Friday, July 31, 2009

Jay Bakker on Marriage and Ted Haggard

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Unlikely Disciple

I just bought a book that I cannot wait to start reading. It is titled The Unlikely Disciple - A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University. The author is Kevin Roose and here is a description of the book in a nutshell that I copied from the inside front and back flaps.

No drinking.
No Smoking.
No cursing.
No dancing.
No R-rated movies.

Kevin Roose wasn't used to rules like these. As a sophomore at Brown University, he spent his days drinking fair-trade coffee, singing in an a cappella group, and generally fitting right in with Brown's free-spirited, ultra-liberal student body. But when Roose leaves his Ivy League confines to spend a semester at Liberty University, a conservative Baptist school in Lynchburg, Virginia, obedience is no longer optional.

Liberty is tha late Reverend Jerry Falwell's "Bible Boot Camp" for young evangelicals, his training ground for the next generation of America's Religious Right. Liberty's ten thousand undergraduates take courses like Introduction to Youth Ministry and Evangelism 101, hear from guest speakers like Sean Hannity and Karl Rove, and follow a forty-six-page code of conduct - called "The Liberty Way" - that regulates every aspect of their social lives. Hoping to connect with his evangelical peers, Roose decides to enroll at Liberty as a new transfer student, leaping across the God Divide and chronicling his adventures in this daring report from the front lines of America's culture war.

Roose's journey takes him to an evangelical hip-hop concert, a Friday night Bible study group, and choir practice at Rev. Falwell's legendary Thomas Road Baptist Church. He experiments with prayer, participates in a spring break mission trip to Daytona Beach (where he learns to preach the gospel to partying coeds), and pays a visit to Every Man's Battle, an on-campus support group for chronic masturbators. He meets pastors' kids, closet doubters, and Christian rebels, and in a twist of fate, he conducts what would turn out to be the last print interview of Rev. Falwell's life.

Hilarious and heartwarming, respectful and thought-provoking, THE UNLIKELY DISCIPLE will inspire and entertain believers and nonbelievers alike.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jerked around no more

I wanted to share a post from Kent that I read this morning because it made me happy that I am no longer manipulated by fear. Thanks for this post Kent.

When it becomes impossible to manipulate an individual through the exploitation of fear due to the reality that this individual is no longer changes for such an individual...radically changes.

Friday, July 24, 2009

When Christians do 'Fascinating Things'

I found this in Ministry Today. I love the movement that is going on in Portland right now. This is what the church should be doing. I would move to Portland in a second should the opportunity ever come up.

QUOTE: "Given the demographics, dominant status is not a 'problem' that's going to afflict Portland's evangelicals anytime soon. That's hardly stopping them from doing what has always served Christianity best. Shane Claiborne, a Christian activist based in Philadelphia, described it this way when he came to speak in Portland earlier this year. The best way for Christians to make people know about Jesus, Claiborne declared, is by 'doing fascinating things.' That's clearly what's happening here in 'Jesus' favorite city.' And more and more of the nonevangelical rest of us are becoming fascinated. —Portland, Ore.-based writer and USA Today columnist Tom Krattenmaker, on the noticeable shift in how Christians in his city are perceived. Through such initiatives as the "Season of Service," which brought together more than 500 area churches to serve the community through various means, Portland's believers are becoming known for their "show, don't tell" approach to sharing Christ and their partnerships with unlikely camps (including Portland's gay, liberal mayor, Sam Adams). " Although Portland is hardly the only place where evangelical Christianity is evolving (and making new friends in the process), there is little doubt that evangelicals here are on the front end of a deep-change trend that is taking Christianity into its new future," Krattenmaker writes. "What's especially interesting is the 'why?'—the strong likelihood that Christianity's best face is showing up here in the unchurched mecca not in spite of the city's secularism and skepticism, but because of them." [, 7/20/09]

Monday, July 20, 2009

In reference to my previous post

I remember talking to a pastor of a church I used to go to. He was "advising" me about my finances. Telling me that my wife and I should have a joint account and not separate ones and then telling me that I should tell my wife to "tithe".

I ran like hell and haven't turned back.

Jimmy Carter leaves Southern baptist Church

Personally, I commend Jimmy Carter for this move. I am not anti-baptist and I happen to agree with a lot of their theology. A lot of churches (and I don't care what denomination it is) get into legalistic and church politic issues that would make Jesus cringe.

Jimmy Carter leaves church over treatment of women


Friday, July 17, 2009

Come away with Me

Come away with Me for a while. The world, with its nonstop demands, can be put on hold. Most people put Me on hold, rationalizing that someday they will find time to focus on Me. But the longer people push Me into the background of their lives, the harder it is for them to find Me.

