Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tuesday Toss-up

EDITED to Add: Is it me? Or has blogger been down. Again. All day. I've been trying to post this and to direct you all to this website toot-sweet (yeah, I know that's not how you spell it) ... so enough talking ... The countdown to the Senate Marriage Amendment Vote is on! So, get on over and add your name to the petition ... they will be voting either today or tomorrow!!! Go, go, go!


And now, back to your original blog post... If Blogger will kindly find it and re-post it please ...

Good morning! It's Tuesday, and time for another Toss-up. What's a Toss-up? Well, it's where I toss-up a comment, quote, or in this case, an article... and you can comment to your heart's content (nicely, of course).

This morning, though, I'm about to toss-up what could potentially be a BOMB ... but hey ... inquiring minds want to know.

First there is a bit of homework. My sister-in-law emailed me an article yesterday. It has taken me quite a bit of time to "digest" it, but I still haven't been able to fully "process" it. So, friends ... I will first point you in the direction of the article called A Model of Faith. Read through it carefully, then, I beg you to come back and share some of your thoughts on this article in my comment section -- good, or bad, for or against.

And finally, just a reminder ... Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer said it best ...

"Respectful, dissenting viewpoints are always welcome, but please, let's keep it civil."

Have a blessed day in the Lord, and don't forget to check back to read what others are saying!

(Okay -- I'm having second thoughts about hitting that "Publish Post" button... well, here it goes...)


RANDI said...

I am going to be brave and go first on this one!

"I'm so tired of Christians being known for what they're against."

While I don't necessarily endorse all of Mr Warrens ideas, I think the idea of Christians be too focused on what is wrong with everything and everybody is correct. I think that we, as a body have lost some of our usefulness as salt and light because we have gotten so into the habit of bashing everything around us--often because it is different. In my opinion, we should focus more on solutions than the problems. Who cares if I can logically persuade someone into thinking my way. Wouldn't it be better for people to see me putting my faith into action? I think that this is a better example to the world--actions speak louder than words. (BTW--I do believe that there is great value in knowing what i believe and why--I just think that the emphasis on proving everyone wrong should be changed)

Heather Smith said...

Hmmm...this is something to ponder. I can see both sides I guess. Yes, we are to be Jesus' hands and feet. But while we are showing Jesus to the world, we are not to be of the world. There is a line drawn, and it was drawn by Christ Himself. There is one way to heaven and one way alone. If we fail to spread that part of the Gospel message, we are showing nothing more than a life of good works to those around us. So, while I think working for Christ is very commendable, if you don't follow that up by sharing the Gospel of Christ, it's pointless.

Jan said...

I just posted in response to this, so you can go read the long version if you want to, or just read this. I agree that we are held responsible for sharing the good news of Christ's redemption, but my opinion is that esoteric arguments are better left for later--the best way to get the opportunity to share that good news is by first living and behaving in a way that attracts others, and encourages them to want to know us better, and then through us, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Just my opinion.

kpjara said...

You are a brave soul, my friend!

Interesting read, and thought provoking. I have heard the name Rick Warren in church circles heavily for the past 5 years since my return to Oklahoma and have seen start up churches try to mimic what he has done for various reasons…unfortunately primarily to mimic the rapid growth of church.

I, too have read and studied “Purpose Driven Life” and believe it’s a good outline for humanity.

Everyone who knows “Kim” knows I am NOT a mega-church advocate. I think it’s wonderful that Rick Warren is working to provide aid to an underserved population, yet I continue to wonder when these MEGA-CHURCHES (or any church for that matter) will begin to address the needs of the underserved in the good old USA? We have hungry people here. We have AIDS here. We have child abuse here. We have oppression here, of every genre. I know SOME people are doing SOME things…but as a unified group, we could truly affect change!

Some things that stuck out to me: “…he has a talent for giving religion a friendly, welcoming face.” To me this implies that others give religion an “unfriendly” face, and it just bugged me.

I also thought it was interesting that the writer states: “...and he makes alliances with left-leaning, maverick Christians…” It reminds me of Jesus being recognized for the company he kept. As Christians we are called to love everyone, it seems a bit of an overstatement to point out his alliances with any particular group of individuals.

The most disturbing statement to me was: “Rick Warren offers a compelling alternative. Far from dividing people, Warren-style Christianity in action finds common ground and leads people to it.” This leave such a bad taste in my mouth. I wonder if the author isn’t a bit of a groupie, or a “Warren-ite”, replacing Christ in Christianity.

I do find it refreshing that Warren doesn’t take political bait which serves to further divide an already splintered mass. Good thought-provoking read today GiBee, thank you, sorry for being such a comment hog!

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Interesting article. This is a discussion I have with mom frequently. She is an advocate for speaking what is sin--loudly. I have been moved by Philip Yancey (and Rick Warren) to be look at the heart of Jesus when speaking of sin. Yes, Jesus called sin a sin--anything that seperates us from eternal life....however, when reading "The Bible that Jesus Read" by Philip Yancey--I was stunned to learn that of all the things Jesus spoke about--he did not even mention abortion. Yes, unwanted births were a problem even in Jesus' day.....babies were born and dropped off at the road side...to die. You may think this is a stretch of reasoning--related to abortion...however, I think Yancey was saying--Jesus believed...you grab the heart of a person and you change their future behavior. Their behavior isn't the problem...it's the state of their heart.

Maybe Warren, and those like him are right--you reach the heart-you minister to the needs of a person...and you witness the love of Jesus to their soul. I just finished posting my Tuesday Treasure about this very thing. My grandmother's influence in my life continued well-beyond her death when I was only 10 years old. If you show someone the love of Jesus--you make life-long changes.

