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Pastor’s viewpoint : March 17, 2018

In 1895, a Senate committee in New York called them “really houses of prostitution or disorderly houses.” In 1911, the Illinois Vigilance Committee warned that they were “recruiting stations for prostitution.” And “The International Confectioner,” in its 1914 edition, called them “dens of sweet, sweet sin.” Chicago set a curfew for them and banned “curtains, screens, or partitions of any kind that will serve to divide such places into compartments.” (Erin Blakemore for MentalFloss.com, July 16, 2017) They were regarded as dens of “corruption, prostitution, and sin,” and you would never in a million years guess what “they” were … ice cream parlors!
“There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.”
You just never know where you’ll run into trouble; one man found it on the road from Jerusalem (the site of the temple) to Jericho (where the religious leaders lived). And you’ll never guess who stopped to help him!“A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill — I’ll pay you on my way back.’” (Luke 10:30-37)
The pastor was late for church, the church administrator had to be there to count the offering, but the unchurched “sinner” stopped to help and left behind a blank check! There are several conflicting ideas about what it means to be a Christian. Maybe Jesus is telling us in this story that ultimately, the Christian faith is a lifestyle? It’s not only what you believe; it’s what you do with what you believe!

Charles “Buddy” Whatley is a retired United Methodist pastor serving Woodland & Bold Springs UMC, and with Mary Ella, a missionary to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.