Sunday, June 25, 2006

My Latest Obsession

This is my new favorite show!! I don't know what it is but this show is addicting...HBO has done it again.

The cool thing is, is that all the actors seem to be cool guys in real life. So as of right now...

Top five celebs I would want to hang out and get wasted with - the cast of Entourage!!

"Lets hug it out bitch!"

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Secret Message Part 3

Chapter 2 - The Political Message of Jesus

1. How do you respond to the author's decision to begin with the political dimension of Jesus' message?

To be honest I wasn't completely surprised that McLaren started off with this. Like many others who are involved with Emergent he has been labeled "liberal" by the religious right because he chooses to not blindly fall in line with the Republican party simply because they supposedly say the right things. Like McLaren I haven't always viewed the message of Jesus as political, and it has only been recently that I have begun to see things a little differently.

This chapter opens with the story of an American pastor being interviewed on British television. The pastor is asked why Christians in America unconditionally support the U.S. war in Iraq when that foreign policy seemingly contradicts the teachings of Christ. Eventually the pastor replied with, "Well, the teachings of Jesus are personal. They have nothing to do with politics and foreign policy."

Is the message of Christ personal and private?

So here we have a question that should probably be debated more often than it is...maybe it has been but I've only read about it here and in Jim Wallis' book God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It.

Here is an excerpt from chapter three, Is There a Politics of God?, of Wallis' book:

So is there a politics of God? Many of our politicians give a lot of lip service to God these days, but do they really understand the public implications of belief in God? We don't typically hear much about the politics of God, even from our pulpits. Powerful forces would keep God private, or under control, or as an endorser of ideological agendas, or of the political status quo, or (worse yet) of fund-raising activities. Today, religion usually serves more to silence the politics of God than to announce it to the nations. p. 31

This leads into the next question:

2. What might the political impact be of saying that Jesus' message has nothing to do with politics?

The political impact is what we are currently witnessing here in America and across world. Poverty is rampant, children are dying from lack of food and clean water (this to me is the most outrageous...we live in a country with at least one type of buffet in almost every town! I was a server at a large chain buffet for a know what buffet stands for...Big Ugly Fat Fucks Eating Together...sorry soapbox moment), Nations believe that fighting violence with violence actually makes sense.

McLaren points out that Jesus referred to his message as good news...nothing new right I grew up singing songs in Sunday School about the good news. What I didn't know was that the term good news was a "public term used to evoke the political announcements of the Roman emperors." Once again I reminded of my simple minded church upbringing that never went any deeper than don't drink, don't swear, don't have sex before marriage...damnit, it just pisses me off. Anyway, McLaren goes on to give an example of who the good news might be announced today:

I've become convinced that if the good news of Jesus were carried in a newspaper today, it wouldn't be hidden in the religion section (although it would no doubt cause a ruckus there). It would be a major story in every section, from world news (What is the path to peace, and how are we responding to our neighbors in need?) to national and local news (How are we treating children, poor people, minorities, the last, the lost, the least? How are we treating our enemies?), in the lifestyle section (Are we loving our neighbors and throwing good parties to bring people together?), the food section (Do our diets reflect concern for God's planet and our poor neighbors, and have we invited any of them over for dinner lately?), the entertainment and sports section (What is the point of our entertainment, and what values are we strengthening in sports?), and even the business section (Are we serving the wrong master: money rather than God?). pp. 10-11

So I feel my eyes have been open to truth that I have yet to encounter on my journey. That the message of Christ is not completely about spending eternity in Heaven after we pass from this earth and has more to do with how we are to live and conduct ourselves in our brief existence here on earth. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that eternal aspect isn't important but that it's more of just the end result. This will definitely be covered more in later chapters, but let me see if I can explain it like this: As I was growing up my main reason for being a Christian was because I wanted to spend eternity in Heaven...I believed I was and still am a sinner and in need of a Savior but that the benefits of my faith only came after death, i.e. Heaven. The benefits, the kingdom of God is at hand now and available to all, but I'm starting to jump ahead of myself, so more on this later.

There are still three more questions for this chapter but I'm going to go ahead and wrap up this post here and conclude Chapter two a bit later. Adios!