Engaging Your World

Thursday, September 16, 2010


The current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, Benedict XVI, or Joseph Ratzinger,his given name, went to Britain today. Now that does not appear to be any startling news , or even anything out of the ordinary. But when you look beyond the fact that it is,"just another trip," you will see a reality that demonstrates one of the many problems with a papacy. It is not that this Pope is being protested, and people are calling for him to be imprisoned for his role in the rampant worldwide sexual abuses scandals that have damaged so many lives. That is a sad truth of the Roman Catholic Church which has been there for far too long, and prison ought to be the destination of any that were involved, regardless of their position, current or past.

But what is troubling to me, that is evidenced by this trip, is the fact that the Pope is not traveling to the UK as a church leader, but rather as a head of state! Pope Benedict XVI is traveling and being received as the head of state of the country known as the Vatican. This is more proof positive of the Roman Catholic
Church being a political financial institution, far more than a spiritual one. It highlights the reality of where the Roman Catholic Church's priorities are, and what they will be moving forward.

What does a head of state seek to accomplish for his "country"? Peace, power monetary advantage and security. Deals are made, compromised given and received, all in the name of furthering the "countries" agenda. Again these are things that any head of state would be obligated to seek to achieve. So as this Pope travels in this capacity we are seeing what agenda's are for his "country". Does not sound much like a church does it?

While there are many problems with the papacy, from the theological to the practical, here is one that truly shows the church for what it really is, a political institution out for political gain, not the glory of God!

blog you later,
pastor tom

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


The whole world is talking about the pastor of a 50 member church in Gainesville Florida. Specifically the "International Burn a Quran Day" that this pastor has announced for September 11, 2010. Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center is planning on burning many copies of the Quran on the eleventh and people are reacting all over the world. From General Petraeus to Secretary Clinton to the President's spokesmen, to Muslims around the world, everyone is reacting.

The question to be asked, in my mind. is should the pastor of a church take part in such activity? And the obvious answer is of course not! If your call is to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, then you have to put all that you do through that filter. and I do not see how this event passes the Gospel test. If we are called as followers of Christ to be salt and light, you have to ask where is the salt and light in these actions? The answer is they are not there, and thus this pastor should cancel the event.

The other interesting thing to note in all of this is the outcry from the Muslim community around the world. It is hard to take serious their complaints of this event creating hate and violence around the world, when that is exactly what has taken place from their community for years now. Their outrage is hard to take serious, when the reaction they have to things like cartoons being drawn is to burn down buildings! While I am against the burning of the Quran and believe it is not helpful to the Gospel proclamation, I also find the Muslim opposition to be disingenuous as best. Is that called speaking out of both sides of my mouth?

blog you later,
pastor tom