Saturday, October 29, 2005

Thoughts Regarding the Matter of Respect: October is almost gone. Two more months and the year 2005 A.D. will be history. I remember as a kid thinking in terms of the 20th century. It simply did not enter my head that I would also be living in the 21st century. Well, here we are. The things I grew up with are now found in the history books.

Respect. How do you view it? You can talk all you want about respecting the office, President, Supervisor at work, Pastor or elders at church, and so on. But the truth as much as you may respect the office, the person holding the office needs to earn your respect and maintain it. How many in positions of leadership squander the respect of those under them. (Bill Clinton comes to mind as an example.)

I've thought about this issue of respect with regard to a former church we left several years ago. Simply put, the leaders of that church did not conduct the over all ministry of the church in a way that maintained my respect. So we as a family "fired" them by leaving that church. Respect for the leadership was squandered by a pattern of disrespect by that leadership for the integrity and conscience of God's people. Sorry, but my rational and critical thinking facilites will not be left at the church door. Being an Elder does not nesecarrily equate with being wise and knowledgable. A pattern of un-wise decisions and pulpit statements indicating a lack and deficiancy of knowledge and discernment does not engender and maintain respect. What it does do is indicate that those in leadership are not qualified for the office they hold.

This leads to a critical conclusion. I can only care about a person or group's opinion to the degree I respect that person or group. The degree of caring is proportional to the degree of respect. Realizing that truth is liberating indeed.

Sola Deo Gloria,

~ The Billy Goat ~

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

U2 and the Christian Imagination

"In Walk On: The Spiritual Journey of U2 , Steve Stockman reflects upon the way the church has received U2 throughout their music career to discuss the role of the arts in the Christian community. A theological grasp of art requires the use of a Christian imagination which allows for a person to conceive of the world in a way that is flavored with Christian thought through stories, music, art, poetry, etc. A Christian theological imagination presents the Christian with an opportunity to expose their spiritual journey in a personally, real, and deep way. Unfortunately, Christians today often lack the type of imagination necessary for viewing and interpreting the world through artistic expressions. Stockman traces the historical roots of this phenomenon while explaining the ways in which U2 uses the Christian imagination to inform their faith and music.

To begin, the loss of the Christian imagination began with the Protestant Reformation....."

The place I cut this quote off was deliberately chosen. The last statement standing by itself is deliberately provocative. Before you start sounding the heresy alarms, you may want to go to Semper Reformanda and read the whole article. Yes, I have a sympathy for the general thrust of the article, though retaining a critical mind regarding some of the things said. Read the whole article for yourself, and draw your own conclusions.

Jesus reigns!

~ The Billy Goat ~

Monday, October 17, 2005

Fall Colors: We've had occasion to take a ride or two and see some of the Fall leaf colors. It was an enjoyable time, though the trees had not turned color as much as perhaps we had hoped.

Did I tell you our autistic grand-daughter broke her arm? It was about a month ago when she fell of some playground equipment at school. She sustained what's called a "stable break" in her wrist. She's been sporting a cast on that arm and therein is the story. My daughter and her husband woke up one morning to find their daughter had taken off her cast! So off to the doctor's office for another one. While there, they did another x-ray, and said things were healing well. The second time she was at school. The teacher looked a way for a brief few moments, and when she turned around, our grand-daughter handed her the 2nd cast which she had just taken off. So far the third cast has remained on, and is due to be permenetly removed at the end of this week. We are thankful she has handled this as well as she has.

One of our associate pastors at church is priming for his ordination exam. I asked him if he had wrestled with the infra and supra-lapsarian question. He acknowledged he had some review to do on that issue. I told him he needed to be able to articulate what the different views were, but then should question the validity of dealing with that issue in the first place. Do you know the mind of God that you can tell Him how His decrees should be logically ordered? I personally find that very question presumptuous. Is someone really going to go to hell if they get the answer wrong? Are you ready to discipline someone out of the church who doesn't hold to "the correct" answer? Where does Scripture lay out what the logical order of God's decrees are? If they are not clearly laid out in Scripture, would you not think that maybe the reason they are not is because that's not something we need to be spending a lot of time and words on? Do you really want to tell God how and what He should have said in the Scriptures? Why in the world are we even asking such a question???!!! Someone clearly had way to much time on their hands...

Sola Deo Gloria,

~ The Billy Goat ~