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Given the air travel I’ve been doing I think I have a reasonable sense of what’s not happening in customer relations on America’s airlines. In short, customer relations are MIA.

Take today. I arrived at the airport to discover that Continental had rebooked my flight from Philadelphia to Newark as a train ride. That’s right, a train. No one contacted me to see if I approved this change. It was just made. So here I am at Philly International and the train station is downtown.

No problem, right? Just rebook. This I tried to do until the Continental agent said, “I can’t change the ticket. It belongs to Delta.” Even though Delta and Continental are not part of the same airline cooperative, still, mysteriously having something to do with Orbitz, the ticket belonged to Delta because I’d flown to the City of Brotherly Love on that airline.

A long walk through the ticketing area brought me to Delta. The agent, a woman maybe in her mid-20s, says, and I kid you not, “What do you want?” I resist telling her what I’m thinking and simply explain my need to rebook a jet, not a train. She immediately appears flummoxed, taps innumerable keys, and challenges my interpretation of the issue until I produce paperwork proving my view. After more rolling of the eyes, exaggerated body movements, and looks of disgust at other agents—not at me—I’m not sure she ever made eye contact with me—she tells me she can’t do this and the ticket belongs to Continental.

I show her my paperwork once again demonstrating otherwise and she calls in a manager, a woman who was a bit more mature but never intervened in any way in how her employee conducted herself. After more calls, keys, and denials it could be done, the young agent finds the right page in the system. Now she challenges my drivers’ license’s validity—I had just gone to the Secretary of State’s Office for renewal and the license had a paper stapled to it. My new one awaits me at home. Finally, I get her past this and she completes the work, prints new boarding passes, and slaps them—yes, slaps them—on the counter in front of me. Never once did she say “Thanks” or “Sorry for the confusion” or for that matter anything civil.

When I get to Detroit I discover the agent had put me on a later flight when an earlier one was available. I rebooked again but paid for this by an eventual delay in the flight and a wait at Grand Rapids for my luggage to come in on the original still later flight.

When my bag didn’t arrive in Grand Rapids I approached the Delta desk where three agents were standing working over another bag. Fine, I waited. Then one agent left without looking at me, the other agent didn’t acknowledge my presence and finally wondered off, and the third continued to ignore me. Finally she looked up and asked if I had a bag claim.

Not every agent is like these. One fellow today called me “Mr. Rogers,” smiled, said, “Have a good flight,” and in every way acted professionally. But too many act otherwise. Too many give you attitude, suggesting whatever the problem, it’s clearly your fault, not the airline’s and certainly not theirs.

I’ve written before that American airlines need to learn about customer service from international airlines. It’s not that they have to spend a lot of money. Southwest Airlines consistently ranks at the top of customer satisfaction and it’s a no-frills airline featuring flight attendants who rap, dance, chant poetry and more. It’s about giving customers the modicum of respect they deserve.

Question for the Christian: How should one respond when treated unprofessionally? Answer as one is tempted? Let them have it. Raise your voice? Or maybe don't say anything at all, just walk meekly away? Or should we somehow find a way to speak the truth in love?


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow Dr. Rogers at




Certain characters loom large from my youth. One lived across an alley from our house. Others I met later at my first job off the farm.

Mr. Hagen was across the alley. A retired fellow by the time I got to know him, he had a first name but I don’t remember it. He was always Mr. Hagen to me. He was honest, hard-working to a fault, apparently devoted to his wife, loved to tell tall tales, generous, and a first-class gardener.

Mr. Hagen’s gardens: no weeds, big green growing plants, walkways, and continuous harvest throughout the fall. He spent hours on end days on end in that garden. People would find him there and start long chats over the back gate or sitting in his swing.

What made Mr. Hagen interesting was the confluence of exaggerated traits he presented in a short package. He could talk forever, liked to talk to anyone and everyone, smoked stinky cigars, told these long convoluted stories that somehow kept you engaged to the end, and salted his language with healthy, or maybe unhealthy, doses of earthy vocabulary.

