A ‘Slice’ of Reality in Laodicea

I have been reading a blog called ‘Slice of Laodicea’, a religious right blog, and I have been commenting with them for sometime. Recently, they have ‘pulled the plug’ on me posting comments. Why did they ‘pull the plug’? They began arguing with this new link I have called ‘smartchristian’ and I wrote a comment directed at Christians not denouncing other Christians, it was censored and never put on. This is how I slice this one up.

I think Christians from all types of faiths are ‘In Christ’ and follow the foundational teaches of Jesus. I figure if that is correct, then aren’t we all in the same church? This is Christ’s body we are talking about here, not mine or yours, Christ’s. I noticed certain sects, judgmental people, want to tear that apart and cause division amongst the brothers/sisters. What do they debate about? The word of God. I guess they are correct in one thing, they rightly divide the ‘word’.

Here is my problem with ‘Slice’ and it’s head writer (I won’t name names). Firstly, they call out people by name (ex: Rick Warren/Billy Graham) just to judge them and cut them down. Secondly, you are not entitled to an ‘opinion’ but stick to the what the word of God says (apparently someone has cornered the market & figured the whole thing out, thank God). Thirdly, they speak in such an elitist mind-set that one might believe that the only Christians are these people (so Protestants are going to hell, too bad fellas). Fourthly, everything has to be actually in the word of God for a church to adopt it (goodbye microwave). Finally, their leader decides what this people will accept and what they won’t (hello Jim Jones).

Now if you read that and compare it with the gospel it doesn’t add up. Actually, one might consider this leader, dare I say it, a ‘Pharisee’. Not only that but he betrays the very body of Christ to which he is called. He is filtering out positive messages of forgiveness and acceptance to promote a doctrine of division and slander to those that blog on his site. If you don’t agree with him then you don’t get posted. To me it is as plain to see as the sun is shining, the man is proud. So proud he will not admit to wrongs, only to being right, and will not consider other believers of various denominations as his brother/sister…top that off, he censors out messages of the acceptance type and allows only divisionary topics…this he teaches to others.

So what messages are coming out of that site? Rick Warren and anyone that follows the ‘purpose-driven’ life are anti-christs (against Jesus). Trying to be ‘modern’ with your faith is wrong, we should look up to the Puritans (see last blog for American history). Christian rock music, humor, and plays are right out of the question. Basically, if you can make it seem like you are one of the only ‘chosen’ ones of God then all is well with the world.

Listen up. You can try as hard as you will but you will never destroy the body of Christ, he chose these people not you. You may not like them and they might not like you but you are brothers and sisters. No amount of scripture you memorize, no amount of judgmental zeal, and no amount of divisionary tactic you produce will change that…why? They are chosen of God also. They believe in Jesus, read His words, and live by them…isn’t that the earmark for a Christian? So quit tearing the body of Christ limb from limb, get over your anger, forgive people, and realize this is a God of love & acceptance we worship, not a God of division. Odd fact, even Satan doesn’t try this hard to divide his kingdom, lest it should fall.


The Good Samaritan: A Church His-story

I finished reading an interesting blog about a ’95 theses’ levelled towards USA churches and the call to back away from Nationalism/Patriotism. I am not American so I could not sign the petition but if they ever get one for Canada, I am signing. It got me thinking about Christians that say the church needs to return to it’s ‘roots’ in both Canada and America…supposedly these countries are founded on Christian ethics. A closer look shows that is non-sensical jargon.

How are we founded on Christian ethics? They like to remind us of our Constitution and the colorful religious language used. How our founding fathers had real faith, and that somehow this faith has dissipated through the age. I look back at the church and laugh it to scorn, I see very little the church has done for equity, justice, and forgiveness…all this while hanging onto the hand of ‘big brother’ or as I call it ‘governmental kingdoms’.

The church has a very shady ‘social justice’ track record, actually on a real close look one will see they never speak out against government. Here are a few examples.

