Monthly Archives: February 2016

Pastor Lucado: Trump's Claim He’s

a Christian 'Beyond Reason to Me'

Best-selling Christian author Max Lucado believes Donald Trump speaks with a forked tongue when he calls himself a Christian one day and launches jaw-dropping personal attacks on people the next.

"It would be none of my business, I would have absolutely no right to speak up except that he repeatedly brandishes the Bible and calls himself a Christian," the San Antonio pastor said in an interview with Christianity Today magazine.

"If he's going to call himself a Christian one day and call someone a bimbo the next or make fun of somebody's menstrual cycle, it's just beyond reason to me."

Lucado — the author of nearly 100 Christian books which have sold 80 million copies — said he had never opposed a presidential candidate before the billionaire developer entered the political arena.

"There was a time in Iowa when he said 'I'm a Christian,' and somebody asked about forgiveness and he said 'I've never asked God for forgiveness.' I can't imagine that. I'm just shaking my head going 'How does that work?'" Lucado said.

"Does a swimmer say 'I've never gotten wet?' Does a musician say 'I've never sung a song?' How does a person claim to be a Christian and never need to ask for forgiveness?"

Trump has made headlines with the shoot-from-the-lip missiles he's fired at opponents, recently ripping Sen. Ted Cruz as a "totally unstable individual" and the "single biggest liar I've ever come across."

During Thursday's GOP debate, Trump referred to Sen. Marco Rubio as "a choke artist."

He also has used expletives to describe opponents, upsetting many.

Trump referred to Dr. Ben Carson, a revered figure among many Christian believers, as a “pathological liar” and compared him to a “child molester.”

Carson did not directly respond to Trump’s attacks, but said conservatives need to look at his actual track record.

“You need to look at his fruits,” Carson said.

Trump has come under strong criticism from social conservatives for supporting Planned Parenthood, and his long history of backing abortion rights, including partial-birth abortion.

Lucado also discussed Trump in a recent blog post at MaxLucado.com.

"The stock explanation for his success is this: he has tapped into the anger of the American people. As one man said, 'We are voting with our middle finger.' Sounds more like a comment for a gang-fight than a presidential election. Anger-fueled reactions have caused trouble ever since Cain was angry at Abel," Lucado wrote.

Lucado, a father of three, is pastor of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, which Newsmax named as one of the Top 50 Megachurches in America. He was also anointed "America's Pastor" by Christianity Today and "The Best Preacher in America" by Reader's Digest.

Marie Coppola February 2016

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We all have our own preferred faith but sometimes we venture out of our comfort area to participate or engage in others’ religious practices.

It could be a Wedding, a Baptism, a First Communion, Confirmation, Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Bible studies, or engage in Witnessing. The common denominator is God. Each religion worships in their own way – what happens when you cross paths with some other religion?

Wikipedia defines “Ecumenism", as initiatives aimed at greater religious unity or cooperation.

In its broadest sense, this unity or cooperation may refer to a worldwide religious unity; by the advocation of a greater sense of shared spirituality across the three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Most commonly, however, ecumenism is used in a more narrow meaning; referring to a greater cooperation among different religious denominations of a single one of these faiths.”  These three faiths are all monotheistic: meaning the belief that there is one and only one God.

My own personal ecumenical experiences revolve around Christianity and Judaism.   I was born and raised in the Catholic faith and experienced the traditional Sacraments.   The Catholic Church has changed little in formation and dogma, yet it has evolved into a more humanistic and personal faith religion over the years.  I embrace this very beautiful religion which is centered around Jesus and the Eucharist, and has special meaning for me.  In my formative years, when religious instruction was memorizing a Catechism to attain the Sacraments, I was blessed at age 9 to be invited and attend a Presbyterian Bible Summer School. My parents agreed I could go and I was introduced to the additional concept that Jesus was my Best Friend, a concept that is with me to this day. We spent that summer singing lots of hymns to Jesus and making crafts with Him in mind. It was pure and natural to me. Children do not have built-in prejudices against the differences in their lives; they are taught them. Left alone, children are accepting and nonjudgmental.

When I was 13, we moved to a predominantly Jewish neighborhood and I was introduced to bas mitzivahs, bat mitzvahs and the closely knit Jewish family.  All members of the Jewish family participated during the readings at the temple. I found they were very much like our family. They believed in the Old Testament like we do, and were very religious. I experienced the Passover Seder and on sad occasions, gave condolences at Shiva. Did this confuse me?  Not at all.  Although I was entrenched in Christianity, I was experiencing the religion that My Best Friend, Jesus, embraced while on earth. It enlarged my religion by bringing me closer to Him. Now I experienced what He did and added His religious background  to my faith.

In high school, a family member joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I always marveled at how they went from house to house witnessing their faith. They still do. The Bible calls us to do that, but not many people do it. There were differences from how the Witnesses practiced their faith from mine, but I did become more aware of their Bible studies and eventually attended Bible classes at my own church.    I learned many Scripture passages that I never knew and became a student of the Bible.  I am ever grateful for that awakening of Scriptures.

In my adult life, I have very dear friends who are Baptists. They are Bible-study enthusiasts, also. When we visit them, we attend their service with them – it usually encompasses most of the Sabbath Day.  At their service, there is a choir that could sing in Carnegie Hall. They are praise-singing people of faith and I find joy and peace listening to their hymns. They even have screens where you can sing along and the whole congregation joins in. We attend their Bible School immediately after the service and partake of their fellowship.  They are faith sharing and caring people. I credit the Baptists for my love and joy of praise songs.

In my work days, a group of us were asked to give a career seminar to members of a Lutheran church. Before we started the seminar, we gathered in the church and had service. My other presenters were not faith-based persons and did not know the name of the songs sung, but I knew from my ‘ecumenical sharings ’ when they broke into “Lord I Lift Your Name on High”, I joined in loud and clear. After the church service, the church members hugged me and were surprised that I knew the song. That bonding moment was a successful vehicle to engaging in seminar objectives – a shared feeling that overlapped into our discussions.  And bonded new friendships.

I love ecumenical bridges. I find new paths and avenues from them to explore God and His Word. I find that although others may worship differently from me, we have many common threads in our tapestry of faith. Recently I learned that the Muslim faith honors one woman - Mary, the mother of Jesus, and devotes a full chapter of their Koran to her.

I never see the differences in these folks and their faiths; I only see the sameness we have in loving God, expressing that Love and sharing our different ways to live it.

 

© Marie Coppola, 2009, updated February, 2016; some rights reserved.