Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Issue is Not the Issue

With the Supreme Court reviewing gay marriage there has been a many discussions about the “redefinition of marriage.” The Christians are scared that allowing homosexual marriage to occur will degrade our society more so than the civil unions that already exist. The homosexual rights side wants the tax benefits that the government affords only to those that are “married.” To listen to the Christians one would believe that this political “redefinition of marriage” would change everything that we know about marriage, that everyone would then need to change their whole perspective on the word marriage,  when what is really at state is a governmental shift of definition and monetary/tax benefit.  With Civil Unions already in existence with little notice from religious groups, how is allowing them the term married any worse? There is not a difference before God; there is only a difference to the government. There is not a difference to our society except less tax money to the government. Are the tax benefits really that important to Christians that they wish to exclude others? I do not believe that to be the case, so why is there such an uproar? Why are Christians so concerned with how the government defines marriage? The lifestyle, a defined union already exist and will not be altered by this decision, so why do we care about how much taxes and what benefits others get? Are we really that sensitive over a word?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Church? Really?

Yesterday I sat in a round-table discussion talking about truth, the divine and spirituality. On the way home we passed the regional superchurch (not technically a mega church but larger than a large church), there are 6 superchurches in our town. People were exiting the lecture hall of this particular institution and it caused me to think again of what is church? The discussion I was involved in was not markedly Christian, there was no pastor, no leader, no band, and no benediction as we know it in Christianity, there was only a desire for truth. On the flip side I’ve been apart of the masses that sit and here the lecture, sing the songs, and politely chat after the 90 minutes have passed. I’ve also been apart of the small congregation the looks, believes, and acts differently than the rest of the churches in town. I’ve sang hymns and worship songs, I’ve witnessed healings and signs, I’ve heard stoic and passionate preaching, I’ve been apart of intimate and casual congregations and at the end of the day I’m content to sit and talk to my fellow man about his experiences in the world, about his subjective truths. And as I watch the masses being corralled and split off (to the appropriate groups so their version of the sermon will be relevant to them) like a herd of cattle I have to ask myself, have we really grasped the ministry of Jesus? As I talk to Christians the overwhelming “advice” is to get back into church, to stay plugged in somewhere, to settle down to a home church. In essence these people would tell Albert Einstein to stay in math class because life will be more difficult if you don’t jump through the hoops. Why have we become so afraid of messy situations, we’ve stream-lined our church services, we have pastors for every area of life except discipleship (youth pastor, young married pastor, seniors pastor, pastor of finance, etc). Christians don’t want to be challenged (except by the guy up front every Sunday), don’t want to be in awkward or uncomfortable situations, situations that they must admit that they don’t know how to act or what to say, they don’t want to be outnumbered by non-christians but they feel ok outnumbering non-chritians; all of these scenarios we’ve addressed in the new style of church, the style that tells you to love your neighbor but where there is no one you recognize in at least 20 people. How is this church? Where do we get this concept from? How is this the norm in out society?