Determining good and bad in everyday life

Once again it is my pleasure to address the readership of our local newspaper on the subject of the Christian faith.

My point now is to suggest that one way to witness our faith is to actively participate in activities offered by our churches which the laity or ordinary people can participate in. These activities of course should be those which are planned to be "Christian in nature."

Many churches participate in athletic activities such as baseball or bowling and games of that nature. These can be of great value as we consider the good amount of Christian fellowship which may be generated by such things.

There may be other activities which may be offered by Christian churches which may be considered to be "Christian" in nature.

What we need to be careful of, however, is when often outside forces attempt to enlist the members of the Christian churches to promote people or causes which can hardly be called "Christian."

Almost every time there is a general election in this country we find this or that special interest group tries to identify their particular cause as "Christian." This was no more manifested than when the era in American history came in which has gone down in history as "prohibition" during the 1920s.

There is no doubt about it the consumption of alcoholic beverages can be and is a great danger to many human beings. However, in a country of supposed "freedom," this should be a matter of individual conscience, not by decree of the civil authority.

Prohibition became in history the great experiment on how not to involve the federal government. It was the sphere of individual decision and choice, which many believe to be bad for human consumption and that, is all well and good.

However, unfortunately the Christian church has at times become involved in other spheres such as motion pictures and other forms of entertainment which may in fact be bad or perhaps not so good for consumption by the general public.

The fact is that certain things out in the world may or may not be good for use or consumption by the human race or certainly some members of society.

The problem seems to arise when we find the government in any place attempting to dictate to the citizen of a particular place what ideas or postures the citizens of that place should be subject to.

The 20th century has gone down in history as the time when governments all over the world have attempted at times to align themselves with various parts of the Christian church in various parts of the world to achieve certain ideas and concepts which were found in the end to be not Christian in value or to have ends which at the best were uncertain.

The question then is, "do churches have the right to promote political agendas? The answer, of course at least in the United States of America, would be a resounding "yes."

The problem is then how do we discern or make judgments on whether the position taken by a church is "right" or "wrong."

To say the least the best way to approach that subject is "does it appear on the surface to be right or wrong, or good or bad?"

Such is our right as Americans to judge all aspects of our society as good or bad, according to our own beliefs. So as we approach new times and new issues; let us read, learn and inwardly digest the ideas and the issues.

Let us then put these ideas and issues under the microscope of what we understand the teaching of Jesus to be in the pages of the New Testament and the let us go forward from there in his name.

Let us be a willing part of his being in the world and to be his willing disciples and followers.

God bless one and all as we follow our Lord and savior Jesus Christ in this world.

(Canon Lowrey is a retired Priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania.)

Determining good and bad in everyday life by Canon Lowrey100319