Articles related to Larry Greenfield


Practice Lent Year-Round to Reduce Your Water Footprint
Practice Lent Year-Round to Reduce Your Water Footprint
By: Larry Greenfield
The Lenten practice of not eating meat has year-round benefits for the common good. That’s because the amount of water needed to feed the animals we consume far exceeds what's needed to grow veggies.
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Will CVS Cigarette Decision Draw New Customers?
Will CVS Cigarette Decision Draw New Customers?
By: Larry Greenfield
The nation's largest chain of drugstores, CVS/Caremark, said it will no longer sell cigarettes and other tobacco products in its stores. Tobacco sales are inconsistent with their purpose, CVS' CEO said.
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Why One Hall of Famer May Not Watch the Super Bowl
Why One Hall of Famer May Not Watch the Super Bowl
By: Larry Greenfield
Rayfield Wright, the football hall of famer for the Dallas Cowboys from 1967-79, isn't sure he'll watch the Super Bowl on Sunday. After multiple concussions, his attention span is too short. 
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Baptism's Fruit? Pursuit of Righteousness, Justice
Baptism's Fruit? Pursuit of Righteousness, Justice
By:  Larry Greenfield
Before Jesus' baptism, John the Baptist spoke about bearing fruit. And what fruit should our baptism produce? The start of our pursuit for righteousness and justice.
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Why Some in Congress Want to Avoid the Wilderness
Why Some in Congress Want to Avoid the Wilderness
John the Baptizer traveled the wilderness, calling others to repent. As poor families face the threat of more food stamp cuts, Congress seems eager to avoid the wilderness and a call to repentance.
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Public Prayers Have No Place in Political Settings
Public Prayers Have No Place in Political Settings
Public prayers in political settings are inappropriate for both religious and political reasons. Yet some religious folk tolerate and even endorse prayer before government proceedings.
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Rich Presumptuously Expect the Poor to Serve Them
Rich Presumptuously Expect the Poor to Serve Them
As the parable of the rich man and Lazarus reminds us, the rich are so presumptuous they expect the poor to serve them. You don't have to look farther than Congress to know this is still true today.
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Keeping the Lamp of the Affordable Care Act Lit
Keeping the Lamp of the Affordable Care Act Lit
The healing of body and mind was integral to Jesus' ministry. That's why we must stand up to those politicians who try to keep people from accessing the Affordable Care Act.
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Jesus' Division Will Eliminate All the Others
Jesus' Division Will Eliminate All the Others
Our nation is divided between haves and have-nots, rich and poor, well fed and hungry. Jesus, too, is interested in division, but it's one that will wipe out all the others.
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Building Bigger Barns While Ignoring the Hungry
Building Bigger Barns While Ignoring the Hungry
The U.S. House of Representatives, under the guise of cost cutting and fiscal responsibility, passed a farm bill that aids the rich and attacks the poor. It reflects Jesus' parable about a foolish farmer.
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Catholic Justices Break with Church's Advocacy for Workers
Catholic Justices Break with Church's Advocacy for Workers
In two rulings, five of the six Supreme Court justices, who are Roman Catholics, went against their church's tradition of advocating for the dignity and rights of workers.
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Where Have All the Prophets Gone?
Where Have All the Prophets Gone?
Unless citizens express their opposition, we will soon see the toll on the poor of across-the-board spending cuts and at least 14 states opting out of Medicaid expansion.
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Do You Use Clout to Serve Yourself or Others?
Do You Use Clout to Serve Yourself or Others?
Do you have clout? How do you use it? Some folks use it to deny sick and dying people access to affordable health care. Others use it to help people overcome poverty and illness.
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Why Religious Left Garners Less Attention Than Right
Why Religious Left Garners Less Attention Than Right
Not all Protestants and evangelicals gravitate to the Religious Right. Many focus on social justice issues. Yet in the media, the Right draws far more attention than the Left. Why?
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Lady Wisdom Reminds Us to Cry Out for Justice
Lady Wisdom Reminds Us to Cry Out for Justice
Are we willing to listen to Wisdom? In Scripture, she warns us of the danger of pride and arrogance. Perhaps we should travel with her along the way of righteousness and justice.
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As Dow Rises, Don't Forget Those Left Behind
As Dow Rises, Don't Forget Those Left Behind
The Dow breaks 15,000, and everyone starts cheering. Or are they? We must not forget the homeless, poor, elderly and children who suffer because of sequestration.
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What If Immigration Proposal Applied to Christianity?
