bonar crump

bonar crump
husband - father - reader - runner - picker - grinner - lover - sinner

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mmm....No, it's not "all good."

by Jamie Wright 
via Jamie the Very Worst Missionary

[...]  "My point is that it's not unreasonable to set standards, to ask questions, and to come to conclusions about what we're doing. In fact, we do that all the time.

We expect our doctors to “First, do no harm.”

We expect our police to “Protect and Serve.”

We expect our Church to.... um.... “Do at least some good, hopefully, but really, who can say....”


So, if you're a doctor and you do harm, we'll take away your license. And if you're a cop who fails to protect, we will riot in the streets against your actions. But, apparently, if you're a Christian with “good intentions”, you can do whatever you want because, if just one good thing comes from it, it's all good. Seriously?!

We have given ourselves a free pass to do whatever we want, however we want, whenever and wherever we want with absolutely zero accountability, because we're Christian. I mean, ultimately, who are we to judge whether or not “some good” has actually taken place? So why bother evaluating ourselves at all... *shrugs*" [...]

Best post I've read anywhere in quite some time...

by MPT (Matthew Paul Turner)
A BLOG POST: Why I no longer want to be 'that guy'

A friend emailed me this article yesterday.

The article’s title is this: Rick Warren Tweets, Retracts False Conservative Talking Point

My reply to my friend was this: Get behind me Satan. And then I added a smiley face.

I was being funny. But also a little serious. I wrote that because I sometimes feel that, any time there’s something controversial to say or something blatantly obvious to express or a meanish Christian opinion to question, I’m seen by some in Christian culture as the go-to attack dog. While I appreciate people sending me links and pictures and such, there have been times, when I’ve received a link or video clip from somebody who then says, “You need to blog about this!” or “You need to speak out against this!!!” And these emailers mean well. And usually, I agree with them. “I do need to blog about this!” I’ll think, and then I usually feel obligated to write something up and so I do! And I quickly add my OPINION to the onslaught of opinions already out there. Hence, the attack-dog.

And I understand why I’m viewed this way by some.

1) Because I’m very passionate about my views regarding Christianity, culture, social justice, media, etc…

2) Because I’ve managed to build a blog community on saying what others are thinking. At least, that’s one of the comments I receive most often from readers.

3) Because many of my friends who are pastors and well-known Christian voices don’t feel they have the freedom to voice their opinions or frustrations about some of Christianity’s ickier representation.

4) Because I’m sometimes funny. And when you’re sometimes funny, people on both sides or all sides of an opinion are more apt to forgive you for stepping on holier ground.

5) Because I really am tired of watching “men of God” dress Jesus up like a hateful redemptive political-leaning white guy who would hang out them at swanky bars if he were around…

And there’s other reasons I’m sure…

And I confess: I like being that guy. It makes me feel badass sometimes. Needed. “Controversial.” Nobody invites me to speak at Catalyst. Still, I’ve felt called to be that guy. And it’s not because of the benefits, either. I’m pretty sure that being “that guy” has cost me far more than what I’ve received. There’s nothing cool or necessary about me being “that guy”.

And I’m tired of being that guy…

I’m tired of being one of the very few people willing to call out well-known voices in this culture. Or rail against somebody’s mean theology. And while sometimes all of that is very necessary, when it’s done quickly or when I do it out of “obligation” or because I feel like somebody is counting on me to speak up, little of what I say is necessary or helpful. My quick “obligated” words don’t change much. Why? Because in the process of being “that guy,” I lose parts of myself, I lose bits and pieces of Matthew Paul Turner. That guy is hard as nails and puts up a strong front sometimes. But Matthew Paul Turner cries during Grey’s Anatomy and loves Kelly Clarkson and loves making chalk art with my son, Elias.

But I’m not sure “that guy” is helping much.

Sadly, we Christians have created an arrogant subculture. Many of us are so arrogant that we are unwilling to take long glances in the mirror, and we rarely listen when others–outside of our subculture–hold up that mirror and show us a reflection. And maybe that reflection isn’t perfect or 100% correct. But as followers of Jesus, people who are supposed to be very comfortable in our humility and to be pursuing mercy and peace, whether the message is 100% true or not or presented with love or laced with f-words, that “reflection” matters. It matters because the person holding up the mirror is a human being who says it matters. And we Christians are called to care more about that human being than the mirror or message or agenda that he/she may or may not be holding. But sadly, most of the time, we are too arrogant to listen. And when we do listen, our response is usually the kind that only adds fuel to the fire.

I really do wish that Rick Warren would stick to using his influence to share the good news. Some have called him “America’s pastor,” and in many ways, that’s true. But when he Tweets his political opinions about taxes (and other issues)–regardless if the facts he claims are correct or incorrect–his role as pastor is diminished into political commentator. And let’s face it, even when we like or listen to political commentators, we don’t trust them. We don’t go to them for comfort. We don’t go to them when we are feeling lost. The role of “pastor” is very important in our culture and it should never come with the job description of political opinionator…

I like Rick Warren. I know many people who have engaged God’s story because of Rick Warren. I don’t agree with him theologically or politically, but I love that some people who have felt hopeless have been able to find hope through Rick’s voice and influence. Rick loves Jesus. But for some, that fact becomes blurred by his political opinions.

But does me saying all of that help?

I think the answer is probably “sometimes yes” and “sometimes no”.

Here’s the point of this post: I need to take my own advice. There’s a host of people on Twitter and blogosphere who have held up mirrors, showcasing a reflection of what they see in me. And while many of their opinions aren’t 100% true–”online truth” is rarely is 100% true. But that doesn’t matter. They are human beings. And their “reflections” matter. No, I’m not going to let them control me. But I must listen.

