Greetings and Salutations!

February 2, 2022

Leadership Notes


Greetings and Salutations you Wonderful People of Covenant Church!


Is it wrong to say I've never been happier as pastor of a church than I am right now? Our God is an awesome God, wonderful and kind, building His church in our little corner of His world!


You know, I've never not gotten more non-existent feedback from the things I prattle on about here than the feedback I didn't get from the Pat Sajak quote from last week. So I'll try another one:


"Remember 'Actions speak louder than words' and 'Sticks and

stones may break my bones…?' Seems like ages ago."


So, one recent day my granddaughter and a friend were talking about watching Saturday Night Live reruns on HULU. And I asked, snarky baby boomer that I am, "Are you watching from back when they were funny?" While they didn't laugh, they also didn't hit me with sticks or stones. Having already seen some of the classics, they did say that HULU has edited out some of the more "controversial" skits. In the same way, Comedy Central removed Season 1, Episode 2, "Diversity Day" from their rotation of "The Office." Sad…sad…sad.


I told those two lovely young ladies that I grieve for their generation and where we are today, culturally. Who decides what is humor and what is not? Who tells us if we can laugh and when? What will become of the open and free exchange of information and ideas?


Wife: I saw a baby on the way to work.

Husband: How do you know?

Wife: How do I know I saw a baby on the way to work?

Husband: Yeah, did it have a tiny briefcase or something?

Wife: what?


I have a colleague at a church in Ohio. It is a wonderful church and he is a great leader. He holds regular question and answer seminars where they talk about issues of cultural import. It is a courageous move that resonates with Isaiah 1:18 - "Come now, and let us reason together." Absolutely nothing wrong with that, regardless of whether it's a serious topic or something to laugh at.


Am I the only one who doesn't know how we're going to survive Joni Mitchell pulling her music from Spotify?


Along that line, I'm a firm believer that many things we hold to be true

now will be proved wrong in the future. The free exchange of information

and ideas, and risking being wrong sometimes, is part of the process.


I thank God daily that we have the unchangeable truth of His Word.


I love this from Charles Spurgeon:


"You know nothing about conversion if you merely believe in

human depravity and human ruin, but have never felt that you are

depraved, and that you yourself are ruined."


When you bring the latter understanding to your relationships, you will have a totally different dynamic than otherwise.


Finally, round-abounding to a previous comment on humor, it begs that larger question of freedom of speech. How do we engage in conversations? How do we share information…which may or may not prove to be right or wrong…that will add to our collective knowledge and encourage growth in understanding and intellect? This is impactful to our realm as well; for freedom of speech and thought is essential to the free exercise of religious faith. There's nothing harmful about free people exchanging information and ideas.


Gad Saad, thoughtful Canadian that he is, observed:


"It is truly remarkable to see how easy it is for most people in the West to

revert to the basal instinct of using all means to silence those with whom

they disagree…NOTHING is more important than freedom of speech.

NOTHING. Everything that is decent in a free and enlightened society

stems from that fundamental freedom. Authoritarian regimes throughout

human history have utilized a variety of strategies to silence the rubes, but

the argument is always the same: It's for social cohesion; for the greater

good; for your own good. If we don't eradicate this epistemological Dark

Ages, we will pay a very steep price. There are only 2 options: 1) resolve

disagreements via peaceful debates; 2) resolve them violently. If you

remove the capacity for the 1st option, I assure you that you will get the

2nd option."


To quote a hilarious Saturday Night Live skit from thirty years ago, "Can we talk? I'm getting a little verklempt." Talking is always good.


In conclusion, here's a bonus Moment of Spurgeon:


"If God did nothing more for men than provide a Saviour, and

leave it for them to accept, if he never operated upon their souls

and affections by his Holy Spirit, not one of Adam's race would

ever enter into eternal life."


Stay Safe During the Great Snowpocalypse of 2022,


Richard

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