Ferguson

I’m in the strange in-between world that is kind of like being awakened and working through the fogginess until one can think and see clearly. It’s a process. Being a Caucasian / Native American guy that looks more Caucasian than Native I am part of the majority. Having adopted an African-American son I have been getting my eyes opened to another world that exists under my nose. If you are not AA, you can’t see it or experience it unless you are connected to it.

I never noticed it until I was encouraged to leave certain places because my son was AA. Of course my initial response is to go to war physically and beat the hell out of somebody. Yeah, I know, some are offended I said hell, but until it happens to you, you may not get it. It’s called being a man.

By Father’s good providence I have had the honor of getting to know and love some African-American men as my friends and brothers in Christ. My eyes continue to open. I don’t expect everyone to get what I’m saying, but I do expect Christians to say and act like Christians not Republican, Democrats, Liberals or Conservatives. I expect Christians to act as though they are citizens of a higher kingdom with the King, Jesus, ruling them.

In light of the hell breaking loose in Ferguson and in other places, I thought Darrin Patrick’s advice on Ferguson was well said and to the point.

Please read it and think on it. Please don’t contribute to the problem by ignoring it, or picking dark sides rather than being on Jesus’ side of healing, reconciliation, love and unity in the Kingdom.

Finish bringing all things under your headship and come Lord Jesus!

http://darrinpatrick.org/blog/ferguson-response/

Missions: Not a calling, rather obedience

Earlier this week I tweeted out a statement that can cause some to curl the nose and make others stand up and cheer. The statement is that missions is not a calling; its an issue of obedience. For those who would say that missions starts at home, this idea poses a threat to their well entrenched thinking. For those who believe the Great Commission is the church’s mission, then this idea provides great hope.

Let me be clear about defining mission first. Missions is the proclamation of the good news of the kingdom to places it has not be proclaimed and evidenced through he establishment of disciples who form into a church out of the domains of society. Missions is NOT local evangelism. In other words, don’t call a trip to the inner city to do relief work “missions”. That also cheapens the task.

It’s clear what I think. But does this idea have biblical roots? Of course. When Jesus gave us the Great Commission he was not just speaking to the audience gathered at his ascension. Jesus was speaking to the whole church. How do we know? We know because Jesus assures them in Acts 1:8 of the surety of the mission when he tells them they “will be his witnesses” to the utter most parts of the earth. We know Jesus gave this mission to the whole church because the book of Acts records the whole church participating in this Great Commission. It’s clear what Jesus’ intention is.

Jesus’ intention produces such statements as “You either go or send or disobey”, by men Like John Piper. Jesus’ intention also produces books like “Glocalization” by Bob Roberts Jr. Go get this book today! http://www.amazon.com/Glocalization-Followers-Jesus-Engage-World/dp/0310267188 Bob did not ask me to do that either. It’s just a vital read.

The bottom line is that if we make missions a “call” we can justify our failure to get more than our few dollars involved. If we can’t justify a failure to make the Great Commission our whole mission then we have to change our strategies.

The truth is that missions is an issue of obeying Jesus’ command and indigenously figuring out how to make sense of that command in the local church.

Just ask yourself the question that Bob Roberts Jr. asked himself, “What if the church was the missionary?” and start answering the question.

Seemingly Random Post: Evolution and Homosexuality

After working with people who have legitimately wrestled with each of these two issues I have some thoughts pertaining to the two. This seems totally random as an entry and post to make, but the two have been stewing in my soul for quite some time and its time for them to come out.

