To My Brothers/Sisters Saying “I Told You So” After the Giglio Debacle Part 2

It’s impossible to divorce yourself from your context. So this means no one is actually completely objective – this means you, this means me.

So here’s a little of my context: I am a pastor in a larger evangelical church in the Northeast who is trying to encourage his fellow brothers and sisters and inspire those outside our walls to the life-giving message of Jesus with word and deed. I’m tired of the haters within our walls that are preaching doomsday scenarios. And I’m tired of those outside our walls merely identifying us by our failures and blind spots. I’m excited by [Read more…]

To My Brothers/Sisters Saying “I Told You So” After the Giglio Debacle

When I wrote about the Louie Giglio Inaugural prayer debacle, I finished with this statement:

“To my fellow brothers and sisters who have either told me that I am naive about the culture war, that have warned me of the “slippery slope,” and who want to say, “I told you so!” I am working on a post for you …”

As promised here’s the follow up.

I am committed to not fighting the culture war with the tactics of righteous outrage, guilt, intimidation that is clocked in a pseudo-morality and doomsday prophecies. Further, I live on the slippery slope, you do too. This is why you cannot not find more than two people who agree with each other. And you can always say “I told you so!” but I put about as much stock in that line as I do when I hear “Everybody’s saying …”

Ever since I can remember, people have either lived in fear or promoted the fear of the “coming Christian persecution in America.” Every time a Christian, church is attacked or a cultural moment or a new law goes into affect that runs against a Christian conviction, there’s panic, a good bit of outrage and much of the response centers on what we as a Church and a society have lost.

Many are utterly convinced the government hates the Church and there is a conspiracy to systematically dismantle people of faith in this [Read more…]

Reflecting on Driscoll, The Inauguration & State of Evangelicalism Today

I really wanted to avoid posting about Driscoll and his condescending tweet about President Obama during the Inauguration but when your fingers touch the keys and these words keep coming out – well you got to let them out. Here’s the tweet.

What??  I don’t follow Mark but when I saw this RT pass through my feed, again and again, I was so embarrassed and decided to give up on social media for the day.

First, let me admit my bias – I am not a “Driscoll guy” in any way. Aside from having a post entitled, “Why We Shouldn’t Make Fun of Mark Driscoll By a Guy Who Likes To”  I rarely talk, gossip or hate on him. I may roll my eyes at times but I really try to avoid his name (among a few others) in conversation. My experience is that it brings disunity to some of my brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Second, I could never understand why some of my good friends who are intelligent, relational and have access to better minds would [Read more…]

Reflecting on MLK Day 2013 – To Love When You’re Hated

I was grateful that our church office was closed this MLK Day as I was able to use the day for rest and reflection with my family.

Years ago, I remember having a day off from school and catching a television movie about Dr. King that contained one of the most violent scenes I remember seeing at that point of my life. The scene had a woman approach him while he was signing autographs.  Suddenly she stabbed him with something. I remember the panic and people running everywhere to protect him. I was a kid so I didn’t really understand assassination attempts and was further confused by the assassin being a black woman. Of course, years later I would learn that scene was Izola Curry stabbing Dr. King with a letter opener that he barely survived.  I believe the movie was “King: The Martin Luther King Story“, a  three-part miniseries, first telecast in February 1978.

I remember that I had watched countless of people getting killed on the A-Team and Star Wars but because I knew that Dr. King was a real person, I was truly saddened by the scene. I know how that sounds but I remember how incredible this moment was for me as a kid. And I couldn’t figure out why Izola Curry, a black [Read more…]

Lance Armstrong, Oprah, Jesus and Us Viewers

You bet I’m going to be among the countless who talk about Lance Armstrong today.

I was among the many who stood in awe of how he was able to be keep winning. Admittedly, I was among those in the beginning who didn’t take seriously the doping allegations. I became a sports fan in the late 80’s and early 90’s and had bought into the belief that a dominant athlete could simply be “heads and shoulders” above everyone like Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, Rickey Henderson and Bo Jackson. They may not have always won the championship (though each did except for Bo) but they were the dominant athletes in their generation.

Cycling being more or less an individual sport, seemed to allow for the possibility that one dominant athlete could simply be consistently better than the competition. I’ll admit around the 4th Tour De France victory, I scratched my head … but I wanted to believe. He wins after he beats cancer – cancer! He won five years in a row then retires and comes back and wins two more – this stuff is just legendary. Who [Read more…]

My Review of A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans

I like Rachel Held Evans’ writing, I like her blog, I like her spunk, I like her husband Dan but in all honesty, I didn’t really think that I would like A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master. In fact, when so many, including those I have a great deal of respect for expressed their great love for it, I tried not to like it in fear that I would find it over-rated.