I can’t say that I remember any terrible words he taught me—his words were, in today’s context, pretty tame. But I can still remember those long conversations wherein he instilled the idea that I could probably do whatever I set out to do. I didn’t know then whether that was true, and I’m not so sure now, but the thought certainly makes you look beyond. I owe his memory that—far horizons.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow Dr. Rogers at



We’ve talked about five things grandparents wish their grandkids knew and five things grandkids wish their grandparents knew. Now here are five things I wish everyone knew:

What matters is Christ and biblical Christianity, nothing more, nothing less. Christians spend too much time and energy arguing about cultural preferences. Christian liberty may be the least understood and least practiced doctrine in the Bible. Applying it would be freeing in more ways than one.

Developing a truly Christian worldview is the most liberating thing one can experience. For the Christian who has already experienced salvation in Christ, the most powerful impact upon his or her life will be a biblical philosophy of life. No other worldview accurately explains the nature of good and evil, the world, and our place in it.

The world is desperate for leaders who lead with a proactive, motivating faith in Christ. Uncertainty and anxiety define our times more than stability or hope. People are looking for answers and the people who possess them. Faith-based leaders are capable of connecting us with God’s vision and his hope.

God never told us to check our brains and our backbone at the door of the church. Christians were never told to be whimpy. God expects us to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, but he also expects us to think and to act responsibly. Meekness is not weakness and weak Christianity is not biblical.

It’s not about you. Life is not about me or you in an individualistic sense. It’s about God’s will for each and all of us and the culture in which we live. Our task is to live out our faith through works that magnify his name in all that we do.

Everyone would live a more fulfilled life if he or she lived according to how God designed the world in the first place. Biblical philosophy is not esoteric nonsense. It’s practical and it works.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

Revised “Making a Difference” program #420 originally recorded September 28, 2005.

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow Dr. Rogers at


Recently I wrote about five things grandparents wish their grandkids knew. Now let's visit the other end of the teeter-totter. It’s a time for the grandkids to talk to their grandparents.

Usually we think about grandparents imparting advice to grandchildren, but we’ve learned that grandkids have something to say. Here are five things grandchildren wish their grandparents knew:

Times change and not all new ideas or practices are wrong or threatening. Sometimes grandparents lock themselves into only one way of thinking or doing. That’s good when it comes to unchanging moral matters. It’s not so good when it comes to cultural preferences. Youth need room to grow and grandparents should create the freedom for that growth, like taking the jar off a hothouse plant grown too large for its environment.

Life in community is just as pleasing to God as individualism. This youth generation, so-called Millennials or Generation Y, are more tuned in to relationships and connectivity than most of their forebears. Add the Internet to this and you have a worldwide phenomenon.

Not all young people are going down the tubes spiritually. If grandparents spend much time watching the nightly news you’d forgive them for thinking America’s youth are mostly thugs. But this is not true. There are thousands of youth who want to learn right, love right, and live right.

Environmental stewardship is not a liberal issue but a Christian issue. This generation is environmentally conscious like none before it, and they should be, for we are all God’s farmers.

Only authenticity is authentic. Millennial grandchildren are postmodern grandchildren. They’ve come of age in a chaotic, uncertain world. Nothing seems to make sense. They don’t trust institutions or even groups as much as their grandparents did. Millennials hunger for relationships with people of integrity. Godly grandparents may not understand everything about the latest techno-gadget, but they do know a great deal about living--and that wisdom is what's missing in many young adults' fractured family experiences, morally relativistic education, and highly materialistic culture. Some, maybe more than we give them credit for, are smart enough to know this and are looking for authenticity.

Grandkids may be young, but they’re not without wisdom. Listen to them, grandparents.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

Revised “Making a Difference” program #419 originally recorded September 28, 2005.

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow Dr. Rogers at

What do we know about human sexuality?

--Gender was created by God, and He created male and female in his image.

--Sex was also created by God, for procreation and pleasure.

--While sex, like gender, is biological and physiological, “sexuality” involves moral choice.

--Biblically, “sexual expression” is to be limited to the boundaries and bonds of monogamous heterosexual marriage.

What do we know about sexual immorality?

--“Abstinence” is a culturally accepted way of warning people about STDs, but since Creation it’s been God’s standard for sex outside of marriage.

