Monday, October 31, 2011

Inerrancy. Another Hmm...

Filling in an online application at Christian Institution, I was, for the first time presented with a Confession of Faith I must agree with or explain why not. Here's my comment on one of the points
The only reservation I have with the statement of faith as given in the PDF of the Confession is with point two, which gives a coded nod to the idea of 'inerrancy' a concept which is so precious to fundamentalist Christianity. It is my decided view that such an approach to Scripture completely ignores the writings for what they are, inspired prophecies, histories, Gospels (a literary form unique, I believe, to the Bible) letters of counsel and instruction, etc. and views the whole as a word-for-word rule book. This has not been helpful throughout the history of the church and although I do indeed treat the Scriptures as authoritative, I reserve the right to view 'inerrancy' as doctrinal red herring. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Liimited by Leaders - Hmm

I was at a seminar for worship leaders today. Among several useful things said was this less useful statement: "You will never be able to go beyond where your pastor lets you." It's been bugging me since. Cause it's a pile of authoritarian hooey. The church is as much mine as it his. What kind of hierarchical mindset gives us ideas like this? It's crazy. We are selling ourselves and our people short by perpetuating this. Hey, just because the culture of bible times was patriarchal and hierarchical, doesn't mean that we have to mimic them any more than we have to baptize capitalism and say it's Christian because many (shall I say American) Christians embrace it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why Preachers Take Monday Off

Well, I preached at my church this Sunday. It was a fulfilling, moderately successful experience. I got to explore stuff I'd dreamed of exploring; I got to do stuff I'd dreamed of doing. But I woke up on Monday and I didn't want to see or interact with anybody. That's the truth. Nobody. Of course, I'm not a career pastor or anything close to it. So I had to go work anyways. I went to work with a certain experiential understanding of the insular behavior of preachers on Monday. When you've prepared your best thoughts and delivered them to a crowd with some passion, well to put it mildly, that has the tendency to beat the snot out of you, emotionally speaking, and make you unwilling to interact with others for some time. Now I hope, as more opportunities come along, that I will pick up some stamina in this area. But for now, I'm glad I don't have this same fulfilling experience every Sunday.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Intercessor's Victory (with apologies both to JRR Tolkien, and those who love not his writings)

It has been told in the Quenta Silmarillion that a great host of Elves left the Blessed Realm to do battle against evil in Middle Earth and that they left with the blessing of neither the Powers nor of the One. Many and mighty though they were --kings and lords of great puissance--  their power and numbers slowly dwindled through the long ages of warfare, and evil held more and more sway over the land they had come to love. In that dark hour, salvation came to them not through the might of heroes, though many still walked the earth in that time, beset though they were by the overwhelming hosts of darkness. Instead, help came from one who sailed the trackless seas in search of the Blessed Realm, desiring to present supplication to the Powers on behalf of the peoples of Middle Earth, that the Powers would forgive the rebellion of the Elves, come to Middle Earth, vanquish evil and save the people from darkness. Yet even he, in the nobility of his heart, was not sufficient to breach the leaguer of the defenses of the Blessed Realm, set there lest the Elves should ever desire to return. Only when his wife came to him, bringing the first light of the Blessed Realm itself, bound up in a jewel, the silmaril she carried, was he able to come before the powers and plead for their mercy. So it was that the deeds of warriors proved insufficient while the prayer of the intercessor, carrying the very light of heaven into the throne room, brought the longed for victory and peace.

This tale is told with the hope that many more will take up the burden to journey to come before the One, the Father of All, carrying his heavenly light, to plead for his intervention on behalf his people here in Middle Earth, that he would visit us mightily to stir us anew and do wonders and miracles among us to draw many more from the confused masses to also receive his light.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

She Adores Him

It's the first time in a long time I've seen it. In our era of gender equality, you don't see it that often any more. But it's something to behold. When she's with him, her eyes are shining, her attitude is slightly shy, there's this amazing delicate pinkness in her cheeks and she looks, not like the cat caught the canary, but like Cinderella with her prince. She adores him.  She projects this sense of, "How in my wildest dreams, could I have deserved this?" And her natural beauty is trebled or quadrupled by what's going on in her heart. Wonder if the church could learn a thing or two...