Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Friday, August 28

Today’s Readings: Psalm 51; 1 Chronicles 21:1-17; Mark 13:8-13; James 2:1-7; Psalm 32

Over the last several years a series of events have unfolded that have upset some Christians. First there were restrictions put on their ability to offer prayers at school events such as graduations and football games. Then school districts started to rename Christmas Break as Winter Break. Then a courthouse in Alabama was ordered to remove a display of The Ten Commandments. Finally, there was talked of removing the phrase “one nation, under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. “All of this”, some individuals screamed, “is persecution of Christianity!” As I watched these stories unfold, I thought to myself: “Folks making that charge are a little confused. Those actions aren’t persecution. Those acts are steps taken to remove the privileges Christians enjoyed over other faith traditions.” And believe me, there’s a big difference between persecution and the loss of one’s privilege. If you want to understand the difference, you would have to look no further than today’s Gospel reading from Mark. In that passage, we get a taste of what real persecution looks like. In a series of events ranging from natural disasters to litigation to patricide, we get a portrait of what distress looks like. All of this reminds me that some of us modern Christians have gotten awfully soft in terms of the way we live out our faith. Some of us have come to the place where we expect others – including government entities - to hand things to us and make our practice of faith as easy as possible. I think that’s a dangerous approach to take. As Christians from the first three centuries would probably tell us, there’s something that happens when you have to work to develop and nurture your faith. Today I would ask you how you approach your faith: do you expect others to do your work for you, or are you willing to open yourself to the challenges of pursuing your faith against all obstacles? Til next time…

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