Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Opus 2013-37: Headlines: Thinking, the Burden of Liberty

If you run through the popular bloggers you have come across many references and attempts to analyze President Obama’s second inaugural speech.  I didn’t watch the inauguration so I was interested in how it went.  Then I got to thinking, “Maybe I ought to read it myself.” 

What a crazy idea, reading the original source.

So I Googled it.  I found that I had to Google a second time and add the words “text” to my search.  The first time I came up with an abundance of hits but they all seemed to be linked with words like “analyzed,” “understanding,” “the meaning of,” and “translated.”  I finally found the actual speech.

I find his second inaugural to be an excellent example of a political speech.  It has sections of uplifting prose and lofty thoughts.  It also has pure politics, extreme left wing in Obama’s case, but what would you expect if he is being true to himself.  I also found that the entire speech could be read in the time it took to read someone else’s commentary.

So why not read it yourself.  I would guess that if you watched and listened it would still be good for you to read it again.

At this point I am going to resist my own analysis.  I really think you should read it yourself.  One of the problems with liberty is that it requires an informed and involved electorate.  The hard part is putting in the effort to deserve the freedoms that we have.  We prefer sound bites and cute summaries that reinforce our opinions.

Such is not the stuff of a free society.

One of the reasons that freedom as we know it developed in the Protestant areas of Europe is that those cultures were nurtured by a religious view that demanded personal buy-in.  Early Protestants were persecuted and murdered for translating the Bible and teaching people to think.  Mindless Christianity exits, in a sense, but it is not the Christianity of the Bible.  Living the Spirit filled life of the genuine follower of Jesus requires that we engage our mind as well as our heart.  This is true no matter what intellectual level you are at.

It is the difference between legalism and holiness.  One has rules.  Follow them and you are good to go.  You can bend and break anything else as long as all the boxes are checked.  This is the level of Christianity, and politics, that many people want.  Holiness demands a dynamic relationship with a living God that takes the expectations of an eternal, holy God and applies them to the ever changing challenges of living.

You cannot put liberty in a prefab box.  This applies whether it is political liberty or spiritual liberty.  You must engage, not just parrot.

So, whether it is the president’s speech, the Constitution, the Bible or the writings of anyone important:  Turn on your brain and read it yourself.

I realize we cannot read everything.  I realize there are times we must trust the word of others.  I also know we are too lazy to do what we should be doing.  That is offered as a confession, not just a condemnation.

homo unius libri


  1. I didn't watch it, but won't take the time to read it either. I already know enough about him and his followers to know that it doesn't even matter what he says. Don't take this as arguement, it's just that my time is limited and I think it's better spent elsewhere.

  2. I find myself having to make those kind of choices more frequently as I get older. You would not have been disappointed if you read it, he lived up to, or down to, all your expectations.

    Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.