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Recently I read about a pastor who made this amazing pronouncement while speaking of presidential advisors, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump: “It’s just like God to use a young Jewish couple to help Christians.”

I thought, Wow! Speaking on behalf of the Almighty is up there with a Pamplona Bull-Run in terms of risky life choices. I’d be looking over my shoulder for incoming lightning bolts!

The reverend’s familiar tone reminded me of the SNL skit in which Justin Timberlake played Peg, who always ends her hard-luck stories with the catchphrase: “Classic Peg!”

I was shaking my head as I read – the way this man of the cloth spoke about God was similar to the title of the series “That’s So Raven!”

Who could possibly know the mind of the creator of all things so well as to interpret for him? Well, we just FaceTimed the other day. Let me tell you what’s in God’s Facebook feed right now.

Heck to the no, as the late, great Jersey girl, Ms. Whitney Houston, used to say. (Had to spruce up the language a bit there, kind people. Prayer-blog, you know.) Come on now. Nobody speaks for God officially. But I’d like to think that most religions do honor him.

Every so often, I’ll look online to see what churches in my area do in their religious services. One of them insists on full immersion when baptizing new members of their church, and no one is considered a Christian until they get baptized. I looked at the pictures they posted of one such baptism, and I realized that it was just a kid’s pool in somebody’s backyard. Everyone there was dressed in shorts and t-shirts, as if they were at a barbecue!

I thought at least they would have some sort of official water tank in an actual church building, but this is how they do it in that religion.

Of course, your mileage may vary as you ride along the path of faith, but here’s a good rule of thumb: always do the right thing, and let God speak for himself.

Heavenly Father,
Help me to hear your voice in my heart and in my soul.
When I am tempted to speak out in Your name,
Give me a moment to pause so that I may listen to You.
Only then, may I speak.
Amen

BullyingI read something like 100 different blogs. Some of them are religious, like this one. Something happened on one of them about a week ago that simply floored me.

The blogger wrote about whether or not women could be preachers or elders. Her answer is no. She has firm opinions and she can back them up with Bible verses. She then invited discussion. I’ll admit that I didn’t read it all. In part, this was because there was just so much of it.

But I have to admit, the main reason that I quit reading was the tone.

A number of women minsters responded. They were respectful of her views but also stated their own.

That’s when things got ugly.

“What Bible do you read?”

That was one of the politer comments and it went downhill from there. They went on to imply that these women ministers hadn’t been called by God, they had been called by Satan. Hateful stuff. Ugly stuff.

These women wouldn’t dream of teaching a man, because that would go against God’s word, but they had no problem slamming other women down.

I wanted to post. I wanted to put them in their place. But I heard that still small voice.

“Whoa, sister. Take a step back. Take a deep breath.”

There’s enough ugliness in this world. Adding to it in God’s name isn’t something any of us needs to do. It doesn’t matter if we have a strong opinion, an opinion that we can back up with the Bible. They are Bible verses, not Bible versus, and it is time we quit using them like weapons against each other.

–SueBE

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