This notice appeared on the front page of the July 4, 2004, issue of the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader:
It has come to the editor’s attention that the Herald-Leader neglected to cover the civil rights movement. We regret the omission.
When that newspaper’s staff decided to prepare a special edition commemorating the 40th anniversary of the passing of the Civil Rights Act, they began combing through their archives looking for local material. That’s when they discovered a complete lack of such information. The newspaper had simply not covered the civil rights movement, period.
A local African-American leader said, “The white community just prayed that rumors and reports (of the civil rights movement) would be swept under the rug and just go away.”
As odd as that is, it will not come as a surprise to many that a lot of churches lived through the same revolution in this country without the first mention of it from the pulpit. (And we wonder why outsiders found our sermons irrelevant.)
Churches are prone to forget the things they do not want to acknowledge.
“Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God will come, He answered them, ‘The kingdom of God is not coming with something observable; no one will say, ‘Look here!’ or ‘There!’ For you see, the kingdom of God is among you” (Luke 17:20-21).
You’d be surprised who all loves to quote our Lord Jesus.
A lot of people who believe almost nothing Jesus said about Himself–about salvation or heaven or hell or marriage or a faith or a thousand other subjects–will quote Him when it suits their purpose.
Google Luke 17:20-21 and pull up a chair. Those citing these two verses run the gamut from Leo Tolstoy to your favorite Indian guru to the atheists.
Taken completely out of context and given the speaker’s own spin, this malleable verse can be made to say whatever they choose.
The main reason I shy away from debating anyone about the Christian faith is that if I did a poor job–and knowing my limitations, I can almost guarantee that would be the case–I’d hate for spectators to believe Jesus was no more than my poor representation of Him.
The Truth is far greater than my understanding of it or my ability to articulate it.
It’s possible to lose a debate and still be right.
As a young pastor, I was sandbagged into a debate. A young man in his late teens told me how he had been dallying with the Jehovah Witnesses and that his parents were concerned. He wondered if he and his father could meet me in my office one evening to talk. I agreed.
They showed up that night, accompanied by two Jehovah Witnesses, men loaded for bear. They were itching for a fight and mistakenly thought I was ready to take them on.
I’ve been thinking about cartoonists, abortion, and theological liberals lately.
My friend Annie was sitting in a doctor’s office the other day when a young woman came in to ask about an appointment. She wanted an abortion, she said, because she had plans for Labor Day weekend and wanted to get this done.
After a quick conversation with the receptionist, she left. Annie sat there in shock and then the tears began to flow.
Annie and her husband Mike are in line to adopt a baby due to be born in a month or two. To say they are excited and prayerful does not begin to describe them. Seeing the callousness with which that young woman wanted to be rid of her baby because “I have plans for the weekend” left Annie broken-hearted.
At this point, some in our audience will quit reading. They already “know” where it’s going and know they do not wish to go there.
That’s why there is little authentic conversation about abortions today.
And, may I say, I understand that.