Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
The opening line had me.(:
But reading the rest here will have you.
Too bad John McArthur sees this as a "typical ploy to knock people off their balance" and a "setup by Brian McLaren social gospel.":
And a satirical slideshow for the emerging church:
Friday, July 27, 2007
And it was channel surfing to Tammy Faye (along with Robert Tilton..that's another story) who in an episode of PTL where she asked a guest ...a woman with no arms...what I thought was completely the wrong question: "How do you put on your makeup?" helped my wife and I decide to put our TV away over twenty years ago!
In a 2000 interview with Larry King, Jay Bakker said, "I actually really look up to my mom for her makeup because so many people have made fun of her, and given her such a hard time. And she's just said basically, 'Screw it, I'm going to be me.' … For some reason, we've made people believe that they have to take off their makeup, change their hair color and comb their hair before they come to church. And that's just a lie and it's a lie from hell."
A wonderful article in Christianity Today should also be reckoned with:
\Resurrecting the Public DeathTammy Faye reminded us how to die.Rob Moll | posted 7/27/2007 08:53AM
I paid little attention to Tammy Faye Bakker during her PTL days. But I gave her close scrutiny the day before she died, when she appeared on Larry King Live. Her eyes, which formerly sparkled with an indomitable spirit, had faded. Tammy Faye's mascara, her trademark even when it ran with tears down her cheeks, foreshadowed her decay. Tammy Faye's skin hung off her cheekbones.
I saw defiance and a Christlike countercultural challenge behind her eyelashes. She lived publicly, and she died publicly. Tammy Faye was unafraid to show us the ravages of cancer and remind us of the decay that was brought into the world through sin. Tammy Faye reminded us that dignity comes from the character we display in the circumstances God allows for us, whether withered by cancer or in the peak of health.
After her televised farewell, how she died became as much a part of her story as her PTL days. I was proud to call her a sister in Christ.
Only a century ago, public deaths like Tammy Faye's were common. "In the early 20th century, it was not always easy to defend the bedroom of the dying from awkward expressions of sympathy, indiscreet curiosity, and all the other persistent manifestations of the idea of the public death," writes Philippe Aries in The Hour of Death, a survey of Western attitudes toward death over the last thousand years.
continued here...not also links at bottom 0f that page
Thursday, July 26, 2007
-David Biale, p 2o1 in the chapter "Zionism as Erotic Revolution" in "Eros and the Jews"
Maybe we always default to sexualizing self-defense, the state....and church.
Pepsi, Sex, Jewish Elevation...& Mission Trips That Are Actually Missional
Lots of Sex Links
"Since pornography always drives technology..."
The Reduction of Seduction: Part 2: Gleaning from Family Systems Theory
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I agree with Real Live Preacher...you must read this blog he found.. -dw
God on a Milk Carton July 23, 2007 - 12:48pm
This is what blogs were meant to be, in my humble opinion. Deep thoughts from people you would never have heard of before the network of blogs came into existence. This is about as authentic and gripping as any spiritual journey I've read lately:
"I was in a pickle. Hell sounded miserable, so I didn’t want to go there. My family and I had gone occasionally to a Methodist church, and THAT was miserable too. I didn’t want to go there either. In fact, on the misery scale in my 10-year-old head, church and hell were a dead heat. Church won because the misery lasted only a half a day, whereas hell was supposedly a lot longer. On the other hand, hell was a long way off and church was coming up in a few days."
Click here to read the rest...
"The demands of...ministry routinely cut me off from the resources that enabled me to do...ministry. I knew where God’s fire was burning, but I could not get to it. I knew how to pray, how to bank the coals and call the Spirit, but by the time I got home each night it was all I could do to pay the bills and go to bed. I pecked God on the cheek the same way I did Ed, drying up inside for want of making love.”
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
"Pastor, can I you come over right away?" came the voice over the phone. " I have a terrible confession to make!" I took the trip across town, the whole way I was thinking "What in the world is she going to confess? She’s a sweet older saint! What did she do, accidentally swat a mosquito, and now she needs to confess being a murderer?" When I arrived, she sat me down and spilled it out; right to the point: "I am an occasional atheist! Is that okay? "
I did not laugh, for I was priest-pastor in a holy moment, but took and shook her hand, signifying that I, too, belonged to that club. And she was freed; even though she was fearful of making that necessary and jolting confession. Bono , he of "Like faith needs a doubt/Like a freeway out/I need Your love," is not. This is merely confession of our occasional atheism, shocking honesty, and common humanity.
