The Phantom of the Opera in the American political and financial crisis is Ronald Wilson Reagan. We are haunted by his ghost.
Ronald Wilson Reagan claimed all too much credit for the breakup of the Soviet Union. His jubilation was premature. A newly confident and oil/gas rich Russia rises to claim its Soviet era hegemony.
Ronald Reagan taught us that big Government was the problem. He allowed us to believe that taxes were in and of themselves a bad thing. He was the apostle of the de-regulation of the so-called free market. He lived and breathed myths about such matters as Evil Empires and Welfare Queens. He cared not one fig about the AIDS crisis which emerged in his Presidency. He nominated the most dreadful Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Anton Scalia. He ran up record national deficits, surpassed only by those of his disciple George Walker Bush.
George Herbert Walker Bush followed Reagan’s economic myths (and was undone when he was forced to raise taxes - we all had read h…
At the local Publix Market this afternoon I bumped into Randy, a Mennonite Minister who sometimes volunteers at Resurrection House.
He is a gentle and sweet man who lives up to the very best of Mennonite traditions.
We chatted about his congregation and he related that last Sunday they had an informal conversation regarding their common fears on the cusp of a Presidential election, and with the American economy in the tank.
(Unemployment is all around, and all too many houses have been abandoned, or are in foreclosure – you know the story wherever you live).
We agreed that our response as Christians is that we will share. However hard the times become (and they will become harder) – we will share.
We will share food, and money, and bedrooms before our sisters and brothers become homeless or destitute. We will share our fears. We will share our hope in Christ Jesus. We will share our laughter.
And we will remember, that to a greater or lesser extent, we have all benefited from the mock prospe…
F.W. Faber 1814-1863 was an Anglican Clergyman, who became a Roman Catholic in the 19th Century “Catholic Revival” in England.
We heard one of his hymns at All Angels on Longboat Key this morning. More about this later.
Faber (even as a Roman Catholic) was capable of the most evangelical sentiments.
For instance take this text from his hymn known either as “Souls of Men why will ye scatter, like a crowd of frightened sheep?” or “There’s a wideness in God’s mercy.
For the love of God is broader than the measure of man's mind, and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind. But we make his love too narrow by false limits of our own; and we magnify its strictness with a zeal he will not own.
Magnifying the strictness of God’s love is the besetting sin of both Catholic and Evangelical expression of Christianity. Faber got it right!
But Faber could also be very sentimental. See for example the last four lines of “Souls of Men".
If our love were but more simple, we should take h…