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Sideline Christianity

I am the Christian on the sidelines.

I am the guy who prays before meals in public, and sits quietly at the table while those around me use the name of my Lord as a vulgarity, and talk of His daughters as disposable sex objects.

I am the guy who budgets well and throws a lot of money in the collection basket, and becomes instantly uncomfortable when faced with a poor person who needs me to give now.

I am the guy who expresses a lot of righteous outrage at social evils on Facebook, and leaves praying outside abortion clinics to believers who don’t have Facebook profiles, and leaves risking losing actual friends to people who love enough to chastise sin.

I am the guy who is always early and well-dressed to mass on Sunday, and leaves spending time with God at 3 am in the adoration chapel to the elderly people who annoy me by showing up late to mass in shorts and flip-flops.

I am the guy who feels called to proclaim Christ through words and example to the kind, wonderful people he went to college with, but dismisses as lost causes the rougher, less sophisticated people he now works with.

I am that guy. Continue Reading »

That’s My King!

Who is worthy of our final, absolute allegiance and loyalty? Who is qualified to lead us in and through everything? Who is the master of our lives? No person, no group, no nation or earthly power… only our King.

These words are from the late Baptist preacher S. M. Lockridge.

This is one of those occasions where the ability to do the South Asian ‘what to do?’-face comes in handy.

 

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An easy, intellectually dishonest way to dismiss an argument coming from a believer is that his argument is ‘merely’ based on faith. Sometimes, this flippant rebuttal is aimed at positions whose foundations are in no way theological, and in those instances, it is clear that one is dealing with a narrow mind armed with rhetorical ear plugs. At other times, this objection is raised against the entire religious mindset. Once this point in the conversation is reached, continuing on can be quite futile. But what it too easy for both believers and nonbelievers to forget is that both regularly engage a capacity of the will that is essential for faith: Trust. The trust required by faith is the same as the trust required by love. Most people know what that trust feels like, and know that having it is not an abandonment of reason.

In the videos that follow, the always masterful Fr. Barron explains the relationship of trust to a growing faith, using the analogy of falling in love with a person. They may not instantly change anyone’s mind on the respect that a faithful intellect deserves, but they do invite the honest skeptic to consider that the trust demanded of the believer is something that they have both experienced and given at some point.

Commentary from Fr. Barron on what Faith is and what Faith is not

Additional commentary:

… was to cross the road. This was back in Sri Lanka, on May 1st, 2005, and I was walking across Colombo to get to school in the afternoon. To my great dismay, a very angry, loud, and long formation of Communist protesters was blocking my path at an intersection. I don’t mean the lame universal healthcare variety; I mean hammer-and-sickle, xenophobic Communists with passion and red banners! Remembering seeing their march kick off earlier in the day, and recalling that it was substantial, I realized I would be standing there for a while waiting for it to pass; and I certainly wasn’t about to cut through waving fists and . So, I decided to walk against the protest about a block, join their collectivist ranks and change lanes from right to left while marching forward with them. I may have been the tallest, whitest, and least informed person in their ranks, but it worked! I exited out of the left lane and continued on my way.

Seeing the #OccupyWallStreet protests (whose cause I know little to nothing about) brought that fond memory back to my mind, and in the same spirit of whimsical bewilderment, I want to share and celebrate some playful works of protest:

Remy has many more awesome songs on his Youtube Channel

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Moments before freak lightning killed everyone pictured…

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Life can be disappointing that way.

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A message I’d be delusional not to agree with.


The image of Christ walking on water is very familiar. It is perhaps one of the less impressive miracles in scripture, in light of His more spectacular ones, and seeing as He is - after all – the Son of God. However, St Matthew’s description of this particular episode makes it a hard fit for the ‘general signs and wonders of Christ’ file, because, alone among the Gospel authors, his version of the story includes Peter walking on the water. That Jesus walked on the water is a sign for us of who He is. But that Peter walked on the water, offers a beautiful analogy for what it means to choose to believe in Him against the worst kind of doubt, and what life looks like in light of that choice.

Continue Reading »

This post continues from “Walking on Water: The Reality of Faith (Part 2)”. This series examines the conflict between faith and doubt through the lens of the account of Peter walking on water towards Jesus presented in the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel according to St Matthew.

Continue Reading »

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