When America was ‘conquered’ (colonialism) the invading people’s slaughtered American Indian tribes, removed them from their lands, gave them piece-meal lands they never lived on, and even intentionally spread diseases to their people’s to wipe them out. Why? Settlers needed a place to live and apparently God had given the land to Europeans & French…funny fact, Aboriginal people’s never believed anyone could ‘own’ the land so they weren’t opposed to sharing it. The problem was they were dis-owned and considered ‘heathen’s, savages, barabarians, etc.’. Where was the church when all this was going on defending the rights of these human beings? They helped the gov’t every single step of the way. They built churches and residential schools dis-avowing Aboriginal culture and language. In Canada, the gov’t and church robbed a few centuries of parenting from Aboriginal people, thus de-moralizing a nation. What was the church concerned about? Salvation and repentance. Government was building a country and a railroad.

Now America conquered and started building an economy, where do you think they found a cheap workforce? They imposed slavery upon African-Americans (stealing them from Africa) to work in their fields and other businesses. They treated these people less than human (which they considered them to be) and bought, sold, tortured, raped, and killed them as needed. They treated the African-American so bad they considered them livestock, started breeding them even. They destroyed family after family of African-American descendant for financial gain. All the while the church said very little on the practice of slavery, seeing Paul had condoned it they felt justified. Church-goers seeing it not a sin (these were not humans) and slavery was okay, felt little to no remorse. What did the church do? Continued preaching hell-fire and brimstone to whomever would listen. Government was concerned with money and using the land.

Early part of the 1900’s and into this new century two world wars broke out. The 2nd World War being even worse than the first with human attrocities that shocked the world: starting with a theory of human superiority, then the persecution of Jewish businesses, then outright damnation of Jewish people, followed by rounding them up and putting them in concentration camps to be killed. None of this was real secret knowledge to mass Germany and Hitler’s war of destruction was no secret either. This led to the death of 6 million Jewish people and around 20 million people worldwide. Where was the church? Apparently the Catholic church and whoever else there was, within Germany, bonded with the gov’t so as not ‘to rock the boat’ (I don’t forget Bonhoeffer and his efforts). I mean, no one actually wants to be killed for their beliefs. The church became silent in the most deadly hour, forget rapture, they just shut their mouths. Where else was the church? Dividing itself up into many denominations…so we fought against ourselves while this all went down.

What other issues? The building up of mass nuclear arsenals (namely the USA), destruction of the environment/global warming, civil rights in the 60’s, Vietnam and the shooting deaths at Kent State, persecution of South American countries/policies (including Cuba), persecution of Middle East countries for any reason, The Rwandan genocide, Big business & globalization and destruction of poorer countries economies, etc. I can’t re-call ever hearing a church speak out against ‘something real’. Actually the Rwandan genocide provides my exact point.

Everyone knows of the movie ‘Hotel Rwanda’, which is the true story of a hotel owner that took in many Tootsees who were being slaughtered by the Hootuus. That person risked his life and his livelihood in order to save as many people as he could. Ironically, little have ever heard of 2 nuns from the Catholic Benedictine order from Rwanda. They apparently had chances to save many people in their convent, which could hold 100’s of people. They not only refused to ‘house’ these people but called the National Guard to personally kill all the people that came to them. Some got burnt to death, some had their bodies chopped up, and others were shot. Now, who was the good samaritan? Who of them loved their neighbor?

There is barely anything I want to remember about the church in the past 100 years, nevermind the last 400. The church misses the mark everytime because they miss the real message of the gospel, we have to stand up for our neighbors if we love them. What seems to be the current history of the church (and in the past) is that we argue for salvation, repentance, and baptism before we will argue to stop the building of nuclear bombs (which in the end will wipe us off the face of the earth) or these wars built on nothing less than colonialism (ex: Vietnam and Iraq). For some reason the church can’t see the trees from the forest in the bible. It sure doesn’t help to have nationalistic fervor and blindly believe your country is backed by God and His kingdom. If that is so, why does your countries commit such atrocities…these atrocities coming from what people would call the most ‘civil’ countries in the world? We need to re-examine our faith in government, we just might find your shaking hands with the beast after all (with the power to give and take men’s souls as he pleases).

