Friday, December 7, 2012

Investing in the Kingdom or Wasting Gods Money?

 I'm reading an article in the news this evening about the Old south Church in Boston. It has quite a legacy. Sam Adams was a member. Ben Franklin was baptized by the church. They even own two copies of the Bay Psalm Book, one the first books ever published in North America. Only 11 copies remain of the original printing, published in 1640 by the first printer in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Stephen Daye. I am really into Church history and would drool at the sight of either copy I am sure.  Not going to lie about the edifice either. I travel a lot and love to visit those old beautiful churches. They are freaking awesome!

So on Sunday members of the congregation voted to sell one of the copies, the 372-year-old hymn book valued at up to $20 million – to fund structural repairs and expand its ministry programs. It's their property, their vote, their congregation, their business. I just was trying to reflect on how I would feel as a pastor or member there. How would Jesus feel even? What could I find in scriptures about that?

What the vote says is that members are “agreeing that we are not conservators of rare and special objects, but a church in motion,” says Rev. Nancy Taylor. “We will turn the old hymn book into true doxology for today – helping the homeless, working with prisoners, and assisting victims of domestic violence.” I love that answer. I agree.

Here is where I got a little rattled. Part of the raised funds would go toward an estimated $7 million in building maintenance costs, the AP reported. Can a church really be considering the homeless and prisoners while spending 7 million dollars to maintain a relic of a building?

It's another biblical finance issue we need to wrestle with like the Crystal Cathedral ( see post ). Again, it's that churches business. I'm not standing in judgement. What I do want is for US as THE CHURCH to all wrestle with these financial issues that a lot of us are contributing to. We need to know what God and His Word says about it.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

"Two and a Half Men" star, Angus T. Jones, finds religion, calls TV show "filth"

I thought this news was going to make me happy. So I’m watching the videos that were put out showing exactly what he said. I see a lot of “Christians” Amen-ing the videos. I would ask you to slowly consider not getting on this bandwagon for several reasons. 

First, the gentleman with him in the video is Christopher Hudson, aka The Forerunner. He is a Seventh Day Adventist cult leader who has penetrated many African American churches with his Jay-z is a Freemason, Illuminati, part of the end time New World Order nonsense. He talks often about end time prophecy and black helicopters. This spirit has been the footprint of the Adventist since it’s origination. The world was predicted to end in 1844 with the Second Coming of Christ, by William Miller, a New England Baptist itinerant preacher. Miller's followers condemned all the churches of the day as apostate and "Babylon," and warned Christians to come out of them. A great many did, and the "adventist" movement was born and grew rapidly (Melton, J. Gordon, Encyclopedia of American Religions, Vol. 2, pp. 21–22). 

Christ did not appear in 1844. After this "Great Disappointment," one "little flock" still insisted the date of their original predictions had been correct. They decided the event marked by 1844 was not the Second Coming, but the entrance of Christ into the Holy of Holies in the Heavenly Sanctuary. There, they said, He began the "Investigative Judgment." This doctrine was received and endorsed by Ellen G. White (Ibid., p. 680).

Study their history and you will see MANY repetitions of these doomsday prophecies that never come to pass and then are explained away. Hudson is peddling “chicken little” religion and is now exploiting Jones to do so (IMHO). 

Secondly, we should also be slow to consider why we need to parade celebrity “converts” around in the media. Mostly it’s about promotion if we are going to be honest. These ministers who use these new born celebrities exploit them often just like Hollywood did. I know we claim it’s because of how many people they could influence for the kingdom but we should be careful with that. It’s like telling a Jr. High school student to forget about all the hurting kids and just pray for the conversion of the quarter back. “If we can get him, it will impact the whole school for Christ!” Where is this type of evangelism practiced or taught in the Scriptures?

Lastly, if the show is so defiled Mr. Jones and you feel so convicted, then why don’t you quit? Why doesn’t your spiritual advisor suggest it? Would it have anything to do with you won’t make $350k an episode anymore and you will be sued for millions? A lot of people are truly suffering persecution around the world for their faith, that shouldn’t be so hard. 

