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Too many moving parts

Updated: Aug 24


By Dr. Bascom Ratliff

Pastor, Parker/Beagle/Fontana United Methodist Churches

I have noticed an effort by many people to complicate God’s word and God’s love.

Many of these complications are a result of people attempting to politicize God’s word using the Bible to support their social or political views. They are fond of quoting Bible verses that support their rhetoric and omitting passages that counter their ideas.

Sometimes, I believe these folks become so caught up in themselves that they miss the whole point of Scripture. My buddy Joe refers to this enthusiastic cluttering up of God’s word and ideas as a situation that has way too many moving parts.

Joe believes (as do I) that we need to simplify our relationship with God and each other. When discussing our faith, we need to keep it simple. Doing God’s will is not complicated. He asks that we simply love him and love one another. He wants us to care for others. He invites everyone to his table.

When we put conditions on our love or invitations, we are failing to keep God’s promise of love and inclusivity. God wants everyone to share in His bounty.

Of course, I believe there are basic requirements for Christianity. We are to love others. We are to care for others. We are to love God. And we are to worship and praise God for His many blessings. However, these requirements should never be complicated, racially exclusive, or biased. If we exclude others because of their race, ethnicity, gender, or social status, we are not doing the work of God.

Our message to others should simply be that God loves them! Because of this love, he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins and guarantee us a seat at his heavenly banquet.

If you want to hear more about God’s wonderful promise of unfailing love and enjoy a great morning of music and worship, come visit us at the Fontana, Kansas, United Methodist Church during August on Sundays at 10 a.m. Please mark your calendars. We will worship at the Parker UMC in September and the Beagle UMC in October. All services are at 10 a.m. We’ll be sure to give you a warm welcome, a hot cup of coffee, and the best seats in the house.

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