I should also say that as a casual reader of her blog that I was not excited about this project – I admit that I am the guy that didn’t get it. I didn’t really want Rachel to write this book. For whatever reason, I don’t like these types of books whereas they insert themselves into a bad idea for too long of a time and then reflect on how awful it was with an occasional insight. The classic example being that awful Super-Size Me documentary in which I kept shouting at the screen, “Stop Morgan – this is a bad idea! Google it! Save yourself the 4 weeks of disaster – Noooo!”  Sometimes it feels like no one ever listens.

Rachel has a sharp mind so I was hoping that she’d write something else. Adding to this, I had already read A.J. Jacob’s book A Year of LIving Bibllcally and though he’s a great writer too, I just couldn’t get into it. Yeah, it was clever and [Read more…]

A Few Thoughts On the Louie Giglio Situation – What Is the Christ-like Response?

In case you missed it Louie Giglio was scheduled to deliver the benediction at President Barack Obama’s Inauguration but has chosen to withdraw from the ceremony due to questions about an “anti-gay sermon” he gave in the mid-1990s.

Here was part of his formal reply …
“” … dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration … Neither I, nor our team, feel it best serves the core message and goals we are seeking to accomplish to be in a fight on an issue not of our choosing.”

and part of Addie Whisenant’s spokeswoman for the Inaugural Committee, response …
“We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this Inaugural … As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.”

First things first, what is up with that committee? They are 0 for 2 now, which is mind-boggling. Their job does not look that hard to me. History class told me the date has been preselected for January 20th (which falls on a Sunday so this year it will actually be the 21st – not [Read more…]

Is It Good For the “Rick Warren” Types to Appear on the “Piers Morgan” Shows?

Every time I see an Christian on a talk show I always get a little nervous and depending on who the individual is will determine my level of anxiety:
If I see Tim Keller, I feel somewhat confident. Fortunately, he’s really sharp, unfortunately, he’s really nice, these shows can be tough you know.
If I see Rick Warren, I give it a 50/50. Likely he’ll say something profound, but he could say something kinda stupid.
If I see Pat Robertson, I turn the channel. He’s not sharp, he’s not nice, he is not profound, ugh, please get off the air.

[Read more…]

Reflecting on Rick Warren Appearing on the Piers Morgan Tonight Show

A couple Sundays ago Rick Warren appeared on the “Piers Morgan Tonight Show.” There are times I click past these shows but I’ll admit seeing a prominent evangelical on a prominent antagnoizer’s show is always interesting or as they say, “makes for good television.”

First, you have to understand a few things. One, I’m not a fan of the show but he gets great guests. The most frustrating part  is Piers – he’s difficult for me to like (where’s the British charm, Sir?). I thought I would like the fact that he asked pointed, tough questions but the problem is that just about every time I watch, his questions are charged in the negative. He was intolerable when he interviewed Harry Connick Jr. because he kept trying to uncover some controversy with the guy. Come on Piers, get with it, there is not much controversial with Harry. I don’t watch the show regularly so maybe I’m tuning in at all the wrong times.

Then there’s Rick Warren. His name brings up a lot of thoughts. First, the good. I was among those that liked the [Read more…]

Our Next Reading Circle at Grace Chapel Is On “The Next Christians” by Gabe Lyons

Our next set of “Reading Circles” will be from The Next Christians by Gabe Lyons. One will begin this Sunday morning during “January Jolt” which is an abbreviated Adult Discipleship term. The second offering of it will be during GC@Nite beginning later in February. Our most recent and most engaging Reading Circle thus far was this past fall and when we discussed A Faith of Our Own by Jonathan Merritt who was kind enough to Skype with us for our last session.

In short, the Reading Circle is about conversation to create community. While the book/essay being read is obviously important, our time centers more on the discussion itself. In more academic or classroom settings, the facilitator could keep the focus on the book itself but for our purposes, we are interested in how these ideas can shape us individually and collectively and to get there, we need a stronger intersection between the content and those gathered. I’ve blogged a little more about the subtle distinctions of our Reading Circles versus book clubs here.

Typically I set up the context of the exert I’m about to read aloud which gives a refresher to those that have read and allows entry points for new people or those that didn’t get a chance to [Read more…]