February 2, 2014
It’s all about Jesus
It’s so refreshing to read a religious column in the Logan Banner like the one written by Mae Stallard. Unlike the usual religious column in the Banner that is designed to stir fear, anger, and hatred among Christians to motivate Christians to vote for the Republican Party, her column is obviously designed to spread the good news of the gospel to motivate sinners to come to Jesus Christ.
Some time ago, I sat in on a bible study in which the teacher was teaching that Christians have a moral duty to God to punish abortionists and homosexuals. An old man spoke up and suggested that we (Christians) should go back to stoning sinners. The teacher seemed to be shocked by the suggestion and was adamant in declaring that Christians can’t do that. I didn’t realize it at the time, but in retrospect, I understand how reasonable the old man’s suggestion was, given what the teacher was teaching.
God the Father didn’t simply command that sins must be punished; He also commanded what the punishment must be for any particular sin. God the Father said that adulterers must be put to death (Lev. 20:10), that homosexuals must be put to death (Lev. 20:13), and that abortionists (if concluded to be murderers) must be put to death (Num. 35:16).
God the Son refused to put the adulteress to death (John 8:11). He said that only a man without sin could cast the first stone at a sinner (John 8:7). Either God the Son has the authority to change His Father’s attitude toward punishing sinners, and to teach His followers to do the same, or He was truly guilty of everything of which the Pharisees accused Him.
But, God the Father did give all authority to His Son, Jesus (John 3:35). Therefore, when what the Father commands is contrary to what the Son teaches, Christians are required to obey the Son, The only path to God the Father is through God the Son, Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Therefore, ignoring the Son and going straight to the Father is, to say the least, unprofitable. You’re not a follower of Jesus if you’re not obeying Jesus.
The doctrine of Christians having a moral duty to God the Father to punish sinners is entirely man-made, and therefore, false. This man-made doctrine was created by the Republican Party for the purpose of motivating Christians to vote for republicans, notwithstanding that Christians who follow this false doctrine are fallen from grace (Gal. 5:4), because punishing sinners is part of the law God gave to Moses.
The Republican Party also points to the growing acceptance of homosexuality as proof that our nation is becoming ever more sinful. However, regardless of whether homosexuals openly admit that they are gay or whether they stay “in the closet”, the level of homosexual sinfulness stays the same. Homosexuality isn’t necessarily increasing, but its acceptance surely is. The explanation for its growing acceptance is very simple: it is increasing exponentially, not by one at a time.
When a child grows up in the presence of unconditional love and announces that he or she is gay, acceptance doesn’t increase by one, it increases by the number of people who show that child unconditional love. Such was the case with the Dick Cheney family.
It’s a pity that republicans like the Cheney family don’t have enough love in their hearts to extend to other people’s children that same right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that they extended to their own daughter. Jesus said, “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?” (Mat. 5:46).
Mae Stallard, I have read several of your columns, and all I can say is, keep up the good work. Sinners need to know the truth about the grace, compassion, and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. They also need to know that the anger and hatred being directed toward them is coming from the Republican Party, not from Jesus. Jesus sat down to eat and drink with publicans and sinners. He said that He came for the sinners, not for the righteous (Luke 5:29-32). Jesus didn’t come to punish sinners; He came to save their souls (I Cor. 6:9-11).
Girl Scout Cookie Season
It’s that time of year again! Girl Scout Cookie season has kicked off and is in full swing. We all know how tasty they are, but do you know about how girls use the money from the cookie sale to make the world a better place?
Through the Cookie Sale program, girls learn the five skills that will help them become successful women; goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. With the help of their troop leaders and family members, girls set goals based on what they would like to achieve as a troop and they make it happen. The girls use the proceeds to take trips and travel, go to events, donate to a charity that they want to support or to complete community service projects. The Council uses the proceeds to plan the great events and programs that we offer to the girls, to train volunteers and to fund membership for girls who would like to be a Girl Scout, but can’t afford to.
Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council (GSBDC) also offers a Gift of Caring program as part of the Cookie Sale. Last year over 750 cases of cookies were donated to soldiers and an additional 108 cases were donated by our Council to Meals On Wheels. This year we have teamed up with Huntington Food Bank and Mountaineer Food Bank to distribute this gift to those who would not have the opportunity otherwise to enjoy this special treat, at no cost to them.
This Cookie Season, Girl Scouts across the country will be inspiring change. They will discover what matters most to them, will connect with people in their communities and will use the power of Girl Scout cookies to take action in their own neighborhoods and far beyond.
Sure, you may be able to buy a box of cookies for less at the store or in a different area and send the profits to a different state, but when you invest in a box of Girl Scout Cookies with GSBDC, the money stays in our own neighborhoods and can make a world of difference to local communities. In 2012, the girls within the Black Diamond Council contributed 33,000 hours of community service in their local areas because of this program!
So as we celebrate Girl Scout Cookie Weekend on February 7-8, ask yourself how you may be able to make a difference in the lives of girls in your community. As a volunteer you’ll help girls to discover that they can become more than they could have imagined. You’ll be the cheerleader, guide and mentor that will help them develop skills and confidence. The smiles, the excitement and the memories made will be the moments you share when you decide to volunteer with Girl Scouts. Log onto our website at bdgsc.org to explore the opportunities available for volunteers and girls and start making a difference in your world today.
CEO of Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council