Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Devil's Advocate

One thing I learned in college that has stuck with me -
I mean, become an instinctive part of my brain/heart wiring - is this:
If there is an unrepresented side, take it.

Call it antagonism, or devil's advocate. Call it justice, or balancing the scales. Or just call it contrarianism (i made up a word). Things are rarely cut and dried, black and white, without nuance. It's important to me to side with those who have nobody on their side. That's why conservative people sometimes get the idea that I'm liberal (or a heretic), and liberal people pretty much ignore me because they don't like to fight as much as conservatives.

For better or worse (I think better), that part of me flows out of my faith, and what I believe God is like. I don't really think he's all that concerned with how correct we are on issues. I don't think there's going to be a test on that stuff. We simply can't be right enough for God's taste, so he has decided to cease grading that way. Does it mean I don't have opinions? Of course not. There are some things we can know for sure - but that is a very short list. (Maybe that will be my next post (in 6 months or so).)

When it comes to politics, I have had a long slow evolution from one extreme to the middle. I actually think that it's very important for Christians to be involved in politics. The Bible is political. Jesus was political. Just count how many references there are to the poor, the sick, the imprisoned, and aliens. How we treat or punish these people is still part of our political discussion TODAY. If you don't think the gospel writers and Paul had a stance on Rome, or an agenda in their writing, I'd love to sit down with you for a couple of hours.
That being said - what stance should followers of Christ take today? With the right? With the left? As with most things in life, my faith forces me to ask - is there a "third way"? Is it possible not to be red or blue but... yellow, I guess? (Yes, I know it is a synonym for cowardly)

A friend linked me to an article today that i think perfectly articulates where I currently stand. And since it agrees with me - I am going to post it here, so that you can agree with me too. See what I did there ;-)
I don't know who Jen Hatmaker is. I've never read any of her stuff. I haven't seen he blog before. But I know that she has put into words exactly what is wrong with me, and what an increasing number of people of faith have been thinking:

Jen Hatmaker: Thoughts From A Christian Independent

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

ELCA Youth Gathering - Day 1

Whew! Rough day today. After an early start and a long bus ride, we arrived at the Ritz Carlton at around 5pm. After clearing some things up with the hotel and getting settled into our rooms, we realized 2 things - we were super hungry, and we still needed to check-in/register our group at the Gathering office! After walking the world's longest mile to the Morial Convention Center, we arrived at 6:45 to find that registration had ended early, instead of at 8pm as had been widely publicized. So, with no small amount of frustration, we set out in search of something nearby to eat. We finally landed in an empty little Italian place that Tandie remembered from last time. The place was great- and we ended up stuck there while it rained like the End Of Days outside.

It finally slacked up a little and we were able to make a break for it in the rain for about half a mile back to our hotel, where we decided to stay in for the night.

Keywords for today include: Bus, Ritz-Carlton, walking, sweat, pizza, rain, zzzz.

Internet access is turning out to be tough to come by at this hotel- so I apologize in advance if these posts aren't as elaborate as we had both hoped. I'm posting from an iPhone app.

Tomorrow: We take another crack at registration, celebrate our Practice Peacemaking Day at the Convention Center, have Johnnie's Poboys, and get our worship on in the Luther-dome!

Grace + Peace,

Sunday, July 15, 2012

ELCA Youth Gathering 2012 - The Vow

Welcome parents!
I hope you'll watch this space in the next week for updates on our time in New Orleans. I'll post pictures, videos, and commentary on our time there so that you can experience it with us!

I'll admit, I'm pretty excited, and I don't know exactly what to expect. I don't know what's going to happen in our group while we are there.

But I will make this vow:

That's right. Nobody is safe from my superior nicknaming skills. As a person who has gone by a nickname nearly all their life, I can tell you this - nobody chooses their own nickname, and hardly anybody ever likes the one they get stuck with!

Just another service we offer at Living Word!