Inside the Issue - Dear Sam
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Do you have a question about how Christianity can be applied in your daily life?  Read some questions and answers from RLC's column in the Pembroke Observer and feel free to ask your own questions!  This Blog will give you a sample of some past columns.


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Platitude-Hater- August 28th, 2010
September 2, 2010

Dear Sam,

  So many times your answers say that God has a plan. Fine and good, but what kind of freedom is that for me? And what if I can’t figure out that plan? Sounds like some kind of religious mumbo-jumbo. God’s plan certainly isn’t doing much for our poor world. I think we are supposed to be good people making moral, ethical, reasonable plans for ourselves. What do you think of that?

Dear Hater,

  I think you’re onto something. And you are right - platitudes are card-board box solutions that soon disintegrate. But your questions are valid and I’d like to field some comments.
   If God is a scoreboard or a robot or a dictator, then there is no freedom nor is there any individuality in his considerations. But God is a person, a personality, in fact he takes on a specific function in regards to human beings - he wants to be our Father. That means that there is a relationship with certain intentions for us. Some fathers are only cloning their own desires when they have children, and expect that their heirs will take over their business, or become award-winning athletes, or play the trumpet, etc. There is no freedom in that. But there may be fathers somewhere that help their children to discover their own talents and desires, encourage them, delight in their uniqueness and expect them to do the hard work of making their own decisions. That father has a harder job because he has to really “see” his children and has to disengage from living their lives for them. He gives them the freedom to become their true selves.
   I will posit that God is the Father who wants his children to become moral and ethical persons, but not necessarily reasonable as far as the culture and norm go. Here is a Father who is all for the many failures that finally lead to new discoveries. Here is a Father who would agree with selling everything to move across the world to aid the helpless. Here is a Father who has your back when you gain enemies because you fight for the right. Because he protects you, you are free to experiment with the many options before you. Because he has rigorously trained you to be self-disciplined, you can go the distance when the going gets tough.
God’s plan for his children is that they grow up, take the initiative, take responsibility and determine to make this world a place that reflects his image. His children will resemble him because they share his DNA, but they will not be clones of him or each other. They will be creative, stable, light-hearted and passionately caring. God’s plan is not to force something on you, but to release from within you all you can be.
   The only trouble with being moral, ethical and reasonable without God as your Father is that you will take credit when all goes well, but will have no one to turn to when trouble ensues. Then you might invent a god whom you can blame or yell at. That’s not very reasonable and not at all helpful. If you find the God who wants to help you discover your real self, who will train and discipline you, then kick you out of the nest and into the real, needy world - then you have encountered the Father-God, and you can be sure that his plans are for your personal development. You can trust him. You can depend on him. And you can cooperate with him in making this poor world richer. Don’t go it alone. Find him!

INSIDE THE ISSUE is authored thru Resurrection Lutheran Church, 250 Quarry Rd, Pembroke. Sunday Worship at 10:30am.  Find us at


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