I’ve not watched it 🙂 Nor do I plan to. I’m amazed that the “conservative” party that touts lower spending, less government extravagance, and oh, con-ser-va-ti-sm is putting on such a grand and lofty display of wealth in order to supposedly attract more voters to its side.
It reminds of mega churches that do the same thing, spending millions and millions on buildings, staff, and programs in order to attract more converts to their side–their pedigree of Christianity. These ever-expanding institutions of power in both politics and religion do nothing to further causes of love and liberty but instead push away those genuine seekers of the philosophies that our country was founded upon.
Did you know that the federal government grants host cities of the RNC and DNC $50 Million dollars?! Actually, the federal government can’t grant anything–they can only confiscate (from you and I) and give to another. This is the supposed behavior that so many Tea Party supporters claimed to hate. I am dumbfounded as to how many of these folks are falling in line behind the party now that they have a wall-building candidate in Donald Trump.
I only hope that this is not a sign of things to come from a potential Trump presidency but I expect it is. One need only take a look at Trump Plaza (Tower of Babel anyone?) to see the glamour which this man surrounds himself with. This RNC has already way surpassed the 2012 Tampa convention in both scope, media attention, and cost. A friend, who owns Orlando Enclosures in Florida attended the 2012 RNC and is attending this year’s as well said he has never seen anything like what they are doing this year. Tampa was pretty low-key relatively speaking. It looks more like we are crowning a king than voting for a servant of the people this year.
We are in a sad state of affairs in the USA. I hope and pray that things change fast. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump are going to do anything to shrink our Leviathan government spending! Why do we continue to elect “businessmen” to public office? What is the primary role of a CEO? It’s to grow a business of course. If our aim really is to shrink government and reign in spending then ought we not hire a Dave Ramsey-esque debt hater instead? Haha, that’s a little tongue-in-cheek but you get my drift.
5 police officers were shot and killed by a sniper this past weekend…an action that appears to have been racially motivated. Some in media are even going as far as claiming government conspiracy here–a staged response to police targeting black people unfairly.
I don’t pretend to know people’s (or gubment’s) motivations for hate. Does hate need a motivation other than itself? Is it really necessary to label a crime as a “hate crime”? Isn’t all violent crime a hate crime?
With the relentless videos being replayed by the media it is very easy to succumb to hatred ourselves…wanting revenge for those we feel are victims of injustice. I know the feeling. As a victim of child abuse myself, anytime I witness a parent being violent with their child, whether physically or verbally, I find my blood starting to boil, I place myself in that child’s position, and I want to step in and defend the defenseless.
Imagine being the King of Kings, creator and witness of all crime! How is Jesus able to stand it all and not want to succumb to hate himself and wipe out the entire population? Every time I feel myself wanting to avenge others I remind myself of this fact…we have a loving Father that knows all, witnesses all, and yet he still chooses love.
I’m hanging out in New York this weekend with my family. We are an interested mixed bunch, spiritually speaking. My oldest brother who is a surgeon has gone the very traditional route. He takes his family to church and sees it as a way to keep the family close and behaviors in check–after all he has three young boys 🙂
I do not attend a church at all anymore, even though I am a former licensed pentecostal minister (I know, I know). I am choosing to live and love freely, looking for opportunities to share authentic community with other friends of Jesus.
My Mom, however, is a bit of a zealot. She goes to church several times a week: Monday night prayer, Thursday night bible study, Sunday worship, etc.
The problem is that my Mom is a bit of a hypocrite to be frank. She does not really have the “love” thing down and I suspect church for her is mainly a personal need thing. Like, “I need to feel forgiven and church helps me feel forgiven”.
I remember when we were shifting away from the traditional religious approach to Jesus when our daughter was 3 years old and my Mom was so upset with my wife and I that we were not teaching our daughter about “hell”. Really? So in order to help a young child understand a loving God I need to put the fear of hell in her? It caused a bit of a problem with our already strained relationship with my Mom.
It seems to me that trying to bring our children to God through the use of fear is real close to child abuse. It seems extremely manipulative. But most of all, it does not work. I know hundreds of kids whose parents put the fear of God in them growing up. Most of those kids ran as fast as they could from the church. Hopefully they will come back someday but most sadly will not.
On the other hand, I know some kids whose parents instilled the love of God in their kids first and foremost. Those are the ones that have stayed close to God into adulthood. That’s the approach we have chosen to talk with our children as well.
I know this video is a little bit old but it’s funny as all get out!
