Sunday, May 25, 2008

Honoring Our Fallen

This weekend as a country, the United States of America, has set aside a time where we remember those who have fallen in the defense of our country. Unfortunately instead as a country have made it a holiday where we are more interested in celebrating the unofficial beginning of summer. Where we concentrate on grilling, opening our pools, taking our motor homes out to the lake, and getting our boats in the water.

I want to take a minute to thank those families both past and present who gave us their sons and daughters to serve in our armed forces and especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in defending our country.

Thank you for the ultimate gift!

One of my best friends is a chaplain in a VA home in Illinois. He is charged with the spiritual welfare of those men and women who faithfully served our country and who are now in need of physical care. We are a country who takes care of our wounded, sometimes not as well as we could, but usually better then the church does.

I read with interest this week the response that a church gave to the arrest of one of their ministers. This church is considered a mega church with over 40 ministers on staff and one of them attempted to arrange a “date” with a n underage girl on line. When he showed up for his assignation he discovered that the girl was in fact a police officer.

He was arrested and the church promptly fired him (as they should have) All of the interviews that the church gave out would have been considered politically correct. Concern for the flock, concern for the community reaction and condemnation of the fallen minister.

What I did not hear was concern for the fallen minister and any concern for his restoration.

Galatians 6:1
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.

Now in all fairness neither you nor I know what is going on behind closed doors. So the church should be given the benefit of the doubt. But it would not surprise me if this man were simply cut loose and condemned to Protestant purgatory for his failings. I don’t know if he could or ever should be placed back into the ministry, but I’m sure that God has not abandoned him and neither should his congregation.

Christians have often been guilty of being the only army that shoots their wounded. This weekend as we “celebrate” Memorial Day, lets remember that we are to bind up the wounded and help to heal the broken hearted.

Pass me another hamburger,

Dr. Val

1 comment:

Jeff Neumann said...

Dr. Val:
I read with interest this and other writings of yours. The need for the church to value and restore (not necessarily to their position) those who have fallen is essential for the grace of God to be exibited.
I'm also interested as one who occaisionally fills the pulpit at the church in Trenton, IL. May God bless your ministry as you care for the people in the community of my birth.