Don’t tell a kid not to smoke, with a cigarette hanging out your mouth.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Stars & Scars ...

Guest post by my friend:
Ricky Maye - Author, Speaker, Activist

Scars can be painful, what I mean to say is that scars can ultimately be full of pain, even after the incident occurs.

Scars don't solve, they usually are prone to bring more questions to the surface. Scars don't resolve, they often offer more confusion, and the questions begin to follow.

Why me?

Why not him or her, or them?

Or even why, just why?

What often happens is that a scar or event can become part of our physical, spiritual or emotional makeup. We let this tragic event in so much that it becomes part of us. That ugly event, that moment of hurt is now a part of you.

I love the phrase, "light of the world." I do however think it is a little lost on this society. The light of the world isn't a lamp or light. (Matt 5:14)

What is it that lights up the world? Stars. Stars light up the natural sky and the world around us. Stars would have been the light of the world.

Stars are made from gaseous explosions and collisions of elements. What we are looking at are bruises of the universe. We are gazing at the travail of the worlds around us.

Let me put it this way, stars are the scars of the universe.

A star is the result of something that couldn't make it, couldn't contain itself so it combusted; stars are the wounds of the worlds.
Just as these stars that surround us I bet you have some scars, some physical, some spiritual, some mental and some emotional.

My arms are filled with visual reminders of the physical pain I inflicted on myself in my teen years, over 15 years later they are still there for the world to see. I used to cover my arms, I used to be ashamed but now I have a beautiful story of triumph and overcoming to tell. My scars contribute to my beauty.

You and the wounds you carry are very much like those stars we stare at, I would challenge you to think twice about the way you look at your own scars. There can indeed be beauty in devastation.

We don't look at the stars in the universe and say how tragic they are, how bruised they are, even though that is what they are. We look at them and speak of the beauty they contain. The inspiration they give us.

Even though stars are the scars of the universe we don't see them as these broken pieces of gaseous matter, we see them as these majestic astrological blessings that give hope to billions.

What if you saw yourself in that same light, or better yet what if you saw others in a similar way; beautiful despite...? Or as Jesus calls each one of us to shine, inspire and offer light, despite….

Monday, July 9, 2012

10 Blogs that will have you Wrestling with God

 So for those of you who are just starting to look outside of traditional Christianity, I have compiled a brief list of 10 blogs that you might find challenging. When I first began to "emerge" from the "silo", I felt alone and had no one to really talk to. No one to ask who I should be reading to answer some of my questions, or give me new questions. So I want to give you what I didn't have, a head start.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. Also, it's not really a top 10 either (sorry authors), I merely wrote down the first 10 names that came to my mind in no particular order. These are people who regularly make me question or make me mad, so I'm always returning to their blog. I do not agree with everyone on this lists theology and I'm sure they would not mine. I'm sure they would not with each other as But they are all brilliant men, outside the box thinkers, and consistently contribute to their blogs.

I will do another list soon if this generates a good response. There is a ton of good blogs out there. Who do you think should be on my next list?

1. Frank Viola
     Twitter: @frankviola

2. John "The Rev" Jensen
    Twitter: @rev3j
3. Christian Piatt
     Twitter: @christianpiatt

4. Shaun King
    Twitter: @shaunking

5. Phil "The Whiskey Preacher" Shepard
     Twitter: @philshepard
6. Jay Bakker
     Twitter: @jaybakker

7 Brian McLaren

8. Andrew Marin

9. Donald Miller
    Twitter: @donaldmiller

10. Peter Rollins
      Twitter: @peterrollins

Friday, June 29, 2012

Good Gay Islamic Democrat

Starting a series on "Offensive Grace". This is part #1. Leave your comments. Let's discuss it.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"A Fathers Love"

Our very first Vlog post to celebrate the start of year 2! Year One was more successful than we ever  anticipated! We have grown to an average of 1200 readers a month! Thank you all so much for the support. We are hoping you will feel like sharing the videos even more than you have the blog posts and we can see 2 or 3k a month start coming through ;-)