Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Grunge Messiah

I think that there is a theological reason that I was and still am moved by the grunge movement in the early 90's. This kind of pattern happens all throughout the Bible, the music scene and probably in just about every platform and movement. I will just focus on Jesus and music and you can make all of your own connections. There is something about the punk rock movement and the grunge movement and all the other changes in music scenes... they resonate with so many people because of something spiritual I would argue.

In the 80's, rock music became increasingly shallow and materialistic. Everything seemed to be for show and I would even make the argument that it didn't much matter what a band sounded like... as Andre Agassi pointed out in that time, Image was everything! Jesus took a superficial religion and gave it a soul, just like the grunge movement gave rock back its soul. When I listen to Pearl Jam or Nirvana, or some of the lesser knows grunge bands like the Melvins and Mudhoney, it resonates with me in a spiritual way. These movements brought authenticity and spirituality to something that had lost it. If I work at a large church some day, I want to be an "alternative pastor" rather than an associate pastor in honor of the punk and alternative rock movements that revolutionized music as we know it and will continue to revolutionize it as time goes on.

not quite a macbook air

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

following Jesus or already followed Jesus

Here's a thought... why do Christians act like their faith is based on something they DID rather than something that they are DOING? There is a difference between following Jesus and making a commitment to follow Jesus. We focus on what we did instead of what we are doing. Our language reflects this as well. I BECAME a Christian... When I BECAME a Christian... BEFORE I WAS a Christian etc. The word Christian means "Christ-like" we are striving to be more and more like Christ so to even claim that we are already there is both arrogant and ignorant. How would the perceptions of Christianity change if we acknowledged that we are in the process of being Christ-like (sanctification) instead of basing our identity on the past. If Christianity is a process it changes how we approach each other and how we approach issues. Perhaps this idea can help us be humble and loving... both huge topics that Jesus addressed often...

If what connects us is our desire to follow Christ instead of what we already believe about Christ... I think it is closer to the original discussion that Jesus had with his friends and I think it is much more constructive!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Born again and again

John 3:1-17

3Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” 3Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? 11“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

1. the guy comes at night because he is one of the religious leaders that feel threatened by Jesus. He can't let anyone know that he is down with what Jesus is doing. He is afraid but he still comes.

2. Jesus' message to the religious people is to be "born again"! This is still Jesus message to the religious people. Be born again... so to "born again Christians", be born again... again. I would say that we need to continue to be born again. It is problematic when we stop growing or stop refreshing our worldview and sense of identity.

3. The famous John 3:16 verse, when put into context is in contrast to the oppressive, judgmental religion of that time. Jesus tells this guys that God isn't trying to condemn people so why are you? God loves. What if we asked religious people that right now, God didn't come here to condemn people, God came to love people. So why do you condemn __________? It is also a good question to ask ourselves.