Wednesday, September 29, 2010

some thoughts

My wife and I talked quite a bit while away on vacation. It is so nice to be able to discuss things even slightly out of the fray. What is going on in our lives, what does the future hold, how do we see things going with our community? We talked about our dreams, and our hopes, we talked about our concerns. But one thing we wrestled with was the whole idea of our public persona and social media.

I tend to live very publicly, I share too freely at times, and am very open about everything. I think that is good in most ways, especially sharing my own doubts and frailties. But what about Jesus admonition to pray in secret, to do your good works in secret? What about Paul saying love doesn't parade itself? How does that effect facebook? Twitter? this blog?

Yesterday I was studying a passage of scripture with my daughters and they both pointed out how public the church seemed to function in its beginnings. Jesus also said "let your light so shine so that men will see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

So what do we do? Our community has no name, no website and no formal leadership, mission statement or building. I have a blog, and post bible study videos once and a while. We have an open dinner and bible study time but don't advertise it, and are hesitant to invite people until they are in relationship with us. We could use a few more people in our community. I long for a house (preferably donated) that can serve as a house of hospitality, a community gathering place, with a garden and maybe even a small hermitage. Do I court donations and get attention? Just heard a video of Patch Adams talking about how he got famous in the hopes he could build his hospital and has spent twenty years being a celebrity and just now broke ground.

Whats the answer? How the hell should I know? We are trying to live day by day, being faithful to what we have now. Maybe I will do less online stuff, maybe more. Maybe we will do a bit more public stuff with our community, maybe we will stay as the mustard seed a bit longer before we really sprout. I just know the wrestling, the doubt, the struggle is all good, and what keeps us depending upon God and each other.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

back from vacation great time with mrs rev

moonlight tour of big sur lighthouse was amazing, was great to get away


Friday, September 17, 2010

What I am learning

Seems that I am being challenged on my dogmatism. Don't get me wrong, my dogmatism isn't the typical believe as I do or you are damned to hell type, but that has only helped me to stay proud of my own dogmatism.

It seems to me that the faith the Hebrews were challenged with, was one of paradox, and wrestling with God, and space for the working out of ideas. Somewhere along the line, the Christian church, (atleast in the West) has adopted a more "logical" way of doing faith. In other words, knowing rather than working it out. Some brilliant guy said, "the church is a place full of people and empty of questions". I think that is a stunning indictment. I have reacted quite strongly against the standard dogmas. But in doing so, I think I often have gravitated to my own dogmatism. Dogmatism about non violence, church structure, the methods of our compassion.

Now don't get me wrong, I believe these things are true. I believe I am right. What becomes the issue is the way in which I present my ideas. Do I encourage people to journey and question? Or do I pontificate?

The problem is that I have been trying to embrace this new learning and wind up really messing with others. You see the world, or at least America is so polarized right now that when I try and argue against dogma... I wind up being accused of being part of the enemies camp.

What am I talking about? I can give an example from the other day:

An atheist posted a common line on twitter that essentially comes down to, Religion has killed more people than any other thing in human history. When I pointed out that just in this last century more people were murdered in the name of communism, by Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao, than in all of the religious wars in recorded history, I was told I was spinning things. That it was standard operating procedure for right wing nut jobs to do this. Me? A right wing nut job? Oh my! I understand being called a bleeding heart liberal, though I am not. And a communist, though I probably am in a way. But a right wing nut job? All I was trying to do was throw some mystery, some question, something besides dogmatism into the twitterverse.

I guess its comforting to know that my ailment is not an uncommon one. But I hope to embrace a more thoughtful way of living.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The radical gospel of Matthew's Jesus satan vs Jesus rnd 1

Jesus is lead by the Spirit out into the wilderness, and is tempted by the devil


Saturday, September 11, 2010

The radical gospel of Matthew's Jesus part 4 john baptizes Jesus

Ok, so the crazy desert prophet is visited by the one he foretold, and then together they inact the rite that initiates the kingdom please comment