Oct 23, 2007

Two foreign phrases popular with Conservative Christians you won't find in the Bible (and for good reason).


Status quo.

P.S. I'm not calling out Liberal Christians here because they just claim to find stuff in the Bible to suit their purposes... whether it's there or not..

Oct 22, 2007

Miller Time.

The Great Disappointment occurred on this day in 1843. It's my favorite Religious Commemoration (remembering Karl Barth's observation that authentic Christianity is not a religion).

Celebrate The Disappointment today!

Oct 19, 2007

We have other priorities.

The World is burning before our eyes. The smoke brings tears.

In response to the rising smoke, we (the churches of man) are adjusting the water temperature as we prepare our comfortable baptismal baths, in lieu (we think) of our coming baptism of fire.

"Jesus come. Burn the whole thing down."
-- Over The Rhine, Changes Come

"I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You're not cold, you're not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You're stale. You're stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, 'I'm rich, I've got it made, I need nothing from anyone,' oblivious that in fact you're a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.
-- Revelation 3:15-17 (The Message)

Oct 18, 2007

Who am I?

Who am I? They often tell me

I stepped from my cell’s confinement

Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,

Like a squire from his country-house.

Who am I? They often tell me

I used to speak to my warders

Freely and friendly and clearly,

As though it were mine to command.

Who am I? They also tell me

I bore the days of misfortune

Equally, smilingly, proudly,

Like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of?

Or am I only what I myself know of myself?

Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,

Struggling for breath, as though hands were

compressing my throat,

Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,

Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,

Tossing in expectation of great events,

Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,

Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,

Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?

Who am I? This or the other?

Am I one person today and tomorrow another?

Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,

And before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?

Or is something within me still like a beaten army,

Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.

Whoever I am, Thou knowest, 0 God, I am Thine!

Dietrich Bonehoeffer

March 4,1946

The Wisdom of Willimon.

Though I could not have known it at the time, a momentous event in my faith journey occurred on a Sunday evening in 1963 in Greenville, South Carolina, when, in defiance of the state’s archaic Blue Laws, the Fox Theater opened on Sunday. Seven of us -- regular attenders at the Methodist Youth Fellowship at Buncombe Street Church -- made a pact to enter the front door of the church, be seen, then quietly slip out the back door and join John Wayne at the Fox.

Only lately have I come to see how that evening symbolizes a watershed in the history of Christianity in the United States. On that night, Greenville, South Carolina -- the last pocket of resistance to secularity in the Western world -- gave in and served notice that it would no longer be a prop for the church. If Christians were going to be made in Greenville, then the church must do it alone.

There would be no more free passes for the church, no more free rides. The Fox Theater went head-to-head with the church to see who would provide ultimate values for the young. That night in 1963, the Fox Theater won the opening skirmish.

from Making Christians in a Secular World

by William Willimon

Oct 17, 2007

Can you see where I'm going with this?

Some people like my advice so much that they frame it upon the wall instead of using it.
- Gordon R. Dickson

A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.
- GK Chesterton

Oct 15, 2007

A note to the Building Committee...

"Let all our chapels be built plain and decent; but not more expensively than is absolutely unavoidable: otherwise the necessity of raising money will make rich men necessary to us. But if so, we must be dependent upon them, yea, and governed by them. And then farewell to the Methodist-discipline, if not doctrine too."

-- John Wesley, from his instructions to American Methodist churches.