Monday, May 28, 2007


I remember singing Jesus Loves Me growing up. We are taught at a very early age that Jesus loves us. We learn that we are important to God. But what about others? It seems to me that that is all we are taught: Jesus me. Not necessarily: Jesus loves you.

And the Church in America perpetuates this idea. We are all ready to accept that Jesus loves us, but what about other different than us?

Let us take the issue of homosexuality. Now, I don't like to talk about politics here on this blog (except to make fun of them), and I don't intend to start. I do not see homosexuality as a 'political' issue to be hashed out on Capital hill - especially since people's lives are involved.

But this is my distinction, one that many Christians don't make. I do not believe that it is our place as Christians to impose their moral views on people who doesn't follow Christ. In other words, I do not believe that Christians should work to make our society look more 'Christ-like.' Instead, we should focus on loving people focus on changing hearts, not actions. We should not rely on Sunday School teachers, pastors, or politicians to work to make our society more 'Christ-like,' instead we should love people and demonstrate the love of God in our lives.

I do not see American society as having to answer to the call of Christian morals, because American society is not Christian. Furthermore, I do not see how making people act more 'Christ-like' will further the Kingdom of God. If anything, I believe it pushes others away, as others believe Christians practice intolerance and hate.

Now, back to the issue of homosexuality. Christians should address such an issue from a Biblical perspective, not a politically conservative one. Christ teaches that we love, above all else. We love God and we love people. Nothing else can come in front of this.

What good do Christians do by publicly condemning homosexuality? Do we endear others to our faith? Do we make 'gay' people want to become 'straight'? Do we make more Christians who believe the Word of God condemns some people more than others?

Is this the message God wants the world to hear from the people who claim to represent him?

While the issue of homosexual actions (separate from homosexual orientation) is addressed in the Bible (orientation is not), we cannot stand on a platform that violates love of neighbor at the price of claiming to have God's one and true message of judgment and condemnation.

Who is to say that my sin is worse than your sin than our neighbor's sin... etc. We are all screwed up! Honestly! If you want to say homosexual actions are sinful, a Biblical case can be made. But when Christians take this belief to such a level as to alienate others and spread hatred and intolerance in the name of Christ, then we are not loving our neighbor - the higher command superceding all else.

I know, you're thinking - "well then we are simply not standing our ground on Christian 'morals.' We are compromising and giving into the 'ways of the world.'" But let me ask you... What good are Christian 'morals' when there are no Christians to follow them? Should we not be concerned with the heart, and trust God to transform every one of us from the heart? Why be so concerned with actions? Why make others act like what we believe 'Christ-like' looks like?

Our job as the Church is to be the people of God. That means we love at any and all costs - and we do not compromise this. Christians are more worried about compromising 'morals' than they are about compromising the love of neighbor. That is why Christians are in the morally impotent position we are.

Christians do not have moral authority, not because we don't have enough Republicans in office, but because we compromise our ethic of Loving Others in favor of condemning certain people as sinners. We have become hypocrites, saying we love people - only to condemn them as an 'abomination.' And by doing so, the Church as lost any credibility or clout it ever had on the moral persuasions of American secular society. We need to rethink our positions.

Our focus, as a Church, is to love people like Christ loved us.

That's our job.

Your thoughts?...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I have accepted a position as Worship Pastor at First Baptist Church's Recreation Ministry. I will be leading worship, etc. at the Day Camp for the summer and doing much fun stuff with children, teens, and college students. So much fun!

(I'm still working at WHBC as well - so don't like freak out and think I'm resigning or anything on my blog.)

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I don't tend to think of myself as elitist. I am a college student who works a part time job for little money. I dine "out" only a couple times a month. I don't have a BMW. I don't have a big TV or house.

