Friday, 18 November 2016

I need to respond to this.

Hello, dear readers!

I saw this today, and I, I NEED to respond.

There is a story in the Bible, in Mark chapter 2, where Jesus was inside a house, preaching and healing people, and quite a crowd had gathered. 

There was a man in the neighborhood who could not walk, so 3 of his friends took him to see Jesus. But when they got there, they could not get through the door! So they literally broke a hole in the roof and lowered the man down through it, right at the feet of Jesus. 

And how did Jesus respond?
 Did he say "You twats, use the freaking door like a normal person"?
No, no He did not. Instead, He met the man's needs, and said " Your sins are forgiven, now pick up your mat and walk".

Philippians 2:5 tells us that our "attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus".

There is another Bible story, a parable that Jesus told (in Luke 10:25-37) that talks of a man who was attacked by robbers, and left to die.

A priest and a Levite both walked past, but ignored the man and crossed over on the other side. Now, from a purely legal standpoint, they had done nothing wrong by reacting this way. 

But then a Samaritan walked by- a man from another culture, potentially even an enemy of the injured man, with no legal or cultural obligations to the injured man at all. 
But the Samaritan stopped, tended the man's wounds, placed the man on his own donkey, and took the man to an inn where he could be taken care of, and the Samaritan even footed the bill himself.

Jesus finished his story, and asked his audience "Who acted more like a neighbour to the injured man?" 
To which someone replied "The one who had mercy on him".

I will leave you with Jesus' response:
"Now go and do likewise".

Melanie Raye.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

It's Time I Spoke Up.

Hello dearest readers <3

Before I begin, I want to say that I know a lot of you are currently feeling a lot of feelings about the presidential election. Please trust my heart when I say that I have no intention of adding to your pain and confusion by discussing my thoughts and feelings here.

With that said, I know that I need to make this post today, and I will tell you why.

Yesterday, I was in church, just like basically every Sunday morning. The preacher was nearing the end of his message, when he somehow randomly segwayed into talking about the presidential election. And then, he said it. "I think we could even call Donald Trump's election as president to be a miracle". A few people in the congregation cheered and clapped.

But me? I just made myself as small in my seat as I could, and all I could manage was a quiet, desperate whisper: "".

You see, I was not prepared in that moment to share my thoughts. Neither do I think it would have necessarily been the right moment or the right platform in which to voice my opinion. It's not my pulpit, after all.

But for the last 24 hours, I have felt sick to my stomach. I believe that the standard I walk past is the standard I accept, and I know that evil prevails when good men do nothing (Edmund Burke). 
Therefore, it is time that I spoke up. I cannot be silent anymore.

I hope you will believe that "my words come from an upright heart. My lips sincerely speak what I know" (Job 33:3).

I have unfortunately seen some people speaking in such a way that it appears that they believe that Donald Trump is a good voice to have in authority, from a Christian perspective. So, in response to this, I am going to make some comparisons between what the Bible says and what Trump says, since the Bible implores us to "test everything, and hold on to what is good" (1st Thessalonians 5:21).

Now, some of you are probably saying "But what about Hillary?" Trust me, if she were the one in power, I could easily complete this same exercise with her. (Psalm 139, anyone?) But she has not just been elected POTUS, so she is not my concern right now.

So here goes:

The Bible says: The love of money is the root of all evil. (1st Timothy 6:10).
Trump says: Money money money money, MONEY! (The Apprentice Theme Song).

The Bible says: Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is sufficient for building others up, according to their needs, so that it benefits everyone who is listening. (Ephesians 4:29).
Trump says: "It was just locker room talk".

The Bible says: The Lord detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please him. (Proverbs 20:23).
Trump: brags about tax evasion. (And even though there is the question of whether his dealings were "legal" or not, that is a different issue from whether or not it was morally right).

The Bible says: I was a stranger, and you invited me in. (Matthew 25:35).
Trump says: Let's send all the illegal immigrants back to where they came from. Let's build a wall between us and Mexico. Oh, and they have to pay for it, too.

And for those of you who might get stuck on the train of "it's just the illegal immigrants he wants to get rid of", remember: Jesus was basically an illegal immigrant too, when he and his parents escaped to Egypt as a young child. Also, remember, "Whatever you do to the least of these, my children, you also do to me" (Matthew 25:40). Right now, I would say that the "least of these" is anyone that has felt threatened or marginalised by Trump and his supporters.

The Bible says: When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:25-27).
This passage shows that Jesus respected women, and ensured that they would be cared for.

Trump says: I'll just let you look this one up yourselves...

The Bible says: The worker deserves his wages (1 Timothy 5:18).
Trump says: I want all the jobs to go to American workers.
(That doesn't really give workers of other nationalities a fair chance to earn their wages, does it?)

So there you have it.
In my eyes, Trump does not align with the same values that the Bible professes, so therefore I do not endorse him.
Now, can I get him kicked out of the White House? Probably not. Am I going to go and act violently towards his supporters? No, I am not.
But neither do I choose to condone his actions or look at him through rose-tinted lenses. 

Finally, I want to say, to all of you who are feeling marginalised by Trump and his followers right now: I see you. I stand with you. You DO matter. And there is a God in heaven who loves you.
Keep fighting, coz it can't rain forever. The sun has to come out sometime.

Melanie Raye.