"Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom?" –Marvin Martian

Just down the road from me

Some folks decided to put up a satanic holiday display.

I have so many thoughts running through my head about this. Perhaps the main one being how annoying this is. I’m not one who thinks the fight for the commandments on the courthouse wall is worthwhile. I’d rather have churches display nativities than the capital building. But this is just annoying. Satanism is such a lecherous non-entity that this whole instance feels like the kid in gradeschool who was really annoying and you had to just ignore in order for them to leave you and go bug someone else.

What happened since the 1990s is that most of us white dudes are totally exhausted. Apparently all right-thinking people now believe that it is quite wrong and untoward to say that a man has the ability to choose not to rob a store and then assault a police officer.

Since we’re at that point now where we all deny that anyone who isn’t a straight, white male could possibly have any agency whatsoever, you know what? I’m out. I don’t really care anymore. If you really, truly have absolutely zero control over your own life, well, I guess that’s too bad. Sorry.

I’ve always thought that “Let it Go” was a pretty confused self-empowerment anthem. She sings about finding new freedom, but builds a little world where she can’t hurt anyone and no one can hurt her, says the cold doesn’t bother her, and slams to door to everyone else. Depression, anyone?

But hey, a Christian version of the song is already out there and is getting play on CCM Radio. Enjoy?

Nice

Having 2 little girls myself, I appreciated that, Chris.

And I still can’t get over how amazingly horrible the storyline is for that movie. You can watch it a million times and it is still horrible. And sing the song over and over and over and it still doesn’t change. I guess I need to just let it go.

So, any of you who work in the church – do any of you ever get random cult like or borderline cult mailings? This was not something I expected when I became a pastor, and it does not happen often, but I have received some of the strangest pieces of mail as a pastor. Today I got one asking me to pray to ‘stem cell Jesus.’

A year later, my girls are still listening to this soundtrack daily…

Let’s see if I can beat Matthew over here to post this. (Courtesy of @AJWTheology)

B4lM_69IEAExFBP

Yep, I forgot that one.

What about Charles Wesley and his Advent Hymn, “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”? You could add one more, right?

Ah, that’s right. So call it three Advent hymns. I bet we only sing one of ‘em this December.

But I’m in an apostate, liberal mainline, so just the fact that Jesus comes up is a plus.

Almost thou persuadest me to become an apostate liberal mainliner!

What about Charles Wesley…

and his Advent Hymn, “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”? You could add one more, right?

Since this is my first year in a new appointment, I again get to try to lovingly and slowly encourage observation of Advent. So, we’ve done a pretty good job holding off really Christmassy stuff so far. Also, I do have a few people who are really buying in to the season as far as building up to Christmas and anticipating. So there are a few visual things we are doing, slowly adding straw to the manger to prepare for the baby, our Advent graphic is building on itself, moving from out of focus to ‘in focus’ week by week, and singing “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus,” every week. For the most part, I’ve found laity to be pretty open to this sort of move if you teach with it. But I’m in an apostate, liberal mainline, so just the fact that Jesus comes up is a plus.

Jaredd wrote:
Sounds to me like you just measured it.

That’s what she said.

measure

That said, with very few exceptions, our churches are still largely organized under the homogeneous unit principle. They’re still segregated. Both within and outside churches, our Black neighbors still feel weighed down by our culture.

Sounds to me like you just measured it.

Random thoughts from last Sunday

In bullet point format, since I would’ve posted this on my own blog but it’s got some back-end problems and I’m about half-way to moving it to a different hosting provider…

  • I’m really not ready for Christmas music yet in church. I’m getting liturgical in my advancing age, I guess, but I’m really ready to sing some advent hymns and ache a little bit singing ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’ before we jump right in to all the ‘woohoo Jesus is born’ songs.
  • I recognize some difficulty here though: the traditional evangelical church hymnal that pretty much every church I’ve ever attended uses only has about two advent hymns in it: ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’ and ‘Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence’. There’s gotta be more than that. *Cue snarky response from John H*.
  • It’s kinda like when we learned a new song for Easter and sang it every Sunday for four weeks before Easter. When you’ve sung ‘Christ is risen from the dead’ for all of Lent, somehow the drama of Easter loses a little of its punch.

Jaredd, I gave a Twitter-length answer on our Twitter thread, but this may be a better format.

There’s no need to wrap your mind around how I’d measure the effect, because I have no intention to do so. I do find immense value in asking questions, though, even if they are uncomfortable. In this case, I ask it having spent time being discipled in the evangelical culture of that time, and attending two Promise Keeper events. I still have the books, and might still have the T-shirts. The big vision was to transform churches, America, even the world, to one where Black and White Christians modeled for everyone how racial reconciliation worked under Christ. It’s a good vision. I still hope for it. That said, with very few exceptions, our churches are still largely organized under the homogeneous unit principle. They’re still segregated. Both within and outside churches, our Black neighbors still feel weighed down by our culture. Whatever justifications one wishes to give for it, the problem is there.

With all that in mind, that’s the question I offer. It’s largely self-reflective, but is also offered that others might engage in self-reflection. Does it sound accusatory? Perhaps. Is that bad? Not necessarily.