Don’t you believe what the Bible teaches?

The other day I was asked to sign a petition.  It had to do with one of those burning “Christian” issues.  At this point you need to know that I am not going to name her issue, as naming it would shift the focus of this blog to the issue. My standard response to petitions is that I am a Canadian and probably shouldn’t sign.  Most people let me off the hook at this point.  In this instance I was once again let off the hook, but before she went on to ask for more signatures she proceeded to lament to me about the state of Christian belief in this country.

“Why can’t people just believe what the bible teaches?”  For her the Bible spoke clearly to her issue.

I have thought about her statement for a while now.  Like her I believe that Bible is clear about some things.  For me loving God and loving neighbors are at the top of the list, but once we get past these two subjects clarity quickly fades.

Think about all the things that divided Christians:

There are many believers who defend a literal six day creation. However, Christians were among the first to suggest that we need to understand the Genesis stories symbolically.

Christians are among the strongest supporters of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and Christians are among the strongest opponents of these conflicts.

Think about the current debates over gay marriage and women’s right to choose. It is Christians who are the strongest supporters and opponents.

Then there is the healthcare debate.  You can find committed followers of Christ across the “what should we do” spectrum.

Taking Jesus and Scripture seriously does not always provide clear-cut answers.  It takes a tremendous amount of courage to accept people of faith who fundamentally disagree with you and your understanding of the truth.  That said, authentic Christianity always allows for the possibility that my particular understanding of the issue might be wrong.

Socialism

My alarm went off at 5:45 AM. I was not ready for Monday. One more day to sleep in would have been nice. To make matters worse, I couldn’t find the snooze button. There I was, stuck listening to the news at 5:45 AM. The lead story was about President Obama’s new health care initiative. As the fog slowly cleared from my mind, I began to recall why I had set the alarm so early. This was my morning to run. As I rolled out of bed, the weather guy mentioned that it was 12 degrees outside.

This was going to be a cold run.

It took about 10 minutes to get dressed and ready to enter the great outdoors.

When it is 12 degrees outside, the only way I can ignore the cold is to intentionally choose to think about other things.

Two things came to mind. What was I going to write about for my blog and the news story I had just heard. Before long I decided to combine the two. When it’s 12 degrees, you simplify!

Why are we so afraid of socialized health reform? If I understand our politicians correctly, “socialized” is anything that is controlled by the government. Using this definition our military is socialized. I don’t hear anyone complaining about supporting a socialized military. I have heard both Democrats and Republicans claim that we have the best military on planet earth. Socialism seems to have worked in this case.

Everyone seems to agree that the current system is broken. What is so wrong with trying a Socialist experiment with health care? The worst it can do is fail. That just puts us back to where we are now.