Live & Let Die:’Take Up Your Cross’

I have been reading a lot of blogs lately, from right-wing to left-wing, and basically I noticed a shift in the way we view the church. There is some people out there that are starting to see a new vision for the church, in that vision they challenge the current structure but they feel alone so they ‘do’ nothing (similar to Elijah, who hid, who still had 70 that never bowed a knee to Baal). It raised for me an interesting point, if there is like ’70’ of us out there with this vision, why do we leave church and take our talents and ‘hide them away’?

Why? We didn’t think God would ask this of us, still we seeked for the answers we got, we just never expected it to work out this way for us. This ’70’ likely left the church and developed their ideas in secret, away from prying eyes and the over-bearing structure of the church (similar to the prophets in the OT). There is however one remaining difference between those prophets and this ’70’, those prophets risked it all to change the religious structure of it’s day. We do not risk a thing, except the fact we fail with what God has shown us.

Do I see this in the gospel at all? It is the gospel. Jesus, ironically enough, risked it all for the God he loved and in turn loved Him also. Funny thing about Jesus was he saw this coming still His faith challenged the religious order of the day and He was killed for it. What do you think He was teaching the whole time? Jesus went into the heart of the religious order, challenged it’s ideals, ethics, and sincerity, and was then crucified for showing a God of love (whereas the religious judgment (blasphemy) had Him killed). This is the same person we call saviour.

What was Jesus saying to us? God’s love/salvation is for everybody and no structure can be strong enough to bottle that up, if they do, then they must be challenged. Jesus didn’t dismiss this would happen. In calling his disciples he said ‘follow me’…or ‘do as I do and follow right behind me’. He mentions in the beatitudes (Matt 5:10-12) persecution for your faith…from who? Atheists? Apparently, the religious order of the day since every disciple was ‘persecuted’ for their belief in the Christ, even killed. Jesus also further mentions ‘take up your cross and follow me’, now if that ain’t obvious I can’t make it any clearer. The cross came to signify ‘death’ not wearing it as comemerative decoration. Just so you do get it, you just might be killed for your faith in Christ…which in turn means defending justice, mercy, and faithfulness (Matt 23:23).

So the prophets of old and Jesus all followed this weird formula, challenging the religious order of the day when they saw ‘hypocrisy’. But we don’t see the need, we get this vision, leave church, develop our ideas of a God who loves us, and then we live happily ever after…wrong. The body of Christ needs you. Why would God show you something and ask nothing of you? Find me one person God gave answers to that did nothing with it? For this is the gospel. The reality of it all is the church doesn’t like you and you don’t like it. Why? Apparently, the church thinks it has the whole revelation of God when in fact that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. I’ll bet Israel in Elijah’s days thought the same way. I’ll bet Jeremiah was hated for being against Israel when in fact he was for them. I’ll bet they killed Isaiah because his vision of God didn’t line up with traditional views. I’ll almost bet that Jesus was killed because they thought he was a ‘blasphemer’ and taught against the structure…what was his charge, oh yeah, that he will destroy the temple ‘of God’ and rebuild it in 3 days. Sounds eerily familar to some of the ’70’ in this modern context.

So you wanna follow Christ? But I don’t want to go to church dear sir. But I don’t want to be disliked for my views on God. I don’t want to challenge their views, as archaic I find them to be. Then suit yourself, follow yourself. You have been given a gift from God and you refuse to follow through on your search. But can you say with me ‘I do have fear’. Not a fear of God, no way, you know He is loving and accepting and all those wonderful things you have experienced. You have a fear of man. He is not so loving, accepting, and all those wonderful things you have learned of God. So what makes them right and you wrong, silence.