It's hard to write this list, because I am rich. It hard to list what I don't have, when I have so much. I have clothes. I put on clean clothes in the morning. I have a shower. I have a comfortable house, air conditioning, and carpet. When I am hungry, I eat. I spend my days in a nice office reading books all day - a "student." I own a computer - an expensive laptop. I have three guitars. I have to run on a special machine (treadmill) to keep me from getting fat. I am rich.

Whether I like it or not, I am in the top percentage of people in the world. I am one of the elite, and if you are reading this, so are you. You are sitting somewhere nice indoors with air condition; if you are outdoors, it is by choice. You are using a computer to spend some FREE time perusing the blogs.

You are the elite. I am writing this.... so am I.

But how can we call ourselves Christians, who love our neighbors who are starving, if we are living like this? It's not like we're divorced from a situation a world away. We directly contribute to the problem by buying stuff. Let me explain...

Look right now to see where your shoes are made? your shirt? your cell phone? your computer? Go ahead. Right now. Look.

I would be surprised to find that - at the most - only 1 of those was made in the United States. Most of the stuff we buy is made in other countries. Companies outsource the "labor costs" to other countries because it is better for their bottom line. Not only do these companies not have to pay workers much, they don't have to pay taxes in many cases either. Environmental laws in the US don't apply overseas either. From the company's point of view, outsourcing is a good idea, NAFTA is a good idea.

But with this line of thinking, people are no longer people, instead they are a resource, just like raw materials. The people working in factories are not more important than the machines they operate. But these people go home everyday to cardboard boxes, starving babies, and dying loved ones... because they do not have enough money to survive. Not because they don't work, but because their work does not pay enough. Without taxes, there are not roads, no education, no healthcare of any kind. Companies don't pay these taxes in other countries, and there are none of these things. Couple that with the fact that the workers are overworked and underpaid, and the poverty problem is no mystery.


But we shop at big stores. We buy outsourced goods. You are wearing some now. I promise. You are wearing underwear! Yes, underwear, which are only a convenience, probably made by a starving women in China. And we stand and call ourselves Christians. See, we contribute to the problem. It is not just the companies. It's is us as well.

So, as Christians what do we do with that? Is is possible to stop shopping at the chain stores?... stop buying outsourced goods? What do we do? How can we call ourselves Christians, and claim to show and share the LOVE of Christ, if we are helping to harm our neighbors in one of the worst ways possible? We are contributing to their starvation!

There is a story about Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution. Her subjects were starving, and when she was told what was happening, she responded, "If they don't have any bread, then let them eat cake." While this story is probably not historically accurate, it is reflective of Antoinette's disregard and brush-off of the plight of the poor. And while it may appall us, this same situation is occurring today. And every time we buy stuff, we are essentially telling the starving people to, "eat cake."

I own three guitars - the total value of which can pay the RENT for a FAMILY for MORE THAT 6 MONTHS! I use these guitars to LEAD WORSHIP!!!! WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE???!!!!

I don't really have any answers to these questions I've raised... I really don't know what to make of any of this. What are the ethical guidelines for us Christians to follow? Do we live in our world or become sectarian and live without electricity, cars, etc.? I don't know. Do I sell the guitars and lead worship with different, less expensive guitars... made by different starving people in a different country? What do we do?

I'll have think about it more... while I'm on vacation. I leave tomorrow.

Ironic, isn't it?...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I'm writing alternative worship services for the next three weeks.

Here's the Plan:

Week 1: As the Lord Commanded: Lessons from the Book of Numbers

Week 2: Golden Calves & Golden Crosses: The Dangers of Misplacing Our Worship

Week 3: "Let them eat cake": The Responsibility of the Rich for the Poor; we are also watching Maquilapolis

These are from sermons/articles/postings I've written. I am editing them into a form that can be used corporately for the next three Sunday nights.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Well, today's my first day in 'the office.' It's good to be back doing ministry as my 'main job' instead of school work and junk.

Anyways, we're making our summer youth calendar; 'twil be much fun.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Finished the semester. Finally.

I think I'll nap now.

I can finally get back to regular blogging.