Letters to the Editor (1/5/2013)
Reader doesn’t know what Jesus thinks
I would like to respond to the column called “What would Jesus really think?” I have been a Christian since I was 10 years old, but I do not fool myself into thinking that I know what Jesus really thinks. He is my friend, my guide, my life; but, I still see Him through the veil of this world.
I think what He wants most from me and other Christians is our hearts and a desire to live a life that is pleasing to Him. So, if He is a righteous God and I am pleasing Him, I will be living a good life. Unfortunately, I cannot always do that because I am human, not God.
With that said, I will try to answer some of the questions brought forth in the column.
The Biblical story of the widow giving her small amount in the temple was more than mathematics and percentages. It was about her giving all that she had to God, with all her heart.
In comparison, there were men who were giving more, but not with humble hearts; but in showiness to please other people, not God.
Jesus said that the poor woman gave out of her poverty, but the rich gave out of their abundance. It is this personal sacrifice that made her gift more valuable to Jesus. God’s people are asked to give to the church and to the poor and needy. If a rich person is unwilling to give, it reveals things in the heart that are more difficult to change, but Jesus explains, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
The act of giving was, and is, far different from being taxed by the government. I believe that all people were taxed in Jesus’ time, and the Roman government did not make exceptions for poverty. Not paying could bring a person to losing everything, going to prison, or even to death.
Jesus did make a comment about taxes, though. He said to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”
When we give to God, it should be through a giving heart. Taxes are extracted by the government. No one wants to pay them. But, there are things that we enjoy having, like roads, water, etc., so we all should pay something towards the maintenance of these things.
If we vote on something that will increase taxes, or we vote for a person who wants to increase services and increase taxes to pay for them, then we should be fully willing to pay those taxes.
Personally, I’d like to see less of Caesar and fewer renderings to Caesar. There are many things that the government thinks it needs, or that they think we need, that are clearly not necessities of life. We should care about the welfare of our neighbors, whether they be rich or poor. But, that falls under the giving of the heart, not the capacity of the government. The government cannot fill the heart.
There are a lot of reasons why Jesus’ teachings are not in public policy. Here are just a few: ACLU, separation of church and state, public ridicule and attacks against Christians, social issues trumping values, liberty without responsibility, a quest for power that quenches goodness, and man’s failure to honor God and then pursuing selfishness, dishonesty, unbecoming behaviors, and the de-valuing of others, and of life itself.
In closing, I admit that I would like to make more money, I am glad to have a trustworthy car, and I enjoy having a roof over my head in snowy weather; but I know that these things can only satisfy a part of me.
To be truly alive, I must have those things that are not seen, but felt within; things like love shared with others, the overwhelming feeling when breathing the aroma of forest trees and salty waves, and the touching of my spirit with the Almighty God.
Public welcome to APAS meeting
A new year often brings new challenges, and that’s the situation facing the Animal Protective Association of Socorro, established as a nonprofit organization in 1968. Like other community clubs and organizations, membership has fluctuated over the years. While APAS has many members, fact is, we need more of them to attend meetings, at 5:15 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month at the Chamber of Commerce office on the plaza.
Note that the January meeting will take place on the second Tuesday, Jan. 8, since the first Tuesday was New Year’s Day.
APAS also needs people to continue the work of the organization by serving as board members or officers, an issue discussed at our November and December 2012 meetings. Here’s some background:
In its early history, it was APAS volunteers who pushed for decent quarters for abandoned animals; volunteers who fed the shelter dogs and cats, often out of their own pockets; and volunteers who sponsored spay-and-neuter clinics to help reduce the number of unwanted pets in Socorro County. The city of Socorro now operates the shelter/adoption center, with APAS concentrating its efforts on raising funds for its clinics.
Perhaps the larger question is: Is APAS still a viable organization, capable of maintaining its spring and fall spay-and-neuter clinics, and working to educate citizens on the importance of good pet care? Let’s discuss this Tuesday evening at the annual APAS meeting, shall we?
Nominations for president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer will be accepted from the floor at the Jan. 8 meeting, and voted on by APAS members. Please consider serving. Light refreshments will be served. Hope to see you there.