Why in the world do we need ridiculous costumes to set us apart religiously from one another? Jesus pretty much destroyed hierarchy didn’t he? Yet, we attempt to make ourselves appear more important with our Sunday (or Saturday) dress-up nonsense. Makes me sick.
Cults wear costumes. Actors wear costumes. Loving people and sharing community with one another does not require a costume.
I’m a traveler. Me, my wife, and daughter love to travel around the country in our RV. This can make it difficult to find community though. Most of the encounters we have with others on the road, even as authentic as they may be, are short lived–at least until we meet up again next time. We spent the last winter in Mesa, Arizona where the weather was very mild, outdoor activities were plentiful, and there were plenty of churches.
But, we don’t just want to attend a church as a visitor. Talk about annoying. It goes something like this…
“Welcome to our church! We are so glad to have you here! Are you new to the area?”
No. We are just visiting.
Then, with much less enthusiasm since we are no longer a prospective member…”Oh, well enjoy your visit…and be sure and drop a twenty in the pot”.
Of course that’s a dramatized exaggeration, but you get the picture.
So, instead of trying to visit “churches” we have decided to be the church wherever our travels happen to take us. We are learning to love those people that God puts in our path. We don’t tithe to a church anymore but we still make ourselves available to give. For exampled, one of our friends was trying to win a special bicycle for their quadriplegic friends’ 8 yr old daughter. We voted for here but she didn’t win. So we bought her the $1500 bicycle anyway. I don’t say this to brag but to point out that giving does not have to be compulsive and regimented. It should flow…like God’s Spirit does from person to person, not stopped up.
Like when a fellow traveler needs repairs in Mesa Arizona and we are able to pitch in and help get a bill paid to Mesa Mobile RV Service. If I am tapped out because all of my giving goes to a local church then I might not be able to pay their bill for them.
So, love those whom God puts in your life. That’s being the church.
I met Wayne Jacobsen from The God Journey about 5 years ago after having read a book he co-authored and edited; you may have heard of it: The Shack. Some guys I met on a backpacking trip had all been talking about this book as if it were some life-altering experience to have read it. I’d never heard of it. Of course I went home and read it that week. Wow. It ruined my religion. In a good way. I moved from that to Wayne’s other popular book at the time called So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore? Haha, yeah, way to pull someone in with a title there Wayne.
Shortly after reading So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore (which you can find for free online) I found myself meeting Wayne in person in Southern California where he lives. He’s a genuinely nice guy that cares about helping others find their way to Jesus–the real Jesus. Not the plastic Jesus that can only be found after jumping through church leadership hoops, paying tithes, and becoming a “member” of some brick and mortar boys club many people call a “church”. No. The real Jesus. The living Jesus. That’s the Jesus we all long for and the Jesus our spirits are all mysteriously drawn to. Thankfully that Jesus is readily available to us all without the church walls and programs.
Wayne does a great job of helping us find the real living Jesus and the real living church in his latest book Finding Church. It’s a great guide for those of us that are on a different kind of Christian journey. It’s for those of us that want authentic community (that’s most of us really) but do not know how to find nor create that outside of the traditional congregational buildings. If you find yourself going to church because you know there is an authentic community to be found in the story and life of Jesus but are not quote finding that community in the traditional church then this book is for you. It is filled with hope and a better idea of what His church is intended to look like.
Thanks for stopping by Truth Search! We are reviving the New Silver Street Church…but not in the same way we did things before. We have undergone many changes as a people and as followers of Christ. We don’t have a building anymore. No more tithes. Mo more staff. No more programs. We don’t really need these things do we? Neither did Jesus and his disciples right? We still gather together–but organically in our homes, cafes, and wherever we randomly choose to meet together on any given day.
We are still the same small group of simple Christians gathering together to share our journeys we have always been–but more enlightened now I suppose. We no longer proclaim to have all of the answers. We just want to pursue truth just like you. We know that this spiritual journey can be difficult and lonely and we have come to learn that the best approach to spiritual enlightenment for many is not from a pulpit but rather from the “togetherness” that attracted many of us to Christianity in the first place.
We are all searching for truth aren’t we? Some of us look for it in a church with a steeple, right? There are many paths to truth. We don’t claim one path is superior to another. But there is only one truth and our hope is that we can all get there together no matter what path we choose to arrive at truth.
We still believe Jesus is Truth. That is not the search we are struggling with–thankfully. But we our search is for the How of walking with Jesus. What is the best way to walk this journey? We do not proclaim to have all of those answers but hopefully together we can all figure that out or at least share the journey.