Sunday, March 15, 2009

Quotes from articles I read this week #3

what i really need is a dose of demotivation. a swig of selflessness. a message about how to give up the chase for significance and instead embrace the beauty of obscurity.

i need to be demotivated about accomplishment. and instead be motivated about the unspectacular grandness of the ordinary life lived and breathed in the common days of here and the long, restless nights of now.
How God Messed up My Religion

On a related note, I am excited about the youtube clip going around of some famous guy on Conan O’Brien’s show ranting about the whineyness (or joylessness) of our wealthy culture. I see this all the time during remodel jobs for wealthier people. People can always find some ridiculous little nuance to be unhappy about. Meanwhile, we installed a laminate floor for an elderly woman who seems to live pretty simple and she was the easiest human to work for. Have lots = bitching & whining. Have little = thankful for everything. Go figure.
The Agent B Files

I've read the words of Jesus hundreds of times. And what keeps driving through my brain is this:

Treat each other well. Live according to your highest principles. Trust each other and trust God. Listen to your heart.

I can get that, even when the theological debates excite and confuse me.

During a group discussion at the end of the day, a question arose concerning the pressure we often feel (be it illusory or otherwise) with regards to making sure the children are “learning the right things”. I suppose you could call it a trust issue. Letting a child hear a story from the Bible and giving them the space and means to reflect on it is something we are not inclined to do. My instinct is to tell them what I think the moral, the climax, the conflict, or resolution of the story is in my expert (somebody gag me) opinion. Simply telling them the story and getting out of the way isn’t the model I was given growing up in church. This may be one of the reasons I had little trust in my own ability to make good decisions as I got older. These days, however, I think of the church and children’s Sunday school as a place for discernment rehearsal. It is all we really do when we say we “study” the bible. We are grasping at the wonders and complexities (the mystery) of the bible as a healthy part of our psychological development. Maybe you are already there, but I was struck afresh with the enormity of leading a class full of children through the beginning stages of their spiritual journeys. I want to encourage them to trust their already-holy spirits that have them discerning (and sometimes saying) all manner of amazing things week after week.
Peer Pressure is Forever

To go along with that-is evangelical Christianity in danger? The only real thought that occurred to me here is that this is what happens you spend your resources preaching to the choir.
The New Unitarian Universalist

If public witness mean a fish on the back of your car and wearing an abstinence ring, you might be an Evangelical.

When someone mentions a “sinful lifestyle”, if you automatically think of the sins of drinking, drugs, smoking and sexual impurity, rather than the sins of anger, pride, deceit and the failure to love your neighbor, you might be an evangelical.

If you disparage the Mormons and Mother Teresa for emphasizing good, moral behavior, you might be an evangelical.

If you’ve never read an actual postmodernist author, but know postmodernism is evil because John MacArthur said they don’t believe in truth, you might be an evangelical.

If the words “worship” and “singing” are synonymous in your vocabulary, you might be an Evangelical.
Parchment and Pen

Did Jesus avoid the world? I don’t see how we could possibly construe his actions as anything but rubbing shoulders with people who didn’t even know how much they needed him. And I’ve said it many times before, but his harshest words were for those who thought they were doing God favors!
Theological Musings


Redlefty said...

The "you might be an evangelical" ones slayed me. Sometimes in a funny way, and sometimes in a painfully self-aware way!

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cipher said...

Andrew, just because I enjoy ruining things, the "You might be an evangelical" guy also penned this gem.

Andrew said...

Heh Cipher... Well, like they say on the radio - My blog does not necessarily share or endorse the views expressed on the various blogs I read. ;)

cipher said...

Oh, I know that. I didn't think you did.

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