Rights & Responsibilities

 In Featured, Pastor Jeff's Blog

Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ, who, though he was God, did not demand and cling to his rights as God, but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men.  And he humbled himself even further, going so far as actually to die a criminal’s death on a cross. – Philippians 2:5-8

Being citizens of this land grants us many rights and freedoms for which I am most grateful.

Being citizens of the Kingdom of God sometimes calls us to set aside those rights and freedoms for the sake of our neighbor.

Jesus, who is our lodestar, surrendered heaven and his earthly life for the sake of sinners like us.

St. Paul, in his first letter to the church in Corinth, taught that Christians are free to eat meat sacrificed to idols but that they should surrender that right if doing so might injure the conscience of a neighbor.

Martin Luther put it this way, “A Christian is the most free lord of all, subject to none; a Christian is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to everyone.”

Any conversation about “my rights” that doesn’t also prioritize “my responsibilities to my neighbor” has strayed off the path of following Jesus.

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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Showing 4 comments
  • Marilyn Tubbs
    Reply

    Thanks for encouraging us, empowering us and challenging us!!!!

  • Dave Carlson
    Reply

    I find it offensive that a Pastor should use a meme that calls people a name with the point of bulling them for political reasons. I find it disgusting that he would do so in the name of Christ. Your view of rights is misguided at best.

    I put on the uniform and fought for these rights. They are only second to God in my heart and are above my own life. I swore an oath that I would protect and defend these rights for all people including those people yet to come. I still hold myself to that oath. That you should so easily dismiss these rights tells me that you don’t at all understand them or what has been sacrificed for us to enjoy them. I pray you never learn.

    If posting your meme injures my conscience should you not under Paul’s recommendation remove it? Are you not judging others when you tell them they have “strayed off the path of following Jesus”?

    I have grown tired and frustrated with the politics of our church. My feeling is that the church has taken to bending the Gospel to meet a particular political view rather than letting the Gospel and Holy Spirit lead us. For that reason, I’m very uncomfortable calling POP my church home anymore.

    • Jeff Marian
      Reply

      I’m sorry that you found the meme offensive David. I have now taken it down and replaced with something else. But I stand by the post itself. Biblically (not politically) our rights must be balanced with the high calling to love and care for our neighbor. That doesn’t diminish our rights. It expresses our commitment to Jesus and the Kingdom. It’s not an either/or, but a balance that I’m not hearing in our civil discourse.

      • Dave Carlson

        Thank you for changing the meme. The new opening picture completely changes the tenor of the blog in my opinion.

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