The way, the truth, and the life

As I’ve hinted at previously, I am doing CPE at a home for the elderly, serving in the capacity as Chaplain Intern.  The Chaplain Interns take turns creating the morning chapel services, and last week, I attempted something very ambitious for a non-fundamentalist Christian:  I decided to preach on John 14:1-7.

The Word of the Lord:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.

And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.”

What follows is my reflection on this text (delivered 7/7/08).

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Barack Hussein Obama is (not) MUSLIM

If you get email and have a crazy relative or friend, you’ve probably already heard that Obama is MUSLIM and that he goes to a RACIST CHURCH and that his (former) pastor, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright is a BLACK SEPARATIST.

From what I can tell, these emails can be summarized thusly: OMG OMG OMG BLACK SCARY MUSLIM OBAMA SEPARATIST SCARY BLACK OBAMA MUSLIM BLACK HUSSEIN TERRORIST WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE NOOOOOOOOOOO.

But that’s absurd, you might say. Obama is Christian, his church isn’t racist, and Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright is a Christian minister, who has never advocated black separatism. Yeah, but seriously – in the land of anonymous email, who cares? Why get bogged down worrying about truth or integrity when the best fallacious smears only take 4 easy steps:

  1. Take a single shred of truth: Obama’s middle name is Hussein
  2. Introduce racist innuendo: Evil Muslim Dictator Saddam’s Hussein’s last name is Hussein!!!
  3. Arrive at your new conclusion: Holy Balls, Barack Obama is Muslim!
  4. Use subtle clues instead of stating this directly: “Hey guys, did you see that new Barack HUSSEIN Obama ad?”

And you’re done! Now, wasn’t that simple? Now, just be sure to foward this to 4,000 of your close, personal friends.

P.S. The next time you get one of these aforementioned lying emails, please do me a favor. Consider hitting “Reply all” and sending back the following: “OMG OMG OMG BLACK SCARY MUSLIM OBAMA SEPARATIST SCARY BLACK OBAMA MUSLIM BLACK HUSSEIN TERRORIST WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE NOOOOOOOOOOO.”

Just think how much better you’ll feel.