Stuff to chew on

  • From True Womanhood In the New Millennium: How do we differentiate in our faith between cultural bias and biblical truth? What 'norms' have crept into the Christian subculture that aren't biblical, but still 'expected'? I thought it was an interesting topic to discuss.
  • From Reformergent: Does it sometimes seem that the World does more for causes that Christians care should about than Christians themselves?

The human-rights issues in Tibet (and Darfur, Sudan, etc) are something every Christian should have awareness and conviction about. Yet, it seems like Christians are one of the most silent voices on the issue. Obviously there are some Christian groups doing something about it, but by-and-large it hardly feels like a hot button issue. I can understand why Christians don’t hold the same banners as groups like Peta or the Sierra Club (thought sometimes we should), but human-rights issues we should be as passionate, if not more, than those in the world. I understand too the difference between peaceful protest and those that cause civil unrest, and I definitely think Christians should opt for the peaceful form.

What was even more amazing to me, as I flipped through the news today, was two separate interviews that were the only “Christian” related subjects today. The first was a woman who was asked why she wanted McCain to remove Mit Romney from the list of possible vice-presidential candidates. Her reasoning is that he has allowed same-sex marriages in his state as well as waffles on abortion even after his conversion. She said as a Christian, those are not values we can stand for. Secondly, in a separate interview, a school in the midwest was having some ‘wacky clothing’ week, and one of the days was a cross-dressing day. There was an old curmudgeon from the Christian media world talking about how it was some sort of abomination that this was taking place, even though little to no parents or students really saw it as a problem.

That’s what Christians stand for in America? Has it really gotten this bad?
Read the whole thing.

  • On prophetic preaching: I've not mentioned anything about this yet, but have seen a couple good posts/articles lately on the topic, so I thought I'd point them out. Let's ignore political leanings and the over-played clips for a moment, and think in a more meta- way about what the media and America's reaction to the Rev. Wright controversy means.
Julie Clawson was troubled by America's reaction to the clips for a couple reasons that deeply bothered me, too:
Two thoughts keep surfacing in the things I read - first that Obama should have caused dissension and left his church community years ago. This assumption reveals the opinion of many Americans that this is how church should operate. If you don’t like something at church, you need to initiate a coup and/or leave the church for a better option
The second assumption I’m encountering is that pastors shouldn’t be controversial or prophetic, especially if that involves questioning America. This elevation of civil religion and America worship is scary.
CNN echoed these thoughts in an article yesterday, saying the black churches have strayed from the prophetic and bold preaching of Dr Martin Luther King, and the most prominent churches tend toward a prosperity-gospel message. They elevate comfortable Tuscany villa rentals over the work of the Kingdom. Comfort over "taking up your cross". This is happening in African American churches as well as white churches.
Black prophetic pastors rarely fill the pews like other pastors, though, because their message is so inflammatory, says Henry Wheeler, a church historian. Prophetic pastors like the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the former pastor for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, often enrage people because they proclaim God's judgment on nations, he says.

"It's dangerous to be prophetic," said Wheeler, who is also president of the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana. "I don't know many prophetic preachers who are driving big cars and living very comfortably. You don't generally build huge churches by making folks uncomfortable on Sunday morning," he said.
Are you at a church that is prophetic or convenient? Do you heard uncomfortable, counter-cultural truths on Sunday mornings, or nice words? Are you committed to your faith community, or are you willing to church-hop to find a message you like better? These are the questions this whole issue has raised for me.
Oh, and, Matt W, I didn't forget
the point you made, too.

What's been on your mind lately?

1 comment:

Erin said...

Hi Joanna - Thanks so much for the link! I hope you get a chance to try the cookie recipe.


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