Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

As He was walking along one day, Jesus saw a man who had been blind since birth. His disciples, picking up on the object of His attention, asked Him, "Teacher, whose sin caused this man's blindness? Was his own sinfulness the source of the problem, or did he inherit some generational curse from his sinful parents?" Jesus answered them, "Why do you assume that his blindness is the direct result of sin? And even if it were the result of sin, why is it so important to you to know whose sin it was? You need to change your perspective and your priorities. When you see someone in need like this, your immediate response should be to look for a way for the works of God to be displayed in his or her life, and nothing more."
(John 9:1,2 - John In The Now



Let me get right to the point...Haiti only needs our prayers and support right now, not our smug judgment and bogus attempts at explaining the unexplainable. I don't want to mention any names...don't want to bash any ministers or televangelists...but on a day when people are devastated, and their whole life is in ruins (we have people in our church who don't even know yet if their relatives in Haiti are dead or alive), I think that it is beyond insensitive for anyone to get on TV and say that the earthquake is the result of a pact that the nation made with the devil 200 years ago! If that were the case, then why did the earthquake just now get here? And what's the reason, then, for all the other earthquakes in other parts of the world?

I'm so tired of ministers making such ridiculous claims! Katrina was not God's punishment on the "sin" of New Orleans. I was there last year and visited Bourbon Street, and I can tell you that that area of the city is just fine...virtually untouched by the hurricane. If God were going after the city because He hates Mardi Gras (as I heard a minister friend of mine claim recently), then He has terrible aim! Furthermore, if He were taking out "sinful" cities, then how did Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York, or any other city escape His wrath?

After the 911 attacks, these same ministers were on TV that night claiming that the events of the day were God's punishment on feminists and abortionists. Again, if God was punishing America for "sin", then where in the world was He during centuries of slavery? These types of ministers are also quick to say that AIDS is God's punishment on gays, to which I also ask, then why weren't there cases of the disease before 1981? There certainly were homosexuals before then.

The bottom line is that Jesus said that it rains on the just and the unjust. David said, "If You mark iniquities, then who would stand?", and "He has not dealt with us after our sin, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities...". Look, I'm not inviting debate on this, and I've read the Old Testament, so no one needs to tell me about Sodom and Gomorrah and Tyre and Sidon, et al... (get my teaching 'A Tale of Two Trees' for an explanation of those things)...

Also, when a disaster like this happens, the question always comes up about why innocent people have to suffer...why do bad things happen to good people? I have two things to say to that....first, from a natural perspective, some things just happen in the earth...earthquakes are the result of geological movement that goes on all the time...hurricanes are the result of temperature changes and winds over the ocean...they are just forces of nature. Secondly, when you try to make sense of why "good things happen to bad people" or why "bad things happen to good people", you can never come to a rational conclusion. The world never makes sense when you look at it through the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

I pray that we are entering a new season...a new generation...in which people of faith will just begin to help in times of disaster, instead of wasting time trying to explain why the disaster happened...that ministers will use their pulpits as a platform to bring about positive change, instead of exploiting them as an outlet for foisting their own agendas and prejudices on their sphere of influence. In the above passage, the disciples were preoccupied with the reason for the man's blindness...Jesus was simply focused on making him well.

Just pray for Haiti. Send some money if you can. If you can do more, do it. If your loved ones are alive and well today, then hold them close, and be grateful that you are not in the situation that the Haitians are in today. And then just be quiet...

33 comments:

Northern Light said...

Man..that is exactly what should be on the TV being said today!

Yes, I used an exclamation and yes, I think your voice is louder and should be heard over some others.

I am in a "quiet" day today, of my own, but this is just too agreeable of a statement for me to not blog.

Peace ~
Northern Light

Mary said...

I had to LOL at your comment about God having terrible aim in New Orleans. You are so wise and have the most common sense I've seen used in the pulpit in a long time. Not everything is about God's judgement. Sometimes, things just happen. {gasp} That's deep!

Anonymous said...

Lisa Taamel Basnight said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you... Have you noticed that the some of the "big wigs" in ministry - not mentioning any names - haven't even posted humanitarian relief on their websites? Things that make you go hhhmmmmmm...

Anonymous said...

Amy Cantwell Carter said...

Succinct and to the point! Thank you, Bishop! "the noive" for them to try to explain or reason it from the perspective of guilt and fear-- AS IF those people brought this on themselves!!!

Anonymous said...

Stephen Taylor said...

Bishop...well spoken, much needed. It broke my heart to find out how readily 'champions of the faith' were to be known to the world by everything but love. No gospel to the Haitians, no relief efforts to Haiti, but judgment and condemnation in the name of the God that so loved the world that He gave. Props for calling it like it is, Bishop.

Love Ya

Anonymous said...

Lori Collins said...

Amen!

Donald said...

Amen, Bishop, Amen!

Avatar said...

Sigh...Amen...

Father, help us speak to the nations.

Karl said...

