Thinking Out Loud

May 19, 2010

Wednesday Link List

For your consideration…

  • Top Trend of the Week On Christian Blogs (and Everywhere Else) — Quitting Facebook.   This one isn’t a faith blogger, but it makes the point well.
  • C. Michael Patton may call his post Why I Am Not Charismatic, but he’s more Charismatic-friendly than most.   Besides, I have a thing for charts:

  • Speakers, worship leaders, pastors:  If your church has an audio system, act as though The Mic Is Always On.   (Actually it’s a good rule for life, too.)
  • This British TV commercial — a long one, at 1:30 — for the John Lewis department stores is our YouTube clip of the week, as it could easily be one of those media clips your church uses on Sunday morning.
  • Donald Miller thinks the next time you’re at a party, instead of asking someone, “What do you do?” you might try asking, “What is your story?”  Everybody has one.
  • Even the little ethnic churches in major cities are prone to sex scandals.   This one took place in Toronto and you probably didn’t hear about it, but South Korea’s two largest TV networks were all over it.
  • This post on theological systems isn’t very long, but makes a good point, and besides, like I said, I’ve got a thing for charts.   Go to Matt Stone’s blog and double click the image there for a clearer vision.

  • Here’s a longer post I wrote on the weekend over at Christianity 201 which includes a long re-post of something serious by Jon Acuff.  Check out Where Sin Abounds.
  • Tired of getting all your blog input from 20-somethings and 30-somethings?   Donald M. Bastian is no spring chicken, but if you appreciate the wisdom of older mentors — especially if you’re in ministry — check out Just Call Me Pastor.   (And the page which explains the blog’s name.)
  • I need you to check this apologetics blog out — pretend you’re a skeptic for a few minutes — and tell me what you think of Proof That God Exists.
  • Joel Taylor discovers that your local hospital may not be able to call that little room a chapel anymore, because that word is too sectarian.
  • Will Mancini says that when you break down Jesus’ spoken word content, his influence boils down to the use of metaphors.   As a matter of fact, this blog post even has a chart:

  • Book Trailer of the Week:  David W. Pierce describes his 2009 Waterbrook story of mountain climbing with his daughter, Don’t Let Me Go.
  • Devotional Blog Discovery of the Week:  Smoodock’s Blog.   The writer is actually named Eddie, and his “about” page tells you what a Smoodock is.  (You already know, you just didn’t know it had a name.)  Short devos posted every other day or so.  Reminds me a bit of Rick Apperson‘s blog.
  • In our Saving-The-Best-For-Last department, Matt Stone scores another Wednesday link with this post — you so gotta do this — asking you to compare two worship songs.
  • This actually isn’t part of the Wednesday Link List — It was in my image file and I truly have no idea where I got this — but like I said, I have thing for charts:

  • Instead of actual cartoons this week, we have some panels from Sacred Sandwich:

August 22, 2009

Come and Get Your Healing

Today we were in the big city, where, if you lift your gaze above the retail shops at street level, you see the one-flight-up storefront churches, tucked in among the dance studios and offices of insurance adjusters and pool halls.

The one that caught my eye today had lettered on one window the words, “Come and Get Your Healing.”

I believe in healing.   I’m one of those people convinced that the gifts of the Holy Spirit did not cease at the end of the Apostolic age, including the gift of tongues.   (The real gift of tongues, not the people who are faking it.)   I believe in praying powerful prayers.   I believe in a limitless God who invites us to stretch our faith muscles to believe in limitless possibilities.  (Based on His resources, not our possibility-thinking things into existence.)

So my personal beliefs lean slightly in a more Charismatic direction, even if I find some of the forms excessive and find that identifying myself as part of the broader Charismatic movement places me in a category of people with whom I largely don’t identify.    (I keep meaning to read and review Rob MacAlpine’s book Post Charismatic here sometime, as I feel that term better describes me.)

church upstairsEven so, I find the lettered sign in the window of the walk-up storefront church a little distressing.   While church-planting is the rage and the home-church movement is producing little organic fellowships at a rapid rate, the nature of many of these small groups is such as to place them at the extreme fringes of the Evangelical mainstream, perhaps even the Charismatic mainstream itself.

How about a sign that says, “Come and discuss life issues related to the quest for meaning.”    Maybe the Alpha Course fills that void.   Or, “Come in for a look at the various religious belief systems available.”    Maybe the more cerebral, more intellectual, more ‘bookish’  members of our faith tribe just aren’t the kind of people to put first and last month’s rent down on a former ballet studio or fabric trade sweat shop.

But no, it’s “Come and Get Your Healing.”    Will these people get healed?   Will they get what they saw promised on the window sign?   Will they be asked to jump through a number of hoops before their healing manifests itself?

I’m also current wrestling with the question, “What if Jesus had never healed anyone?”    Certainly the healings demonstrated His divinity and it’s hard to imagine the gospels without them; though the power of His words also arrested men and women in their tracks.   But it would seem that a modern expression of the Christ-follower movement begun 2,000 years ago would contain the potential for healing.    And many who came to Jesus, attracted by the miracles He performed, stuck around and became part of the core group; while others were told to go back to their home communities and share what they had seen.

“Come and Get Your Healing.”

It just seems too simplistic.

How about, “Come and find acceptance.”   “Come and find forgiveness.”  “Come and find meaning to your life.”   “Come if you’ve been hurt.” “Come and meet Jesus.”   “Come and let us love you.”   “Come and help change the world.”

TODAY’S BONUS ITEM — On one my wife’s many blogs, she recounts the story of doing a ukulele performance this week for a group of developmentally challenged adults.   As a well-known local worship leader, this collection of songs represents her “alt-repertoire” which seemed highly suitable for the assembled audience.    Read her post here, and see why I say she is the better writer in the family.

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