There are a lot of people who got bent out of shape about pastors who talk like this:
(O)fficial church pronouncements that condone the very sins that keep people out of the kingdom of God, are evil. They dishonor God, contradict Scripture, and implicitly promote damnation where salvation is freely offered.
And then there are pastors who talk like this:
Q: I’m struck by the fact that I don’t hear a lot of explicitly religious language, or mentions of Jesus, from you.
A: I think we have enough religious people who are going around trying to convert people. My guard is up when somebody is trying to convert me to their thing. Are you talking to me because you actually are interested in this subject, because you care about me as a human, or am I one more possible conversion that will make you feel good about your religiosity? I don’t have any embarrassment about my religion, and it’s not that I’m too cool, but I would hope that the Jesus message would come through, hopefully through a full humanity. If you have something to say, whether you’re religious or not, if it is truly Christian and Jesus-centered, then it will help and be interesting and compelling to people, regardless of their world view. But I’m not just interested in talking to Christians. I’m interested in what does it mean to be fully human.
I don’t want my ears tickled when life or death is at stake. I’ll take the former over the latter.
There is pain all around us, and it is our nature to avoid that pain as much as possible. But, in this season of colds and flus (and flu shots), we know that there is some pain that is unavoidable and, sometimes, necessary. Regarding pain in relationships, we often see that the some of the deepest pain can come from someone or something you love. So that begs the question as to whether it is safer to not love in the first place because your heart can just be broken.
C.S. Lewis provides a wise answer and a strong rebuke in The Four Loves:
Of all arguments against love none makes so strong an appeal to my nature as “Careful! This might lead you to suffering.”
To my nature, my temperament, yes. Not to my conscience. When I respond to that appeal I seem to myself to be a thousand miles away from Christ. If I am sure of anything I am sure that His teaching was never meant to confirm my congenital preference for safe investments and limited liabilities.…
There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
HT: Tyler Kenney
The Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) has set up a Web site that tracks the flu season and how hard it is hitting various parts of the country as seen in the image above. Along with that, the CDC also has a page that answers different questions you may have about flu season and how to deal with it.