Speaking of humanity, and radical honesty, and "occasional atheism"….that’s obviously a Johnny Cash thing.
Two stories about Johnny (vocalist and namesake of U2’s "The Wanderer") follow, the first below by the reverently irreverent journalist Chuck Klosterman, who spent a remarkable day and drive with Bono recently in Bono's fast car (join that ride sometime by clicking here)
Here is the easiest way to explain the genius of Johnny Cash: Singing from the perspective of a convicted murderer in the song ‘Folsom Prison Blues,’ Cash is struck by pangs of regret when he sits in his cell and hears a distant train whistle. This is because people on that train are ‘probably drinkin’ coffee.’ And this is also why Cash seems completely credible as a felon: He doesn’t want freedom or friendship with Jesus or a new lawyer. He wants coffee. Within the mind of a killer, complex feelings are eerily simple. This is why killers can shoot men in Reno just to watch them die and the rest of us usually can’t.
("Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs", page 186)
The next Cash story is already a contemporary classic:
Cash once got a visit from U2 members Bono and Adam Clayton who were driving across the U.S. taking in the local colors. The three of them sat around a table before their meal, and Cash floored the two Irishmen with an incredible prayer of thanksgiving to God. Then, without skipping a beat, he raised his head and quipped, ‘Sure miss the drugs, though.’ (Dave Urbanski, "The Man Comes Around", p, xxi)
All of us have at times wanted coffee, not Jesus. We have all missed our drugs, whatever they were. We have all considered taking a taxi out of Gethsemane ; lead-footing out of our marriage; but we know that we know that "these fast cars will do me no good." But we don’t know that until we say it. So we say it; and we stay. Even when part of us doesn’t.
"Johnny Cash doesn’t sing to the damned, he sings with the damned, and sometimes you feel he might prefer their company"
-Bono,on the liner notes of Cash’s three album collection Love God Murder (2000).
excerpt from Wendell Berry, at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1992:
Modern Christianity, then, has become as special-ized in its organizations as other modern organizations, wholly concentrated on the industrial shibboleths of "growth," counting its success in numbers, and on the very strange enterprise of "saving" the individual, iso-lated, and disembodied soul. Having witnessed and abetted the dismemberment of the households, both human and natural, by which we have our being as creatures of God, as living souls, and having made light of the great feast and festival of Creation to which we were bidden as living souls, the modern church pre-sumes to be able to save the soul as an eternal piece of private property. It presumes moreover to save the souls of people in other countries and religious traditions, who are often saner and more religious than we are. And always the emphasis is on the individual soul. Some Christian spokespeople give the impression that the highest Christian bliss would be to get to Heaven and find that you are the only one there-that you were right and all the others wrong. Whatever its twentieth-century dress, modern Christianity as I know it is still at bottom the religion of Miss Watson, intent on a dull and superstitious rigmarole by which supposedly we can avoid going to "the bad place" and instead go to "the good place." One can hardly help sympathizing with Huck Finn when he says, "I made up my mind I wouldn't try for it. Despite its protests to the contrary, modern Chris-tianity has become willy-nilly the religion of the state and the economic status quo. Because it has been so exclusively dedicated to incanting anemic souls into Heaven, it has been made the tool of much earthly villainy. It has, for the most part, stood silently by while a predatory economy has ravaged the world, destroyed its natural beauty and health, divided and plundered its human communities and households. It has flown the flag and chanted the slogans of empire. It has assumed with the economists that "economic forces" automati-cally work for good and has assumed with the indus-trialists and militarists that technology determines history. It has assumed with almost everybody that "progress" is good, that it is good to be modern and up with the times. It has admired Caesar and comforted him in his depredations and defaults. But in its de facto alliance with Caesar, Christianity connives directly in the murder of Creation. For in these days, Caesar is no longer a mere destroyer of armies, cities, and nations. He is a contradicter of the fundamental miracle of life. A part of the normal practice of his power is his will-ingness to destroy the world. He prays, he says, and churches everywhere compliantly pray with him. But he is praying to a God whose works he is prepared at any moment to destroy. What could be more wicked than that, or more mad? The religion of the Bible, on the contrary, is a re-ligion of the