If you love your neighbor, then live amongst them and show them the love of God. Do you not know we are the leaders of tomorrow, something that we fail to forget. Something else we fail to forget is that if we leave the church in that state what of the next generation that is diluted by their mechanism, or your family, or your friends? Did you get this feeling sometimes that you used to bring people to church only to say ‘you brought them like sheep to wolves’. Imagine how many more do the same. It is time. Time to see the structure changed from the inside-out.

I heard someone said they were ‘crazy’ for believing what they do. I think your crazy to have a great view of God and no one knows. I think it is crazy not to share that grace with many that need it. I think it is crazy to think God never picked you out. I heard 5 words from God once that changed my life, ‘your words shall effect many’.

The Devil’s Advocate: Theology on the screen

I had a chance to watch the Devil’s Advocate (the movie) last night, having never seen it before I was expecting a horror flick, I was pleasantly surprised by the film. The show gets into some deep theology over the question of satan: his intentions, the way he works, and humanism. After watching that show it really got me thinking about what was being said in that show.

For those who never saw the show basically it’s about a law firm run by satan. It attacks issues of all sorts and how ‘sin’ can destroy the human life, which in this show, seems to be Satan’s plan. It was weird to watch a show that displays a theology proposed by Christiandom, on the views of what Satan is all about. What’s even weirder is that I learned something from it. What did I learn?

Humanism is a theory that devises against humanity, not for it. In the show the devil says ‘he is the last real humanist’. Giving humans what they always wanted, without judgement, unlike a God who he calls a ‘watcher’. It gets a lot deeper but I got the point. As humans try to search for answers they mostly look to what is around them. So they delve deep into lust, vanity, war, and greed, which results in ultra-humanism (we are gods). All of this taking place on a world stage where humans effect politics, business, communication, the environment, and law. What’s so dangerous about us humans? We are destroying ourselves and the world because of the loss of ethics and concern for all people.

The saying ‘do unto others as you would have done unto you’ was something that was really re-inforced in this film. It seems each step we take away for this moral the closer we get to true evil. Every step we take closer to valuing this ethic, the closer connection is developed amongst humanity and a sense of love. This ethic drew a defining line between God and satan’s definition of humanity. God created and values humanity and does not want to see it’s mass destruction. Satan has hated the human from existence, it’s demise would prove God doesn’t love them. The thing is we aren’t ‘pawns in the game’.

The strongest point of the film was that humans ultimately decide their fates, free will is a gift that allows us to make the world better or worse. So there are two sides in humanity, one representing good and one representing evil, but you are prone to nothing except your choices. This is where theology gets deep. God created us as good beings, in His image. We are creatures of free will, so even if God loves us, it may mean little if the creation puts itself above the Creator (also humanism), coincidentally the same thing satan was cast out of heaven for. Point being, we have to make the choices that will define our life, our world, our ethics, our relationships, our faith, and ultimately the lives of those around us.

And this is where I chime in. Spirituality is devised of relationships. Our relationship with God and our relationships with others. Spirituality is passed from person to person in each and every interaction, whether for the good or the for the evil. We have the power to both create and destroy the lives around us. Some might say ‘we have nothing if God didn’t allow it’, well the fact is He did allow it…it’s called choice and that’s the spiritual battlefield. I see that in choice we have the ability to reason, within ourselves, for ethics that promote the ‘greater good’ or the ‘greater evil’. What I see on earth, as it is, is the promotion of choices. The key to it all is responsibility. We have to take responsibility for our actions (call it repentance). True responsibility speaks of ‘doing for others as we would want done for us’. Apparently, on this saying hangs all the law and the prophets (the whole OT). It is in that saying we see spirituality to it’s highest degree.

So all that from a movie. I have to say I enjoyed the film since it got to me to think what is truly destroying this world. Satan’s vices have no power unless we so make it that way. God’s will has no power lest we so make it that way. Maybe I am promoting a type of humanism in saying that but that’s why ‘choice’ is the battlefield. What cannot be mistaken is one of these ‘wills’ is being played out by us everyday, that is why have to start determining our ethics.

What am I? A Church quiz.

