Posts Tagged ‘Chrisitianity’

What is the new invitation in this?

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

This era is a challenging one.  For many the God question is dead or dying.   For many others, the God question remains squeezed to the side of more appealing options, overstuffed schedules and frenetic lives.

The God question. The God question, for me, in 2017, no longer centers on “belief.”  The question now rests on action, on lifestyle, on peace, on sacred commitments – outside of my immediate desires – sacred commitments to join together with others, connecting in fellowship and addressing the suffering of the world in whatever small, humble ways we can.

So what is the new invitation in this?

Possibly the new invitation in this – to rediscover the rhythm of our souls, aligned with God.  To see in Christ a model of how maybe a new form of following arises.  A stewardship of a new spiritual creation and a stewardship of a new physical creation … soul meets God, meets planet, meets body, meets others, meets life.

Sacrifice part of it all.  Sacrifice … “to make sacred.”

Sacrifice on the path to joy!

 

 

New Times In the World of Church

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Seth Godin:

Those critical choices you made then, they were based on what you knew about the world as it was.

But now, you know more and the world is different.

So why spend so much time defending those choices?

We don’t re-decide very often, which means that most of our time is spent doing, not choosing. And if the world isn’t changing (if you’re not changing) that doing makes a lot of sense.

The pain comes from falling in love with your status quo and living in fear of making another choice, a choice that might not work.

You might have been right then, but now isn’t then, it’s now.

If the world isn’t different, no need to make a new decision.

The only question, then, “is the world different now?”

Is the world different now?  Yes.  Is the hunger for purpose, for God, for meaning, for comfort, for growth different now?  No.

So change is coming.  And so is the continuity that makes faith faith.

Amen.

Reclaiming a thing for all nations

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

If one follows Christianity, much of how it is portrayed follows its record of attempting to pin down moral certitudes, creating a world around those knowns that actively excludes the other.   A recent article in the New York Times wrote of Bryan College in that vein ….

Since Bryan College’s founding in 1930, its statement of belief, which professors have to sign as part of their employment contracts, included a 41-word section summing up the institution’s conservative views on creation and evolution, including the statement: “The origin of man was by fiat of God.” But in February, college officials decided that professors had to agree to an additional clarification declaring that Adam and Eve “are historical persons created by God in a special formative act, and not from previously existing life-forms.”

The college clearly holds to a literalistic view of the Bible, one that eschews evolution.

Despite my disagreements, Bryan College has the right to do that very thing.  As a matter of fact I would argue that we are healthier for the courage of institutions who willingly take reasonable stands to protect their identity even if that identity sets them against the broader culture.

Where I struggle is how the New York Times article progressed, referencing how this tension inherent between science and religion evidenced at Bryn College is one Christianity wrestles with, creating a clear implication that this tension remains a Christian issue vs. a Bryan College issue.  To that I strongly disagree.  I am Christian.  Science and religion, in my faith tradition, work not as foils but as partners.  I believe science is the voice of God in the same way that scripture is.   As I understand it, the World and the Word then both speak. The issue is Bryan College’s, not Christianity’s.

Christianity, at its best, is to be an open place for all nations. Countless Christians work in that direction, the direction of a faith not bent on proselytizing but on humbling serving the suffering of the world.  And very little is written or said there, and the conversation remains diminished.

And there is a much more wonderful conversation to be had.

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4: 19-21)

Love Wins

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

We closed our series “Love Wins” this past Sunday.  What a blessed topic to speak on.

It was a deeply moving moment last week to be up front with the 6 volunteers from the congregation – 3 reading passages from the Bible, 3 listening.  The power of God’s Word is a miracle.  Looking at the faces, and at the tears, of those who were read to was profound.  I am reminded in witnessing that why the Bible through most of history was an oral tradition.  There is simply something in those words.  Our job is to give and receive the power present there – not just the literal words but the spirit within them.

The power is so profound I find myself in constant need to remain quiet in it’s presence, humble in its sphere.

Thank you God for being a space where we can experience that, and live into it together.