Last week Donald Miller posted some thoughts regarding his reasons for “not going to church very often.” His firstpost, “I Don’t Worship God by Singing. I Connect With Him Elsewhere” primarily discussed his lack of connection to lecture and music, scholastic and entertainment based models for worship services and other programs. His second post, “Why I Don’t Go to Church Very Often, A Follow Up Post“, went into more detail about those issues and others. Continue reading
I have been keenly aware in every job I have ever had that I could be suspended, fired, or forced to resign for “saying what I think.” I haven’t always liked this reality, and I’ve been known at times to push the boundaries. However, I have never considered my employer’s right to terminate me for such behavior a “violation of free speech.” My guess is that if you have ever been employed, you are aware of this as well—and I think we all really want it to work that way.
Good thoughts by Paul S. Williams on ministers who, without fame or grand recognition, serve their congregations:
Nowadays we are so fixated on celebrity ministers that we have eyes for little else. But there are so many more who look so much like Jesus. We do not see them because we are not paying attention. We are too busy attending to the voice of ambition, seeking the successful and famous.
What’s nice to remember is that this does represent the majority of those who work in pastoral/church ministry both here and throughout the world. Many of them work “real jobs” other than church work. They have never written a book. They have never been invited to speak at a conference. They are likely not sources for the wide array of highly touted models claiming to have the keys to “ministry effectiveness”.
I dare Mark Driscoll to call this young lady a “pansy”.
Mark Driscoll’s article, “Is God a Pacifist?“, has spurred a lot of online discussion and debate—and rightly so, because his article raises (and glosses-over) several complex and difficult topics.
In my own understanding of Jesus’ teachings, his life, and the practices of the early church, I lean heavily towards pacifism. However, I know that if my family were threatened with violence, my response could be anything but peaceful or lacking in violence. Beyond this inner and (thankfully) theoretical struggle of “what would I do?”, my initial thoughts after reading Driscoll’s post were these (though not in the order I felt them):
My longtime friend, Mark Riddle, has just written a great post about where he is on the journey towards Jesus and what that means for him regarding church. Please read the whole thing. He says some difficult things, but the content and intent is good and honest. I resonate with much of it. Here’s an excerpt:
Sorry for making you feel guilty for having a life outside of the church. You were on to something. It was better that you volunteered at the school, the team or the squad more than the church. I was wrong. Your commitment to the soccer team may have been more important that my retreat. Your commitment to the band connected you to far more kids who needed you, than in the stuff I led.
“In the splendid cathedral the Honorable Right Reverend Geheime-General-Ober-Hof-Praedikant [Private Chief Royal Chaplain] comes forward, the chosen favorite of the elite world; he comes forward before a chosen circle of the chosen ones and, deeply moved, preaches on the text he has himself chosen, ‘God has chosen the lowly and the despised in the world’—and there is no one who laughs.”
The Humor of Kierkegaard: An Anthology, 148