Note To Ted Haggard

Charisma Magazine reports in a recent article that defrocked minister, Ted Haggard is upset with the Church because he claims it hasn’t helped him be restored to the ministry.

You remember Ted Haggard, he was the dude who was preaching against homosexuality while allegedly engaging in drug-fueled sexual conduct with his homosexual masseur. (It should be noted Haggard denies the relationship was buggery-based).

Complaining about his treatment since his rather public defrocking Charisma reports Haggard as saying: “The church only believes in forgiveness and restoration for insignificant people . . . Virtually every institution on earth is demonstrating that they’re doing a better job restoring people than the church.” Continue reading “Note To Ted Haggard”

How To Know If You Are Legalistic

After rereading yesterday’s blog post, I became concerned I might be misinterpreted, that some of you might mistakenly think I was suggesting Christians shouldn’t participate in organized athletics when I was simply using sarcasm to make a point about some things that are wrong with organized athletics.

I was afraid you might think I was a legalist, and I know I’m not a legalist. After all, I drink martinis, go to R-rated movies and make regular trips to Las Vegas to play blackjack.  (Note: I don’t get drunk, I turn away during nude scenes at movies and I don’t gamble with money I can’t afford to lose). Continue reading “How To Know If You Are Legalistic”

On Discretion

Discretion is of late an unheralded virtue.  To give the virtue its due, I herald it here.

The definition of “discreet” is “[m]arked by, exercising, or showing prudence and wise self-restraint in speech and behavior; circumspect.” (The American Heritage Dictionary, 4th Ed.).

Here are some aphorisms on discretion from the Bible, some from me and one from a portly Brit:


“As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.” (Proverbs 11:22).

“A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression.”  (Proverbs 19:11).

“When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you…” (Proverbs 2:10-11).

“Imprudence speaks then thinks; discretion thinks and remains silent.”

“Discretion is a friend to the wise, but a stranger to the foolish.”

“He who exerecises discretion exercises wisdom.”

“Tact is the unsaid part of what you think.”  Winston Churchill

Boethius On Congressman Rangel


Anicius Boethius (A.D. 480-524) was a Roman Christian philosopher who lived just after its last emperor was deposed.  He had progressed to the highest of political offices in Rome before being accused (falsley, he contended) of a conspiracy against the government.

While in prison awaiting his death, he wrote his classic, The Consolation of Philosophy. In discussing those things men seek to make them happy, but which are unable to confer true happiness, he comes to political office.

Boethius writes: “But it is said, when a man comes to high office, that makes him worthy of honour and respect.  Surely such offices don’t have the power of planting virtue in the minds of those who hold them, do they?  Or of removing vices?  No: the opposite is true.  More often than removing wickedness, high office brings it to light, and this is the reason why we are angry at seeing how often high office has devolved upon the most wicked of men…”

Yesterday a panel of eight members of the U.S. House of Representatives found Congressman Charles Rangel guilty on 11 counts of ethical wrongdoing.  Tomorrow the full Ethics Committee will determine his punishment.

Earlier this year former representative, Eric Messa, who had resigned from Congress amid sexual harassment allegations, admitted to groping a male staffer.  (The rumor is he has now applied for a job with the TSA).  Before that former Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards had a love child with a female staffer while his wife was battling cancer, lied to the nation about it, and then finally came clean when the National Inquirer produced pictures.

We watch this perverse play and it is tempting to say, “All politicians are scoundrels and liars.”  But as Boethius correctly noted 1,500 years ago, it’s not that all politicians are that, but that men are that, and high political office exposes them for what they are.  The problem is not with politicians but with men.  And only Jesus can make better men. GS

A Tale Of Two Travelers

I’ve spent the entire day at the airport.  My wife and I arrived at 9:30 a.m. for our 10:50 a.m. flight. First, it was delayed for nearly three hours.  Then, once we boarded, our plan was stuck in line on the tarmac for an hour waiting to take off because of the weather. Our plane then pulled out of the line because we had a mechanical problem.  When it couldn’t be fixed, we taxied back to the gate where we waited and later deplaned when the flight was cancelled.  Not good.

By the time those of us who had been on the flight got into the long line back at the gate to try to find alternative flights to our destinations, it was 4:30 p.m, and it looked like it would take an hour before we reached the desk to find out our options.  People were not happy.

While standing in line, I overheard a man behind me on the phone, explaining in a loud, angry tone to whomever the events of the last 7 hours.  He blamed the airline for making us wait out on the tarmac for an hour and for making us wait while they tried to fix the problem and then for not canceling the flight sooner.

As I tried to tune him out, I heard another man directly behind me also talking on the phone, explaining to someone what had happened.  His voice was calm and pleasant.  “Brother, it’s all good,” he said, “It’s better they cancelled the flight than that we all end up with our heads between our knees on landing.  It’s for the best.  We’ll see you when we get there. Lord bless you.”

I suspected the second man was a Christian, and I was right.  Over the next 30 minutes I engaged him in conversation.  It turns out he and his wife were on their way to a Christian conference.  He had a delightful attitude and he even drew a smile from the airline representative, who had been dealing with angry customers all day.  It made me proud to be a Christian.

As I write this, it’s 7:45 p.m. and I’m still stuck in the same airport.  It’s not clear whether our new flight will be cancelled. It’s ok though because there are more important things, like being a good ambassador for the King and His kingdom.  GS