Monday, July 16, 2007

A parable of and by the emerging church

If the people who built the railroads in the united states were actually interested in transporting people, they would now own the airlines. But they don't! The industrial historians tell us that the reason for this is that once the railroad companies had completed the huge task of driving the lines across the US, they lost their focus. Instead of continuing to pioneer ways of allowing free movement of people, they lost sight of the key end and focused internally on the one means to that end that they had made.

For a century or so, this was no problem because the rail road was still the best way to get around, but with the advent of the airlines the railroad companies were overtaken by a mode of transportation that was massively better. And their customers flocked to it.

Or at least most of them did. There were still a few old romantics who just loved the railroad and who continued to dress up in their finery, climb aboard, and drift along gently, talking to each other about how the railroad was the PROPER way to travel. About haw much better it was than this fancy airline stuff. They assured each other everything was going to be just fine, while the planes full of people shot by overhead.

New wine is currently being waisted by ruptured wine skins. And it outrageous to ask the workers to keep pressing the grapes when the vineyard keeps pouring it into old old skins, allowing them to rupture and spill the newness into the drains.

NOTE: This is a widely circulated parable among the emerging church movement. As far as I can tell it's author is unknown. I have heard it told several times, sometimes on podcasts sometimes in person. It has even been included in the forward to at least one book. But each time the storyteller explains they heard it from someone else... I believe this a mark of the emerging church, that we share stories and ideas freely. The ultimate goal is the healing of our world through the expansion of "The Kingdom of God."

Saturday, July 14, 2007


“The church is not here to meet our needs. We are the church here to meet the needs of the world.”- Erwin McManus

Friday, July 13, 2007

war and hate

Any view we take concerning the use of force to resist evil must have a deep and comprehensive view of the reality of evil in this world. It would be comforting if we could find refuge in a principle like “it is absolutely wrong to kill” or “it is absolutely right to kill in self-defense.” But the reality of this fallen world makes such certainty impossible.
While almost all wars have been immoral (just as many police actions and acts of personal aggression are immoral), it is not possible to demonstrate that all acts of aggression are immoral.
Most wars are an abomination in the eyes of God, and, regrettably, many Christians have identified themselves with many of them. I believe this greaves God... However, under certain circumstances, there seems no alternative than protecting the innocent against evil.One of the most serious mistakes that Christians can make is to believe that participation in a "just war" is grounds to ignore Jesus’ command for them to love their enemies (Matthew 5:43-47 ). Wartime propaganda always tries to arouse hatred towards the enemy by portraying them as unqualifiedly evil.

I believe when Jesus said love your enemies he didn't mean from 10,00 feet while dropping bombs on them...

I believe Jesus presented us with a third way.

Jesus calls us to turn the other cheek. Not pick up a sword and retaliate. But turn the other cheek is not just lay down and take it pacifism. See Jesus is giving this concept in the context of first century Jewish culture.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Money is the root of all evil?

Money is the root of all evil

This expression stems from the biblical phrase that says, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils" (1 Timothy 6:10). There is a big difference between the two statements. Money is neutral and can be used either for the good or for the bad. Money of itself is not evil, yet the love of it is the root of all kinds evil, like greed...

And really do you thing money is the root of ALL evil?

What about war (murder)? I know some wars are fought about money. But more are fought for territory or power. And while that can be closely related to money it is not the same thing. In fact I submit to you that instead they booth have the same root cause.

Evil says I need a bigger house, a faster car, more expensive clothing. While most of the world lives in shacks, walks miles for clean water, and only receives one pair of shoes a year.

Evil says my comfort is more important than anyone, or any thing, else.

Evil says as long as I can consume more then it doesn't matter if the rest of humanity suffers.

I believe the root of all evil is selfishness!

Monday, July 02, 2007

A terrable Paradox

So I took my kids to the neighborhood park today. It was filled with kids running, swinging, sliding, laughing, and playing.

The beautiful scene was broken when a marine helicopter flew over head. All of the climbing, swinging, sliding, laughing, and playing stopped. Some of the kids pointed, there were a few ohs and ahas, most just stared. One boy made machine gun sounds... And I was struck at the great and terrible ugliness of it.

Later in the day as we were leaving grandma and Grandpa's house we found their neighborhood had been converged upon by a dozen or More balloon crews. they laid out the hot air balloons in the front yards. The neighborhood kids gathered and laughed and played. They watched as these huge balloons filled and gently floated into the sky. Neighborhood children ran back and forth screaming with delight. No machine gun sounds this time. I was struck again by the peace and beauty of the whole scene.

Later upon reflection I felt God showing me a bigger picture... What we put on the horizon, the next generation sees. It's up to us to decide what kind of world we want to create. It's up to us what kind of world they will dream of. A world filled with beauty laughter and wonder... Or fear terror and war.

Another World is Possible.....