Mom and I were just talking about some of this today. I told her about the Bourbon Street comment, thought it was funny...but definitely helps make the point.

I think this post of yours should be posted often, for example, on Facebook.

Comfort, peace, strength, shelter to the people of Haiti, and a revelation of Christ through the humanitarian efforts.

Anonymous said...

Linda Coleman said...

AMEN, AMEN and AMEN! The self-righteous rhetoric that was put out by a "man of God" made me cringe when I first saw the headline. Condemnation, judgement... he and others of that genre give preachers, Christians, God a bad name...

Anonymous said...

Karl McIntosh Cobos said...

Unfortunately, I used to think very similar thoughts of what you brought up about judgement, etc. but see it more now in the way that you describe. Thanks for taking the time to write those thoughts.

River said...

AMEN!!!

Had more to say about the judgement but didn't want to sound as judgemental as those who judge.

Loving my brother and praying for healing & peace

Sheri Travis said...

Amen & amen!Preach Bishop! I love you so much!!!(yes 3) Thank you. Please post this on FB! I want to share it on my page. This is too good not to share. Why dont you submit this to CNN.

Anonymous said...

Virginia Bills said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

Joan K. Harrington said...

Bishop, your blog was so good. It expressed my own sentiments exactly. An earthquake is an earthquake and that is that. It's the people we need to help in the NOW.

Anonymous said...

Ebony Thornton said...

Bishop the more time I spend hearing your thoughts the more convinced I am that if more ministers shared your same thought process there would be no more agnostics/athiests in the World. Sadly, the "message" being said by our misguided brothers and sisters I fear just created a few more.

Anonymous said...

Lynn Mays said...

Your blog this evening was teriffic. That has to be the perspective of a loving God. In light of the earthquake, Ive heard several perspectives from christians that hurt my heart.

Thank you Bishop Swilley.

Anonymous said...

Robin Hester Martin said...

That was a great Word not only for the cirucumstances of today but also in our everyday life :)

Anonymous said...

Donald Earl Paulk said...

Excellent Jamal!!! I couldn't have said it any better - well maybe? You make me proud to be your cousin. Look at God (in you).

love u

Darnell

Keith said...

****** WELL SAID *****

Erik said...

There is no end to what we can do together.

Separation and partitioning reduce God experience for those who choose to do so.

Every one of us ALL is within God's expression. Where there is need, we respond. This is one expression of The Christ through us.

The wages of sin, as they may exist have been paid retroactively to the foundation.

We have long been in this new age of God, since what we know as the beginning, the creation of the universe and the very beginning of thought and experience as we comprehend it.

fisher of men said...

Well said!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Stacy Bartel said...

hey ~ I am dancin a jig.... was cleaning my room & found your Washed by the Word CD!!! Been missing for A WHILE!!!!!! AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME~ puttin it in my itunes now! :)

Anonymous said...

Torri Hornsby Griffinsaid...

Stacy I know how you feel. Mine is almost worn out so I'm gonna have to replace it before it's totally gone...and we CAN'T have that.

Anonymous said...

Stacy Bartel said...

8 years ago, God saved our son, Luke from a brain tumor..... we were @ Egleston 3 weeks... I had it in my head set ALMOST 24-7 and I would play the one for kids in his hospital room... here were are 8 years later... perfect. Thank-you, Jesus! get you a new copy, Torri!!!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Torri Hornsby Griffin said...

Amen! On my way : )

Anonymous said...

Mike Williams said...

I have a copy of that CD...I listen to it constantly...even all the way up here in Ohio. I have family that attended Church in the Now and I attended a few times while visiting. Thanks for that CD...It's really good for meditating on the word and helps keep it close to the mind.

Karl said...

Hey Bishop,

I was just having this dialogue with Jeff Ferguson on his wall:

Me: Blessings, peace and prosperity on all your journeys coming up Jeff. Were you able to set something up for coming back to Church in the Now?

Jeff: Hey, Karl...no, nothing scheduled...I would love to though...I would love Bishop Swilley and Miss Debye to invite me.
Jeff Ferguson: D.E. Paulk asked me (my office) to call him mid Feb to schedule something soon...I was honored at his invitation..I believe in his valiant efforts to spread the good news...and of course I also value and honor Bishop Swilley...thanks, Karl.

Karl McIntosh Cobos: They have had some awesome sermons together at CITN the past few months. I think they might try to speak together again in February possibly...they really feed off each other well.

Bishop, Jeff also offered for Judah to have a place to stay while up in Nashville, he mentioned he might try to text you.

P Nancy said...

Amen !

Shalom~

Iris said...

Amen!!!!

Anonymous said...

John W. Brumlow said...

I add my amen to the positive flow of this word. May it create a tsunami that overtakes prejudice and brings with its tide the sediment of peace.

Anonymous said...

Scott Watkins said...

Awesome! You hit the nail on the head!

Anonymous said...

This is the very message Jesus would have given following the devastation of Haiti. Thank you.