Archive for the 'Theology' Category
Even from an Advent Calendar perspective, I prefer music to chocolate. This includes Christmas music, both reverent and irreverent, along with songs that would be more accurately described as "winter holiday" than Christmas music.
Different Drummer: George Frideric Handel
A century ago in sermons and speeches that would become My Utmost For His Highest, the current sad state of Christianity was described aptly with the question, "Are you loyal to Jesus or to your notion of him?" by Oswald Chambers. We see the problem when Christians openly dispute the things Jesus said, or when popular versions of Bible stories don't match the "inspired word of God" and those obsessed with Biblical perfection fail to side with the inerrant text. Chambers might say that we are guilty of siding with what we believe without much regard for God's will. If this is true of individuals, it is certainly true of organizations and groups -- no matter how we may defer to their "religious beliefs."
Different Drummer: Oswald & Gertrude Chambers
So-called "mountaintop experiences" are often called "beyond description" by those who are careful about sharing religious experiences. I know. I am one of those people, with podcast episodes like this one being an exception. With a connection to the team building concepts in the previous show on spiritual development, let's go behind the scenes -- metaphorically around the campfire -- at a spiritual retreat or two.
Different Drummer: Max Lucado
Community building relies more heavily on understanding the stages of spiritual growth than we often realize. Team building does not hinge upon every member being at the same level of maturity and experience. It is crucial, though, to understand the progression and manage those differences with unity as the common purpose. Sadly, this does not describe very many groups in our society today, including churches.
Different Drummer: M. Scott Peck
It's not funny, it's hypocritical, how the same words can sound hateful or not based solely on whether they are heard rather than spoken. Sometimes we only understand the worst aspects of how we communicate when we hear ourselves through the angry words of others. The principle is very simple: if words you hear directed toward you are wounding rather than healing, then those same words directed toward others are hateful rather than loving.
Different Drummer: Peter of Bethsaida
Once misinformation becomes "tradition" it is extremely difficult to correct. This is true of a pope 1,500 years ago who willfully merged the identity of several women into one misleading "Mary" to deliver a sermon series on sinful women. More broadly, it is true of those who ignore the way Jesus interacted with women during his earthly ministry. Walk The Earth podcast (6) looked at how these mistaken views of gender impact the local church. This Inappropriate Conversation looks at the impact to the church-universal and the great distance between the example of Christ and what we too often see today from clergy.
Different Drummer: Mary of Magdala
I've been known to sarcastically say "life has dealt you a rotten set of cards" to people who lose track of the blessings they have received in the midst of temporary, and often small, setbacks. For example, I could complain that I've never had the talent to see a musical note on a page and fight the correct tone with my voice. As a music-by-ear singer, I tend to follow others rather than truly joining the choir. On the other hand, I should be grateful for all of the music I've imitated. Thanksgiving, as a day or a state of mind, means being grateful even when circumstances are much more severe.
Different Drummer: Horatio Spafford