What If Immigration Proposal Applied to Christianity?
The first-century church may have quarreled about who could be legitimate Christians, but let's be glad they didn't require all the steps proposed for undocumented immigrants.
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Democracy Demands Freedom, Liberty and Equality
Democracy Demands Freedom, Liberty and Equality
Margaret Thatcher was described as a champion of "freedom and liberty," but what about of equality? All are essential and inseparable components in democratic life and community.
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If You Were Resurrected, How Would You Live?
If You Were Resurrected, How Would You Live?
We don't know what Lazarus did with his life after being resurrected. Did he cower in obscurity to live a life with no risk or did he confront the religious and political powers?
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How Mary's One-Time Extravagance Benefitted You
How Mary's One-Time Extravagance Benefitted You
When Mary washed Jesus' feet with an expensive perfume, did she know something tragic was coming? And was Judas right to ask why her gift was not used for the poor?
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U.S. Christians Unfazed by Civilian Deaths in War
U.S. Christians Unfazed by Civilian Deaths in War
How do U.S. Christians respond to the death toll of innocent civilians, whether a few dozen in Somalia or hundreds of thousands in Iraq, in our wars? For many, they don't.
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Wilderness Temptation: Self-Interest vs. Common Good
Wilderness Temptation: Self-Interest vs. Common Good
As Jesus in the wilderness faced a choice between serving his own self-interest or the common good, so too must His followers decide what they will serve.
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Celebrating Equality for All – on Groundhog Day
Celebrating Equality for All – on Groundhog Day
Sure, it may be Groundhog Day on Feb. 2, but there's another reason to celebrate that day. Will you observe it by doing your part to ensure equality for everyone?
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When Jesus Had Options, He Chose Extravagance
When Jesus Had Options, He Chose Extravagance
Jesus repeatedly opts to overcome the deficits that people face not by austerity but by extravagance. It is also what he teaches his disciples: in the face of deficits, choose abundant generosity.
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Advent Rules: Do They Apply Seasonally or Annually?
Advent Rules: Do They Apply Seasonally or Annually?
Are the rules we observe during Advent just for the four Sundays before Christmas? Or do these principles apply to the Christian life throughout the year?
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George McGovern Proven the Winner
George McGovern Proven the Winner
The late George McGovern came at public issues with a shared understanding of the way religious faith can provide a foundation for work on behalf of justice and compassion.
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How Diverse Electorate is Good for Everyone
How Diverse Electorate is Good for Everyone
In the presidential election, the determining factor for the victor was attracting the votes of a diverse electorate. It's a change that may be redemptive for all of us.
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How Could Billy Graham Miss the Main Biblical Value?
How Could Billy Graham Miss the Main Biblical Value?
Jesus made it clear that love for God and love for others is the biblical value from which all others must follow. So how could Billy Graham have been so far off the mark?
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Why Christians Must Ignore Their Interests When Voting
Why Christians Must Ignore Their Interests When Voting
In the U.S. political process, citizens vote for their own self-interest. Shouldn't Christians reject their own interests and vote to support those without the power of the majority?
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The Paradigmatic Evangelism of Bill Clinton
The Paradigmatic Evangelism of Bill Clinton
We can beat the looming challenges that face us when we get the word out about what is working, Bill Clinton proclaims. It's what makes him a paradigmatic evangelist.
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How You Can Ace Jesus' Welcoming Test
How You Can Ace Jesus' Welcoming Test
As Chicago's teachers went on strike, many city churches opened their doors to students. They aced Jesus' test by welcoming the vulnerable. How do you measure up?
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Is the Nation Going the Wrong Way or Are You?
Is the Nation Going the Wrong Way or Are You?
Many in the U.S. think the nation is moving in the wrong direction. Perhaps we could learn from Jesus' encounter with a foreign woman who changed his mind.
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Jesus Fails as Health Expert, Wins as Heart Expert
Jesus Fails as Health Expert, Wins as Heart Expert
Washing hands before meals may not be a priority for Jesus, but he is concerned about what's in our hearts. And each election, our nation decides what is in our hearts.
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New Source of Mayhem and Death Stalks Illinois
New Source of Mayhem and Death Stalks Illinois
Chicago murders were down in July, and the overall crime rate is down 10 percent. However, a new source of injury, mayhem and death hit Illinois when drastic Medicaid cuts went into effect.
