a few random thoughts

New Life Church. I was very disappointed. As I have already mentioned from a few blogs below, the worship service was focused around fostering a rock concert for Jesus. I not inherently against large and loud shows such as New Life presented, but I am against the manner that they presented it. First, they had this intricate rafter system high above the seating. Sitting on the rafters were lighting technicians that were aiming the extravegant lights in all directions (Probably something you would encounter at a U2 concert). The worship had a very flaky feel to it, centered around the adornment of the music, the musicans, and the ritual raising of hands. Not to be a jerk, but just infront of my roommate and I was this little girl. As soon as a prayer was started, her hands automatically raised, like clockwork, upon the copying of her father. Wow, I really sound like a cynical, over-critical jerk insulting a 7 year old’s worship. Then again, if people were genuinely worshipping in this context, then God be the glory. It just seemed very ungenuine, but who I am to say. Secondly and most startling was the preaching, or the lack thereof. Ted Haggard gave up his pulpit to a Rabbi. Rabbi Eckstein to be precise. A rabbi that openly rejects Jesus as the messiah. He is the coordinator of the interfaith dialogue between Jews and Christians. He spent some of the time making derogatory jokes about both Christianity and Judaism. He went on to say that the Christians owe the Jews because the Christians are the branch off the root of Judaism. He didn’t say though, according to Romans 9, that the root (Isreal) has now been cut of because of their unbelief and rejection. One more comment, he casually and jokingly stated that the Jews are in Messianic times, and when the Messiah arrives, they are going to ask him, “is this your first time around or second?” I do not really find that funny, I think when Christ comes again in political authority, the Jews are going to be under unquencheable guilt for rejecting Him the first time. I AM NOT AGAINST THE JEWS. The Jewish race has contributed to this world in unimaginable ways. I thank God for the Jews and for their Covenental relationship. In fact, I am well in favor of dialoque of religious expression between two closely linked faiths. But, I am against a well-known pastor giving up his pulpit to someone openly denying Christ. I am also against people talking down their own faith when reverence should be key.

In Marriage class today Roc and Bev were talking about how adoration is a key to a healthy marriage. You should adore your spouse, or be in awe of the way they “do” life. The beautiful thing is is that when Bev was describing how kind Roc is, she actually had tears in her eyes. They have been married 31 years and after that long, it was quite precious to see the “flame of adoration” still there.

On a cool note, Focus has the cleanest restrooms ever! They even pass inspection by a well-known germophobe. The have toilet seat covers, automatic towl dispensers, and are wonderfully cleaned.

Today was the first day of our men’s discipleship group with Roc Bottomly. I am really excited. I have never been in a real men’s group before. Quite simply, we are focusing on three things: The Bible, Life, and Prayer. We are going to be memorizing scripture, talking about life as a guy in real community, and pray for one another. We are also emphasizing non-pious devotionals. It should be great if today is any indication of how things are done with Roc.

On an amazing note, I had the opportunity to listen to two Rob Bell sermons today at my internship. They were amazing. I will never look at “reality” the same way again. Hopefully, I will put the notes on this blog.

Oh, there is so much to talk about. I think having this blog has been more of an annoyance than it has a blessing or convenience.

Andrew

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