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Culture War

11/15/2011

I’ve had this extra song from Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs on repeat lately. The lyrics have really been speaking to me, seem very poignant and true with a point to be made.

Internet Monk had an interesting article up recently, When Chrisians Won the Culture War. Perhaps the combination of the two have got me thinking. Christians have fought for some interesting things in the past, to mixed results. And for what? I’ve heard some claim that Christian efforts in politics “bought time” for people to repent, which I guess makes sense if you subscribe to certain strains of premillenniumism.

Looking at it from a higher perspective, I don’t see that most culture wars accomplished anything. Look at the statistics. Churches and denominations are in decline, there is mass exodus from the church, and more and more young people are checking out and not engaging with the faith of their parents. Arguably, they aren’t even engaging with the true faith, just how that faith shows up in the form of social and political activism. No wonder so many are disenchanted.

Personally I think it’s time for the culture wars to end. Christians have a responsibility to be involved in politics and vote as they are led by the Word and the Spirit, but increasingly that becomes twisted. When I hear Christians getting heavily militant and political nowadays, I just tune out and regret the gospel is getting lost. It’s tough to believe in a faith, a Christianity, when so many radically erroneous versions of it are out there. I’ll continue to pray for wisdom for the leaders out there.

As always, this is not a forum for discussion or a place for others to critique my views. Merely add your comments and I’ll be sure to shrug.

Now the future’s staring at me
Like a vision from the past
And I know these crumbs they sold me
They’re never going to last

Though we know the culture war
We don’t know what it’s for
But we’ve lived a southern strategy
But no, it’s never going to last
So keep it in the past

These are different times that we’re living in
These are different times
Now the kids are growing up so fast
They’re paying for our crimes

You left while I was sleeping
You said it’s damning
Oh, I’ve read a little Bible
You see what you want to see

Oh, we know the culture war
We don’t know what it’s for
But we’ve lived your southern strategy
We know it’s never going to last
So keep that shit in the past

These are different times that we’re living in
Because these are different times
Now the kids are growing up so fast
They’re paying for our crimes

These are different times that we’re living in
These are different times
Now the kids are growing up so fast
They’re paying for our crimes

The dominos, they never fell
Our bodies they still burn
I throw my hand into the fire
But still I never learn
Will I ever learn?

These are different times
Now the kids are growing up so fast
Paying for our crimes

We’ll be soldiers for mommy and dad
In your culture wars

We’ll be soldiers for mommy and dad
Don’t know what it’s for

We’re soldiers now
In the culture war

We’re soldiers now
But we don’t know what it’s for

We’re soldiers now
In the culture war

We’re soldiers now
But we don’t know what it’s for

So tell me, what’s it for?

You want it? You got it
Here’s your culture war

You want it, now you got it
So tell me, what’s it for?

You want it? You got it
Here’s your culture war

You want it, now you got it
So tell me what’s it for?

Yeah tell me, what’s it for?

Recovering Jerk

11/09/2011

Hat tip to Jeff Overstreet on another great blog entry, Looking Closer – Into the Wilderness. Blogs like this remind me why I started reading and following this guy so many years ago, and haven’t regretted it since then. He’s definitely enriched and challenged my life in untold ways.

Here’s an excerpt:

I’m beginning to believe more and more every day that we can measure how well we “love your neighbors as yourselves” in part by considering how willing we have been to welcome, listen to, read, and attend to the testimonies, art, and writing of people who believe differently than we do.

Increasingly, I’m convinced that if we are too afraid to listen graciously, and without fear, to those who disagree with us… if we don’t open their books or go to their concerts, if we can’t read their editorials without snarky comments, if we don’t strike up conversations with them at the cafe with the one who is Different… we won’t know the rewards of obedience to “Love thy neighbor.”

That tells me that much of what I was taught in “Christian community” as I grew up—how to protect myself from “the World”—was actually a lesson in to excuse myself from the hard work of love.