First, I’m not the best gatherer of philosophical, psychological and scientific data. Although I have read extensively on these issues my thoughts don’t stem from the data I’ve read as much as my observation and assimilation of the conclusions advocates of each position posit. Here are some of my observations of society at large’s basic thoughts / beliefs on each subject:

Evolution: matter is eternal, matter came together by chance, matter evolved to its current form, natural selection randomly chooses the strongest to survive and eliminates the weakest, the universe is not getting older (its eternal) it’s just expanding and evolving, nothing has intrinsic meaning because it is rather its meaning is found in its ability to survive and be on top of the food chain, the actual evidence and inability to observe any tangible current macro evolution does not matter just blindly holding on to a naturalistic worldview in spite of the growing fascination with the non-natural

Homosexuality: homosexuality is normal and should not be suppressed, sexuality is a root of identity, affections are what they are and they are real, society forces the hiding of one’s sexual identity, Christians have done a poor job at addressing the issue, society in general has done a poor job at addressing the issue, people have been abused who claim a different sexuality other than heterosexuality (not all, but some), there is really not much information gathered by society at large to help us understand the connection between broken homes, poor fathers, poor mothers and the essential nature of man and one’s sexual identity, the Christian worldview of sexuality is repressive to one’s identity in limiting one’s expression of their sexuality

UNDERSTAND these observations are not all of my observations but some of them. Also UNDERSTAND that because I have observed some things does not mean I agree with them, just that I have observed them. UNDERSTAND this is not a full treatment of the ideas, just quick “bloggy” type observation to put the ideas in the public square.

First, I’ve noted that some people have compartmentalized these two issues and never allowed the implications of each to cross borders. Note that this is not the place to wax eloquent on why and how neat compartments for our ideas can’t exist with no implications on each other, but that is a fact. We can’t have ideas that contradict other ideas and cancel them out and hold on to them as separate truths or truth claims.

Having said that, if one believes the basic claims of evolutionary theory and the basic claims homosexuality as normal behavior and have never wrestled with those implications they are failing to be objective. If one does not want to do just that in a short and not fully adequate format, stop reading now.

Second, full-blown truth claims are spewed as fact without any invitation to critique them. Often these truth claims are emotive reflections not real observations. When these emotions disguised as facts are critiqued its creates a fire storm against the poor soul simply trying to understand the connection and implications, and the person is branded as “intolerant”. That’s just stupid.

Third, our society uses the same vocabulary but uses completely different dictionaries. Same language but different meanings. If we use the word “tolerance” at large that has come to mean “agree and don’t have an opposite view”. I understand the word “tolerance” to mean “we may not agree but we don’t shoot each other and actually remain civil toward one another and can actually still care about one another though we don’t agree”. Somehow we’ve lost that. Deconstruction is to blame for that, but that is another topic for another day. No Christian worthy their salt can hold a deconstructionist philosophy on language and words and maintain their Christianity. But I digress.

Fourth, if one dares to offer the implications of one’s ideas that person is branded.

Now, down to brass tacks. Let’s just lay the cards on the table. I have a desire to make disciples of all nations in the name of Jesus. My intentions are clear. Therefore, I intend to propagate a Christian worldview. That does not mean I don’t love people. I love everyone. I don’t count myself as having any enemies though some count me their enemy because I disagree with them. I want to rescue people from ideas that hold them captive and will destroy them, so I want to lay implications on the table and wrestle with them in hopes people will be rescued.

Big implication of evolution and homosexuality: if one holds to both of these ideas as true then they must admit that natural selection has chosen the homosexual for extinction because they have an inferior affection that leads to the inability to reproduce.

Lenin / Marx / Stalin etc. got this. That is why they latched on to Darwin’s theory of evolution. It provided a biological metanarrative for their sociological revolution, and they used it to justify the execution of anyone they considered sociologically inferior in the dialectic clash of thesis and antithesis to create the synthesis of the highest evolved order.

So, don’t ignorantly espouse evolution unless you are willing to embrace it for real. Don’t ignorantly embrace homosexuality’s claims unless you are willing to embrace it’s implications for real. Don’t embrace them separately in neat and separate boxes without crossing over the implications unless you want to be part of the masses taken captive by a hollow philosophy. Don’t buy the emotive sound bites that play on emotions rather than facts. Think people. Think. Observe. Think.

If these thoughts anger you, then good. Maybe that anger will lead to more inquiry. If you find you agree, then good. Don’t be arrogant, rather love enough to put the thoughts in the public square and see what Holy Spirit does with it.