Archive for August 30th, 2010

August 30, 2010

My Faith, My Voice

by Vince

The group behind the new commercial, “My Faith My Voice,” describes itself as a “grass-roots effort by American Muslims from across the country,” and says it has “no affiliation to any one organization or school of thought.”

Read the full story here.

August 30, 2010

Beware of Clearances

by Vince

This gives a few good laughs.

August 30, 2010

Obama and Islam

by Vince

Angie Drobnic Holan and Brendan Nyhan wonder why 1 in 5 Americans believe Barack Obama is a Muslim:

Americans with the strongest dislike of the Democratic president and his policies are much more likely to say Obama is a Muslim. Pollsters say people’s beliefs about his religion may actually be an effort to equate him with a faith they dislike.

Brendan Nyhan, a political scientist at the University of Michigan, has found that when people are fiercely partisan, they are less likely to change their minds when presented with factually correct evidence that contradicts their views.

The article continued on defending Barack Obama’s faith by saying even though he hasn’t consistently attended one church, he has been attending several. Also, Obama consults with spiritual guides each week and carried his Bible around when he campaigned in 2004 for the Illinois Senate.

I am left wondering why he has to even defend himself? It seems pretty clear that there is a fear of him being a Muslim because other Muslims fly planes into buildings. Do these “christians” know that some Christians treat their wives as second rate citizens because the apostle Paul told he readers to emulate him? Whether Obama is a Muslim or a Christian, can’t he be valued as our President and respected regardless of his religious affiliation? I see this as secretly airing out fears of Obama not being a Christian and seeing anyone, especially a Muslim, as a dangerous person to run our country.

I am just left wondering why this all has come up now. This was a big topic during his 2008 campaign for presidency. Could it be rearing its head again as midterms are upon us?

August 30, 2010

Play of the Day

by Vince

He is still in high school..

August 30, 2010

Back to School, Back to School

by Vince

Today is the first day back to school for most public schools and colleges. I have been given different messages on Facebook about this day:

First day of classes. Yuck!

Back to school. Back to school, to prove to Dad that I’m not a fool. I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don’t get in a fight.

First Day of Class! Call the police! Someone stole summer!

One stood out to me:

“All you people complaining about school need to stop. You don’t know how good you have it until you have to leave!

It has now been two years since I have been out of college. College went really fast. I look back at my first days of each semester: receiving big syllabusss, feeling a bit overwhelmed, buying expensive books, figuring out how my schedule will work out and fit in studying, leisure, meals, and everything else in between.

That type of world experience is different than post-college, deemed “the real world”. Stressing over how you are going to fit so much work into a 15-week course is different than figuring out how you are going to pay your bills each month. I tend to disagree though with the statement of college being almost better than the real world. Sure, college generally puts on you less life responsibilities than when you are out, but the “real world” gives you a different and new group of freedoms in life. College is dubbed as free living and your only concern is to study for classes and not drink too much. Real world life, at least in the 5 or so years after you graduate, gives you the freedom to follow your passions with little holding you down or back. If you have the courage, you can ditch your job that you hate and volunteer doing something you love or work at a job that doesn’t pay well but brings life out of you. Unfortunately, factoring in college loans and other debts can complicate this.

This is all difficult to explain and can sometimes only be fully understood once you live it out. For now, enjoy class if you are enrolled. On the same note, enjoy what you do and take the courage to follow what you love. Let freedom ring in your life and seek activities and a lifestyle that lets you be free* to live.

*I don’t mean this to say not have kids or take a job that makes you sign a working contract. I see it as important to live a life that brings you life and doesn’t drain life from you. I can speak from experience that if you must live for a season in a life-draining situation, you can learn a lot about yourself in it.

August 30, 2010

The Only Thing White People Have to Fear…Ctd.

by Vince

Michael R. Drane wrote about Glenn Beck’s Saturday gathering. He focused on the fear mongering of some of the attendees which can be followed back to its source: Glenn Beck. Because the Honor Rally was headed up by right-wing demagogues (Beck and Sarah Palin), it is easy to equate this with their usually diatribes that are at times harsh and often times polarizing.

Here is some of what I gathered. A flickr grouping of pictures here. A clip of Alveda King speaking at the rally here. Next, a contradictory blip from Sarah Palin here: how can you say in one breath that you wan to limit government and its spending but continue to let our military and its spending balloon and go unchecked?

In the end, I am trying to look at this event as unbiased as I can. I haven’t read anything that reported any incitement of racism at the rally. Some believe that some groups tried to go in and take pictures to fish for any type of racism. I will leave you with the below picture.

August 30, 2010

Theology and the Cross

by Vince

Mike Potemra talks about an NYC church he found:

One of the most common criticisms of U.S. Evangelicalism today is that it has become bland and sentimental, offering an easy solution to . . . well, to what exactly is not clear, because there is a greater reticence now than in the past in talking about sin. So it’s refreshing to encounter a place like Times Square Church in New York City, where both the hymns and the preaching declare unflinchingly the need in which men and women live — despair, addiction, disgrace, sin — to provide the rawest context for the religious message.

Kudos to Potemra for finding a church that he can connect to! I can see two different strands of Christian theology that were part of my life over the last four years.

The first was what was active within my time at college. I didn’t take part in it all but took note to what I saw or heard about. Much of it was evangelism based (e.g. – serving hot dogs to inebriated college students to show them the compassion of Christ as well as foster conversation), fellowship (bowling, bon fires), and theology pointing to contemporary writers/theologians such as John Piper, Donald Miller, John Eldridge, et al. This wasn’t by any regards a “hell, fire, and brimstone” group nor was it homogeneous.

The second was less community based but built upon a few key friends and my wife. This loosely associated group focuses less on evangelism or “witnessing” because generally our gifts were not in that area. This group wore compassion, hospitality, and in someways a privatized faith. When I say privatized, this “group” still claims Jesus as they Way for them but doesn’t place salvation over a holistic relationship when they meet someone. This group values people who are not Christians and doesn’t place them as second-rate citizens until they accept JC. This group reads Jacques Ellul, Henri Nouwen, Andrew Marin, Reinhold Niebuhr,  Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, Shane Claiborne, et al.

The second strand can definitely be seen as bypassing sin (the Cross). What I see this as is not forgetting about sin but not staying at the Cross. Jesus died but also rose. His resurrection got us past sin and gave us His Helper (John 20: 19- 23) and personal relationships (John 21) . Another difference between the second and first strand is the view of sin, Satan, and the battle against the rulers and authorities (Ephesians 6:12). The second strand doesn’t see every problem as blamable on sin but takes into account the human aspects: our past decisions, our family upbringings, our habits, and our influences. Leavened throughout all of those human aspects of life are variances of sin (or non-life) but the second strand doesn’t see that you can just “pray away” that spirit of lust, greed, or other sin. You have to take it one step at a time and not much in life is simple enough to be explained in easy terms.