Catholic Bishop Thomas J Tobin Creamed by Chris Matthews

Maybe ‘creamed’ is too tough a word, but I have just watched Chris Matthews from MSNBC HardBall lay into Bishop Thomas J Tobin regarding abortion. The Bishop has reportedly asked Congressman Kennedy (son of the late Ted Kennedy) to stop taking Holy Communion because of his position on pro-choice.

In the interview (watch it here) Matthews makes a powerful point – one which the Bishop is obviously reluctant to answer. He asks the bishop if he thinks abortion is murder, what penalty should a woman receive for the murder of her baby – what law, as a churchman, would he write to punish woman who commit murder.

Now, as one who is not pro-choice – I believe abortion to be wrong – it really is  a fascinating question. And it raises the important question of Christians and politics. What would the church see as acceptable punishment for the murder of a baby? Matthews point is that if the catholic church demanded one minute of prison time for women who have abortions they would be laughed out of town.

Daniel Chapter 2 – part 2

God is present with Daniel in Babylon and God is present with us here in the 21st Century America.

We live in a world and a culture that is walking away from God and yet is still terrified of what the world, and nature can throw at it. The world, the culture has no explanation of why hundreds of thousands died in a devastating cyclone in Myanmar – or why thousands have died in the earthquake in china, or why kids get cancer or why moms die when their children are young. The world, the culture has no answer for disaster, except to blame a God they do not believe in and use it as an excuse not to believe in God.

“I could never believe in a God that would allow something like that to happen.”

Daniel did not know why God had given Israel over to Babylon, but he did know that God was still in control.

Do you really know that God is in control? How can I know this you might ask? The same way Daniel knew – BY HIS WORD. The Bible tells us to TRUST in God – To do what he says and then to trust that God knows what he is doing.

God is not is heaven multi-tasking and saying “Gosh I hope that works out – ooooh Andy, you nearly messed that up= ahhhhh, John stop that!”

How is God in control?

The dream Neb has shows us.

Too often people get hung up about what the dream represents, and its details – to do that is to ignore its point – the thing that the dream teaches us is NOT the details of the course of events in history BUT that the fact that HISTORY is UNDER GOD’S CONTROL and that it has a purpose.

What is the purpose?

That all the kingdoms of the earth, Babylon, Assyria, Rome, Great Britain, America will not and cannot stand against the breaking into the midst of this world the Kingdom of God.

Nothing can stop it. Nothing can stand in its way. THE KINGDOM that is to come – the Kingdom of God, will eventually smash every kingdom.

And, by the way, as an aside – you do realize that if you are a believer in Jesus you will not be spending eternity in heaven. Our vision of heaven is some cloud and us sitting there with a harp.

Oh no. Eternity for us will be on a NEW EARTH – a perfect earth. 2 Peter 3:13 says But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

Revelation 21:1, Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” [ Isaiah 65:17] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

Paradise, life forever will happen on the new earth.

But this begins now – the Kingdom of God has broken into our world through Jesus.

And that is the message that we – YOU are called to tell people in your schools, homes, neighbor hoods – wherever you are.

Are you strong enough to give this message?

You can only give this message – you can only live in this world as a follower of Jesus if, like Daniel, you are willing to listen to your culture but have not been assimilated into the culture.

There is nothing that is hidden from God or that God does not understand – NOTHING. In the end, this fact should be more important to us, God’s people, than anything else.

When we realize this truth about God’s knowledge, we should be comforted as well as have the courage to go on even when life seems dark, when we are confused by the shocks of life and wondering what is going on and why.