You scored as Emergent/Postmodern.
You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don’t think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan
Classical Liberal
Neo orthodox
Modern Liberal
Roman Catholic
Reformed Evangelical

I did this survey, http://quizfarm.com/test.php?q_id=43870, and I learned something. Number one I am more Catholic than Fundamentalist, what a weird twist of fate. Secondly, I think it pinned me on some issues. I actually do see modern church as becoming slowly irrelevant. Also, evangelism (I do believe) needs to reflect relationship building, thus ‘brothers and sisters in Christ’. Take the quiz, it’s fun and you might find something out about yourself you never knew before.

‘Moving the hand of God’: what does it mean?

A friend and I have been dialoging for a while on a subject I raised about religion, structure, faith, and a return to the original faith. In the midst of those dialogues I heard a line I haven’t heard for some time, ‘moving the hand of God’. I have some simple questions about this line of thinking, mainly for my enlightenment.

What does ‘moving the hand of God’ mean exactly? That I have the ability to make God conform to ‘my will’? I am not sure if it means that but it would follow similar jargon I have heard in churches for years. The other jargon refers to us speaking on behalf of God, that as instruments of faith in Christ, we actually speak for God. These ideas trouble me. They give me a sense of alarm to be honest.

I love this title by Chuck Colson, ‘Who speaks for God’? I read it years ago and one thing always stuck with me, that we do not. We may have the words of Christ in our hands but that does in no way pre-suppose we actually can say ‘God said…’, a very flippant term that is tossed around like we just got off the phone with God. What is wrong with that you might ask? Easy. Is it true?

Now I am aware I can say I am gaining a better understanding of God, but do I know God? Not really. I have never seen Him and His will for my life I cannot be absolute on. What I am aware of is that Jesus came as a sacrifice for ‘that will’, living with us, conversing with us, and understanding our very being. His words were recorded by early disciples and they portray a person that can relate to the human condition, ‘the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak’ (doubt) or ‘forgive them for they know not what they do’ (ignorance). Jesus relates to humanity in the utmost with His teachings. That still doesn’t give us the right to act like we authored the book.

We have a book, the bible, and namely the Gospels which refer to the very words of Jesus. That’s it. As far as further authority that other people try to conjure up, well it falls short of my litmus test. We are all interpreting and living the same words in a world far removed from the times of the OT & NT; we have some writings to base a faith on and I recognize that. Do I believe Jesus is really alive? Yes. Do I believe God can intervene? Yes. Faith is still faith to me. What I am doing however is removing the formula for personal spirituality, and if there is a formula it is this: we are human beings in a world of troubles, we have to be 100% responsible for what we do to others and live on this planet while we are here; all that in accordance with our personal understanding of God (now thats spirituality).

Why is ‘speaking for God’ a dangerous thing? It’s supposing we know what God is saying altogether, giving us a false authority (almost as if we were gods). This has proven to be disasterous in all situations I can recall. One can refer to Jim Jones (god complex), Koresh (messiah complex), Jerusalem syndrome (prophet complex) as worst scenarios. Then you get a structure where people see certain figures as ‘people who speak for God’ and to oppose them is almost an apostasy: Pastors, Evangelists, Apostles (do they exist?), Teachers, Prophets, etc. Lastly this leaves the common church-goer at the whims of their leaders. They are duped into thinking certain things about God which may be altogether false: he doesn’t like you anymore, you’re not sure if you’re going to heaven or hell (true insecurity), God is a judge first, then loves you second, You can become an apostate & not know, Don’t dis-obey the church authority or any authority for that matter, Not coming to church means you backslid, your prayers don’t get answered because you’re a sinner, etc. People are fed these messages because someone supposes ‘they speak for God’.

