Tonight I’ll be interviewing two Enerigon authors, Drew Smith (Reframing a Relevant Faith) and Lee Harmon (The River of Life: Where Conservative and Liberal Christianity Meet) about what their faith means to them, especially in the context of the holidays.
You can watch the event right here, using the viewer below, or you will be able to watch a recording later. If you watch live, we’ll have the Q&A application active so you can ask questions of the panel. You can also join via the event on our Google+ page.
I think it’s as simple as that. I’m against it.
I saw one question that disturbed me, not in that I don’t know how to respond, but in what else it may suggest. The question is whether I’d support torture if an individual knew where a kidnapped loved one was held and wouldn’t reveal that location.
Here’s my response. I’m a weak man who loves my family. It is quite likely that I would advocate all kinds of stupid and/or immoral things if a member of my family were kidnapped. That’s why we don’t have people under those circumstances making the rules. I might advocate this out of weakness, but in the end, I would not want to become the bad guy myself. As Christians, I would think we would understand this approach. I am happy that we have laws to direct how we behave in such situations so that the decision is not made in the emotion of the moment.
I can make many utilitarian arguments against torture, but I think the moral argument supersedes all. This is not the type of people we want to be. It is sad that we have compromised ourselves so much for so little gain, but that is not the reason it’s wrong. That just makes a moral wrong more tragic.
I just extracted a note from Dave Black’s blog to The Jesus Paradigm. (That site supports his book by the same name as well as a few others that don’t have their own domain name.) In it Dave talks about admonishing, encouraging, and upholding. You’ll have to go read the post to find out what these are about.
For my purposes here, they are all ways in which we help one another change for the better. In my view, there’s too little helpful activity of this nature in our churches today. We don’t want to get into each other’s business, and often we’re in congregations that are large enough that we don’t really know one another’s business enough to be helpful. In my own congregation I know that one of the considerations whenever we discuss greeting people is that there is a risk of approaching a life-long member as a new visitor. If I can’t be sure a person is a part of the congregation, how can I possibly respond to them in a helpful way about anything else?
But I think that even in groups small enough to do so, we would have a hard time doing it. We seem to move too easily from neglect to condemnation without taking the necessary steps in between. Dave points out the different ways of handling different people. In order to interact with someone in a helpful way, whether correction or encouragement or any other approach, you have to know them pretty well. One big difference between correction and condemnation is simply the relationship between giver and receiver.
I “correct” my wife’s use of the computer on a regular basis. I know more about computers than she does, she knows that, and so it generally works. Even so, it still won’t work if I am condescending or impatient. But if I both understand her starting point and work to help her get to where she wants to go, things work extremely well.
She, on the other hand, corrects my work in the kitchen. It turns out that in the same set of circumstances, I can actually produce a meal with her direction. The things I don’t know how to do she does. The things I might ignore, like precisely which position the oven shelves occupy, she encourages me to get right.
So here we are in the church. Let me just list some things we might need to work toward in our churches so we can truly help one another change.
We definitely need to get past the point where the only encouragement or exhortation in our churches comes from the pulpit, and is therefore easily ignored by those in the pews.
I want to let all my readers know that my company, Energion Publications, including all our imprints (Enzar Empire Press, EnerPower Press, eucatastrophe press, as well as our main Energion Publications) have all books on sale for 25% off with the coupon code Advent2014 at Energion Direct. Just enter the code at checkout and get 25% off your entire order.
We now have more than 125 books in our catalog by more than 50 different authors. We have come quite a long way in the last ten years. So look for gifts for pastors, theologians, and even some light reading!
I’ll be hosting a Google Hangout on Air tonight discussing how we can truly serve and relate to the homeless in and around our communities. Authors Renee Crosby (Soup Kitchen for the Soul, The Fringe [forthcoming]) and Shauna Hyde (Victim No More, Fifty Shades of Grace, The Vicar of Tent Town [forthcoming]) will be giving practical answers. Both guests are people who believe in getting personally active. They will be answering questions such as: “What are the three stupidest things you can do/say about homelessness?”
You can view this using the embedded viewer below or via the Energion Publications Google+ page.
Copyright © 2014 Threads from Henry's Web - All Rights Reserved
Powered by WordPress & Atahualpa