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How Political Campaigns, Revival Services Are Alike
How Political Campaigns, Revival Services Are Alike
Although they begin their work from different ends of the physical-spiritual spectrum, politicians in election campaigns and preachers in revival services are a lot alike.
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A Good Political Read for Professional and Lay Theologians
A Good Political Read for Professional and Lay Theologians
In this election year, "It's Even Worse Than It Looks" is required reading for people of faith who want a balanced look at the dysfunction in our U.S. democratic system.
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Chicago's Murders Climb. Will Jesus' Gang Keep Oath?
Chicago's Murders Climb. Will Jesus' Gang Keep Oath?
As Herod kept his oath and delivered John the Baptist's head on a platter, so too are gang members in Chicago keeping their oaths as the murder rate rises. Will Jesus' gang keep their oath?
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Faith-Filled Divestment of U.S. Businesses in Israel
Faith-Filled Divestment of U.S. Businesses in Israel
To participate in an investment campaign in and for Palestine without standing against Israel's subjection of the Palestinians sides with the oppressors and opposes the oppressed.
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Mustard Seed Parable: Time to Invest in Economy
Mustard Seed Parable: Time to Invest in Economy
As Jesus' mustard seed parable points out, it's not the time to practice austerity when the ground is bare. It's time to invest in seeds. Will economic and political leaders grasp this?
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After This Life, No Eternal Rest But Eternal Vitality
After This Life, No Eternal Rest But Eternal Vitality
To listen to the words offered at Christian funerals, eternal life sounds like perpetual and passive retirement. But isn't it truer to say it's the start of our work for God's reign eternally?
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Your U.S. Representative May Be a Heretic
Your U.S. Representative May Be a Heretic
There's a word for U.S. reps, who confess to follow Jesus Christ yet voted to restore cuts to the defense budget by slashing domestic programs that help the vulnerable. It's heretics.
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Does House GOP Fail Abiding Test of God's Love?
Does House GOP Fail Abiding Test of God's Love?
How do you know a person, group or nation abides in God's love? They help those in need when they possess the resources. With the House GOP seeking deep domestic cuts, do they pass?
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CEO as Commander in Chief: A Workable Model?
CEO as Commander in Chief: A Workable Model?
With the GOP presidential nominee all but confirmed, U.S. voters will need to decide if the CEO model of leadership is what the nation requires at this moment in its history.
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Why
Why "Obamacare" May Really Be Un-American
Christians who want to revoke the Affordable Care Act and offer no alternative will allow millions to suffer and die. And, as Jesus said, when you do it to the least of these, you're doing it to Him.
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Similar Scenes Hold Two Definitions of Success
Similar Scenes Hold Two Definitions of Success
Two strikingly similar feasts – one where the guest of honor is taking the mantle of Messiah, the other seeks the title of president – have one major difference.
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Rescuing the Temple of Democracy from Corruption
Rescuing the Temple of Democracy from Corruption
Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple, but will any Christians today challenge the wealthy and powerful who are corrupting the temple of democracy?
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Lent: A Call to Enter God's New Realm of Love
Lent: A Call to Enter God's New Realm of Love
We commonly think of Lent as a time of denial and discipline. While they are part of the Christian faith, Lent is also a call to leave the wilderness and enter God's new realm.
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Can Christians Be Conservative?
Can Christians Be Conservative?
What's the definition of an authentic follower of Jesus? A conservative or a liberal? A revolutionary for change or a reactionary against it? Mark's Gospel suggests an intriguing answer.
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Possessed Man Sees What Tame Crowd Overlooks
Possessed Man Sees What Tame Crowd Overlooks
When Jesus healed a possessed man, the crowd seemed to miss that unclean spirits were all around them. Today, do we miss the unclean forces that attack the vulnerable?
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Why Does Romney Disregard the Ninth Commandment?
Why Does Romney Disregard the Ninth Commandment?
GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney seems to routinely bear false witness, yet he could certainly make a strong case for his candidacy without the lies. So why does he do it?
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United States and Christianity – Authentic Inventions
United States and Christianity – Authentic Inventions
GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich called Palestinians an invented people, but is that so bad? In some respects, Christmas, the United States and even Christianity are inventions.
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Making the Most of Every Opportunity in Your Life
Making the Most of Every Opportunity in Your Life
We only have one life to make the best use of the time and gifts extended to us. But during that life, we have many chances to make decisions that inch us toward a more fulfilling life – or less so.
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Do You Get It? Generous God = Generous Followers
Do You Get It? Generous God = Generous Followers
If we believe God is generous, our actions toward those in need will reflect that generosity. But in a nation where the gap grows between the rich and the poor, have we missed that point?
