Archive for January 2006

What others think

January 30, 2006

Does it matter what others think about us? I mean does it really matter. I won’t put a fish on the back of my car. This is my own little hang-up, but I’ve had it for a long time. For twenty years or so, it has been vogue in the Christian community for believers to put a little fish on the back of their car to let the world know that they are Christians. Some folks even put little bitty fishes for their children.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a fish on your car. But my apprehension was always that I’d be driving along – someone would do something silly – and I’d honk my horn at them (basically, display a lack of self-control) thereby giving them all the reason to say to themselves: Did you see that dude lay on his horn at me? That wasn’t very kind (the implication is that wasn’t very Christ-like). Or maybe, I’d be speeding down the road or just generally not driving respectfully (i.e. cutting folks off, etc.) and that would give them cause to say: Look at that guy with the fish on his car just driving like a maniac. To put it in a sentence, I was convinced that the fish would label me a Christian and that I couldn’t live up to the expectations of the world when it comes to that label.

But who really can?

John Piper makes really good points on this subject saying:

“…[we must realize] that our aim in life is that ‘Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death’ (Philippians 1:20). In other words, with Paul we do care – really care – about what others think of Christ. Their salvation hangs on what they think of Christ. And our lives are to display His truth and beauty. So we must care what others think of us as representatives of Christ. Love demands it.

But we ought not to care much of what others think of us for our own sake. Our concern is ultimately for Christ’s reputation, not ours.” — John Piper, Life as a Vapor, p. 15

So, I ask that God would help me to understand this truth even further. And that I won’t try to blend in with the crowd by not putting the fish on my car. But that I would seek to honor Christ in how I act in the car.

Now, should I go and get that fish?

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My Enemies are Men Like Me

January 30, 2006
For the longest time, in my mind, Derek Webb, has sort of been the musical poster boy for the Modern Reformation. I really dig his songs – which run the gamut from love songs, to songs of lost love, to songs of faith and grace alone. He used to be with the band Caedmon’s Call, but they went their separate ways a few years ago. I remember at a Caedmon’s concert Cliff Young pronouncing it kind of like a church plant.One thing I’ve never really enjoyed is terribly political music. While I enjoy discussing politics and its virtues (or lack thereof), I never really have liked mixing it with music. Maybe musical communication is too personal to me. Maybe it is because most musical political expression seems to me to come from a perspective that is not my own. I don’t know what it is.

Anyway, I went to a Derek Webb concert recently with some buds from church. Derek sang a song which he wrote – the lyrics to which are at the end of this post. It had some political aspects to it – and it was tough to listen to. Really – what I wanted to hear was the gospel, in song – and in word, if he so desired to speak between songs. What I got was preaching in word and song on the viewpoints of Martin Luther King Jr. and his non-violent movement for peace and justice.

I guess my beef is two-fold: (1) If I’d wanted to be pounded by the pacifists at a rock concert – I’d have bought U2 tickets and let Bono rail on me. (2) I look at Derek Webb – and think to myself – is that where reformed theology leads people? Is this the result of liberty and moderation?

One word: yikes.

Here are those lyrics…..

i have come to give you life
and to show you how to live it
i have come to make things right
to heal their ears and show you how to forgive them

(pre-chorus)
because i would rather die
i would rather die
i would rather die
than to take your life

(chorus)
how can i kill the ones i’m supposed to love
my enemies are men like me
i will protest the sword if it’s not wielded well
my enemies are men like me

peace by way of war is like purity by way of fornication
it’s like telling someone murder is wrong
and then showing them by way of execution

when justice is bought and sold just like weapons of war
the ones who always pay are the poorest of the poor

Coffee Shop

January 28, 2006

How many of you folks know the song “Sittin’ on the Fencepost, Chewing My Bubblegum”? It’s a kid’s tune, so those with kids may have run across it at somepoint in their time with the children. It’s a pretty neat song if you take it all out to where the worm burps. Ask me sometime….

Well, I am siting at the coffee shop waiting to meet someone – and I am struck by something. There are like 20 people here, each sitting alone, with laptop computers, doing who knows what. There is even one dude that has like a camera set up on a tri-pod and appears to be taking video and editing video as I write. Yikes. I hope he’s not Al-Qaeda.

Do people have lives? Maybe I’ve got too many kids to relate, but geez, how do these folks just bust away and hang at a coffee shop all day. Some of them even look like they are asleep – in front of their laptops, slumped over in a caffeine daze. Is it just me or is this kind of weird?

Let’s face it, I am a follower

January 28, 2006

The reality is – I need others to blaze the trail for me. If I am going to go wandering through a bunch of trees, on a trek over hills and into valleys – with snakes and wild creatures the like – I need to have a nicely laid trail. None of this pioneering stuff for me. Pop open the can and let me have it.

So I have been inspired by my friends Dave Ennis – henceforth referred to as Fresh on this blog – and Hugh Williams (dubbed the Hughminator) for their lovely representation of the world of blogging.

I have a blog on Grace Fellowship’s Website – and I enjoy it – but often times the stuff that is going through my head – and the stuff which I like to express is not necessarily ideal for a blog on a non-profit church website. And so, I have set up my own site – where I can blog about football, music, politics, grace, and the lack thereof – freely – without concern of the big bad IRS or those who just don’t want to read my prattle about the Georgia Bulldogs.

I have an early morning church meeting tomorrow – so I am going to sign off for tonight. Thanks for reading.