Shouldn’t I care just a little bit that there are forums thread out there in the blog world that are basically groups of people agreeing with one another on this: “MPT is an asshole.”

And you know, if you disagree with my theology or politics or opinions about social issues, I’ve certainly given you enough fodder to come up with that opinion. I must confess, there have been times when I have had to fight the urge to simply cast the label of “asshole” upon Rick Warren. But I refuse to do that. Because it’s not true. Yes, we disagree. Yes, we’ve had our heated Twitter conversations. But my disagreements with Rick Warren do not define him! And I refuse to let them define him as such. And I do that knowing full-well that I have no control on how he defines me (or even remembers who I am…).

Now, I’m still going to speak up. I’m still going to post videos and church signs and write punch lines and write long boring posts about what I’m “feeling” or “thinking” or whatever and] I’m still going to stand up for my beliefs and passions and against the things that I believe hurt Christian culture. But when I do, I need to remember my own humanity. Because if I remember my own humanity, I will have a better chance of also remembering the the humanity of those I’m standing up for as well as those I’m disagreeing with. And it’s much harder to remember your own humanity when you’re busy being “that guy.”

Besides, “that guy” can be a real asshole, so I’ve heard.

I realize this post is a bit all over the place. I hope you will forgive the errors…

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Take: Christians should denounce Norway's Christian terrorist

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

* * * * * * *

"[...]Osama bin Laden was a Muslim terrorist. Yes, he twisted the Quran and the Islamic tradition in directions most Muslims would not countenance. But he rooted his hate and his terrorism in that text and that tradition. So Muslims, as I have long argued, have a responsibility to speak out forcefully against Bin Laden and to look hard at the resources in their tradition that work to promote such evil.

If he did what he has alleged to have done, Anders Breivik is a Christian terrorist.

Yes, he twisted the Christian tradition in directions most Christians would not countenance. But he rooted his hate and his terrorism in Christian thought and Christian history, particularly the history of the medieval Crusades against Muslims, and current efforts to renew that clash.

So Christians have a responsibility to speak out forcefully against him, and to look hard at the resources in the Christian tradition that can be used to such murderous ends."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Watch and listen to the end of the 32 minutes or else you shouldn't bother...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Religion is the just have to come out into the sun.

by PB
via Philosophy Bro

Plato's "The Allegory of the Cave": A Summary

Socrates: "Why do people think philosophy is bullshit? Let me put it this way - imagine you're in a cave, all chained up so you can't turn your body at all, and all you get to look at is this one wall. Some assholes behind you are making shadow puppets using the light from a fire and making echo noises and that's all you or anyone else chained up has seen or heard all your life. Sounds terrible, right? Except it's all you've ever known, shadows and echoes, and that's your whole world - there's no way you could know that, really, you're watching a slightly-improved M. Night Shyamalan film.

"In fact, you get pretty good at understanding how the patterns in the show work, and everyone else chained up is like, 'Holy shit bro, how did you know that that tree was going to fall on that guy?' and you're like, 'It's because I fucking pay attention and I'm smart as shit.' You're the smartest of the chained, and they all revere you."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Are we calling this a "win-win"?

By Jamie the Very Worst Missionary

You know what I really want to do?

I want to fill a rental van marked “Tourist” with unbelievably rich people and then I want to bring them to your middle-class neighborhood to take pictures of you and your kids and your house and your cars.

I’ll act as the unofficial tour guide to their trip, walking them slowly down the street, pointing out the shocking differences between their lifestyle and yours. “This man,” I will say with a gesture of my upturned palm, “cuts his own lawn.”

“These kids share a bedroom.”

“Many of these families require two incomes… just to survive.”

I’ll tell them bluntly, “Most of these people will never ride in a helicopter, meet the president, or own a show horse.” And they will glance at each other with looks of angst and sadness, they’ll shake their heads at the injustice of it all.

And then I’ll let the details of your simple life sink in as they snap pictures of your no-thrills mid size SUV and your quarter acre lot. I’ll stand aside so they can get pictures of each other, smiling, with their arms around your kids in hand-me-downs. Ooh, and maybe they can take turns helping you cut your hedge or clean your bathroom, and then you could show some of them how to make a sandwich - That would be so great for the video they’re gonna take back to show at the Super Elite Rich People Church.

But don’t worry. There will totally be something in it for you. The rich people are going to paint all of the houses on your block. For real. They’re going to pay for it and do all the work and everything. Also? They’re gonna do a puppet show for your kids, and give them candy and crap.

It’s a win-win.Even if you’re extremely uncomfortable while all of this is going on, in the end, you will look at your freshly painted house and it will make you feel good about what just happened. And when the rich people go home, they’ll get to tell their people about how they painted your house and learned to make a sandwich, which, of course, will make them feel good, too.

So, like I said, win-win...

.... .... ....

Aaaaand...that's as far as I got.


I wrote this about a week ago and it has just been sitting there on my desktop, open, waiting for a conclusion. Then, all of a sudden, my Google reader, Twitter feed, and Facebook timeline (can you say social media overkill?) were brimming with debate over the issue of "Poverty Tourism". And I was like "Whoa! I was just thinking about that."

So I thought I'd throw it out here, unfinished, as is - a ridiculous revamping of the modern short-term missions experience - and see what your thoughts are...

Are short-term missions teams sent to impoverished communities helpful...? or harmful...? or maybe neither...? Whadayathink?

Speak freely.