--Heterosexual immorality, homosexual immorality, or other forms of sexual immorality are all sin, thus indistinguishable morally in the eyes of God.

--Using the word “perversion” for sexual immorality is a biblical description.

--Historically, cultures that move toward acceptance of homosexuality eventually move toward acceptance of many forms of sexual deviance and immorality, including involving children, animals, etc.

What do we know about sexual labels?

--We should avoid using labels for people because they can imply the existence of unalterable conditions.

--No sin, other than the ultimate and final rejection of Christ, is an unpardonable sin or an unalterable condition.

--A gay person can by moral choice become an un-gay or straight person.

--Saying someone is “struggling with homosexuality” is better than saying someone is “gay,” “a homosexual,” “a lesbian,” for it acknowledges a person is not forever defined by his or her sexual activities.

--”Sexual Preference” may imply choice, but “Sexual Orientation” is a code word for the belief that sexuality is a biological imperative.

What are we learning about Christian responses to problems with human sexuality?

--Christians are commanded by God to avoid sexual immorality.

--There is no biblical defense for so-called “gay bashing” or other forms of hatefulness or bigotry.

--At times, Christians also struggle with homosexuality.

--Far more Christians, or the public generally, struggle with heterosexual immorality, so focusing upon homosexuality as worse than heterosexual immorality is socially if not morally unwise.

--Homosexuality is one of the more divisive and vitriolic issues of our times.

--Christians must learn better how to speak truth with love in terms of the moral category homosexuality, and, even more importantly, in terms of individuals practicing as LGBT.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow Dr. Rogers at

Homosexuality has become something of a growth industry in the past twenty years. It’s moved out of the closet into mainstream culture despite the protestations of conservatives and Christians alike.

If the experience of other Western nations is a clue one would have to predict that openly practiced homosexuality is here to stay.

If this is true than it begs the question what do we do now? How should Christians respond or relate not just to the moral abstract of homosexuality but to the real and everyday presence of neighbors who are lesbians or gays—or bisexual or transgender (LGBT) individuals?

Our Christian worldview suggests several answers:

-There is no biblical justification for bigotry, hatred, or violence toward LGBT individuals. None. Such acts are expressions of fear not love and not faith.

-There is no logical justification for bigotry, hatred, or violence toward LGBT individuals in the sense that homosexual sins are no different from heterosexual sins. In other words, immorality is immorality, so a person engaged in LGBT behavior cannot, morally speaking, be distinguished from a person committing adultery.

-LGBT citizens are entitled to their civil liberties under the Constitution and under the law just as any other citizen. They are also entitled to their civil rights as established by law, not in my estimation special rights but certainly the same civil rights other citizens enjoy.

-Honoring LGBT citizens’ civil liberties and civil rights does not mean Christians must condone, embrace, promote, or otherwise morally approve of homosexual practice. Perhaps you don’t morally approve of cursing, yet you recognize another person’s freedom in using such language. Perhaps like me you don’t morally approve of abortion, yet for now at least, pro-choice is the law of the land, so a person may legally opt for an abortion without legal punishment. I don’t morally agree, but I must, if I respect our pluralistic democracy, grant people the freedom to be morally other within the law.

-LGBT persons are not defined by their sexual orientation or behavior. It is something they choose to do. Since I do not believe homosexuality is a given at birth I’d say it’s also something they can choose not to do. Consequently, rather than call someone Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender I’d rather say a person has chosen at this time to express their sexuality in these ways. You see, I simply do not believe that “once a thief, always a thief,” “once a liar, always a liar,” “once a gay person, always a gay person.” The Spirit of God always offers and can enable another Way.

-Christians should speak up, speak more, and speak loudly against acts of bigotry, hatred, or violence—including bullying in schoolyards—against individuals who’ve come out of the closet.

-Christians should never be the ones creating environments in which people want to or must hide in closets.

Christians need to learn to express love, acceptance, and support for people even while disagreeing with the person’s moral choices. We must learn to do a better job of emulating Jesus talking to the Woman at the Well. This we must do if we ever hope to win the other’s trust and listening ear.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow Dr. Rogers at