Monday, December 10, 2007

No Matter What, It's HIS Story...

Check out the Interactive Sermon blog for a great commentary on the Evangelical flap over the movie and books in "The Golden Compass" series. Here's my take...

The books are in my house, one of my kids has read some of them and gotten some enjoyment. I looked over the flap both before and after the controversy and come away completely underwhelmed about the nature of the fight.

Yes, the author has written them out of his antipathy to Jesus, the Scripture and the Gospel.

But here's the truth, this is still a Christian story.

I'm not defending the author, I'm confirming that we live in God's world and can never get away from it. So he puts names on the bad guys that sound like they're Christians. If you strip the names off the story, you'll recognize it... It's a Christian saga. He's just confused.

No one in this universe can exempt themselves from God's story. I've no doubt that if you read our DNA it would read "Gospel" all over it. Rebellion. Loss. Redemption. Honor. Hope. Glory. This IS My Father's World!

So this book gives me a great chance to point out to my kids how even when somebody seeks to defame Jesus, they praise Him.

No need to march in the streets... Just raise my hands and praise Him here... That's why we don't match Islam in its fury when we're "defamed".

Relax... There's really nothing to fight for.

Jesus shall reign where e'er the sun doth it's successive courses run.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

... Contra Politics ... Contra Spirituality ... Jesus ...

I love life against the grain. I love the underdog. I love unexpected marriages and compassion in unlikely places.

My favorite wine is called Conundrum. It's a blend (Chardonnay and Riesling??? Pinot Grigio? I don't remember) with the quality of a varietal. Often blends use cheap varietals and mix them hiding the low quality. But Conundrum pairs an unlikely mix and winds up with distinct taste, not a bland mess.

I love Conundrum because I was introduced to this California wine when dining in a fine restaurant in Singapore captained by a Hawaiian chef.

My favorite dress shirt ever was a classic Nordstrom's pinpoint stripe. That year Nordy's had a blue stripe shirt, a green stripe shirt, a yellow stripe shirt, a black strip shirt and a red stripe shirt. You know the type of business shirt, alternating 1/4" strips of white and color. A little color but very very conservative.

Take that same shirt only ... make the back of one stripe combo, the front of another, the collar of another, the pocket and the placket of two more. You almost had to look twice to see that it wasn't just another stodgy shirt. The mix of things... that's where the beauty was. Color and fashion in an unexpected place. Traditional value lending the whole thing a classy air.

I met a gentleman tonight who is establishing a Christian philanthropy presence on Second Life, the hip alternative (or virtual) reality site. This is a wild and wooly place where Internet hipsters make a virtual life for themselves. They become anyone or anything they'd like to be, and live as that character throughout their time in that alternate universe.

This gentleman and a friend have established a site which links to Christian aid organzations... As people give in this alternate world, they can REALLY give... their results come up as changes to this presence... give money for a school and a school appears when it is really built.

Hipster tech meet Jesus... The Way, Truth and Life who told us to offer water to the thirsty and food for the hungry.

How about this... our next president makes a concerted effort to build a coalition government. He does not step down from his vision or his plans, but he includes the other political view, finding individuals who will work with rather than against from BOTH parties and a broad spectrum.

I love the wealthy man who takes off his coat and leaves it for the homeless man.


Monday, December 03, 2007

... it's the Ultimate Big Tent...

Being with Jesus means that there are all sorts of people in this tent called His Church.

I've gone on and on lately about what I believe to be the best political approach. And I absolutely believe those things.

But beneath all that, above all that, is the truth that Jesus saves all types of people, and I'd darn well better not reject them. All I have to do is remember Peter's experience.

Just before Peter was asked to bring the truth of Jesus to a fully Gentile household, God gave him the ultimate learning experience, a divine vision.

God used the object lesson of the kosher laws. Peter was hungry and God laid out a spread for him... of entirely unkosher food. Gotta love pulled pork!

God told Peter to get up and tuck in. Three times. Three times Peter said, "No, Lord, I couldn't." Finally God said, "What I have made holy, don't you DARE call unholy." (Revised D-- Version)

Immediately a cadre appeared at the door asking for Peter to come minister to a Roman army leader.

Peter did. He learned his lesson.

Have I learned mine? All these years later... a refugee from the hyper-critical "bastions of truth", of fundamentalism, of arrogant positivism?

The reason for this diatribe? Don Imus. Reading a report of his return to the radio and his reaction to the time of his exile. He criticized his so-called friends that savaged him. He spoke highly of Al Sharpton.

"I'd rather be in a foxhole with Al Sharpton than a lot of my so-called friends."

Sharpton extended an invitation to Imus and had him on his (Sharpton's) radio broadcast.

Sharpton is a minister who claims Jesus. I don't know if he does, but I know this, his attitude of forgiveness was more Christ-like than most you'll see.

Jesus accepts all who come to Him in repentance. Do I?