God Stuff

Doing it Wrong?

I kind of have to agree with this story (picture, actually – there doesn’t seem to be a story):

A vision for Library Mall: fewer d-bags (badgerherald.com)

Here’s the picture:

library-mall

For as long as I’ve been in the Madison area and for as long as I’ve been going downtown (which is most of my life), I’ve seen everything. There are non-stop protestors, walks, demonstrations, riots and your standard weirdos. What I hate the most is the lefty protestors, of course, who still think this is the 1960s – but a very close 2nd are the “Christian” protestors out there with signs.

I put the word Christian in quotes because that’s the label they’re using wrongly. Throughout history a lot of bad things have been done in the name of Christianity, which is why I do not really like to call myself a Christian. I’d rather call myself a “follower of Jesus” since it strips away all the negative things done in the name of Christianity.

So, back to this guy… for me, personally, from what I’ve read and studied about Jesus is that he never walked around with signs protesting. I can’t find where he did that. Instead, he walked around helping people and stopped to speak to groups when a big enough group gathered around him. He hung out with prostitutes and thieves, not the elite. He helped people through relationships with them rather than condemning them. He was about love and helping people rather than yelling at them. He only got mad once and that was in a church.

I guess this guy thinks he’s getting results and doing the right thing by using signs pointing out sin. I really don’t understand how he’s going to form meaningful relationships with that crowd when he starts out the relationship offending people. I cannot find an instance when Jesus did that, so this guy must have some other definition of “Christianity” than the one I know – again, that’s why I don’t use that label for myself… I want to separate myself from this kind of thing.

I mean, I admire his enthusiasm and guts to get out there and do that. I don’t know if I could do it but I don’t want to and don’t think it’s the right way. I really think he’s doing it wrong. Maybe he’s had some results and maybe he’s thinking that 1 in 500 people or 1 in 1000 people is an acceptable result but he’s offending many of the rest of that group and causing more damage.

Again, I just don’t see Jesus using this approach. I cannot judge people but seeing something like this makes me wonder if these kinds of people really do know Jesus very well. My opinion is that if they did, they wouldn’t be doing what he’s doing. They would be getting close to God to get direction and then God would put the right people in his path that he could form meaningful relationships with where the truth can be explained in a loving way. Maybe that’s just me though… maybe I’m wrong.

-Tony

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Chip Your Hand or Forehead

This is interesting:

India to issue all 1.2 billion citizens with biometric ID cards (www.timesonline.co.uk)

Ok, so there has to be some “beast” of a computer that would run that database, right? If India can roll this out, pretty much any country would be able to after that.

Hmm, this sounds familiar… where did I read about this once? I think it was in some book that has been around for a few thousand years. Maybe it’s the best selling book of all time.

We’re close. :-)

-T

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Sunday Symposium in Madison

It’s cool when Christians are involved with the local community, policies and issues. We’re here, so we might as well do God’s work, right? Of course involvement can sometimes be taken too far (in my opinion) but this country was founded on Christian principles and in order to stay that way, we need to be involved. The more involvement at the local level, the better because that’s where it starts and matters the most.

This very thing happened last Sunday. Here’s the report from AllGodsPeople.com:

Where Do Christians Go From Here? A Sunday Symposium

About two dozen people attended the symposium at Crossroads Church, on Madison’s southeast side.

"I pray that we will not be overwhelmed by the forces of secularism and godlessness," pastor Pritchard said, in his opening remarks, discussing challenges that have been mounted against religious elements of this month’s presidential inauguration ceremony in Washington D.C. "We still have our religious liberty, but the climate is changing," said pastor Dobie, as he discussed America’s religious heritage, going back to the Mayflower Compact.

"You are setting an example for others to follow," Julaine Appling told pastor Pritchard. "No matter how old you are, there are biblical examples to follow." Stressing that more Christians should get involved in public policy issues, Appling said, "We have lots of seats at the table at every level of government. We had men of faith as our founders. Now we have too many faithless men [in government].

Pastor Dobie urged people to write letters to officials of University Hospital and the University of Wisconsin on their recently announced plans to expand abortion services in Madison. "This process hurts people and the church needs to speak out," said pastor Dobie.

Read More at AllGodsPeople.com >>

-Tony =

Waiting to Hear How Your Church Should Be?

It seems like a church gets a new pastor and that pastor spends endless hours waiting to hear from God about the vision and purpose of that church. What should it be? What should it do? Blah, blah, blah.

Don’t worry about that. The Bible already tells you and God is probably wondering why you’re asking. Read the Great Commission. There you go. Do that. Go and love others. God will do the rest. Don’t think that your church is so special and has a unique, special purpose that no other church out there has. That’s not how God does it. God uses the church (which are all of God’s people) when they’re loving others. That is when God can do really cool stuff.

Problem solved. Get off your knees about this. Quit wasting time and go do it. :-)

-Tony

Email to a Friend

Here’s an email I sent to a friend of mine today…

Wow, check out this sermon at Family Chapel by Pastor Shane Holden.

Last week at LCC was a great sermon by Pastor Derrick. It’s all about loving people. That’s ALL we’re supposed to do. That’s it. God does the rest. This sermon by Shane says the same thing but even more – even better (or in a different way), I think. He’s our age and gets us, I think. He’s very down to earth, too.

For me, I just look back and what I thought church and Christianity was growing up and not that it wasn’t good, but it wasn’t quite on track. It was way too religious. The first point Shane brings up here is that all these churches now want to be that 2nd chapter of Acts church, blah, blah, blah. Well, that first church didn’t have some church model or books to read or anything – people just loved each other and put others before themselves and it changed the world. It’s simply said but not easy to do – I know that but having to just focus on that does seem easier to me, at least.

We just need to love God and love others. The devil wants to make you think that you need to be perfect before coming to God and he has succeeded drilling that message into our heads through religious churches. It’s wrong. God wants us as we are. When we love others, take the focus off of ourself, then God can change us and it just happens automatically and it’s a lot less work. It’s a lot less painful and it lasts, it’s permanent. It’s just like how fad diets don’t work – you have to live it for it to work.

And then as we love others, they get to know the same thing and can be free. It starts with our attitude. We need to be humble. It’s a choice and it’s hard to do but it transforms situations, reduces stress and again, lets God work and then the cool stuff happens.

-T