You live among people who glorify busyness; they have made time a tyrant that controls their lives. Even those who know Me as Savior tend to march to the tempo of the world. They have bought into the illusion that more is always better: more meetings, more programs, more activity.

I have called you to follow Me on a solitary path, making time alone with Me your highest priority and deepest Joy. It is a pathway largely unappreciated and often despised. However, you have chosen the better thing, which will never be taken away from you. Moreover, as you walk close to Me, I can bless others through you.

July 17th reading from Sarah Young's devotional Jesus Calling - Enjoying Peace in His Presence

Much violence is based on the illusion that life is a property to be defended and not to be shared.
- Henri Nouwen

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Friday, July 10, 2009

Quittin' Time

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Across the boundary lines

God has made of one blood all nations under heaven. No man can suddenly become my enemy just because he happened to have been born on the other side of a river or a boundary line, and his government has issued an ultimatum against mine. Is it not time that we refused to fight?
- Muriel Lester, social reformer and pacifist (1883-1968)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Illusion of Religious Systems (Wayne Jacobsen and Dave Coleman)

"We are so quickly captured by a work-driven religious culture that it devours the very love it seeks to sustain."

"That's the problem with institutions isn't it? The institution provides something more important than simply loving each other in the same way we've been loved. Once you build an institution together you have to protect it and its assets to be good stewards. It confuses everything. Even love gets redefined as that which protects the institution and unloving as that which does not. It will turn some of the nicest people in the world into raging maniacs and they never stop to think that all the name-calling and accusations are the opposite of love."

"...If you do what we want, we reward you. If not we punish you. It doesn't turn out to be about love at all. We give our affection only to those who serve our interests and withhold it from those who do not."

"The problem with church as you know it, is that it has become nothing more than mutual accommodation of self-need. Some need to lead. Some need to be led. Some want to teach, others are happy to be the audience. Rather than become an authentic demonstration of God's life and love in the world, it ends up being a group of people who have to protect their turf. What you're seeing is less of God's life than people's insecurities that cling to those things they think will best serve their needs...

"Religion survives by telling us we need to fall in line or some horrible fate will befall us."

"Institutionalism breeds task-based friendships. As long as you're on the same task together, you can be friends. When you're not, people have to treat you like damaged goods."

"Any human system will eventually dehumanize the very people it seeks to serve and those it dehumanizes the most are those who think they lead it. But not everyone in a system is given over to the priorities of that system. Many walk inside it without being given over to it. They live in Father's life and graciously help others as he gives them opportunity."

"The groupthink that results from believers who act together out of their fears rather than their trust in Father, will lead to even more disastrous results. They'll mistake their own agenda for God's wisdom. Because they draw their affirmation from others they'll never stop to question it, even when the hurtful consequences of their actions become obvious."

"I want to expose the system of religious obligation in whatever ways it holds people captive, but that's not the same as being against the institution. Don't let the system threaten you. As long as you react to it, it still controls you."

"Jesus didn't leave us with a system he left us with his Spirit - a guide instead of a map. Principles alone will not satisfy your hunger. That's why systems always promise a future revival that never comes. They cannot produce community because they are designed to keep people apart."

"I'm convinced that most Christian meetings give people enough of God's things to inoculate them against the reality of his presence."

"Religion is a shame-management system, often with the best of intentions and always with the worst of results."

"Who would choose to be raised in an orphanage? Our hearts hunger for family. That's where children learn who they are and how they fit into the world. Institutions are like orphanages revolving around the convenience of the staff. You survive best in it by following its rules, but that's not how Jesus connects you with his Father. For that you need a family and brothers and sisters who can respond to you in the moment, not wait for a meeting or to schedule a seminar."

"Not all structure is wrong. Simple structures that facilitate sharing his life together can be incredibly positive. The problem comes when structures take on a life of their own and provide a substitute for our dependence upon Jesus. When Jesus ceases to be the object of our pursuit, our touch with his body will fade into emptiness."

Living For the Approval of Others (Wayne Jacobsen and Dave Coleman)

"You're so busy seeking everyone's approval around you, that you don't realize you already have his."
"He'll make the choice clear to you if you don't complicate it with any attempts to protect yourself - not to keep your job, not to be liked by others, not ev
"As long as you need other people to approve of what you're doing, you are owned by anyone willing to lie about you."
"It's a lot easier for you to get out of the system than it is to get the system out of you. You can play the game from inside or outside. The approval you felt then came from the same source as the shame you feel now. That's why it hurts so much when you hear the rumors or watch old friends turn away embarrassed. They're not bad people just brothers and sisters lost in something that is not as godly as they think it is."
"You can't love what you're competing against and if you're keeping score you can be sure you're competing."

Friday, July 03, 2009

A great article...Marriage for the Masses

Marriage for the Masses