Saturday, July 21, 2012
If only comic book creative types had a crystal ball and could see the future, I am quite sure they would not name a villain "BiBeast." Two faces/brains notwithstanding,t hat name has an entirely different connotation in this sexually charged age than it did when the character was introduced in the 1960's. IN this day and age, one thinks Jim J Bullock when one hears the name BiBeast. Poor Stan and JAck, not a clue what would come later.
But, their unfortunately named Hulk protagonist, is an absolutely iconic image. Look at these pictures, the over muscled, head-over-head image is amazing! I could be wrong, but I believe BiBeast is the first every appearance of the head-over-head configuration in a long line of two-headed characters. (Remember all those unfortunate films of the 50's and 60's?)
*SIGH* One of the biggest winners (image) and biggest losers (name) in comic history combined in a single character. I am surprised the image has not bee revisited. Is it possible to be too iconic?
Friday, July 20, 2012
We need more Christians who will lead lives of repentance, for repentance always challenges pride.Can you imagine what the church would be like if people were more willing to admit even simple mistakes? How many hassles and difficulties would be eliminated if we were simply able to admit our mistakes.
If you're coming to God daily to confess to him how much you have sinned, you will find it hard to pretend that you are holier than everybody else. You'll find it hard to put on airs, to pose as the perfect Christian.
If we are able to humble ourselves before God, we will be humble before men as well. And the church will be far better if there are more of us who are like that.
And it starts with daily confession. Humility is not a character trait acquired by osmosis - it is acquired by practice.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Mixing The Deep And The Trivial
"Can we reduce 'making disciples' and 'teaching Christ's commands' to the delivery of information?"to the certainly academic, maybe even trivial:
Even if we recognize that the verbs related to the kingdom are passive (receiving, bearing witness to, etc.), does this necessarily preclude us from speaking of 'work for the kingdom'?"This is clearly an effort to simplify that which cannot be simplified and to make the less important seem important so you CAN give a simple answer. In other words, if my congregants won't go deep, I make everything surface for them.
I'm sorry about the tone, but I find this flat out irritating.
Shouldn't pastors be asking HOW TO BUILD THE DESIRE FOR PEOPLE TO "GO DEEP" in stead of how to make the important sound trivial and vice versa.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Myths and Legends
- If I’m not hearing anyone complain, everyone must be happy
- I can lead everyone the same way
- Leadership and management are the same thing
- Being the leader makes you popular
- Leaders must be extroverted charismatics
- Leaders accomplish by controlling others
Lots of good stuff there, but I want to focus on the one I highlighted. If not all people can be lead in the same fashion, why do we even try to do church on such a mass scale?
I think that idea is a very correct one. Christianity is meant to be passed on as an apprenticeship, not a lecture series. So one person needs a few apprentices who then has a few more apprentices, who then has a few more apprentices.
If you think about it, it sort of throws all the other leadership myths he discusses out the window becasue they do not matter anymore.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Who Should Lead?
The church in America is led by scholars. Essentially, the church is a robust school system created around a framework of lectures and discussions and study. We assume this is the way its supposed to be because this is all we have ever known. I think the scholars have done a good job, but they’ve also recreated the church in their own image. Churches are essentially schools. They look like schools with lecture halls, classrooms, cafeterias and each new church program is basically a teaching program.He goes on to talk about how Jesus did not recruit teachers, but laborers. He also says some ting that I really agree with:
Because we’ve been led by scholars for so long, we have slightly distorted ideas about Christian discipleship. If you want to grow in Christ, you should study more. Christian growth, then, is an academic path. And like educators, we only advance to become higher level educators. The point of learning is always teaching which produces further learning and then more teaching. The only difference between the church and another educational institution is that nobody ever graduates from the church. We just keep going to school.That's really true. We have a very distorted view of what Christian maturity looks like. I have written over and over here about how it seems like you reach a certain point in your growth and professional ministry is the only option open to you.
But I wonder if his cure is not chaos:
So maybe if you’re a doctor or a plumber or a carpenter, you should lead the church. Maybe the church needs some of you who don’t write and speak and teach for a living to step up and put some action to our faith. I wonder what your churches would look like? Maybe you could meet in homes, appoint some elders, pray for each other, read the Bible to each other, and then just serve your communities and each other in love. Maybe you wouldn’t need a classroom at all. Go ahead, lead. You’re qualified. You’ll have a guide. You’ve graduated.And now you know why I am Presbyterian. What he is talking about here is a still a model where the church extends from one individual.
In the Presbyterian system the church is lead by a group of individual = and the role of preaching is filled by one specially trained individual. The rub with the Presbyterian system right now seems to be that only one or two people in that elected group care enough to exercise genuine leadership, leaving the preacher to do the real leadership anyway.
Here's what I wonder, what would happen if the current leaders concentrated on making new leaders, not just filling the pews?
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Monday, July 16, 2012
Dealing With Sin
Brady Boyd writes, “A man in our church came to me recently with a heavy heart. His daughter was married to a man who had recently been caught in adultery. The couple went to another church here in town and the father contacted their pastor to see if he would confront his son-in-law on this obvious sin. The pastor refused, not seeing it as his duty. What? Not his duty? If we’re really pastors, it’s actually one of our primary responsibilities, especially if we love the people we lead.Now I agree with the sentiment behind this, but not necessarily the details. Let's start with the agreement. People engaged in serious and harmful sin - like adultery, do not need to be banished from the church but they do need to be confronted, if for no other reason that it is harmful for the church. The deception that must ripple out from such a thing harms everybody it touches.
Not surprisingly, fewer and fewer church leaders are willing to go to people who are living in open sin and confront them. Why? Do we lack the courage? Are we ignoring the biblical mandate as leaders to protect the innocent from the harmful?
I watched one particularly ugly situation devolve an entire community into picking sides in the eventual divorce.
But Boyd's underlying posts lists three things that he feels much be confronted:
- Unrepentant Sin
- Divisive Behavior
- Heresy or false teaching
And heresy? - please. That's a recipe for civil war. I don't many people that could properly articulate the doctrine of the Trinity - am I supposed to "confront" all of them? I mean virtually everyone else has some heretical views if I am the judge of of heresy. And since when is heresy a sin? It's not evil to be wrong, it's just wrong - There is a difference.
We need to be very careful confronting sin, bu we do have to confront it.
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