Archive for January, 2010

Blogged-ee blogging

Posted: January 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

I’ve been looking for a way to journal and I’ve also thought I’d like to do a blog as another of those forms of church communication.  So, I’ve decided to combine the two in this blog/journal.

So who am I?

I’m a pastor of a two-point charge in the South Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.  I serve as pastor of Lupo Memorial UMC, located at 112 Lanham Street in Greenwood, and I serve as the campus minister/director of the Lander Wesley Fellowship, the UM student ministry at Lander University.  When I’m not at church, I have other titles that I go by including Denise’s husband and Grace’s daddy.

The scripture I came across in my reading this morning is this:

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord. — ROMANS 12:17-19

It has made me think about all those ways and times in my life when I had to get even or get ahead.  I wanted to be the judge and the jury whenever someone did something to me.  Vengeance is mine, or so the saying goes.  And when I read something like this it reminds me of the stupidity of violence.

What is the Christian response to an act of violence, even an act of terror?  We don’t let the evil turn us evil.  We realize that we do things the right way and that others are watching.  And we surrender our wills, our desire to get even, to avenge attacks, to wage war, and we lay it all at the feet of God.

That’s not always the easiest thing to hear.

It reminds me of something I read in NT Wright’s book, Evil and the Justice of God.  He says that when something evil happens to us or to the group we belong to, we generally have a reaction something along these lines:

  • We seem to be shocked to realize that evil exists (despite all of the evidence to the contrary around us).
  • We have a feeling that we have to get even, that we have to settle the score, that we sometimes even have to get ahead.
  • And, most often, according to Wright, we react in an immature, even stupid, way to evil.

How many wars have been fought and how many lives have been sacrificed because we simply have to be the ones to avenge?  What would happen if we really let God do what God does?