicated her role to the government.

James 2 14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

We have allowed the government to be the dispensers of mercy and charity. It requires faith on behalf of the church to be able to supply people with needs. The church must look to God to provide, especially when the need is bigger than it can handle. But since we have allowed the government to handle those needs, little faith is required by the church. No wonder the church is anemic and everyone ignores what she says.

So much so that society no longer prefers to use the word mercy. What do we call ministries that feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked? They are not mercy ministries, we now call them “social justice”. Do you know why? Because you cannot demand that people give mercy, but you can demand justice.

The church cannot seize your bank account or throw you in jail if you don’t tithe. But the government can if you don’t pay your taxes to support their mandated charity.

Mercy, in order to be mercy, must be freely given. When mercy and love are freely given they become redemptive and transformational in people’s lives. But if acts of love and charity are mandated, then they are no longer acts of love and charity. You cannot require people to be merciful. When mercy is mandated it ceases to be mercy and becomes tyranny.170px-Davy_Crockett_by_John_Gadsby_Chapman

Politicians are quick to promise other people’s money to demonstrate how much the care. And we are quick to say, “Look how compassionate they are.” If they were so compassionate they would give out of their own pocket and not take from the public’s money. I out gave the Vice President Biden in 2011 in charitable contributions 2 to 1. I’m not talking about percentage of income (it wouldn’t even be close!), I mean dollar for dollar. But he will go around and tell me that unless I pay more in taxes I’m not compassionate. I recommend you read Davy Crocket’s speech “It’s Not Yours To Give” in Bill Bennett’s The Book of Man, pg. 245. Or you can google it.

But, I have plenty of colleagues that think the Kingdom of God will come through a government program. I had a seminary professor say, “You’d better vote Jesus and not you wallets!” I don’t ever remember Jesus being on my ballot. But what he was saying essentially was I was being selfish and uncaring if I voted for candidates who wanted to cut taxes. He was suggesting that the government would be more compassionate and caring with my money than I would. Really? Think about this for a minute realistically. Who will be more effective with the money God has entrusted to me in bringing about the Kingdom of God in my community? Me or the US Federal Government? Who will bring God more glory with the resources I steward, me or the US Congress?

This is not a political problem it is a spiritual problem. We have put our trust in government and it has given us entire communities without families, a dead church and 17 trillion dollars in debt. My unborn grandchildren will be paying this debt off their entire lives. That is slavery.

You might say, “But Mike, this is too big a problem for broken families and an anemic church. The government has to have some role in providing for the welfare.” Remember the preamble to the Constitution? It says the government is to promote the general welfare. That happens best by allowing the family and church to do what God has instituted them to do and not replacing them.  The family and church can handle their God-given responsibility in society when the government doesn’t overstep its role.

Ps. 118:8-9 says, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.   It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.”

Looking to the government to provide for us instead of the Lord is idolatry and God hates it. It is a blatant violation of the 1st Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) We must repent and look to Him to be a our source and solution. We do that best in families and the church.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Taxes: A Spiritual Issue

We are to pay taxes.  God has ordained government for certain functions.  What happens when government steps outside those functions for which it is ordained and established?  Are our tax dollars paying to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty? 

According to the Office of Management and Budget at the Heritage Foundation about 30cents of every tax dollar pays for those things. 70% of the federal budget goes to pay for welfare and dependency programs.  This is not as much a political issue as it is a spiritual issue.  Here is why:

lbj war on povertyA fundamental spiritual shift took place in our culture during the great depression. Our country began to look to government to provide and solve our problems instead of God. This spiritual problem accelerated with the Great Society plan in the 1960’s. All of these compassionate programs to help the needy, the underprivileged, those who are down and out began to be funded by the government. The war on poverty is now 50 years old and are there less poor people? Actually there are more people on food stamps now than ever before. In 2010 we spent almost $900 billion on welfare programs, more than we spent on the war in Iraq during all of G.W. Bush’s presidency.

