Archives For culture

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 4.54.50 PM.png.CROP.rectangle3-large.54.50 PMThe apostle Paul called the cross “offensive.”

He said it was a “stumbling block.”

It’s easy to see what he meant.  No one had contemplated the idea of worshipping a man who died disgracefully.  A slave’s death.  A notorious death.  The cross was a symbol of “Pax Romana,” the peace that Rome enforced by executing enemies of the state.

But I wonder…are people really still offended by the cross?  (Not just because we are inundated with violent entertainment.)

Are people really stumbling over the gospel?  Are they tripping over Jesus’ words?

Jesus said that people would hate us, his followers, on account of him.

I’m not sure Jesus’ words are all that true anymore.  People aren’t offended by the cross or stumbling over the gospel or hating us on account of Jesus.  The fact is most people can’t get close enough to Jesus to be offended by him…

…They’re too offended by us. Continue Reading…

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Life After Art is available next Monday! Remember, when you order your copy, forward your receipt to LifeAfterArtBook.com for three other freebies from me and Moody Publishers.

The customer is always right.

That’s the saying.  Even though it’s not true.  Customers are usually wrong.  But we say that the customer is right and set out to satisfy them so we’ll keep their business.  It’s really a mantra of capitalism.  Give the customer what they want so they’ll keep giving us their money.  Whatever it takes.

But the smartest businesses don’t give customers what they want.

And neither should churches…especially this weekend.

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In addition to today’s post, I’m guest posting for my buddy, Ken Hagerman today about avoiding spiritual abuse.  He has a blog and a beard, both of which are impressive.  Go check that out.

Last Friday, I made the little statement that I don’t believe in equality.  In fact, I listed six reasons I don’t believe in equality.  If you missed it, you should go read that one first.

As I predicted, people were divided.  A lot of people seemed to understand what I was getting at.  But through some perhaps ambiguous language, I was misunderstood by many others.

So it just seems like a good chance to flesh out and clarify some thoughts.  I stand by everything I said on Friday.  I’m not taking anything back.

But today, we’re going to talk equality, the gospel, throw in some feminism, and hopefully come out the other side in one piece.

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I hear the war cry, the drums being beaten, the trumpets sounding…

It is the nearly deafening cacophony of noise and disparate voices.  And what is the noise all about?

Equality.

It has become an almost daily stream in my blog reader.  Every day, someone is marching on, demanding equality where some perceived inequality exists: between the sexes, the races, the classes, whomever.  And the people who feel slighted or abused cheer them on, anxious to finally feel that their injustice has been righted.

I have a confession to make.

I don’t believe in equality.

I know, this is going to be tough to explain.  You might be already readying your pitchforks.  Hear me out.

Six Reasons I Don’t Believe in Equality

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The scene of some dangerous finger pointing, noise making and make-believe playtime. Crisis averted, thanks to quick thinking by heroic school officials.

Kids get in trouble at school every day.  Nothing unusual there.

Getting suspended from school used to be the worst punishment that a kid could get.  It was the last resort, reserved for kids who picked fights and were serious offenders.

Today, on a pretty regular basis, you can read stories about a new kind of elementary school hooligan.

Every week or two, there’s a new story of a kid who doesn’t actually bring a weapon to school, or make actual threats toward others, or actually hurts anyone. No, these new playground terrorists get suspended for having a Hello Kitty bubble gun, pointing fingers at playmates while making the ubiquitous “pow” sound of a gun, or even disposing of an imaginary bomb in order to save the world.

Thank God these school administrators are here to save our playgrounds from future Jack Bauers, MacGyvers and Chuck Norrises.

Before you think I’m coming down too hard on principals who have to enforce their “zero tolerance” policies about weapons and violence in an age of school shootings, think about how easy the zero tolerance policy has made the task of suspending kids, and how we are increasingly living in a stark black-and-white world with fewer and fewer shades of gray.

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That’s a perennial issue.  And since Valentine’s Day was just yesterday, I thought I’d check in on this topic that seems to continually swirl through my blog reader.

Of course, it mostly concerns female modesty.  You know, neck lines and skirt lengths and the rules which have mostly been made and enforced by men (to supposedly protect other men from evil feminine temptations.)

May I suggest something?  It may bring a welcomed resolution to the entire debate.

“Modesty” as we define it does not matter.  We’ve missed the point entirely and done a disservice to men and women.

We can throw out this debate forever.

Ready to find out how to end the modesty debate forever?

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