One of the best things that ever happened to me was my breaking out of the ghetto, so to speak, and exploring the larger world. I still remember quite clearly just how the walls were drawn and built around my life and interests, whether something was Christian or not. But I also remember the walls not being built on sturdy foundations, and often the walls were misplaced depending on what topic you were looking at, who you were talking to…any number of factors. And while tearing down most of those walls has been an incredibly liberating and encouraging thing in my life, it also has come at a cost, for once you grow up, it’s hard to go back to being a child again.

As the pastor at Fusion says, it’s important to be childlike, but not childish.

I love how Jeff says he is a “recovering Evangelical” or a “recovering jerk”. I myself am a recovering jerk, and know how much more I have to go (and probably haven’t a clue as to the true distance). If I could erase the last few years of my life, maybe even the last decade, and do it all over again, I’d be sorely tempted to do so. But the least I can do now is repent, beg forgiveness, ask to be humble, and try to live in grace toward others and even myself.

Thanks again for the challenge, Jeff.

The Edge performing Love is Blindness

11/08/2011

It’s his song. Let the man sing and play it.

Science Fiction/Double Feature

11/03/2011

The Internet is filled with lots of awesome stuff.

Nobody reads anymore…

11/03/2011

http://ceruleansanctum.com/2003/09/charismatic-churches-and-cult-of-new.html

Am I the only one?

11/02/2011

Am I the only one of my generation who thinks that “Spirit filled worship” does not mean dancing? Who doesn’t think being free means dancing? Who doesn’t think that liturgy is dead worship? That hymns are not annointed? That all the churches of our childhoods aren’t dead and lifeless? Who isn’t always searching for something new? Who isn’t always searching for something different? Who is never content with what the Lord has done? Who doesn’t differentiate between salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? Who doesn’t seek after mountain top experiences? Who doesn’t forsake reading the Word for worship experiences?

It’s so discouraging at times. I realize that so many of my generation are young, impressionable, and reacting to what they perceive is deadness and coldness simply because they haven’t been properly instructed in meaning and tradition. They search out for that which is new and exciting and different simply for the same reasons that so many young people rebel from their parents. It’s why so many young people who grew up in more charismatic churches are rapidly leaving those churches for churches that are more steeped in liturgy and tradition. They are looking for meaning amongst the meaningless.

Most of my generation believes that Spirit filled worship means dancing and loud music with free flowing structure and lyrics. The most Spirit filled worship I’ve ever experienced in a church was a group of men and women singing Wonderful Grace of Jesus, a heavily structured, harmonized, Scripture full hymn.

Most of my generation firmly believe they got saved at a young age, but everything was dead and cold to them until they had a moment where the Spirit indwelt them. I firmly believe I got saved at a young age and grew in wisdom and maturity and into a deeper relationship with God and his Holy Spirit.

Most of my generation believes that liturgy, structured services, written prayers, and the like, are cold and deadless, not allowing the Holy Spirit to speak. Yet I see tradition, history, men and women of old writing down holy words that were blessed by the Holy Spirit and allowed to survive through the centuries, containing deep meaning and comfort for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

I’m not angry with my generation. It’s not entirely our fault we don’t know any better. But I am highly discouraged. More and more I fear I must live a lie and keep my mouth shut, silently correcting and instructing and teaching where I can. But who am I, Lord? I know it was spoken over me years ago that I would be a teacher of God’s word, yet I don’t even know where to begin, whether I am qualified, whether I even have the right. I know I don’t have the words. Yet I have such a slippery grasp on truth as it already is, knowing what’s right or what’s wrong, being firmly set in some things.

So I’ll pray for wisdom and guidance.

I haven’t given up on this blog yet…

11/01/2011

Not yet at least. But I have put it in a better perspective as to its priority in my life, and what is more important and comes first.

Still planning on blogging about Stargate, because I do enjoy that. Still want to explore Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology in some form, but I’m not longer feeling defensive and desperate to understand more fully what I want to believe. Still want to share some music. But I need to reevaluate how much I share about my own personal life and feelings and thoughts on this blog.

So it’s not dead yet. And my goal is still to have 365 posts before the year is over.

HT to Wil Wheaton

HT to Wil Wheaton