Archive for December, 2008

Do We Even Believe in Commitments Anymore?

December 31, 2008

Today’s USA Today has a story on its front page titled “Tempers rise over oil-heat lock-ins”.

Basically it gives examples of people and organizations that locked in prices thinking they were going to stay high, only to see them fall significantly.

Several of the organizations had reasonable positions such as this: We rolled the dice and did what we thought was the best thing to do.

But here’s what kills me:

  • In Connecticut, more than 500 people have called the attorney general’s office in the past two months, trying to get out of the fuel contracts.
  • New Hampshire’s attorney general’s office received at least a dozen calls and the Vermont AG’s office about two dozen from upset homeowners.
  • “It’s a universal plea: they want us to extricate them from these contracts,” says Attorney General Richard Blumenthal

I just can’t get over how people can feel this way. If the price had gone up, and the people they bought the lock-ins from had called them to get out of the contracts, you can bet they would have been outraged! But they have no problem trying to go the other way.

Do we as a people place no value on our word? Goodness, these are binding legal contracts – if someone won’t even live up to that, I can pretty much guess what they’d do with their word given the slightest difficulty. Hmmm, seems like the Bible says something about that somewhere…

Compromise in Religion

December 3, 2008

Religion is one thing on which we just can’t compromise.

I suspect most of you have just now decided that I’m either crazy or just plain wrong. After all, if you really look closely, aren’t most churches built on the idea that most things is OK, as long as it feels good? As long as we feel that we’re serving God? And that anyone who disagrees is a crazy rule-keeper trying to work his way to Heaven? I think many (even most) people believe this, because I can’t think of any other way to explain the vast differences in belief between people who call themselves Christians.

It seems to me that if God is real, and there is an absolute truth, then he has defined what is right and what is wrong. Negotiations between people don’t come into it. Votes among delegates at conferences don’t influence what is true and what is not.

My friend Gary has a great example of this on his website – click on “Answer 3 simple questions.” just under the picture of the pen.

Here’s the bottom line: What you and I want is immaterial. All that matters is what God wants. Realizing this is a big step toward aligning ourselves with Him.

And what God wants doesn’t change. This is well said in a great Hank Snow song called My Religion’s Not Old Fashioned (but It’s Real Genuine). Some of the words in this link are a bit garbled, but you get the picture.

If those words are true, and I believe they are, then many churches are just wrong.

Whoa! Can you believe I just said that!? Surely I don’t mean that? Well, yes, I’m afraid I do.

Do I believe I have all the answers? That I’m going to heaven and everyone else is bound straight for h-e-double-toothpicks?

Hardly. But I will say this: if you aren’t regularly reading the Bible and praying for God to help you find the truth, how will you know what’s right and what’s not? You can’t just believe what you hear from your friends or even your preacher – you have to be a Berean (Acts 17: 10-12) and decide for yourself.

And you can’t just make up stuff because it feels good. Think about that – do you believe you can trust your daily feelings to tell you what God wants you to do?