Question for readers

Friday, November 30, 2007

For discussion:

Is there ever a time when a church split is a "good thing"?

Imagine a world outside of the box

What would happen if we ventured outside of our safe places and thought outside of the box. What if we did things differently? more creative!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

For the love of God (literally) be more creative! Can't we come up with something different than "Hey! This thing might be anti-God...BOYCOTT IT!!" Isn't there some sort of constructive method of entering into conversation about topics that might go against the flow of what we believe?

Take for instance the upcoming movie The Golden Compass. If you haven't heard, there is a large movement of Christians that are supporting a boycott of the film. Why? Because in the final installment of the series, the children 'kill God'. Seriously. Now, what should our action be?

Does getting on the trumpet calling for a boycott sound like a smart maneuver? Did it work when the Southern Baptist Convention boycotted Disney and their affiliates? Not at all. In fact, that boycott didn't do anything but make Christians look stupid and cost the jobs of people who desperately needed them. I was working there when they fired thousands of people to recoup that money.

I think about when Jesus called his children to be the light of the world. Are we really being a light when we get more up in arms over a series of books than when a 15 year old girl is imprisoned with 20 men and raped repeatedly over several weeks?

Let's be more creative in our approach to things we don't approve of. To the world, we look like a bunch of lunatics crying about a children's movie. I once again point out that there wasn't a break out of witchcraft in our elementary schools because of the Harry Potter series. If you don't support the movie, that's fine, don't see it. But making a huge fuss about it only further destroys our voice in this world because we look like a big child throwing a temper tantrum.

Perhaps instead of being so scared that children are going to flock to atheism, we enter into a conversation with our children after seeing the movie/reading the book and talk to them about it. Giving kids what I call a "crap filter" is absolutely imperative in this world that we live in. If they aren't able to distinguish between what is good and evil and what the hidden agenda is, they are in for a difficult life. We have to teach discernment.

But please, let's be more creative than the old fashioned boycott.

When Monty Python Meets Star Wars

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Exactly how this has escaped my wide adventures in internet travel I'll never know. But I bring to you one of the greatest remakes of all time:

The Golden Compass

Thursday, November 22, 2007

By some sheer miracle if you haven't received an email forward about the upcoming children's movie The Golden're lucky. But chances are, you've heard it and know whats going on. But just in case, it's the movie that is coming out his Christmas season strangely similar to that of the Chronicles of Narnia. Except, at the end, the children kill god.

There is a strong movement in the Christian community to have this movie banned and they're making a large fuss about the whole thing. I think I've finally come to the conclusion that I'm not too worried about it. Why? Well..."we" threw a big fit about Harry Potter because "we" were afraid that kids would start practicing witchcraft...and that didn't happen.

Neither did a massive revival occur at the release of the Passion of the Christ.

We get all worked up over nothing. For further reading I defer to the always wise SWNID. huggie

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Christian Standard had some really good articles a couple weeks ago about how to be welcoming in your church. In an age where we are constantly trying to bring people to church, people jump from church to church to where they feel the most 'welcome'.

Now, I'm not going to get in a large discussion about how to make people feel welcome in your church. It's pretty straight forward: Go up to someone you've never seen and introduce yourself. That's pretty easy.

But one thing that is absolutely critical...and I mean ESSENTIAL that you absolutely DO NOT do: hug people as they come in the door.

Let me repeat that: DO NOT hug people!

It's weird and violating! I have a personal bubble! Respect it please! Let me give you a short story to illustrate this:

The year is 2006. We have our High schoolers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at a fairly large Baptist church. We bring our students to this church because it's Sunday and we need a place to worship before we head on our way towards New Orleans.

We have several young girls in our group ranging from 14 to 17 years old. As we approach the building I saw him. He was about 60 years old and heading straight towards us. No big deal, I'm familiar with larger churches and their greeter policies. But as he approaches our Senior Minister, he gives him this great big bear hug then proceeds to hug each and every one of us. His hugs linger a little too long for my liking on our young girls. I was a bit uncomfortable (I tend to be the overprotective father type when it comes to our girls).

So please, if you want someone to feel welcome, do it with a hand shake. Hugs are not necessary. Hugs are for relatives and good friends. Not for creepy old men and young teenage girls. Make someone feel welcome with a hand shake and remember their name!

Ex-Religion Journalist has a good point

Friday, November 16, 2007

This morning I came across this article on a religion journalist who was walking out on his faith. The reason? He was sick of all the scandalous things that went on within the faith community.

But that's not the reason I found this article interesting.

"Bates, who says he still regards himself as a Catholic, said he was turned off by the intolerance he saw towards gays and the self-righteousness of Christians who “pick and choose the sins that are acceptable and condemn those – always committed by other, lesser people – that are not.”"

Bates is certainly right! We do pick and choose sins. We will fight pain and nail to get things like abortion banned, but we do nothing with vagrant disregard of our environment. We need to branch out a little.

Kick his ask!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

For your daily cuteness...

It's a sad day.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I turned 26 years old today.

Birthdays just aren't as fun anymore.

Life just goes by way too fast.

Ministry To Men

Let's face it. The American church caters to women. Walk into any typical church today and you will notice some of the following things:

1) Decorative paintings
2) Floral arrangements
3) Love songs to Jesus
4) Flowery furniture and accessories
5) Quilts and banners and bows
6) And other miscellaneous things.

Now, don't misunderstand me, I don't believe these things are bad or that we need to trash all this stuff. What I am saying, is that we are inadvertently repelling men.

Compare the following lyrics of worship songs:

"A mighty fortress is our God! A bulwark never failing." - A Mighty Fortress is Our God

"I'm feeling like the eagle that rises. Flies above the earth and it's troubles." - Abba Father

The first song, written by Martin Luther focuses in on God and applies terms that a man can identify with: Fortress. Bulwark. Strong terms that men can identify with. The second song focuses in on feelings and emotions. Notice the very second word of the song is "feeling" and how that relates to things that are immediately surrounding the song writer. Again, nothing wrong with that, but from a man's perspective he just isn't comfortable singing love songs to Jesus.

That's my personal peeve, and thankfully our worship music at RCC fits the bill, but when I was in college we would always make fun of the brand spankin' new worship songs that would come in. We often made up our own lyrics such as "I want to buy you a rose Jesus".

Anyways, we're missing men in today's church. I used to have a ton of statistics on this matter, but you don't need stats to look around and see that only a few men are coming to church and getting involved.

This was further proven to me during this last church leadership election. Absolutely no man would stand up and be "Chairman of the board" and we only had 1 addition to our elders. But we had about 15 women want to be deaconesses (and power to them!) This isn't just a problem in our church, but nationwide. Men are no longer coming to the church and we need to find a way to get them here. Even better, go out and get them.

Promise Keepers is an excellent program designed to disciple men. More churches need to get involved in this great program. They have an excellent article on this subject that you can read here. They say it a lot better than I can.

How about the Football night bible study. Watch the game, bible study at halftime, finish the game. Complete with pizza and *gasp* beer.

If I didn't know Jesus that would get me to church!