All this leads back to ‘moving the hand of God’. Well how do we ‘move that hand’, OUR prayer. By something I CAN DO. So if I pray hard enough, or for long enough, then the ‘hand of God’ will move. Truth is, I have nothing to do with that ‘hand’ moving. Just like how if you ask me everyday for a loaf of bread and I CHOOSE to say ‘no’, you won’t get that loaf of bread. For all your ‘asking’, it’s still up to the person who ‘will’s’ to give or not give that bread (I speak as a human). Even in saying that I suppose God is like a human, which is most likely false, but that’s my brain for you. The point is I can’t move a hand that isn’t mine. I may ask, seek, knock but it’s still up to God (I can believe that). In the end it is God’s ‘will’ that counts, we see as a human with our own prerogative and biases. That’s what I do know.

So, the question is this – can you ‘move the hand of God’ or ‘speak on God’s behalf’? I am not saying I have the answers, I know I don’t have it all figured out, but I like to hear people’s voices on the issue.

The Matrix: Living to Lie and Lying to Live

I recently had my brother over to watch the hockey game and we got to talking religion, a very common thing around my house (ask my wife). I was telling him about what I was doing with a group I started and he let me know how his life was going. We got to talking church politics and religious structure and he made me realize something, the matrix of reality. I will explain how this all unravels.

The church has become a matrix, we have become 2 or 3 dimensions removed from the original incidents of Christ’s life. The church is interpreting Christ in light of those 2 or 3 dimensions after His life, ignoring the original because we cannot see it anymore. A good analogy is that of a tree removed 2 dimensions. You start off with a real tree, actually growing from the ground. Let’s say they all disappear (the trees) and they are replaced with plastic ones. People become used to that after a while (since generations will continue on). Plastic one’s become a hassle and they are replaced with computer imagery (looking more realistic). People are none the wiser since it is still a tree, it resembles the original form, but all in all it is a fake. This is the matrix and I truly believe we have entered this train of thought with Christian ideologies and interpretation of scripture.

The reason I say we have a Matrix because, unlike a tree, beliefs and ideas are easier to sculpture to our purposes (they cannot be seen). Ideas within the church have changed from bygon to bygon and one look at church history tells you of how incredulous some ideas and ideologies have been, an example crusades. The church, as a structure, promotes a structure and not really faith in God at times; they push ideas and thoughts passed down from a denomination and everything has to fall in line with that dogma. What we have is a matrix, we have a structure (an idol), teaching based on a denominations dogma, based on one man’s findings (ex: Luther), based on errors in church history, based on the monks and holy people before them, based on Roman Christianity, Based on disciples of the orginal disciples, based on the original followers of Christ, based on Christ’s life, based on the OT. Have we become removed from the true intentions of Christ’s life? Good question.

What we need are some examples from modernity.
(1) The Sinner’s Prayer: I have no clue where this came from but I do know the church has adopted this as a ‘sign’ that someone has been ‘saved’. They build fantastic theologies upon it that result in questions like ‘once saved always saved’ and ‘grace vs. works: works is not that important to salvation’. I applaude the charade, I really do. Is there a basis for any of this in Christ’s teachings? I have found no where in the teachings of Christ where one prayer defines your salvation. Is this to be called faith in Christ? Even when Christ’s teachings don’t even back it.

(2) Church Services: The services we have these days find no scriptural basis. We have a worship part (always at the beginning), then an offering and even some meeting people, then some testimonies or ‘prayer’ for problems out there, the preaching of the word, then an altar call (end prayers and music), then good-bye. Maybe it’s just me but isn’t this a European idea of church, loosely based in Catholicism? Firstly, Public offering (giving), prayer, and fasting are all shown as ‘non-signs’ of sincere faith. The altar call, as sincere as we make it seem, is you praying for my salvation/healing…oddly enough, faith can only be done by the individual…so that prayer right there should be prayed by the person in secret where only God can here. What do we really got? A damn fine show of godliness that forgoes scripture for the structure.

