Daily Archives: October 25, 2008

Why I Wish I Could Vote for Don Coleman

Don Coleman is a good friend and spiritual mentor who is running for the 7th district seat on the Richmond School Board. I just finished talking with him on his porch, and I believe he is the kind of man that most people want to see run and win public office.

I wish I lived in his district so that I could vote for him. Unfortunately, I don’t live in the city. But on election day, I will be out in his district encouraging voters to vote for him. Beyond just his personal friendship, I cherish Don as a truly unique individual. He knows how to bring people together and inspire them to work for a greater good. His faith guides his actions.

Here’s why I wish I could vote for Don. If you are in his district, consider electing my friend who will work to solve many of the problems in the Richmond Public Schools.

  • Don truly cares about the community and has volunteered for years to encourage people to reach their full potential.
  • Don will work across party lines and seek to reconcile divided factions that have paralyzed the city over the past few years.
  • Don is truly running to bring unity and develop solutions not out of some sense of ego or self fulfillment. He handles authority well and knows how to listen to get to the root of problems.
  • Don has lived a life of struggle and is familiar with the problems facing many kids today.
  • Don brings years of experience working with kids, families and education.
  • Quite simply, Don is one of the best men that I know.

Find out more at http://doncoleman.org

Genesis 3:1-7

A closer reading of mankind’s great fall in Genesis 3 has brought a number of things to my attention that I have not seen in the past. One of the greatest aspects of Biblical study is that you never reach the bottom.

Here are some notable things that jumped out in a group discussion as well as some of my own “original” observations.

  • The story starts out describing the snake as more crafty than the other beasts of the field. God obviously made the snake so we don’t know if crafty here is supposed to be a good thing.
  • The identity of the snake is never connected with Satan in this passage. For starters, it seems strange to us that a snake would talk. But Eve doesn’t seem to be affraid or give any sense that a talking snake is odd. The snake could have been possesed by Satan or possibly influenced by demons. On the other hand, there is no textual proof to indicate that the snake acted in malice except Eve’s accusation when confronted by God. Could this merely be a snake that innocently asked the wrong questions?
  • The NT book of Revelation cleerly states the snake in its prophecy is Satan. The concept about Jesus crushing the head of the snake suggests that the snake symbolizes Satan. This issue is hotly debated by Biblical scholars and preachers.
  • The snake framed its question to focus on the liberty of the individual. I find this interesting in a society that focuses on individual rights.
  • Eve replied that they could eat of all the fruit of the trees except for one. Then, she added that they couldn’t even touch the fruit. This goes beyond what Adam was told. He received the instruction before Eve was created. We don’t know if Eve added to what God said or Adam did it. We don’t know if God added some additional parameters to help protect Adam and Eve. This brings up the rabbinic concept of hedges and fences around the law. These extra little rules made it difficult to transgress the law. Maybe this was the first law hedge.
  • No where in the text does it tell us what kind of fruit it was that Adam and Eve ate. Literature has developed the notion that it was an apple. But it could have been almost anything. This shows us that some of our general concepts about a passage may be wrong because we have been more influenced by tradition than what the text actually says.
  • The snake said that you will not surely die. The Hebrew indicates that the snake mentioned death twice in this response. That is where we translate the “surely” part. But this could have meant to describe more than one type of death. The original Hebrew is not clear.

Engaging Questions for The Church of Today

Sometimes we have to stop and ask the right questions if we want to see the necessary change in our lives. Without asking any tough questions, can we really expect to see transformation in our lives and communities?

These are some questions that have challenged me recently?

  • When was the last time I took a major leap of faith?
  • Who would Jesus vote for?
  • What would a truly “Christian” nation look like?
  • When was the last time I did a favor for a neighbor?
  • Should Christians worry about the economy?
  • How can I share my political beliefs while respecting the opinions of those I disagree with?
  • When was the last time I sat in silence for 10 minutes?
  • How many people in my cell phone are non-Christians?
  • How is my life serving the Kingdom of God?
  • Why do grades matter so much to me?
  • Why is Sunday morning the most racially segregated time of the week in America?
  • When will churches stop inviting people to come in and start going out?
  • Does Christian marketing make baby Jesus cry?