Tuesday, October 21, 2008

REQUIEM FOR JOHN

John Robert McGraham was doused with a flammable liquid (probably gasoline) and set on fire by a teenaged boy October 9, 2008. One man who was interviewed said he tried to put out the flames, and that John never cried out.

He died from his burns. His
Memorial Service on Sunday indicated that he had a loving family who tried to help him with his chronic depression. But no one was ever able to reach him.

This is the worst of
recent attacks on the homeless that seem to be escalating all over the country.

I believe there is a correlation to this and the dying of mainline churches. I believe there is a correlation between the dying of common decency in this country and the dying of mainline churches. I believe there is a correlation between the shouts of killing the other party's opponent and the dismissals of the shouts not being "heard" and the dying of mainline churches. I believe there is a correlation between
attacks on people's property who display political support signs of the t'other party and the dying of mainline churches. I believe there is a correlation between the acceptance of political candidates lying as normal business as usual and the dying of mainline churches.

And I believe that the death of civil community and the dying of the mainline church is interrelated.

Whoever wins this most contentious election will find it a hard road to reinvigorate civil standards of tolerance, acceptance and community in this country because the major founding base has, IMO,  lost its moral compass.

So, for John Robert McGraham, and for the rest of us, I will try to remember to pray for whoever wins. Come what may.

14 comments:

FranIAm said...

I am so sickened, saddened and distressed by this and so many stories like it.

I am speechless and weeping.

Kievas said...

This is sad...and to think we are supposed to be a "civilized" species.

cheesehead said...

May perpetual light shine upon him.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

You make an interesting point, L.J. I think the dying of any community structure lessens community for all of us and causes a lessening of civility.

Diane said...

you make a good point. I will be thinking about this for a long time.

Suzanne said...

Could it be that main line churches are dying because they have strayed from what the scriptures teach? We're saddened to see where culture is going but is the "church", not heading the way of culture also? Maybe it's time or long overdue that we take a look at what the church or should I say it's leadership is espousing.

Presbyterian Gal said...

Hi Suzanne and welcome.
I toured with Covenant Players all over the US and Canada more than 30 years ago. I can tell you from my experience then and my experience in church now that the leadership was pretty evenly split between following scripture and having nothing to do with scripture. That has not changed. Today there are two important elements missing which Jesus taught us were essential for a happy life. One is a Christ based community connected to each other on a day to day basis where we actually live in real time. (Christianity seems to have become a nebulous ideal "idea" that gets talked about but never actually done for various reasons including fear of liability). The other is holding each other, ourselves and our children accountable for bad behavior. That is gone in church and out of church both. I believe those two things are the food and water that are missing today.

Barbara B. said...

Attacks on the homeless make me sick (and angry)...

Suzanne said...

Thanks for your welcome. I am wondering about the 2 elements you say are missing in what Jesus taught for a happy life. God became man to bring abundant life. And what is abundant life?.....to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent. To have a personal relationship with Him...working out in our daily lives what it is to come face to face with Him and start to reflect His character so that others might also want to know Him. Is this what main line churches have turned away from?

Presbyterian Gal said...

My latest post tells about a long occurring slow leak in one of my houses's walls.

Water's a funny thing. It always finds a way in, when there's a way in. Jesus is like that. Once invited, he'll always find his way in. Unfortunately we're always patching him up and keeping him out. (The mold, however, is a different case altogether).

Of course not everybody. And of course not every church. I'm just getting a sense lately that many churches no longer consider Jesus enough of a draw to bring the $$, er, um I mean the people in.

Suzanne said...

I think we might find out, perhaps too late, Jesus comes on His own terms. He doesn't seek our level.

Presbyterian Gal said...

What? I thought God coming to earth as a man was all about seeking us at our level. Since the only way it's turned out we can be saved is by grace.

Suzanne said...

You are right God did come to our level...I didn't express well what I was thinking (not too unusual). I think I was trying to say so often as believers we want God to act/do what we want not necessarily as he wills. I think we're on the same page! Glad the pipe situation wasn't too complicated....we live in an older 2story house and usually have to make several trips to the corner hardware store when we fix anything.

Rev SS said...

"Today there are two important elements missing which Jesus taught us were essential for a happy life. One is a Christ based community connected to each other on a day to day basis where we actually live in real time ... The other is holding each other, ourselves and our children accountable for bad behavior. That is gone in church and out of church both. I believe those two things are the food and water that are missing today.

AMEN! to this comment and your original post!