(3) Spirituality: Spirituality is slowly coming to be defined as actually singing songs to God, I think they call it ‘worship’. True people that are spiritual will love worship services and whole-heartidly participatory. I have seen this trend grow, a close look reveals less a faith in God and more to prove your love for God (to the higher-ups). Spirituality is not singing songs, that may be part of it, but it’s not even the cornerstone. Spirituality boils down to something so simple we do it all the time and is the true determinent in eternity. ‘Do unto others as you would have done unto you’. ‘Love God with all of you and love your neighbor as yourself’. ”In as much you did it for one of the least of these my brothers, you did it unto me’. Jesus makes a great case for spirituality being an everyday way we effect the lives around us, for the good or bad.

(4) Exclusivity, ‘this is our club you heathen’: Something slipped into the church a long time ago and has refused to release it’s paws of oppression, exclusivity. The church actually believes they are ‘going to heaven’ and the people outside the church are ‘going to hell’, why? They accepted Christ into their hearts and the others didn’t (usually exemplified by a simple prayer). The church then finds fit to exclude the people that are not with them, to not even really try help them. They self-justify from scripture but they are so off-kilter it’s borderline in-humane. The words of Jesus talk about defining who goes to heaven and who goes to hell, but I am damn sure that is not for us to assume. Jesus is harshest on a few people, the main group called Pharisee’s, and why? They make it harder for someone to get to heaven than for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle. Whereas Jesus is called a drunk and is found hanging out with prostitutes, drunks, and other shameful humans…he calls them friends. When did church miss reading this?

It’s funny because I mention a lot of interesting idea’s and some church folk will agree or disagree, all I am doing is pointing them back to Gospels. For those who do agree, do you do it only in ‘word’ thus fooling yourself, although appearing to be holy all the while. Let’s just say I pulled the curtain on the ‘Wizard’ himself, a tin man, a lion, and a man made of straw saw the same thing. So what do you think…the Matrix really there?

Giving it up: The true hollywood story behind a project

I recently caught a whiff of what some people are calling a charitable event, building a school and a church in the hood. Not such a bad idea but when you see the costs of the project (over 1 million dollars) it makes you wonder if this is good for the hood?

The idea is they tear down a old church, and a few houses, in the hood then build a new building housing a school & a church. They even have a group that is raising cash of this endeavor, dubbed as ‘friends of said church’. They picked the right name, they are friends of the church, but of the neighborhood…that’s another question altogether. Funny, they have a fundraiser ‘Lobster Night’ at $50.00 a ticket, who do you think is going to that? Nice well-meaning, rich folk.

I think the idea is a type of ‘sound good’ church politics in the name of helping a community but in the end it doesn’t add up. They are raising money to tear houses down (I think 2) and a church to build a new school/church. My problem is that most people in that neighborhood can’t even afford to own a house yet a church has money to destroy 2? Yet they are supposed to be identifying with the needs of the community. Is that what the community asked for…a new school & church?

It’s a group with no connection to the community and they see charity as building churches and a school, a very missionary endeavor. They have money to give yet they give it to finance buildings, same sh*t I railed on another church for building a $250,000 parking lot. These are the ideas that make us (Christians) look nice but mean very little in the actual helping of people. They are giving in a mis-guided way, name how one person specifically is helped in this project (that doesn’t exist now)?

I see a mis-management of funds in the allocation of this cash. That million dollars could go towards programs to help people that want to buy houses, fix their homes, fix the church, get an education (external sources), tutoring programs for their children, etc. Tonnes of ideas but then you have to look at the mentality behind it.

These people already have a school & church in the same building, but the building is a little broken down. It makes sense to fix it up or replace the church (to me anyways). My problem comes in when I think the church is exclusionary. They will help the have’s (people of professed faith in their ranks) and won’t help the have-not’s (people of not professed faith). Thus you see a church helping itself with the money raised. The people around them get very little except to see a nice building on their street, which they have no investment in.

Can the money be spent better? Yes. Is it another case of church (a building) over church (the people)? Yes. Is it another case for people to bat their eyelashes and say nothing? Yes, God forbid you should raise real questions about what good this is doing anyways (since it looks good). I have been calling for giving like this from churches (which I applaud) to help wipe out poverty, but I’ll never see that day if people think this is the answer. What do you think? Is there a better solution or am I too far gone?