Posts Tagged ‘Water’

Holding A Cup of Water vs. Waterboarding

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Bob Goff in a recent speech noted how the job of a Christian is the same as the role of someone offering a cup of water to a marathoner running past.  We hold it lightly.  We offer it freely.  We don’t force, cajole or chase.  It is problematic if we keep telling people they are thirsty when they aren’t.  Offer the cup freely.  And when they are thirsty they will take it.  And the point of it all is not the cup.  Or us.  The point is that blessed offering of other-oriented help along this journey.

He noted, with a smile, we have a name for giving people water they don’t want … water-boarding.

A Glass of Water: The Third Way and the issue of Sexual Orientation

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

I have immense admiration for a church by the name of “North Point” in Atlanta.  Several months ago their Pastor, Andy Stanley, shared the following story.

Andy was a new minister serving in his dad’s church.  With the annual Gay Pride Parade approaching, Andy’s father, knowing that the parade organizers had routed the parade right by his church, timing its arrival to the same time as church was to let out, decided to end church early.

The parishoners poured out at the close of church, believing that in so doing they would rob the parade organizers the supposed satisfaction of a confrontation with the congregation.  However, the parade had actually arrived early.

Andy watched the somewhat awkward stand off.  And then he noticed.  He noticed the church across the street.  The church across the street had a table set up with glasses of water for those in the parade.

That is the Third  Way.

We talked Sunday of the danger of dividing the world all too easily into “boxes.”  That most often is the self centered endeavor of the human ego.  As we discussed, the reality is that we carry those boxes around in what we judge their most useful form – ammunition boxes packed with rationalizations for our positions.  It is not a posture from which one listens but often only a position from which one attacks.  In the story above, Andy’s father had an “ammunition box” as did no doubt some of those in the parade.

But water is the “universal solvent.”  By sharing simple glasses of water the neighboring congregation was refusing to pick up the weapon of words.  Did that congregation have members opposed to homosexuality on moral grounds?  No doubt.  Did the parade likewise include those who held similar judgements about Christians?  No doubt.  But by that simple act of water, a Third Way was opened.  The confrontation of “either” “or” gave way to something more profound.

Religious movements, from a New Church perspective, can figuratively be seen as gardens, gardens judged in the end by their fruit, by what that produce – by the effect of love.    Religious movements – institutionally or individually – that close down conversation and simple human connection are not bearing useful fruit.  Religious movements that open conversation and connection – “Come let us reason together” – in their own very simple way make a profoundly courageous stand for the Third Way.

We are to make stands.  We are be firmly unwavering at times.  Our question is what does that look like for us?  I vote “water.”