What do you think is the value to society of the practice of religion? Could you place a “dollar value” on it?
Well, two researchers have attempted to do just that. Brian Grim of Georgetown University and his daughter, Melissa Grim of Newseum Institute, have released a study that has calculated three estimates of religion’s socio-economic value to the United States, according to an article on the Christianity Today website.
1 Corinthians, Chapter 13
Verse 1: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal…”
Verses 4, 5, and 6: “… Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth…”
God’s fingerprints are everywhere, especially in the world of nature. This point came back to me as I watched a documentary about the migration of barn swallows from Africa to Europe and back.
An offense creates highly detrimental weather between us and our fellow humans or even God. Holding onto an offense is never profitable because it allows our souls to be poisoned by the slime of bitterness, resentments, anger, rage, and un-forgiveness that brings about a wounded spirit.
Several prominent pastors have stepped down from their pastorates over the past few months citing burnout and depression. No matter the size of their church, all pastors must deal with stress and difficult situations. Having been a pastor for 32 years, I know that sometimes you feel alone, overwhelmed, isolated and inadequate. We can end up feeling like Elijah under the juniper tree—like we are the only servant God has left.
The times are changing. Sexual morality is undergoing nothing less than a revolution as traditional morality gives way to something radically different. The former morality, based on the Christian scriptures, is being shoved aside by a new one that not only departs from the Bible, but outright rejects it. Meanwhile, Christians who abide by those traditional sexual morals are increasingly seen as outcasts, backward people dangerously hung up on ancient, oppressive principles. It is all very disconcerting.
RRJ: You grew up in Gadsden, Alabama in a Christian home. How did your parents create an environment for you to come to know God’s love through Christ?
Jodi: I was blessed to have parents who provided a home of unconditional love. It was not until I became a parent that I began to understand just how much my parents created a home environment of love and support, which established my foundation of confidence and security in my faith.