SR026: MLK and Blessings from God

Jan 22

On This Episode of Sojourn Radio

On the Sojourn Radio podcast, today Ken and Mike talk about: Henry VIII, Martin Luther King Jr, LDS Apostle John Henry Smith, Quotes from John Calvin and Joseph Smith Jr, Louie Giglio and the Inaugural Prayer, LDS President Dieter F. Uchtdorf seeking truth, and we start our study in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

This Week in Church History

  • January 15, 1535: Henry VIII declares himself head of English Church (see issue 48: Thomas Cranmer).

  • January 15, 1929: Baptist minister Martin Luther King, Jr., America’s most visible civil rights leader from 1955 until his assassination in 1968, is born in Atlanta.

 

This Week in LDS History

130 years ago today – Jan 14, 1883 – Apostle John Henry Smith preaches in England: “I spoke upon the history of Joseph Smith and also upon the baptism for the dead and also upon the doctrine of plural marriage, stating that we do not teach that principal in England as it is contrary to the law.” At the time plural marriage was also contrary to U.S. law.
[Source: Advent Adam website (defunct) - based on http://amzn.to/originsofpower]

Theological Quotes

John Calvin - A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.

Mormon Quotes

 

“Verily, I say unto you, that the wisdom of man, in his fallen state, knoweth not the purposes and the privileges of my hold priesthood, but ye shall know when ye receive a fullness by reason of the anointing: For it is my will, that in time, ye should take unto you wives of the Lamanites and Nephites, that their posterity may become white, delightsome and just, for even now their females are more virtuous then the gentiles.”

- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., 1831 revelation, recorded in a letter from W.W. Phelps to Brigham Young, dated August 12, 1861

 

Theological News

Pastor pulls out of inauguration over anti-gay sermon
David Gibson  | Jan 10, 2013

(RNS) The evangelical pastor chosen by President Obama to deliver the benediction at his inauguration ceremonies withdrew on Thursday (Jan. 10) following a furor over a sermon from the mid-1990s in which he denounced the gay rights movement and advocated efforts to turn gays straight.

In a statement, the Rev. Louie Giglio of Atlanta, founder of the Passion Conferences for college-age Christians, did not directly renounce his remarks on gays but indicated that fighting gay rights is not one of his “priorities.”

Still, because of the controversy — which erupted on Wednesday after the liberal group Think Progress posted audio of the sermon — Giglio said that “it is likely that my participation, and the prayer I would offer, will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration.”

“Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past 15 years,” said Giglio, who was chosen to deliver the blessing at the Jan. 21 ceremony because of his longtime work against human trafficking.

“Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ. Neither I, nor our team, feel it best serves the core message and goals we are seeking to accomplish to be in a fight on an issue not of our choosing, thus I respectfully withdraw my acceptance of the President’s invitation.”

Addie Whisenant, a spokeswoman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, said in a statement that organizers were not aware of Giglio’s past comments when he was chosen — reportedly with Obama’s personal input. Giglio’s remarks “don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this Inaugural,” the statement said.

Giglio’s exit was swift, coming just 24 hours after the sermon went public. That illustrated not only a concern that nothing disturb the civic ritual of the presidential inauguration, but also showed how unsettled the nation remains on gay rights despite – or perhaps because of — the rapid changes in public opinion.

Four years ago when Obama chose California megachurch pastor Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural blessing, there was criticism because of his opposition to gay rights — the best-selling evangelical author had worked to pass Proposition 8, which ended gay marriages in California. But calls for him to step aside were ignored by both Warren and Obama.

Obama’s pick for defense secretary, former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, has faced criticism for his comments in 1998 about an openly gay Clinton nominee for ambassador. Hagel has since apologized and renounced those remarks as “insensitive.”

The Giglio dust-up is providing another opportunity for each side to highlight its message.

“Are all orthodox clergy now to be banished from civic life if they openly affirm their faith’s teachings about marriage and sexual ethics?” said Mark Tooley, president of the conservative Institute on Religion and Democracy.

“Are only clergy from declining liberal denominations now acceptable according to hyper political correctness? Will the same standard also apply to Muslims and members of other faiths who don’t subscribe to the views of Western secular elites?”

