Archives For reform.

much of what we value as tradition or ‘orthodoxy’ in reality actually hinders (or even contradicts) the gospel.

membersonly

last week, we continued our series on sacred cow tipping by acknowledging our culture’s addiction to answers. today’s post will grapple with the inherent exclusivity of church membership and how our application of this tradition not only hinders our ability to love the Other, but unintentionally creates and facilitates ann environment of stigmatization, ostracization and marginalization – eventually leading to the dehumanization and demonization of the Other.

next, we’ll explore the dangerous and innate hypocrisy of the subtle ‘hierarchy of sins’ which surprisingly allows room for ‘process’ on sins to which we’re most likely to succumb, and simultaneously an outright rejection of those we deem unlikely temptations.

finally, we’ll explore together new ways to invite and participate in community with those with whom we disagree in areas critical to our faith and core to our identity.

so then, the inherent exclusivity of church membership ::

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‘the planet does not need more successful people. the planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.’

— dalai lama

answeraddict


this is a long one… bear with me.

as promised in my previous post, we’re exploring some sacred cows in need of tipping – beginning with our culture’s addiction to answers. as this series continues we’ll grapple with the inherent exclusivity of church membership and how our application of this tradition (better reserved for private golf clubs and credit card reward programs than churches) not only hinders our ability to love the Other, but unintentionally creates and facilitates ann environment of stigmatization, ostracization and marginalization – eventually leading to the dehumanization and demonization of the Other. Continue Reading…

‘inequality is the root of social evil.’
— pope francis

cowtipping

prior to coming to The Marin Foundation, i lived for a few short years in central illinois. during that time i became familiar with a practice known as ‘cow-tipping’ – a favorite pastime of rural adolescents, during which they will sneak up on an unsuspecting cow and push it over for entertainment. some say cow-tipping is impossible. others claim to have successfully tipped many-a-cow. the debate rages on.

i kid you not.

while i avoided ever engaging in such an activity (for fear of a response from PETA or being charged by an angry bull, i can’t accurately determine), i suppose in my more gracious moments i can understand the draw. i also can’t imagine cows are easy to tip over…and once you successfully get one to fall, i suspect you’d want to run away – and fast.

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dmb10

a continuation of the gospel according to dave matthews

preface :: in this series, i’m heavily relying upon the intuitiveness of our readers to shape the conversation; though i’ve got some (perhaps many?) thoughts and opinions about dave and his lyrics – and have been continually impressed over the years at the spiritual under/overtones of the band’s music – i’d prefer to allow folks to come to their own conclusions, and to drive the discussion.

so again, some questions to consider in each of the posts of this series :: Continue Reading…

dmb9

critical to the history of christianity is the narrative of the birth of the christ-child, jesus of nazareth.

in an intellectually honest analysis, the life of jesus brings about a tremendous juxtaposition and even an apparent paradox between the way in which YHVH was understood by the writers of the hebrew scriptures and the authors of the christian new testament (and perhaps more critically, our interpretation of that understanding in its application for us as followers of the Way today)- most readily evident in the very person of jesus (his life, teachings and example), who consistently broke both cultural and religious boundaries in an effort to stand in solidarity with the Other.

no wonder the religious leaders of ‘the chosen people’ took issue with him.

by the very nature of calling what had been seen previously as ‘unclean’ clean, this rebellious rabbi opened the door to all new sorts of possibilities for his followers to pursue in the practice of their abrahamic faith.

it is in the personification of God incarnate – the God-man, jesus, – we see a more clear picture of divine perfection coming to release humanity from the shackles of sin – overcoming a culture of death and inviting each of us to participate in a more abundant life.

yet sin still remains in our world, even within and amongst those who claim to follow christ…another possible paradox?

enter the christmas song.

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this one might catch some flack…

as i’ve expressed in previous posts, i’ve been recently again inspired by the wisdom and posture of my friend brian mclaren. in the midst of recent bad news, brian has determined to share only good news specifically through the medium of poetry – daily providing content which is uplifting, inspiring and encouraging – though not absent of a subversive challenge toward (re)thinking the systemic problems inherent within the status quo.

enter dave matthews.

toward that end, we’ve engaged in a series here at the WayWard follower entitled ‘the gospel according to dave matthews’ – aimed at inspiring thoughtful conversation and intentional movement – and we’ve used dave’s lyrics as fodder in those discussions.

today’s post embodies some subtle tensions many within the church may be uncomfortable with – seeing God as a bartender, drink as absolution, sin as an inescapable and even excusable reality of the human experience, prayer as a (sometimes?) futile endeavor, and depicts even true followers as merely more than hope-filled doubters – yet these lyrics encompass, i think, the opportunity for us to honestly grapple with an understanding of God as One who can handle even our most honest and most vulnerable thoughts.

if only our faith communities reflected that reality.

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happy day of labor.

we continue our series on the gospel through the lyrics of DMB with a song popularized by the ‘dave and tim’ LIVE performance at luther college.

without further adieu…  Continue Reading…

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we continue our series on an alternative look at the gospel through the lyrics of DMB with a fan favorite during each LIVE performance by the group. everyday has a simple yet deeply profound message – nearly as simple (and simultaneously entirely complicated) as the command of christ to love our neighbor.

Continue Reading…