This post is part of a larger dialogue. You can see the first post here To answer your question…number 1
I’m glad you returned safely and I hope you and Scott had a good time on your vacation.
It sounds like we both agree that Jesus doesn’t micromanage our lives but I’m sure you also agree when looking at verses in Proverbs, Jeremiah and other books of the Bible, that Jesus does have a plan for our lives and establishes our steps. Your quote from Paul affirms this very idea that God will bring good out of evil, not as a puppet master but as someone that “…will fulfill his purpose…” for us.
I heard it was 2 – 3 million, legal and illegal votes that Hillary got, which proves that the Russians helped Trump win; wait a minute, if the Russians helped Trump, why did Hillary get that many more votes, very confusing; maybe the Russians were actually attempting to help Hillary?
I am familiar with Hobby Lobby; that is where the Obama administration thought it was wrong for Hobby Lobby’s health insurance plan to provide for only 16 different types of birth control. His administration thought they should provide for all 20 types even though the remaining 4 types kill a fertilized egg. It sounds like the Green family believe as I do, that not only are we created in the image of God but that life begins at conception, when do you believe life begins?
Thanks for your good thoughts regarding my trip to Europe. It was 2/3rd work and 1/3rd vacation…but all in all a very good trip. The seminar regarding Luther was very enlightening and helped to remind my of why I am Lutheran. One reason is that we value reason. I will most likely write some posts on some of the discussions that were part of the seminar.
We don’t agree at all on how we see God’s presence in our lives. As a Lutheran I recognize the idea that paradoxically God is present and active in the world, while also not micromanaging the world. In fact, if I believed that God was directing our steps in such an ordered way I would need to become an atheist because I would have to reject such an awful, capricious, judgmental God. If I believed in this God, I would have believe:
  • that the violence that plagues our world is God’s plan
  • that a society that chooses to withhold healthcare from millions is doing so because they are just following God’s direction
  • even that abortions are God’s plan…since God is directing our decisions
  • that racism is desired by God regardless of Jesus’ call for us to love our neighbor
  • and on and on and on…
The God of my faith, sent Jesus out of great love for, not just me, but for the world in which we all live. This Jesus taught us that the ultimate in following him is to love God and to love neighbor. He taught that our neighbor is not only the one who is familiar to us, but also includes those we don’t know, those we fear, those we dislike, and those who are our enemies. I often think that if we could truly love God and neighbor, we wouldn’t really need to know anything else because we would naturally be following the rest of the law. Unfortunately, on our own, we are not capable. For this I am forever grateful for the grace and forgiveness that is ours through Jesus. It is this grace and forgiveness that propels me to keep trying, even (especially even) when I fail to love. I fail because I have the freedom to fail.
Also…is it God’s plan that I am a pastor? Conservative evangelicals, in their patriarchy would say “no.” Given my history, I say God has a wonderful sense of humor! I know that I have a Call from God to serve, even when I look at the state of the white church and its support for a racist, misogynist, bigot for president and wonder if there really is a place for me.
As for your claims about Hillary Clinton and Russia. The only people who think that illegal votes were responsible for Clinton’s earning more popular votes than Trump are Trump and his supporters. It is also quite clear to our law enforcement and intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the election to help Trump. If you want to believe otherwise, I don’t really care.
Last, regarding Hobby Lobby. Yes it was regarding specific forms of birth control. You asked me when I believe life begins. My answer is that I don’t truly know. I believe that the potential for life exists at conception but at conception this life is not viable. In fact, looking at studies, the estimates of miscarriages each year is 10-20% (Mayo Clinic). The number, according to professionals, is probably higher than that because many women don’t even know they miscarried. I guess the God who is controlling everything is murdering babies? Of course this is a cynical statement, but it is also the logical outcome of believing that God controls everything.
Regardless of what I believe, the reality is that there are concerted efforts by Republicans to remove access to reproductive healthcare for women, especially poor women. The ongoing efforts to defund Planned Parenthood are attacks on such access. The government already prohibits federal funds to be used for abortion, so those who say they are seeking to stop any funds from going to Planned Parenthood to prevent federal dollars being spent on abortion are lying. It looks like they may succeed however, so poor women will have no place to go to receive needed healthcare. This is incredibly sad. My prediction is that, because of changes that are happening that will effectively take away access to reliable birth control, the rate of abortions will increase. Currently it is lower than pre Roe v Wade.