Since the beginning of the war on poverty in 1964, the US has spent 15.9 Trillion dollars on welfare. The price tag for all the wars the US has fought is only 6.4 trillion. (Please don’t get me wrong. I am not in favor of war nor do I think, as some might accuse, that it is cheaper to kill people than help them. I am simply comparing numbers. Both Republicans and Democrats have suggested that fighting wars is the cause of such large spending and deficits. I am simply pointing out that this is not the case. These numbers come from the Heritage Foundation’s The Economy Hits Home: Poverty, pg.4.)

Having said all that let me emphasize that this is not a political problem. Both Republicans and Democrats have controlled the government and contributed to this. This is a spiritual problem. Why?

We have made an idol of the government and we worship it instead of God. I know our national motto is “In God We Trust.” But our actions are “In Govt we trust.”

uncle samWho do we look to for food, housing, jobs, education, child care, health care, and retirement? Whenever there is a problem or crisis the first thing out of people’s mouth is, “The govt should….   The govt needs to…” And politicians are quick to say, “We need a program that provides…..for all Americans.” Whenever a person looks to anything other than God to provide, that other becomes an idol. America is guilty of idolatry. We worship at the altar of big government. The only thing lacking is little wooden statues of Uncle Sam that we can bow before and pray.

Now I’ve heard many Christians, even Bishops say things like God judges nations on how they treat the poor and marginalized, the widows and orphans, the aliens and the unwanted. It is true. God will judge us on that scale. But God also sends nations into exile and slavery for idolatry. (See ancient history of Israel.)

We are to love our neighbor as our self, so how are we to care for the least of these if the government doesn’t do it?  What are your thoughts?  I’ll share a few of mine in the next post.

Leave a comment

Filed under Beliefs, Freedom, Government, History, Missions


Taxes have always been a controversy for preachers. Some people get upset when you talk about money from the pulpit, how much more so if you talk about taxes? Which is exactly why the Pharisees ask Jesus this question. They want to get Him in trouble. It is a trap.

Julius-Caesar-coinMark 12:13-17, “Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. 14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial taxto Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”

But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

And they were amazed at him.”

 Jesus doesn’t do what most of us do (that’s avoid the issue), He answers the question. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Well, the Lord’s answer leaves us to ask a few follow up questions. “What is Caesar’s? And what is God’s?”

Let’s start with easiest question, “What is God’s?” The answer is obviously, “everything.” Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” It is all God’s. We are just stewards of His creation. All the things we possess – from materials, talents, to the breath in our lungs and the beat in our hearts –  are really His and we will give an account of how we used them on judgment day. Did we use all of our resources to glorify Him and expand His kingdom or not? (For further reading see Matthew 25:14-30, Parable of the Talents.)

So what does God require of us with these resources? Jesus summed it up nicely, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30-31.)  In the Old Testament, the prophet Micah put it this way, “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)  Easy to answer, difficult to do.

Now, what is Caesar’s? What is owed to the government? I’m sure you’ve seen the bumper sticker, “If 10% good enough for God, good enough for the IRS.” This question is a bit trickier to answer.  In order to do so, we need to know what God has established government to do.

Romans 13:1-7. 1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.  6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

God establishes government for maintaining justice in society. Commend those who do what is right and punish those who do wrong. You see the Bible says that all of us are sinners. Left to ourselves we have a natural inclination to sin and do evil. We are not basically good. The Bible calls this condition of humanity original sin. (See Romans 7:14-25).

God gives us government for the benefit of society to bring order from chaos, provide the rule of law, and ensure justice is done among the people. We pay taxes to pay for the courts, police, prisons, salaries, maintain defense, roads, etc.   We must have structure to live together in peace and prosperity.  The preamble to the preamble constitutionUnited States Constitution gives us the reasons our founders established our government.  We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

God institutes government for these reasons and we owe Caesar for these services.  But that leaves me with this follow up question: Is that where our taxes are going?  In the next few posts I’m going to delve into the spiritual issue of taxes.  Jesus says to pay taxes, but what if our tax money is going for purposes that oppose God and limit liberty?  What if our tax money is going to things that are good, but God did not ordain government to do?  And more practically, what if some of those things just don’t work and bring harm rather than good?  Then what?