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Learning to Invest – Not Bury – Our Faith
Learning to Invest – Not Bury – Our Faith
God's gift of faith must always be invested. Although it may seem safer to keep it to ourselves, we must share it with others even if we must stand up to those who are intent on gaining the whole world.
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Why Jesus Is Unimpressed with Your Title
Why Jesus Is Unimpressed with Your Title
Religious leaders may have earned certain titles, but Jesus had a strong warning for those who use titles for the purpose of lifting themselves above others.
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Many in the 99 Percent Are Far From Poverty
Many in the 99 Percent Are Far From Poverty
Those who occupy Wall Street don't have the wealth of the 1 percent. However, as they demand their slice of the economic pie, they're also not in the same league as the truly impoverished.
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Bowing Down to the God of Economic Liberty
Bowing Down to the God of Economic Liberty
What we increasingly hold as civically sacred is not just liberty at the expense of justice and equality, but also a particular kind of liberty – economic liberty – at the expense of everything else.
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A Wedding Invitation
The heavenly host and the son of the heavenly host are moving the banquet table out of where these wedding celebrations normally take place and are setting up tables out there where the new invitees are.
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What Does God Expect from His Tenants?
What Does God Expect from His Tenants?
Like Jesus' parable of the tenants who refused to pay a landlord the profits from his vineyard, do we have more in common with the current tenants or the new ones?
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Many Work Hard But Can't Earn What They Need
Many Work Hard But Can't Earn What They Need
At first glance, Jesus' parable about laborers' wages seems harsh, but each worker was paid what he needed. If only today's laborers, beset by a bleak economy, received such equal treatment.
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Cutting Kids' Programs – The New Corporal Punishment
Cutting Kids' Programs – The New Corporal Punishment
While attitudes change toward corporal punishment in the U.S., politicians who push for cuts in programs that benefit poor children practice another form of corporal punishment.
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Does Jesus' Definition of Defilement Apply to Standard & Poor's?
Does Jesus' Definition of Defilement Apply to Standard & Poor's?
Jesus was clear that humans were defiled by the evil thoughts and deeds that spring from their hearts. Should individual corporate bodies, such as Standard & Poor's, be held to the same standard?
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Democracy's Banquet – It's For All Not a Select Few
Democracy's Banquet – It's For All Not a Select Few
When Jesus invited thousands to a banquet, the disciples were peeved that they didn't have an intimate bread-and-fish dinner. Much like today, many are peeved that our democracy is for everyone rather than a few.
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What a Mustard Seed Teaches about Government's Size
What a Mustard Seed Teaches about Government's Size
Activists for smaller government must be delighted to know we soon will have fewer teachers, caseworkers and drug counselors. Instead of asking if government's too big, we should ask if it's providing essential services.
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A Useful Lesson on Jesus' Bad-Parable Day
A Useful Lesson on Jesus' Bad-Parable Day
The original meaning of Jesus' parable of the sower is an enigma. We may never know the central point, but it may cause us to reflect on how useful or useless we are for the kingdom.
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Think You're Free? We're All Enslaved to Something
Think You're Free? We're All Enslaved to Something
Whether it's sin or righteousness, we're all enslaved to something, the Apostle Paul wrote. As a nation, many of us are enslaved to pride, wrath, greed and envy. When will we become slaves to a nobler cause?
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Revising Pledge of Allegiance for U.S. Politicians
Revising Pledge of Allegiance for U.S. Politicians
After giving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 24 standing ovations during his 50-minute speech before Congress, maybe it's time for our national politicians to revise their pledge of allegiance.
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Health Care Reform: Aligning With God of Life or Death?
Health Care Reform: Aligning With God of Life or Death?
When fully implemented, health care reform will expand insurance to better than 30 million Americans. Without it, an estimated 28,000 Americans will die needlessly each year. It's a life-or-death choice.
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Two Kinds of Leaders: Shepherds and Thieves
Two Kinds of Leaders: Shepherds and Thieves
Jesus made it clear that he's the gate that protects the sheep. Those who lead his sheep fall in one of two categories – shepherds or thieves. Which leaders are today's sheep following?
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Selective Forgiveness Rules After Financial Crisis
Selective Forgiveness Rules After Financial Crisis
A panel appointed by Congress to investigate the financial crisis only sent a handful of cases to the Justice Department. In another case of selective forgiveness, the powerful and wealthy benefit.