state and the status quo only in brief mo-ments. In practice, it is a religion for the correction equally of people and of kings. And Christ's life, from the manger to the cross, was an affront to the established powers of his time, just as it is to the established powers of our time. Much is made in churches of the "good news" of the Gospels. Less is said of the Gospels' bad news, which is that Jesus would have been horrified by just about every "Christian" government the world has ever seen. He would be horrified by our government and its works, and it would be horrified by him. Surely no sane and thoughtful person can imagine any gov-ernment of our time sitting comfortably at the feet of Jesus while he is saying, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you." 27 In fact, we know that one of the businesses of governments, "Christian" or not, has been to reenact the crucifixion. It has happened again and again and again. In A Time for Trumpets, his history of the Battle of the Bulge, Charles B. MacDonald tells how the SS Colonel Joachim Peiper was forced to withdraw from a bom-barded chateau near the town of La Gleize, leaving behind a number of severely wounded soldiers of both armies. Also left behind," MacDonald wrote, "on a whitewashed wall of one of the rooms in the basement was a charcoal drawing of Christ, thorns on his head, tears on his cheeks---whether drawn by a German or an American nobody would ever know."28 This is not an image that belongs to history but rather one that judges it.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Thanks to Mike Furches, and his wonderful "Faith and Film" seminar, for the tip.
Watch this heavily-edited excerpt of South Park's "Do The Handicapped Go to Hell?" episode below.
The rest of the episode may be terribly offensive to some, I am not endorsing it all...but this section is funny and prophetic, and is the section Mike shows at church seminars, which is a wonderful conversation starter on a number of important questions.
here it is:
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
I just smiled and kept a straight face.
The woman was from a traditional ecclesial background; and meant well. She knew me from my days as a denominational pastor of a church with a sizable building. And she knew that I had launched out as pastor of a church plant; we have met in a school, a furniture store, a conference room and a storefront. So she asked a question which befuddled me:
"Do you have a church yet?"
I realized, of course, she meant
"Do you have your own permanent traditional 'church' building yet?"
A completely different question and ballpark.
The answer to that question would be “God forbid it ever come to pass.”
I am not sure what I said; I explained our various meeting places.
It didn’t compute for her.
"Oh, that's nice. But I'm still praying for you to find a church," she said.
I was tempted to say “You can stop praying, we’ve been one from day one.”
But I should have said “Thank you. May your prayers come true.”
I was fresh from a more confrontational meeting; having to defend the legitimacy of what we as a church were doing . I might have been tempted to use Mike Furches stock answer for Pharisees; or call her the dirty word Jesus called Herod.. She was no Pharisee; no need to be sarcastic, Dave.
I have learned to be glad when questions like this come up. A few years ago I got this question on the website:
Dave, You wrote: "The word 'church' is not used in Bible for a building or a Sunday gathering. So to emphasize this, we try not to say 'at church,' for example, because we are the church. "
Do not take this wrong... I am trying to learn all that is possible. You used the above sentence. I am trying to learn why... Yes I know each person is the ultimate church or should be. Yet to have a regular spot such as a "temple" or "building" seems to have been what is being said in the Scriptures below:
...Yes I understand in the below that Peter IS the rock... but what did Peter do and build?
....One last thought. "Church" by it's pure definition means:
[Old English cir(i)ce , from a prehistoric Germanic word that is also the ancestor of German Kirche; ultimately from Greek kuriakon doma “house of the lord,” from kurios “lord”].
A scoffer's reply to some of your statements (about not saying "in church") might be: "Funny, Jesus used that term (church) several times while on planet earth...I thought He liked it."
Dave, just hit me over the head and point me in the right direction.
My answer is here.
Obviously (I hope) the church is people. We need no building to be church.
But we all need to become more of what we already are (Philippians 3:16).
Now that our church (as people) is seeking to become more of a Third Place
(See the link to several wonderful bloggers who have written about church as Third Place in the Wikipedia article here), our prayers are that if we do rent a building in public space(coffee shop etc) that we can become even more churchified…in the biblical sense, please!
We don’t want to aquire an edifice complex.
