[forthright] Questions, Questions and ... The Question/Expendable Parts

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthright@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 13:56:20 -0500
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

Questions, Questions and ... The Question by Barry Newton
Expendable Parts by Stan Mitchell

COLUMN: Hands-on Faith

Questions, Questions and ... The Question
by Barry Newton

There are many questions, and then there is "the
question." Where will you vacation this year?
Where will technology lead us in ten years? How
many angels can stand on the head of a pin? Will
you marry me? No, this is not "the question."

Questions, like books, never end. Some questions
originate from a genuine desire to understand or
improve. Some are intended as a means of receiving
confirmation or praise. While still others are
carefully prepared traps designed to tear down and

Jesus was frequently bombarded with questions --
all types of questions. On one occasion the
supposed experts of religion dropped the then
current hot theological potatoes in his lap. To
paraphrase their questions: "Do you give taxes to
an ungodly and oppressive government?" "If
marriage is monogamous and there is a
resurrection, then what will be the marriage
situation of a woman in heaven who legitimately
married seven husbands, none of whom can claim a
superior status than another?"

After answering these highly overrated questions,
Jesus cut through the smoke screens and
distractions which had consumed the minds of many
and dropped the bomb -- the real question, the
question that stands above all other questions and
which confronts every human being.

"The Christ, whose son is he?"

With this simple but profound question, Jesus
challenges us to rethink our entire outlook on
life. All other questions lose their importance
before this question. For if the Christ is the Son
of God, then the dike of distractions and false
values has utterly crumbled, and the implications
of Jesus’ message and life roars down upon us. Not
only has the Son of God visited humanity, but his
message would be authoritative.

If what Jesus taught is reliable, the shock waves
ripple out: We are accountable to his message.
Unless we believe in Jesus, we will died in our
sins. Jesus died alone on a nasty cross for my
sins. There are real values and they are
determined by God. We need to be prepared and rich
toward God. Those who are prepared are wise.

Maybe there are just a couple of lingering
questions. Would God claim that I am rich toward
him? Would Jesus say I am prepared?

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COLUMN: Reality Check

Expendable Parts
by Stan Mitchell

"There are different kinds of daddies," one
children's book explains. "Sometimes a daddy goes
away like yours did. He may not see his children
at all. Some kids know both their moms and their
dads, and some kids don't."

There are different kinds of daddies, this book
seems to say; those who live with their wives and
bring up their children, and those who don't. It's
a matter of style.

Of course, I understand what the book is trying to
do. It is trying to explain the inexplicable.
Exactly how do you explain the disappearance of a
father to a heartbroken child?

Take a look at little Elian Gonzonlez a few years
ago, and if you can, remove the political element.
Had the situation been reversed, had it been
Elian's father who perished in the waters off the
Florida coast, had it been Elian's mother who flew
to the United States asking for her son, would we
have any hesitation in securing a mother and child

So when did dads become expendable? Was it
somewhere in the middle of a derisive episode of
"The Simpsons," where Homer, our every-dad was
lampooned as clueless and as indulgent as one of
those strawberry-whipped cream doughnuts he eats?
I must say that I resent television's depiction of
dads these days. My dad resembles Al Bundy about
as closely as a Pentium resembles a duckbilled

In the Bible, fathers carry great responsibility
for bringing up their children. They are a key to
the spiritual and moral character of their
children. I am not demeaning the courage of single
moms doing the job of two; I am questioning the
resolve of that child's father.

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children;
instead, bring them up in the training and
instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).

Dads, our children need us. They need our
strength. They need our character. They need our
protection. They need us in church. Don't leave
the pages of Sesame Street books to explain your
absence. Ensure that an explanation is
unnecessary! Were I Elian's dad, I would have
crossed an ocean much greater than the Straits of
Florida to reach him!

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