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Did Followers in Jesus' Time Understand Who He Was?
Did Followers in Jesus' Time Understand Who He Was?
The crowds following Jesus saw him as more than doing God's saving work only through individuals. They believed salvation and redemption worked in religious communities, economic orders and political systems.
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Why Some Choose Blindness to Society's Needs
Why Some Choose Blindness to Society's Needs
Jesus' healing of a blind man, which frustrated others in society, reminds us healing is still needed today. Many need health care; our earth and our economy are sick. Yet some are blind to these needs.
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How Congress' Trips to Well Hurt the Vulnerable
How Congress' Trips to Well Hurt the Vulnerable
The stop-gap spending bills to keep the government running have caused chaos with federal agencies. The poor, vulnerable and young are hit the hardest by these frequent trips to the well.
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 Budget-Cutting Politicians – God's Lenten Helpers?
Budget-Cutting Politicians – God's Lenten Helpers?
How do politicians, especially those who claim to be Christians, religiously justify cutting programs that help the poor, the weak, the vulnerable and the young? Maybe they think they're God's "Lenten Helpers."
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Happy Valentine's Day: A Do-Over to Get It Right
Happy Valentine's Day: A Do-Over to Get It Right
Jesus probably would have tolerated Valentine's Day, that day we focus on the special someone's in our lives. But he may have reminded us of God's higher ideal – that we are to love everyone. No exceptions.
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Sargent Shriver – True Candidate for Sainthood
Sargent Shriver – True Candidate for Sainthood
Sargent Shriver, perhaps best known as the founder of the Peace Corps, died last month at the age of 95. He attended to the social teachings of the Catholic Church and dedicated his life to the service of others.
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How Our Divided Nation Can Agree to Move Forward
How Our Divided Nation Can Agree to Move Forward
Our divided nation will not come together anytime soon, but we can agree to certain ground rules to avoid violence and resolve conflicts, a columnist observes. Paul faced a similar division with the Corinthian church.
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Will Constitution's Reading in U.S. House Resonate?
Will Constitution's Reading in U.S. House Resonate?
When the Constitution is read at the beginning of the new session of the House of Representatives, may it be more than a ritualistic gesture and serve as a reminder of the responsibilities of our public officials.
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Thousands of Years Later, We Still Favor the Rich
Thousands of Years Later, We Still Favor the Rich
With its message about the wealth disparity in the early church, James is just as relevant today, with politicians ready to extend income tax reductions for the rich.
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Many Will Die if Health-Care Reform is Dismantled
Many Will Die if Health-Care Reform is Dismantled
Many GOP politicians repudiate health care as a universal right and are determined to dismantle or defund health-care reform. If they do, millions will have no hope for coverage and many will die.
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Why Are Christians Silent on a Just Tax Policy?
Why Are Christians Silent on a Just Tax Policy?
There seems to be a roar of approval for reducing taxes with little concern for those who would be hurt by the curtailing of government services. When will Christians rise up for a just tax policy in our nation?
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Are the Affluent Being Treated Unjustly?
Are the Affluent Being Treated Unjustly?
Highly paid financial employees complain new reforms will limit their bonuses. Wealthy folks are incensed their tax cuts will expire. It seems the wrong people are crying out for justice.
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When Politics Leads Others from Jesus' Teachings
When Politics Leads Others from Jesus' Teachings
Jesus had harsh words for his followers who led newcomers in the faith to sin. His warning should be heeded by those who urge others who are new in the faith to take political positions opposed to Jesus' teachings.
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Glenn Beck: Defending Faith or Perverting Gospel?
Glenn Beck: Defending Faith or Perverting Gospel?
Glenn Beck declared that President Obama practiced a religion that was "a perversion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ" by focusing on victims and the oppressed. Yet these are the very people that Jesus invited.
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Mosque Critics Favor Broken Relationships, Oppose Healing
Mosque Critics Favor Broken Relationships, Oppose Healing
The civic and religious leaders opposed to an Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero are not interested in restoring relationships. Isn't it time for people of all faiths and no faith to work and play together?
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A Scriptural Response to the Immigration Debate
A Scriptural Response to the Immigration Debate
As Christians look to Scripture to determine a biblical response to the current immigration debate, a passage in Hebrews delivers a stark reminder. The parent of our faith family was an undocumented immigrant.
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What It Takes To Understand God's Forgiveness
What It Takes To Understand God's Forgiveness
We cannot begin to comprehend God's awesome capacity to forgive our deep and profound sins if we do not also have some sense of our sinfulness as well as our human capacity to do good as a minimal level.
