Friday, June 30, 2006

I Love Restoration!

We moved to a new city about 7 years ago, and found a church home group almost immediately. The leader was smart, passionate, loved debate (which was good because we disagreed a lot!) and the group had a measure of community that I found attractive.

Well about 3 years into it, the leader got hurt by the church -- I think it was largely his fault, but that is neither here nore there. I actually see a lit of myself in him, and understand his feelings of being slighted, as I have at times, as well. My reaction has always been to pray for forgiveness and realize my sin, but his . . . . well, his was to leave the church.

And he didn't just leave the church, he started his own thing -- which included pulling about half the group with him. He became founder/leader/pastor of a group of disaffected believers who wanted to restore first-century, home church koinania.

I ran across him a few times over the next few years, and he was shocked that I was still with the church, as it had so many obvious problems, etc . . . he was very negative, and I had a hard time speaking with him at all, because it always came around to this subject and him hammering my church and pastor.

Well, I saw him in passing a month or so ago, and struck up a conversation. I didn't mention church, for fear of being pounded . . . but he has stopped his thing and joined church again; although not in the same body as before, he is in a church plant from that body. We chatted about five minutes, he talked about working through his issues and his pain, and I left smiling.

I ran across him again a week or so later at a social event, and we takled about 90 minutes, and it was good. He is still an iconoclast, which I respect, but he recognizes the value of church, which I also respect.

I love restoration.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Book Report: Disappointing

I just finished up Behind The Stories, by Diane Eble, a collection of profiles of modern Christian authors. The bibliographies are incomplete, the interviews are all too similar, and there is not even the hint of an "edge" in any of these authors. I can't believe this represents the full swath of the Christian authorial experience.

If it is . . . . I am in serious trouble.

Monday, June 19, 2006

What Exactly Am I Protesting?

I have never been one given to identifying myself as a "label," whether that label be conservative, evangelical, mainline, fundamentalist, charismatic, whatever . . . and I have a little in common with all of those labels and many more.

I called myself a Christian, that's for sure, but the only other label I accepted was "Protestant." But now I am re-thinking that one, too.

Luther and the reformers were Protestant, because they were protesting the catholic Church as the spiritual and temporal power of the day. They protested, so they were Protestant. Made sense.

But I didn't protest indulgences, or any other corruption of taht day. That is not my battle, and I am just beginning to realize that.

I am not a Protestant.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Music: More Retro Stuff

I'm still going through my old tapes, and in deciding which to keep and which to toss, I ran across a few with sentimental meaning for me. I became a Christian during my freshman eyar at college, answering an altar call at a concert, as a matter of fact. I fell into the CCM scene pretty quickly, and it was probably over spring break that I bought my first Christian tapes. It was at Heaven and Earth in Laurel, Maryland, and those four tapes were: Steve Taylor--I Want To Be A Clone; Steve Camp--Shake Me To Wake Me; Jerusalem--Volume 1; and Fireworks--Sightseeing At Night. I am keeping these four, for as long as humanly possible.

Of course, in the many years since then, some memories have begun to fade and harden, so it may not have been those 4 tapes, that store, or even that city . . . but this is the story I have told for years, and until proven otherwise, I choose to still believe it.

Monday, June 12, 2006

"Passion" is #1

According to a story on Yahoo!, coming from Entertainment Weekly!

Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" ranks as the most controversial film of all time, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The magazine ranks the 25 films that have most shocked, disgusted and divided moviegoers, in its June 16 issue, on newsstands Monday.

EW writes that Gibson's grisly depiction of Jesus' betrayal and crucifixion ignited "a culture-war firestorm unrivaled in Hollywood history." Despite or to some degree, because of the religious uproar, the 2004 film grossed over $370 million at the U.S box office."