Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Two totally unrelated thoughts

Totally unrelated thought number one: In the past few days, I've come across the term Bible believing Christian or Bible believing church a couple of times. Honestly, I really dislike that term Bible believing. I'm not exactly sure why. I think those who use it would say that a Bible believing Christian is one who believes that the Bible is true (maybe even inerrant) and that it's God's word to us. They might even use a capital W in word. I guess part of my objection to the term is the same one raised by Luther (or some other reformed theologian) that said that Christians are sometimes liable to worship the manger instead of the baby in the manger (the manger being the Bible and the baby being Jesus Christ). In the end, I don't place my faith and trust in Scripture, but in the loving arms of the One who we encounter in Scripture. Do I think the Bible is true? Yes. Do I think it's inerrant? No. Do I believe in the Bible? I'm not sure. I'm just not sure believing in the Bible is semantically correct. Now, I know I'm opening the door to be called a heretic and a (oh my gosh, the biggest insult some can think to give) a liberal, or a relativist, or some other label, but I'm willing to take that risk. Somebody help me see why Bible believing is something I should embrace.

Totally unrelated though number two: What's up with stars like Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears popping in and out of rehab like it's a bed and breakfast? Is rehab really something you do for a week and then check yourself out of? What leads stars like that to seek the highs of cocaine and/or the numbness of alcohol? Where are these stars' friends? I mean the real friends. The ones who know them deeply and intimately. Do they have those people in their lives? Living as one who is "recognized" by everyone but not "known" might have something do with the destructive behavior. I find myself being frustrated by people like Lindsey Lohan who complain about how difficult their lives are, and yet in the grand scheme of things, they have it so great. It's all relative I suppose. Does the church have anything to offer these self-destructive starts? How do we minister to such people? How do we offer an alternative narrative to those entrenched in the world of stardom?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Waiting for somebody to push him

This past weekend, my sister and her husband came to visit. We explored Franklin and Nashville, heard some live bluegrass, went to church, visited The Hermitage (the home of Andrew Jackson), and went to the zoo. While we were at the zoo, we were watching some sort of monkey (it had another name, but I can't think of it right now) play in it's paddock. One of them jumped on a swing of sorts, you know, the type with the log tied to trees with rope. A little girl was sitting there watching and said, "Hey, that one's waiting for somebody to push him." For some reason, that struck me as really great. How many times have we been sitting on a swing simply waiting for somebody to push us? Sure, swinging by yourself can be fun, but it's so much more thrilling to have someone pushing you as you scream, "Higher! Higher!" And then there's always the unexpected halt in the midair as the person pushing grabs the chains of the swing. So many metaphors for life there somewhere:
  • Going out and coming back in.
  • The first push to disturb inertia being the most difficult.
  • Getting into the rhythm of life.
  • Little nudges in the midst of the motion of life.
  • Being willing to sit there and wait for somebody to push you.
For today, my mind is settling on that last one. This past Sunday at church we talked about going (or shuv-ing if you're into Hebrew), and David used the analogy of not being able to steer a parked car. But sometimes, in the midst of a go go go society, maybe we need to simply find a nice park with a swing that's completely still and simply sit there and wait for somebody to push us. Maybe we spend too much time trying to push ourselves and so we miss the joy of feeling the loving hands of God on our backs as we squeal with delight. I don't know...Maybe I'm making too much out of a little girl's comment, but I like thinking about that swing with God pushing me higher and higher.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Thoughts on worship...

So, I ran a half marathon last weekend. More on that when I have some pictures to share. For now, though, I'm reading Leaving Church by Barbara Brown Taylor. It's brilliant, as most of her writing is. Anyway, I just read this paragraph about worship and I think it captures some of the thoughts and meditations I've been having for the past 6 months or so:

If this terrific mystery is not apparent to most people sitting in the pews, then there are at least two things wrong. One is that worship has become too tame, and the other is that those who come have stopped bringing their own fire. The two may even be related, but neither is easily solved, nor am I sure that many people want them to be. Tame worship is easier to agree on than any other kind, and bringing fire requires a lot more energy than simply showing up. When life is pretty good and church is pleasant enough, who needs resurrection?
Wow! "Tame worship is easier to agree on than any other kind, and bringing fire requires a lot more energy than simply showing up." Do we who plan worship settle for "tame worship?" Do the masses who come to worship bring fire or simply show up? Who needs resurrection indeed? Powerful thoughts and a powerful question.