Say What?? Did I Hear You Right??

question-mark

Here are some statements that I have heard lately that really concern me. Some of them about left me speechless which is hard to do. (Just ask my wife)

We need to be good stewards and be concerned about the environment. But we have to remember that ultimately the Lord is coming back and he’s going to destroy it all any way.”

I think that dropping the bomb on Hiroshima actually saved a lot of lives”       When I mentioned that the United States was the only country to ever use a nuclear bomb.

The Bible is full of wars”      Used in the context of  defending the war in Iraq

More people die of cold than the heat. So if global warming is really happening. I think it would be a good thing.”

When asked if Jesus would torture terrorists  – “He wouldn’t. He would just kill them

These are just a few that stuck in my mind. There have been plenty of others that I just can’t recall.

The problem for me is that all of these statements have come out of the mouths of fellow believers that I know and respect. People that I know love God deeply, and try to love their neighbor as themselves.

I am finding my self increasingly at odds with many of the believers I am in contact with on a daily basis. I’ve been told I sound “un-American”.  I have been lambasted for daring to question if the American brand of capitalism is the most biblical economic system., or questioning if Wal-Mart is a good company.

  • Has anyone else had similar interactions?
  • Do you have any concerning statements to add?
  • Does anyone else notice an increasing polarization among believers?
  • If so what do you see as the root cause of this polarization?

Simple Steps We Can All Take

Jonathan Dodson gives some tips over at his blog on 8 Ways to Easily be Missional. We don’t necessarily have to become part of some big program or organization to have a positive impact on our community.

We just need to become a part of the local community in which we live.

Don’t Be Bringin No New Fangled Thinkin

This  is my latest poem  and grows out of interactions I have had with some people over the last year or so. In my head it is a song (an acoustic folk song sung with attitude) but I don’t have any musical ability, so if any one wants to help with that it would be great

Don’t Be Bringin No New Fangled Thinkin

I got my guns and my color TV
You try to break through, but I can’t hear
It’s out side my theology

You can’t be right. You must be wrong
It’s obvious – only a fool can’t see
You can’t be right – because you don’t think like me.

I like my religion like an old pair of shoes.
Soft, worn out, and comfy
A pliable philosophy that conforms to my views

So don’t be bringin no new fangled thinkin
With your talk of His Grace & His Love
It’s all about no cussin, no druggin or drinkin
And earning a spot with the big man above

____

I got my Bible and a flag in my hand
Don’t even question American intention
Fall in line – it’s the law of the land

Our God is red white & blue
In God We trust is our battle cry
He watches over us but he don’t care about you

God is on our side and he carries a stick
He rides shotgun in our M1 tanks
As we destroy your village brick by brick by brick

So don’t be bringin no new fangled thinkin
With your talk of His Peace, and His Love
Its about American interest and American lives
It’s been sanctioned by the big man above

No don’t you be bringin no new fangled thinkin
About a God we can’t wear like a glove
We don’t want no God who won’t fit in our box
To whom power means nothing – Only unselfish Love

New City, New House, New Neighborhood & A Fresh Start

It’s been just a few weeks shy of a year since I have posted anything. I took a much needed break from the blogosphere. One of the reasons I quit is that I took a look at my life and realized there was a lot of talk and very little action. Basically I felt like a hypocrite. I talked a lot about how the Church was dropping the ball on so many things, while at the same time refusing to even pick up the ball and get in the game.

Last week our family just moved out of an apartment complex in a fairly small town into a three bedroom house in an older working class neighborhood just north of downtown Fort Wayne. The last year has been full of many struggles for our family. We have allowed every area of our lives to become unhealthy. We are looking at this move as an opportunity for us to make a fresh start.

God has given me a heart for the lost, a burning anger at injustice, and a growing dissatisfaction with consumerism and materialism. At times I almost cry when I drive through a once thriving neighborhood and see empty lots where houses once stood, or abandoned houses where families once lived. I feel guilty when I choose Wal-mart over the local market. He has given me a burning desire to stop just talking and start acting.

After a year away from blogging I decided to start up again. This time I hope to do a lot less ranting. (I’ll try any away) I plan to be more constructive in my posts, and plan to post updates and insights along the way as I start living out my faith on a daily basis. As I seek to have a positive impact on our neighborhood and our city.

A Manifesto for the Church

7catz over at I Don’t Know Yet tagged me with this Meme.

Rules:
1. Post to your blog on the subject “A Manifesto for Church”, outlining your thoughts on what an ideal church would/should be like. Posts can be as detailed or as short as you like.
2. Include a copy of these rules.
4. Put a link to your post in the comments to this post.
5. Tag at least 4 other people.
6. What happened to rule 3?
3. Ah, here it is
When I was tagged for this meme, a rush of things came to mind about what I think an “ideal” church should be. I even started writing them out. As I read over some of the other posts on the topic, I was struck by how similar many of the posts were. There seems to be a growing number of people who are tired of “church as usual” and long for something deeper yet simpler. Church with out the programs, with out the masks, A church were we can be active participants, not just spectators. A Church where we all have a voice, not just the few deemed “spiritual” enough by the leadership or the people who are clean enough on the outside to project the desired image.

Should is a big word, and I don’t even want to attempt to say what an “Ideal” church should be. What a church should or shouldn’t be will vary greatly depending on the make up of the members, the community the church is in, and an endless list of other factors. I decided to post what the Ideal church for my family and me looks like at this moment.

Sunday Mornings at the local State Park
A time of family prayer
A couple devotions with the boys, and good discussion afterwards. It amazes me how much they get it
A short time of Bible Study or discussion with Jenny.
Maybe some hotdogs or brats on the grill and a nice hike.
Extreme teeter tottering with my boys

Tuesdays with another couple God placed in our lives
My wife and I have been going through some tough times in our relationship, and God has blessed us by giving us some great friends who have jumped at the chance to come up under Jenny and I and disciple us and help us to strengthen our marriage.
Wednesday mornings with my Friend Rob
Good conversation. Good coffee & Great Bagels.
A place were I can be open, Where I can challenge and be challenged.
Friday Night Bible Study.
Good Friends, Relaxed atmosphere, Laughter, Openness.
Active engagement with The Word of God.

I’m supposed to tag some people, but the people I had in mind have already been tagged. So I tag anyone who might be interested in responding.

Just a quick post

May family and I had a blast camping up in MI. I’ll post some photos tommorow.  It was nice to get some much needed down time. Things have been really stressful since my stay in the hospital back in April.  Blogging will be kind of hard for me over the summer since I don’t have much time to spend on the computer. I was tagged 7catz for the Manifesto for the Church meme, and I will get to that this week,a that is a subject that is close to my heart.

Also I think we are going to take a break from “church” this summer, and I want to post some about how that is going.

I just wanted to say “Man, I love summer!!!!”

Thin Line Between Madness and Brilliance

“This is either madness or brilliance”

“Its remarkable how often those two traits coincide”

I love that little interchange between Will Turner and Jack Sparrow as they are preparing to commandeer the Interceptor. I started thinking sometimes following Christ is a matter of walking that thin line between madness and brilliance.

I think about Jesus’ disciples leaving their jobs and their comfortable lives to follow someone they didn’t even know. Or Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church. Or Paul standing on Mars Hill Sharing the Gospel with a group of Pagans. I could post for hours listing others who have walked that line.

I believe Christ calls all of His follower to live their lives where Madness and Brilliance intersect.