Month: November 2017

God Doesn’t Pick Sides… We Do

I was a Christian school principal in a former life.  I protect the memories of that time very carefully.  Some aspects of that period of time I hold near and dear to my https://i0.wp.com/images.classmates.com/yearbooks/9/b/9/f/9b9fd00c8bdbd4fa345ee4d5226cbf0b/155/0001.jpgheart. However, most of it I choose to not remember and I do my best to forget and block out that period of time in my life.  Not because I hated the experience but rather I learned quickly to let things stay in the past.

Things just did not turn out as I planned. I was planning on the rest of my life being involved in education and being an avenue in helping young people get a Christian education and be prepared for whatever they faced in their future. I didn’t get fired or forced out, it simply did not end the way I wanted it to. 

That does not mean I am bitter.  I’m not.  The bitterness faded away years ago.

Every once in a while, one of those distant, hidden memories come creeping up and sometimes appear in my dreams.

One of those memories I wish I would never remember is one that I experienced at a basketball game in the late 80’s.  It actually had nothing to do with the game itself.  I was coaching the game and the game was playing itself out in the normal fashion. No real drama or problems.  Just friendly competition on the court. 

Those of you that are familiar with the competition that takes place between two Christian schools, things can quickly take a turn for the worst that can be found in high school athletics.  However, this time it wasn’t happening on the court.  It was happening on the sidelines. 

Just before the start of the fourth quarter of play, the cheerleaders from the opposing team started a cheer.  Their fans were all standing and really showing their “Spirit” in support of their team and that cheer.

It is then I hear the cheer.  The cheerleaders were chanting out the words of their Image result for Temple christian CHEERLEADERS ON THE SIDELINE in basketballcheer to their fans and players that “God was on their side!!!”  Yes… they were cheering and proclaiming that God was in fact only on “their side” implying that He wasn’t on our side.  It was loud and it was obnoxious. It is was among the worst things that could be seen in a Christian school.  I had heard that some schools did this but I thought it was just a joke.

It wasn’t a joke and it was pointed at our school. 

There are mostly two kinds of people in this world: the kind that thinks God is always for them and the kind that think God is always against them.

These also are the same people who think that God cares about the touchdown their team just scored or the game-winning basket made in the final seconds.

Personally… I don’t think God much cares about what team is playing on the court or on the field. I am sure He is not in any way concerned about how many pointsteamwins your team scored and even less concerned about how many points you may have personally scored.

I know, I don’t like it any more than you do. 

I’d like to think that God would be behind and “help” all my teams I cheer for.

But that simply is not the truth.  God doesn’t care if my team wins.

I could go on.  In fact, most of the Old Testament attests to the fact that God doesn’t unequivocally endorse anyone, not even those who are supposedly especially tight with Him.

God doesn’t jump on our “team” or any another team.

Why not? Especially this side of the cross, shouldn’t He always be in our corner if we are Christians?

That is logically impossible, just think of how many times you and another believer are on different sides of an issue – how could God be “for” both of you at the same time?  God knows how fickle people are, even believers. He knows how we can worship Him with all our hearts one minute and be nose-deep in sin the next.

Is it any wonder He won’t support us or anyone else unequivocally?

The reality is God doesn’t pick sides.

We do. 

 

Eternity Awaits All of Us

By now, I am sure that you heard that Charles Manson died.

Last night, I watched a documentary on his life. I have seen many of these shows and they are all basically the same, except this one.  This one took an in-depth look at his childhood.  It didn’t spend a whole lot of time talking about the infamous murders that are known as the Tate/LaBianca murders that took place in August of 1969.

What a horrific life this man had as a child. It no way https://i0.wp.com/i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/10/09/article-0-189C384700000578-511_634x495.jpgforgives or excuses his actions that he did throughout his life.  I know there have been many children who have had it just as bad and they did not grow up to be responsible for mass murder. But it makes me wonder what he would have done with his life had it been different for him as a child.

Over the last few days, I’ve read many jeering and cruel comments on media sites celebrating his death and wishing him well in hell. But I must be honest. I do not celebrate his death. 

I get it.  Charles Manson should have paid a heavier price for his actions.  He lived a long life, while those he affected did not get that chance. I do not believe that “justice” was done to him on this earth for his crimes.

But I do not celebrate his death.  I grieve for all of the lives that this man negatively influenced.  How many lives were destroyed, hurt and forever changed by this one man?

Sin destroys so much, it’s sad when it destroys our humanity as well.

As a believer, I am sad to know of anyone’s death without Christ.  

I know, from reading scripture, that God grieves as well.

‘As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways!  Ezekiel 33:11

There is a God who rules the heavens and eternity.  There is a judgment coming. There is a heaven and hell.  I don’t claim to understand the justice of all of it, but I do know God is good and I trust Him to be more than “fair” to each of us.

For a few years on earth, Manson destroyed, ridiculed and killed. 

Now he faces eternity.

Charles Manson now faces God’s judgment and will live an eternity having to face true justice.

No different from Charles Manson, one day… we will face God and have to answer for what we did with Jesus Christ.  Did we accept Him or reject Him?  

Eternity awaits all of us.