Faith in action is so much more effective than judgement.


Sheri said...

I am never very good at typing out what I "mean to say" or even thinking things through.

But I firmly believe in the "Catch more flies with honey" approach to most things.

I think everybody will respond to a different style of preaching. Meaning, someone might see me and say "THAT'S the type of Christian I want to be! Quiet, non assuming, non judgemental" while someone else may see me and think I am not a strong Christian because I don't spout off my beliefs.

In the same vein, another might need someone who gets in their face and tells them flat out they are a sinner. That might be what they will respond to best.

That's why God made all of us different, and made all Christians different. Because He knows what the world needs.

Isn't it awesome how we can all have the same base of beliefs yet be so utterly different?!

Kim from Hiraeth said...

I promise to come back and comment further, but I must say that if one reads the first three paragraphs one can easily see that this man, Krattenmaker, has an agenda. And his agenda is not the furtherance of the Gospel.

Look at the words he chose to introduce his subject:

"strident--fundamentalist--'so-called' Christian right--
unrelenting attacks on gays and liberals--poisonous shouting match"

Like I said, I haven't read the rest of the article, and my writing this has absolutely nothing at all about Rick Warren, but I think it is very important to discern from the outset that this journalist has an agenda.

Jan said...

Gibee, there were several things about this article that bothered me, mostly the slanted style, and the clues that this author had a specific agenda in mind, not just telling the facts. I could have written a blovel in response, but decided to just stick with the basic idea that first struck me. Maybe we should do a series of responses?

aggiejenn said...

Thanks for pointing out this interesting article, GiBee. In my Bible study time this morning, I read the story of the Good Samaritan. In Luke's account, a lawyer and Jesus talk about loving your neighbor as yourself and what that means. Our "neighbor" is anyone who has need, since the man on the side of the road and the Samaritan probably did not live next door to one another or maybe even in the same town. So, to respond to the fact that Rick Warren is going to Africa to help combat AIDS and poverty, I'd say he's loving his neighbor. When I went overseas to do missions 5 years ago, I heard lots of people, including my own grandmother, ask me why I had to go around the world to teach people about Jesus when there were so many people in the U.S. that needed to hear the Gospel. The same argument could be used here. There are so many of us Christians who live here and are able to minister to our poor, needy, sick, etc. If Rick Warren goes to Africa, that still leaves millions of Christians here to tend to the flock.

Jesus met many people who were in desperate need of Him. Sometimes he addressed their sin, other times he healed them without even questioning whether or not they believed in Him. I think we can take our model from Him.

(I think I need to post on this because I, apparently, have a lot to say.)

GiBee said...

OMG! I have been tryingt to EDIT my post, and then it disappeared, and now it's back... and to top it all off ... my link WORKS!!! I think I finally figured out how to direct a link onto a new page opening up... WOOHOO!!!

shannon @ rocks in my dryer said...

Gibee, thanks for pointing this article out. I can't wait to hear what you have to say about it.

There's so much to say on this subject! People have been writing volumes on this very subject for centuries.

The bottom line, in my book, is that we have to be faithful to the Gospel as it laid out in Scripture. The Gospel doesn't only "save" us, it guides us for the rest of our faith journey too. Sin is very, very real, and it shouldn't be glossed over--but grace is very, very real and it shouldn't be overlooked. Sometimes I think the "Christian Right" in America focuses so much on issues and less on--plain and simple--the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For example (and I know I'm wading into deep waters here), I kind of doubt that hearts will ever be changed about abortion by shouting outside abortion clinics. But hearts CAN be changed by loving confused young women in crisis pregnancies, giving the food and shelter and counseling and medical care. It seems like Jesus Himself would have chosen the latter option, doesn't it?

Balancing truth and grace is a daily struggle for me, and every other believer out there. I'll mess up. Everyone will. But if my eyes are first and foremost on Christ, and not a political party, or a web site, or a news organization, or a human leader, then I'm much more likely to make decisions that reflect Christ.

Whew, I didn't mean to make this so long. Sorry, GiBee. Thanks for the post.

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

I love Rick Warren!! I think he is doing a great job and I love The Purpose Driven Life.

"I'm coming from the fact that Jesus said, 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' " Warren said at a news conference in November at a global health summit. "So what motivates me is not politics." - I totally agree with this. My father was a well known evangelist in Canada, interviewing Christian leaders like Chuck Colson, Billy Graham, James Dobson, Joni Earckson Tada, etc... on his Christian talk show here in Canada. And although some of his guests and friends in ministry were involved in political issues, my father always stayed out of politics. It was his style and his ministry to teach the gospel and stay away from these heated arguments.

I agree with Diane from Prayers...and Shannon form Rocks... when they say that we need to go to the heart to change people. Protesting won't stop abortion, Christ in their hearts will.

That is my opinion and my style. I also am sick of Christianity being known for the angry demonstrators etc instead of people showing the love and mercy of Christ.

Good article Gibee - thanks! :)

sarahgrace said...

I am reminded of what James 1: 27 says
"Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. "
I think that is what Rick Warren is doing- he is aiding the fatherless and the widows.

I've seen far too many (myself included) Christians make divisive issues out of things that should not be. We are going to change/ win much more people with love and outstretched arms, not conviction and judgement.

Mama D said...

From what I know about Rick Warren, I really like him. My husband is reading his book right now and often reads his favorite bits out to me. I like what he is trying to do. I often feel that I am trying to defend the stupid things that well known 'Christians' are saying. It's nice that with Rick there is nothing to defend. How can you complain about someone who reminds us to "Love our neighbor" and who is working to heal the parts of the world that really need it?