I’d love to hear your thoughts….


Filed under Church, Discipleship, Freedom, Government, Life

A Case for “God, the Father”

God the FatherFather’s Day is coming up and I am thinking about what to preach.  Father’s Day should be a slam dunk considering God is our Father and all.  But it is actually tougher than I thought.  Father’s are not very politically correct.

I remember when I first heard that calling God, “Father” was offensive.  I was in seminary.  No, not offensive, that’s not right.  Calling God, “Father” was insensitive.  Yep, it was insensitive.  You see, so the logic goes, too many people have lousy, deadbeat, abusive (throw in your favorite negative adjective) fathers and if we refer to God as Father, they will be turned off.  They cannot relate to God that way.  Call Him Creator or Parent, but don’t use Father.  Too much pain associated with that name.

Now I’m all for helping people relate to God, but what if God has chosen to reveal Himself as Father?  You can’t read into the Gospels too far without noticing that Jesus constantly refers to God as Father.  (And rightly so, since He is God’s Son.)    But do we have the right to call God “Father” and if we do, can we refer to Him as Father without being insensitive?

Jesus refers to God as Father in the Sermon on the Mount seventeen times by a quick count.  Of the 17 times He uses the term Father, 1 is “my Father”, 1 is “our Father”, and 15 are “your Father”.  Jesus has no problem including us in the family of God.  Romans 8 is clear that we are adopted into God’s family and, in Christ, become His children.  Jesus teaches us to address God in prayer as “Father” so, yes, we have the right to call God, “Father.”

But should we?  Considering all the baggage in the world caused by bad dads, does God want to be associated with such a negative brand like “Father”?  Does it turn people away who have had a terrible father?  Can they, should they look to God as their heavenly Father or does the term create barriers and we should avoid it?

Jesus meets a women who clearly has issues with men in John 4. womanatwell Abandonment, abuse, immorality, manipulation, divorce, she has it all.  Statistics tell us that women like this generally have poor fathers and spend their lives seeking out affection from men to fill that gap.  Yet as Jesus talks to her about her past and confronts her present (how insensitive!), she begins a conversation about worshipping God.  And then it happens.  Jesus refers to God not once, not twice, but three times as “Father” in this conversation.

Here is a women that would be the poster child for people we’re afraid we might offend by calling God “Father” and yet Jesus has no problem doing it.  Why not?

One – because that is who God is.  Regardless of our experiences, God is our Father.  He wants to be known as our Father.  He instructs us to address Him as such when we pray.  Our experiences do not dictate who God is.  For a relativistic culture this is difficult to grasp.

Two – because that is who this woman needs.  She needs a father to love her.  Perhaps she never had one or never had a good one.  That doesn’t change the fact that she needs a good father.   She needs someone to protect her, provide for her, love her, spoil her, bless her, give her an identity, and claim her. 

The same is true today.  There are plenty of men and women who have had no fathers or terrible fathers.  And the results are devasting for them.  Bad dads are the most common denominator when it comes to poverty, crime, low education, drugs, and sexual promiscuity.  We need fathers.  We need good fathers. 

We have great news for those with no father.  We have great news for those whose picture of a father is lacking at best.  Psalm 68:5 says God is “a father to the fatherless.”  Romans 8:15-16 says, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption.  And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’.  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are the God’s children.”

What a great Father we have!  What a great Gospel we have to share with a world that desperately needs a great Father!  “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

Far from offensive is it to proclaim God as He has revealed Himself.  Far from insensitive is it to hide this loving Father from hurting people.  Oh the healing, the joy, the life, the forgiveness that is forfeited by not calling God, Father! 

Who do you know that needs a good Father?  This Father’s Day, be insensitive.  Share your Heavenly Father with them.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Life