Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pacific Clinics

I have spent most of the last three months working at Pacific Clinics in California.

Not sure what all of the Pacific Clinics do, but this one did a lot of work with people trying to stay off drugs and alcohol. They work with some people that may be a bit on the fringe of society. I remember one day almost running into one of the biggest, scariest looking men I have ever seen. Atleast six foot seven, well over three hundred lbs. Covered in tattoo's that were definitely gang related. I smiled looked him in the eye and said hello. I think he wanted to kill me :)

But what I was amazingly impressed with was the people that worked here. The three amazing girls working reception, the site manager, and all of the doctors were just wonderful. They not only treated the clients with respect and dignity, but also did so with me, a disgusting construction worker that often wasn't getting the job done as quickly as they had hoped.

After all that time I am actually sad I won't be around them anymore. As some of you know, it is to these people outside of the mainstream that my family and I have given our lives to. We try and provide community and love for those that seem to be considered the least in this world. But in this place, it seemed like a whole bunch of people did the same thing, and not just for cash, but because it was good, and just, and right. They reminded me a bit of Jesus, and that made me smile.


Was very angry with Chuck Smith (Calvary Chapel Founder)

Now let me start by saying that I love Chuck Smith. The guy is a living legend, and example of God's love. For those of you who don't know, Chuck Smith is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa California. He was one of the people that really embraced the Jesus movement, allowed rock music in the church, and by loving and encouraging young people to radical faith wound up overseeing one of the biggest churches in America, as well has inspiring the planting of literally hundreds of other churches. Many of the Calvary affiliated churches now are some of the most recognized churches in the country.

But more than that, Chuck always seemed the voice of God's love and grace. Whenever I listened to him, I felt the love of the Father. Maybe a myth, but I heard that after they installed new carpet in the sanctuary of Calvary Chapel one of the elders put up a sign "no bare feet" in order to protect the carpet. Chuck took the sign down, threw it at the elders and said, I will tear the carpet out before I stop one person from coming in to this church. That seems true to me, as that was the kind of guy I have always thought him to be.

So what made me so mad? Well almost every week day Chuck hosts a show called pastors perspective, which is a call in show where people can ask questions. But last week he had a special guest, one of the generals from Israels army. What we heard for almost an entire hour was pro Israeli propaganda (now I for one actually believe that the Israeli propaganda is probably a slight bit closer to the truth than the palestinian propaganda, but that is besides the point). Now that bugged me, but whatever. When I lost my mind was when Chuck Smith said, "if I was in charge in Israel, for every bomb Hamas sent into Israel, I would send ten missles into gaza targeting their government buildings! its the only thing those people will understand" Now in case you think I might have misunderstood, I didn't, they continued to joke about that with the general saying he wished Chuck was in charge, and all three of the host urging Americans to support Israel and their show of defensive aggression.

Return ten to one, it is the only thing "those people" will understand!!!

What the hell is that? I must admit I started screaming at my radio. Now as a nation, we are just as guilty as Israel, or Hamas for that matter, but a Christian leader saying that!!! How can a follower of Jesus say such things? Jesus, the one we are supposed to be following, the one who's commandments we are supposed to keep said:

"do not return evil for evil, but good for evil"

"If a man strike you on the right cheek, turn to him your left"

"love your enemies and do good to those who hate you"

"those that live by the sword will die by the sword"

"blessed are the merciful"

"blessed are the peace makers"

and I could go on and on. When will we stand up against this completely antichrist teaching of redemptive violence? When will we as the church begin to live out the mandate to be followers of Jesus, willing to die for our love of others, but not to kill for it? When will we realize the truth of Martin Luther King Jr.'s speach that said, "darkness cannot cast out darkness, only light can do that, hate cannot cast out hate, only love can do that"

Chuck, I love you my brother, but boy were you wrong on this one.