We fear buying into the bankruptcy of the attractional model
We don’t want to baptize the “indrag” model.
Like that term? In “The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and
The church bids people to come and hear the gospel in the holy confines of the church and its community. This seems so natural to us after seventeen centuries of Christendom, but at what price and to what avail have we allowed it to continue? If our actions imply that God is really only present in official church activities - worship, Bible studies, Christian youth meetings, ladies fellowships - then it follows that mission and evangelism simply involve inviting people to church-related meetings.
In fact, this is one of the core assumptions that the attractional church is based upon - the assumption that God cannot really be accessed outside sanctioned church meetings or, at least, that these meetings are the best place for not-yet-Christians to learn about God. Evangelism therefore is primarily about mobilizing church members to attract unbelievers into church where they can experience God. Rather than being genuine "out-reach," it effectively becomes something more like an "in-drag." (p. 41)
The age, its emerging creativity (finally) and its wrestling with technology, raises new (?) questions:
Is XXXchurch a 'church?"
Is The Virtual Pew a "church"?
“We are God’s building”1 Cor 3:9
In these early stages of morphing into a more missional
1)As we move into a Third Place building, if we pray our cards right, we’ll increase our discernment about the will of God for our in house matters. Huh? Chapter and verse?
“The sons of Isacchar…who knew and understood the secular times and culture, and thus knew what God’s people should do” (1 Chron 12.32)
2)Ironically, our fear of koinonitis may be unfounded, the richest fellowship happens as we are being missional; befriending and learning from the unchurched.
3) There may well be biblical precedent for a huge spiritual blessing inliterally founding our cornerstone in pagan territory..Ray Van Der Laan’s classic video “The Gates of Hell” is to be wrestled and reckoned with. He suggests that the rock of
“He assured them that on that ‘rock’—the place where Satan is strongest in society, where ungodly values and beliefs are boldly promoted—that he will build his church.” (56)
My recent experiences of church at the liquor store ,pizza joint; and even (no!) McDonalds are formational and foundational for our church
There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation. – Madeleine L’Engle
4)I often dreamed of traveling back in time to re-seed our original DNA (even bylaws) with a more intentionally missional embedding. But we are experiencing the equivalent now. I am tempted to say “Churches don’t have outreach. The church is outreach.”
But that doesn't go far enough. Or it may be backwards. How bout:
“The outreach is the church”
Please follow the fruitful conversation Len stirred up by asking "Does missiology precede ecclesiology...or is it the other way round?"
"It's not the Church of god that has a mission, but the God of mission who has a church." Rowan Williams
(a) from consumerism to community;
(b) from incongruence to code;
(c) from autocracy to shared leadership;
(d) from cloister to missional;
(e) from inertia to reinvention.
I haven't read the book; so not sure what he means by "code." Seems to be "personality," culture or DNA..
Love Lessig's seminal work on "Code"
"As I travel, I have observed a pattern, a strange historical phenomenon of God moving geographically from the Middle East, to Europe to North America to the developing world. My theory is this: God goes where he's wanted."
-Philip Yancy, Christianity Today, February 5, 2001.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Mike Furches...who preached for us Sunday; and is film reviewer for HollywoodJesus; posted one of his most controversial (unfortunately) movie reviews ever...of Michael Moore's "Sicko"...Please, no Pharisees complaining to him..if you heard him Sunday...or heard his podcast here: You'll know what St Mike says to those type (:
The review's here
The below is from "Daily Life in the Homeless Shelter" blog. I don't know the poster's name (they signed in as "rhymes with kerouac,"...but is is wonderful:
The following is only 50 of the questions I've been accumulating in my head about Christian culture. Other people have dust bunnies behind the couch - I have Killer Zombie Dust Bunnies from the Black Lagoon in my head. Go figure.
Pleae - don't think of these as criticisms. Think of them as conversation starters.
1. Why don't we give church members keys to the kitchen?
2. Can we throw more parties?
3. Is this Fair Trade Coffee?
4. Do you know how many people say, "how are you?" and don't listen to the answer?
5. Are you one of them?
6. I'm coming back to the heart of worship. I'm sorry Lord, for the thing that I've made it. Did I miss something or is that song still all about me?