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What Jesus Could Have Said About Unemployment
What Jesus Could Have Said About Unemployment
Jesus may not have talked about the unemployed, but he could have. What would he have said about more than 14.6 million out of work today and about the politicians who don't care to extend unemployment benefits?
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As Deficits Grow, Will We Sacrifice Those in Need?
As Deficits Grow, Will We Sacrifice Those in Need?
Christians, in their freedom from self-preoccupation and from the law, are to work for the common good of the whole human family. Now that our nation is no longer flush with cash, will we choose to sacrifice those most in need?
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Recognizing Our Sin Affects Our Capacity to Love
Recognizing Our Sin Affects Our Capacity to Love
To recognize the full extent of one's sins allows for those sins to be forgiven. To recognize only partially the extent of one's sins allows for only partial forgiveness and, in turn, the capacity to love little.
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Today's 'Centurions' Let Those in Need Suffer
Today's 'Centurions' Let Those in Need Suffer
Today's politicians have much to learn from the centurion who knew the limits of his authority before Jesus. They are more concerned with their own survival and refuse to submit to the authority of serving the common good.
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When Churches Deny Full Equality to Women
When Churches Deny Full Equality to Women
The Rev. Janine Denomme, who devoted her life to the Catholic Church and had been ordained as a priest, died on May 17. That ordination was grounds to deny her a Roman Catholic burial at her local parish.
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Are Tea Partiers Right to 'Throw the Bums Out'?
Are Tea Partiers Right to 'Throw the Bums Out'?
Is it time to vote some politicians out? Maybe the Tea Party crowd is right – just for the wrong reason. Too many politicians don't have the courage to raise taxes to allow government to function as it should.
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How Paying Taxes Can Be a Sacrament
How Paying Taxes Can Be a Sacrament
Paying taxes is a sign of membership in our democracy, which the anti-tax crowd fails to grasp. Even Boston Tea Party folks didn't oppose paying taxes; they opposed paying them to a government that wasn't their own.
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Economic Recovery on the Poor's Backs
Economic Recovery on the Poor's Backs
How is the nation redeeming itself after years of reckless economic growth? Rather than drawing on the abundance among us, we're forcing the poorest among us to endure the suffering for the rest of us.
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Off The Hook on Health Care? Not So Fast
Off The Hook on Health Care? Not So Fast
Why should Christians be involved in the health-care debate and budget reconciliation? After all, Paul said we no longer consider things from a human point of view, right? You better take a closer look.
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What Tea Party Protesters Get Right
What Tea Party Protesters Get Right
Christians can learn something from the tea partiers. We ought to be in serious discussions about a whole range of issues that must include the roles of government.
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With Authority From God, Why Don't We Help?
With Authority From God, Why Don't We Help?
Jesus gave authority to his disciples to cast out demons and cure diseases, according to Luke's Gospel, but they couldn't help a demon-possessed child. If God gives us authority, why do we not use it to help?
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A Love Body
I’ve been introduced to you this morning as Larry Greenfield, the Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago, but that was just a cover so I didn’t draw too much attention to myself. Actually I’m your old – maybe “ancient” would be a better word – your ancient brother in Christ, Paul…Paul from Tarsus
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 Worship Should Be More Than Routine
Worship Should Be More Than Routine
Jesus' custom was to attend church but he broke the customary way to worship. Are we comfortable with worship that has become part of our routine or that compels us to change our communities?
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Jesus Turns Water into Wine, Profane into Sacred
Jesus Turns Water into Wine, Profane into Sacred
Jesus' first recorded miracle is more than turning water into wine. It's a reminder that we often distort what it means to be righteous, keeping something set apart when it's meant to be shared and celebrated with all.
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The Contemporary Cries in Palestine at Christmas: Part Two
The Contemporary Cries in Palestine at Christmas: Part Two
Amid all the cries of joy and jubilation at the Christmas season, will we finally hear the cries of those in the Middle East who await the coming of the God of justice and peace?
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The Ancient Cries in Palestine at Christmas: Part One
The Ancient Cries in Palestine at Christmas: Part One
Months after the joyous cries of Elizabeth and Mary for the births of their sons, another cry was heard from mothers in and around Bethlehem. But these were not cries of joy.
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Do 90 Percent of Us Not Want to Hear Injustice?
Do 90 Percent of Us Not Want to Hear Injustice?