Gay rights groups, on the other hand, welcomed Giglio’s departure and pushed the administration to name a gay-friendly replacement.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation posted a list of 10 candidates, including Jay Bakker, son of former televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, and Rachel Held Evans, a popular evangelical author and blogger.

Whisenant said the inaugural would now look for a replacement for Giglio and “will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.”

The ceremonies will already feature a reading from poet Richard Blanco, a Cuban-American gay man, and the Lesbian and Gay Band Association of St. Louis will be marching in the inaugural parade.

Pastor Joel Hunter, a spiritual advisor to Obama and a Florida megachurch leader, said that Giglio had been a good choice for the inaugural benediction.

“He represents the next generation of ministry, he’s been a very public advocate against human trafficking, and he just had 40,000 young people down to Atlanta for the Passion conference.”

Hunter said the Giglio controversy reflects a media that digs for labels and soundbites, as well as the tightrope that conservative evangelicals walk on homosexuality.

“Some of us are trying to follow Scripture, but in no way want to discriminate against or demean someone with a different sexual orientation,” he said. “What gets reported, though, is only when we’re trying to articulate what Scripture says.”

Here is the full text of Giglio’s withdrawal statement:

I am honored to be invited by the President to give the benediction at the upcoming inaugural on January 21. Though the President and I do not agree on every issue, we have fashioned a friendship around common goals and ideals, most notably, ending slavery in all its forms.
Due to a message of mine that has surfaced from 15-20 years ago, it is likely that my participation, and the prayer I would offer, will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration. Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years. Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.
Neither I, nor our team, feel it best serves the core message and goals we are seeking to accomplish to be in a fight on an issue not of our choosing, thus I respectfully withdraw my acceptance of the President’s invitation. I will continue to pray regularly for the President, and urge the nation to do so. I will most certainly pray for him on Inauguration Day.
Our nation is deeply divided and hurting, and more than ever need God’s grace and mercy in our time of need.
Here is the text of a statement from the Presidential Inaugural Committee:
“We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this Inaugural. Pastor Giglio was asked to deliver the benediction in large part for his leadership in combating human trafficking around the world. As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.“

LDS News

President Uchtdorf: Seeking Truth Leads to Increased Understanding of Others
14 JANUARY 2013 — POSTED by SAMUEL B. HISLOP

The connection between seeking truth and increased understanding of others was one of the messages shared Sunday night by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at a worldwide Church Educational System (CES) broadcast.

“As you accept the responsibility to seek after truth with an open mind and a humble heart, you will become more tolerant of others, more open to listen, more prepared to understand, more inclined to build up instead of tearing down, and you will be more willing to go where God wants you to go,” President Uchtdorf said.

President Uchtdorf also relayed the fundamental Latter-day Saint beliefs (found in the Articles of Faith) in seeking after anything that is “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” whatever the source may be, and that God “will yet reveal many great and important things” to His children.

Additionally, President Uchtdorf said that Latter-day Saints are “not asked to blindly accept everything they hear.” Rather, members are “encouraged to think and discover truth” for themselves and “to ponder, to search, to evaluate and thereby to come to a personal knowledge of the truth.”

The worldwide broadcast was held in Provo, Utah.

BIBLE STUDY

Ephesians 1

(Eph 1.1-14) Our Blessings In Christ

1) WE HAVE BEEN CHOSEN
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

Q: Why have we been chosen?
A: Verse 4, That we should be holy and blameless before him

2) WE HAVE BEEN PREDESTINED
In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Q: Why have we been predestined?
A: Verse 6, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace

3) WE HAVE BEEN REDEEMED
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Q: Why have we been redeemed?
A: To unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

4) WE HAVE AN INHERITANCE
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

Q: Why do we have an inheritance?
A: So that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

5) WE ARE SEALED
13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Thanksgiving and Prayer
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened,
that you may know

  • what is the hope to which he has called you,
  • what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and
  • what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20
    • that he worked in Christ when
      • he raised him from the dead and
      • seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And
      • he put all things under his feet and
      • gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

 

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