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‘Ashamed’ is a strong word

June 17, 2007 Comments off

I previously wrote that I was “ashamed to be a Christian” … and I need to clarify that statement.  I saw Jill this morning at church and she mentioned that she has a problem with that statement.  She understands what I’m really trying to say, but the statement itself is a bit “harsh” and easily misconstrued.

So I want to clarify what I meant, for the record (and the other couple readers of my blog).  🙂

What I mean is that I’m ashamed of what the label ‘Christian’ means in our society.  I’m ashamed of the friggin right-wing religious zealots who have created a stereotype of Christians as single-minded biggoted assholes (pardon my language) who hate anybody who doesn’t look AND think like they do, and do their best to make everyone else share their opinions (otherwise they’re damned, right?).

Jesus taught people to love each other and lend a hand to those less fortunate … he’d do the rest through their hearts and minds.  That’s it.  It’s not our job to convert the world – it’s His.  Our job is to be nice to everyone.

It’s He didn’t teach that we should hate gays.  He didn’t say we should never have a drop of alcohol touch our lips.  He didn’t tell us that it’s okay to bomb clinics because we disagree with their policies.  He didn’t join the Republican Party … or the Dems either.

Jesus said we should all get along (love thy enemies even) and his first miracle was effectively a beer run for a week-long kegger.

Can’t we all just get along?

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Categories: Christianity, rants

Show me something…

June 12, 2007 Comments off

Alicea and I just watched the latest episode of Studio 60.  We LOVE this show!  Hope they continue it again next year … though that may not be in the cards according to what Alicea just found online.

Anyway, two of the main characters have had an on again / off again relationship for a long time.  This most recent episode they kept flashing back to all the arguments they’d had over the years.  All of them were centered around Harriet being a Christian and Matt being an atheist/Jew.  Kind of a microcosm of the Bible Belt vs. Hollywood stereotypes.

Anyway, a LOT of bad stuff happened in the past two episodes, and at the end of this one Harriet asked Matt to come pray with her.  The audience couldn’t tell if Matt was going to or not, but then his phone rang.  Saved by the bell.  It was another emergency and the two ran off to the hospital to be with some friends.

Harriet ran out of the door to the parking lot and Matt hesitated for a second.  He looked up, gave a little point, and said “show me something.”

That’s how I feel a lot.  It’s tough to stay grounded in this world, and it’s so easy to get caught up in nonsense and feel like God really isn’t there.  I can totally related.

Show me something.

Categories: Christianity, religion, TV

The new divide

June 9, 2007 1 comment

I’m sitting in LAX catching up on some feeds and I came across a great article from the Seattle PI dealing with the state of Christendom in today’s “post-modern” society.

In some ways, the emergent-church phenomenon is a judgment on established churches. By their very existence, emergent churches say that younger generations haven’t found room or voice in existing churches.

While there may be plenty of open seats in established churches, there haven’t been open seats in the places where decisions were made.

But creating churches for one generation runs the risk of reproducing the problem such churches are meant to cure. What’s new becomes old, what’s edgy becomes mainstream, what’s hip becomes dated. What then?

The author briefly touches on the “why”, and the brief explanation given I don’t feel is deep enough.  However, this would be a great conversation starter.  I know our church is facing these issues as well.  Even though we’re growing, it’s increasingly difficult to get younger folks (20s and 30s, singles and new families) to engage in the “life of the church” beyond attending Sunday services.

How do we fix this?  How do we integrate the post-modern churches and the “classic” churches so our community doesn’t fracture beyond at the crazy denominations we already have? 

Every new non-denom church is really a new denomination.  Is that good?  Am I wrong – should we split up?

In the immortal words of Tom Cruise from Top Gun, “Talk to me Goose!”