Does 90 percent of America have hearing loss? They do if you count people who willfully ignore what is happening in the world. Many tune out the lack of health care, rampant Wall Street greed and other injustices.
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Will We Deliver? Our Nation's Hannahs Need Health Care
Will We Deliver? Our Nation's Hannahs Need Health Care
At first glance, Eli was quick to dismiss Hannah as a drunken woman but soon learned she had real needs. Will our senators be an Eli to the millions of Hannahs without health care? Or will they walk away?
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Raising a Stink: Resurrecting Democracy from Death
Raising a Stink: Resurrecting Democracy from Death
Pay-to-play politics has brought about the death of democracy in Illinois. A group of citizens tried to resurrect it, like Lazarus, but their efforts were thwarted. Will someone have the courage to raise a stink?
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Don't Let Rhetoric Rule: Ensure Climate-Change Justice
Don't Let Rhetoric Rule: Ensure Climate-Change Justice
A different kind of health-care legislation is facing Congress. Climate-change legislation will ensure our planet's health, but will Christians step up to make sure the poor aren't burdened?
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 Question Marked: What Did Jesus Mean by
Question Marked: What Did Jesus Mean by "Don't Defraud"?
When asked about how to achieve eternal life, Jesus said, among other things, to not defraud, which is taking that which someone else deserves. What are the implications for us today?
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Optical Illusions: Our
Optical Illusions: Our "Racial Lenses" Distort Reality
We don't often see them, but many of us wear racial lenses that distort our reality. Somehow we must find corrective lenses to help us conquer our racist distortion of reality.
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 Politicians' Favoritism Rejects Democracy's Ideal
Politicians' Favoritism Rejects Democracy's Ideal
When politicians favor the wealthy – those who make large campaign contributions, for example – over those who can't even afford health care, they violate the fundamental principle of equality for all.
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Commodity or Right? Going On Offensive for Health Care
Commodity or Right? Going On Offensive for Health Care
The health care debate seems to be largely taking place among those who have chosen to treat health as a commodity, rather than an essential right. Do Christians need to go on the offensive?
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Can Baptists Learn to Perpetually Adore Jesus?
Can Baptists Learn to Perpetually Adore Jesus?
While Baptists don't hold to the idea that the bread in the Eucharist transforms into Christ, we might be a little envious of the revival of the practice of perpetual adoration.
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The Family's DNA
There’s nothing, absolutely nothing, coercive about what I’m going to invite you to do now. It’s just this: in silence to recognize and to focus on your Ultimate Parent who makes you a part of an all-inclusive family, whose DNA is love, to recognize that God is strengthening you through the power of God’s Spirit to be a lover and someone who has the capacity to care not just for yourself but for others, to receive Christ into your heart again today, to let his DNA work within you so that you can recover and reclaim your own essential DNA, and to recognize, through the eyes of faith, that you are being rooted and grounded in love.
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Trash Talking: When Litterbugs Bug You
Trash Talking: When Litterbugs Bug You
Picking up after the neighborhood's litterbugs is an irritating and often thankless chore. When someone overturns the trash cans, anger can be justified. Or can it?
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Will We Make Sure Everyone Has an Abundance?
Will We Make Sure Everyone Has an Abundance?
All four Gospels, especially John, contain lots of theology about Jesus' feeding of the multitudes, but let's make sure we don't miss the point. Everyone is fed.
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Why Do Politicians Love Complex Solutions?
Why Do Politicians Love Complex Solutions?
Politicians often take a simple answer and make it complex. Look at Illinois, where lawmakers axed a panel's simple reforms for a complex system favoring incumbents and party leaders.
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Maybe the Church Needs to Lose Power
Maybe the Church Needs to Lose Power
Jesus’ encounter with a hemorrhaging woman is a lesson for the church. If we haven’t felt a power loss, do we deserve to be called the Body of Christ?
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Too Many Politicians Please Party Leaders, Not Constituents
Too Many Politicians Please Party Leaders, Not Constituents
Elected officials have an obligation of aiming to please those they represent through the adoption and implementation of policies that justly serve the needs of all, rather than serving themselves or their political benefactors.
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When Man Plays God: Taking Away Creation's Breath
When Man Plays God: Taking Away Creation's Breath
The psalmist extols God's role as giver and taker of life, but some have taken God's place, satisfying their individual needs at the expense of other creatures, their own species and even the planet.
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Can We Rekindle Our Love for Society's Less Fortunate?
Can We Rekindle Our Love for Society's Less Fortunate?