7. How many people in the congregation on a Sunday morning have the gift of preaching?
8. How many of those people - gifted for the edification of the church - get to preach?
9. If God has given each believer a spirtual gift, and all those many and varied gifts are intended for the edification of the church, why does our church practice bear no relevance to this fact whatsoever?
10. What would happen if there was no big building for us all to go to on Sunday morning?
11. Can a coffee shop breakfast with the guys still be church?
12. It's Sunday morning and the worship band is struggling. Am I going to be okay with that?
13. Why does every event have a guest speaker?
14. If I only had 12 people in my congregation, and one of them ends up turning on me, one of them flat out denies he even knows me, and the rest bail out just when I need them most... would my ministry be a success or a failure?
15. Are you as tired as I am of being called a 'sheep'? Actually, I don't mind that so much, it's the 'stupid, dumb sheep' part that kind of bugs me.
16. How is it that nobody likes a gossip, but they hardly ever gett called on it? Tell a dirty joke at the church social and get told right then and there. Gossip all day long and... nothing. And no, I don't want to tell them, either.
17. Why is bigger better?
18. Green Prosperity Hankerchief. Need I say more?
19. Millions of immigrants coming to our country every year, and every single one of them needs Jesus. Has a more glorious opportunity ever been so inelegantly squandered by the church?
20. If our entire bible consisted only of the four gospels, how would our religion look today?
21. Why don't we stop explaining our faith to atheists? Yes - my faith is completely, totally and absolutely irrational. That would be the 'faith' part. Duh.
22. Of all the sermons about forgiveness you've heard, how many times have you seen a preacher stop and say, "Okay, this is how you forgive someone...?"
23. Why Thomas Kinkade?
24. Is playing cards still a sin?
25. Have you ever heard someone pray and they say something like, "...and Satan we bind you from blah, blah, blah..."? Everytime I hear someone do that I want to stop them and ask when they started praying to Satan.
26. Sometimes I also have to ask... Are you praying to the congregation?
27. And then sometimes I also want to ask... Is this a prayer or a sermon?
28. "We thank you father, that you, father, have blessed us father, that you loved us father, and that, father, you are here with us now father." Why do people pray like that?
29. I have yet to be at a congregational meeting, church business meeting, elders, deacons or committee meeting of any kind that does not open with a devotional message from the bible. Does anyone else find this odd?
30. And is anyone else no longer surprised at the number of times that devotional message is about unity?
31. If a church event is meant to be an 'outreach' to our friends and family, shouldn't we be going to where they are? If not, perhaps we should change the name to 'inreach'.
32. We went from old hymn books to new hymn books to song books to overheads to Power Point. What's next?
33. Wooden pews. What were they thinking?
34. Remember bus ministry?
35. Everybody at church knows what the rules are, everybody knows how to behave, what's expected of them. No-one ever sat you down and said, 'these are the rules...' but you know them anyway. How did you learn the rules? Of course, you can't really understand this question until you get a bunch of folks together in a street church, where no-one knows how to behave in church...
36. Here's a little game to play. Sit in church. Pick a man or woman - someone you sort of know, but don't know real well. A Christian person. A nice Christian person. Ask yourself, "If they fell off the wagon and ended up downtown, living on the street, sleeping in their own urine and vomit... would I go get them?
37. Would any of us go get them?
38. Or would that be the pastor's job?
39. Why are we afraid of art?
40. There's crackers in the communion plate. Is it just me or...?
41. Why do missionaries always live somewhere else?
42. There's a guy outside of town with the words, "Jesus is alive" painted on his roof. His neighbour has painted the words, "So is Elvis" on his roof. Which guy would you rather have a beer with?
43. Rich Christians are blessed by God. Absolutely destitute Christians must live on faith for their every need. Which is better?
44. Which is better when you haven't eaten in three days?
45. Why do all our pictures of Jesus look like us?
46. You have a Christian Fish on your car. What are you attempting to communicate, and to whom is that communication directed? Why? Okay, that's three questions. So sue me.
47. Why is it that none of us can walk to church?
48. Why is there a copyright on bibles?
49. When will we stop praying for revival and start living like the revived?
50. Where do we go from here?
Thanks for reading everyone. Now, let's close in prayer...
Posted on July 11, 2007 by Registered Commenter[rhymes with kerouac] | Comments23 Comments