Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pochek's Email and Facebook Rules of Engagement

Particularly in light of the discussion of Eph 4:25 and putting off falsehood, I thought it might be a good idea to re-post a few of my own personal Email and Facebook "rules"...these are not intended for or directed to anyone in particular, just a quick public posting for clear communications:

1. I seldom forward anything...EVER...even if it is a really touching story, changed your life, could change my life...etc, etc, etc...

2. I NEVER forward anything that tells me "if you really love God" / "if you are proud of our troops" / "if you are proud to be an American" / "if you really love Jesus" send this to 10 friends. Really? I love God. I love Jesus. I am extremely proud of our troops and I am proud (and blessed) to be an American...but, neither my faith nor my sense of patriotism are increased by sending an email to 10 (or 100) people.

3. I NEVER forward emails that tell me to send this to the person who sent it to me and 10 other friends that I really care you really want your friend's concern / love / affection to be tied to an email? I didn't think so...If I know you, I love least in Christ, and maybe as a great friend...but, I don't think our relationship is determined by an email that has been circulating for years!

4. I ALWAYS verify stories emailed to me at ...if you send me one that proves to be false (i.e. threat to religious broadcasting, Pres Obama's muslim allegiances, stories about the troops, etc), I will send you (and everyone else who received the original email) a note that says something like: "God is a God of Truth...and he calls us to be people of truth. Spreading falsehoods does not advance God's kingdom. Please verify stories like this before forwarding."

5. I ALWAYS verfify stories posted on Facebook at If you post a story because you saw it on someone elses wall and thought you just "had" to share SURE it is TRUE...current stories circulating on Facebook that are false include: Diamond Rio's song not being permitted on radio stations (FALSE), Facebook is going to charge to use their site (FALSE), _____ Restaraunt is giving away $500 in gift cards for just signing up as a "fan" of their FB page (FALSE)...and the hits just keep coming!

6. If any of the first 5 offend you...I apologize and ask that you simply do not send me the types of emails in question...that way you will not be perpetually offended! Ha!

7. On Facebook, I try my best to keep my status updated...but, I do not guarantee that I will respond quickly to every comment or message. I will do my best...

8. On Facebook, I ALMOST NEVER respond to event invitations, mafia requests, farmville help. glitz, bling, or quizzes...And, I NEVER,NEVER, NEVER "send gifts", "hugs", etc on Facebook...quite honestly, I have enough trouble just keeping it updated with my current status!

9. As for this blog...I will do my dead level best to keep it updated...usually related to something God is teaching me or something we are learning together at RRBC. Of course, sometimes I will digress and put up a post about something completely "unspiritual" (i.e. Like the one I am thinking about posting regarding my newfound appreciation for Tony Stewart...after he spun Kyle Bush!)

Ok...that should do it...hopefully this will prevent too many hurt feelings in the wonderful world of electronic communication!

God's best...
Pastor Rob

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Taking Oaths...some questions for reflection

On Sunday, June 6, the sermon was based on Matthew 5:34-37. The subject was that of taking oaths. In that message I sought to argue that Jesus' aim was that we be people who are truthful and faithful. Truthful in the commitments or statements we make and faithful to carry them out as we have promised. In short, to be people of our word.

One question that has come up since that message is: Should Christians take oaths in court? And, the related issue of taking oaths of office or for military service. Indeed, I want to thank Mike Eatmon and Bill Hall for bringing up these questions, as I am sure many of you have thought about them.

I do not find either of these kinds of oath taking to be at odds with Jesus' teaching. Jesus' prohibition here is against the improper use of oaths, in particular the attempt to use God's Name to reinforce a promise we never intend to keep. It is a prohibition against using an oath to mask our insincerity or lack of inention to fulfill what we promise.

So, an individual who takes an oath before a court of law and perjurs himself has violated the heart of Jesus' teaching. A soldier who takes an oath to defend the United States when his intention is to do harm to the United States is violating Jesus' teaching. However, when an oath is a demonstration of our intent to be truthful, it does not violate Jesus' teaching. Again, the point Jesus is arguing against is the attempt to use an oath to cover or mask our lack of intention to ever follow through on what we are promising. In the case of a court of law or a soldier, etc, our unwillingness to take the oath would likely signal that we do not intend to be truthful.

Hopefully this will help clarify the intention of Jesus' teaching and address a couple of topics that I did not talk about Sunday morning.