Our nation's divorce rate shows it's not easy for married people to stay in love. But what about those outside our immediate circle of love and care? It's easy to divorce ourselves from society's less fortunate when times were good.
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Politicians Leave Poor to be Devoured by Economic 'Wolves'
Politicians Leave Poor to be Devoured by Economic 'Wolves'
Like the hired hands of Jesus' day who ran for safety instead of protecting the sheep from wolves, many politicians lack the courage to protect the growing number of people who are suffering.
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Did Lent Fail? For the Extraordinary Among Us, It Seems So
Did Lent Fail? For the Extraordinary Among Us, It Seems So
For society's extraordinary individuals who ruined our global economy, violated human rights with torture and used politics for personal gain, it seemed that Lent failed. It's up to the ordinary among us to manifest God's love.
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Knee-Bending Lifestyle Places Others Before Self
Knee-Bending Lifestyle Places Others Before Self
When Paul says every knee ought to bow, it's not as a ritual of religious homage. It's a physical act that serves as an ethical symbol of the way one is choosing to live one's own life as we serve others before ourselves.
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Created for Good Works – Just Like the BMW Sports Wagon
Created for Good Works – Just Like the BMW Sports Wagon
The 2009 BMW 535i xDrive Sport Wagon costs $72,000-plus. It makes sense that something created for good works will come with high costs. The writer of Ephesians appreciated that truth.
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Resolving Middle East Conflict Requires More Than Prayers
Resolving Middle East Conflict Requires More Than Prayers
While prayer and financial support are important keys to resolving the conflict in the Middle East, they are not the only keys. Our own silence and complacency must end if justice and peace are to prevail.
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Lose Some Life to Save Some
Lose Some Life to Save Some
Americans have been led to think that all they have to care for is their own selves. And that turns out to be a lot of people in this country—people who have bought into, whether upon deep examination or casual and almost unconscious commitment, a comprehensive philosophy of self-interest.
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Environmentalists Must Understand Thanksgiving
We ought to give contemporary environmentalists a little slack for misreading Psalm 50.
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Exorcizing the Demons
Exorcizing the Demons
If it is the case that the true follower of Jesus continues to be commissioned to engage in the ministry of exorcism -- of exposing and casting out demons in people, in communities and in the structures of societies -- then Patrick Fitzgerald and his staff ought not to be the only ones exposing and casting out demons in the city, state and nation.
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Don’t Fritter Away Opportunity for New Creation
Don’t Fritter Away Opportunity for New Creation
Maybe more than doing an updated, imaginative and expanded version of Jesus’ call to his disciples, we need to listen again to what, cryptically stated, he said was at stake.
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Hope for Change in the Middle East
More than anything else, it appears the American populace may simply be too disinterested or too distracted to engage in believable change on this issue, despite its obvious far-reaching importance not just in the region but across the globe.
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Senators Must Be Immune to Abuse of Power
Could it be that Democratic leaders Harry Reid and Dick Durbin didn’t get immunized to the abuse of power?
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The Gospel of—or About—Jesus
The alternatives here are not between leaving Jesus in or out of the gospel picture. Jesus figures centrally in both options, but in much different roles. In one he is the decisive object of faith. In the other he is the decisive figure who points to the object of faith by his words and deeds and who invites others to be a part of the new thing that God is doing.
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Put Matthew 25 on Your 'To-Do' List
What about putting at least a minimum number of acts of charity on one's daily "to-do" list and committing oneself to checking them off when they are completed?
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Vote Twice, at Least
Our county has such immense power, influence, and control over the lives of other nations and peoples that it would be unjust and irresponsible for individual Americans to vote only on their own self-identity and self interest within a national context.
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Forgiving Bin Laden … and the Governor of Illinois
It's pretty tempting, after the commemoration of the 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001, to make the case--based on Jesus' teaching about forgiving an offender 70-multiplied-by-seven times--that serious Christians ought to figure out how to extend that forgiveness to brother bin Laden and his Al Qaeda accomplices.
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Gospel Tears Down Idols and Shrines of Politics and Race
Analyzing election results is a tricky business, even for the experts, and I'm no expert. But it's hard, at least for me, not to try to get a feeling for what is happening and finding patterns that reveal where the electorate is heading, even if the sampling is a single state like Pennsylvania.
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Descending and Ascending
The writer of the Gospel of John has John the Witness (a.k.a. John the Baptist in the other Gospels) saying, upon seeing Jesus approaching him:
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