(Orange, Texas)

April 6, 2013

Be Careful, You are Being Watched

John Warren
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Last Friday evening my church took our Confirmation Class of ten students and their parents on a field trip to Beaumont to visit the Jewish Temple.  We attended the Friday Evening Service.  We were welcomed and invited to join in the service.  It was very unfamiliar to us, although many of the prayers were to God, there was no mention of our Savior Jesus Christ, which I didn’t expect but found that I really missed.  It is comforting to know that I have a Savior who cares for me and hears my prayers.  Someone who knows and understands what it is like to live and breathe.  

I came to know that the Jewish people carry on many traditions from their prayer books that open and are numbered opposite than any other book I have read, to observing The Passover in much the same way as they have for centuries.  The Rabbi being a Reformed Jew was much more liberal than I have experienced and I could see where their faith had and is struggling with the changes of society as many mainline Christians are, his talk was on the acceptance of same-sex marriage.  As he spoke about the churches stance of being open to the concept, one of his members sitting behind me could be heard saying, “no.”  

So it is in all churches whatever the subject or stand; it is impossible for the church to speak to and for every single member of the body.  That is why I find it hard to understand how anyone would think that it could be so, I am sorry I just do not drink the cup of “Kool-Aid”.  As a United Methodist I believe that God gave me a brain to use and a heart to feel.  The brain offers me understanding and the heart offers the world compassion.  The question I like to present is this, if we are given the mission of letting the world know about the love of our Savior Jesus Christ, wouldn’t that require us to treat one another in a way that anyone observing us would want to live.  The world is watching how we deal with one another and is quick to point out any flaw that can offer them a way of not responding.  

So the message is simple, treat those you come in contact in a way that you yourself would want to be treated.  When Jesus said that the greatest two commandments are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself, I think he meant that as a guide on how we are to live.