bonar crump

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

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Texas Flood

If you can't appreciate this then get off my site!

Ian Moore - Satisfied

Mumford & Sons - Little Lion Man

Religion and the Question of Conformity

by Jeffrey Small
The Huffington Post

In religion, we use the word orthodoxy to describe what is the traditional view or doctrine of a religion. It's interesting to look closer at this word: orthos is the Greek word for "right, straight, or true," while doxa means "opinion." In other words, orthodoxy means the right or true opinion. For centuries the church has defined what this right opinion is, but depending on what church you go to will determine the specifics of what is orthodox. I often use the expression "Country Club Christianity" to describe the "us versus them" mentality we often see in our religion. We can clearly hear this mentality when people start to talk about who is "saved" and who isn't. In other words, to be in the club you must conform to a particular doctrine.

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We often think of the U.S. as the country that embraces individualism more than others. Our cultural icon of the "self-made person" who embraces "the American dream" is part of the mythos of our society. Yet the pressure in our individualistic society to conform is still immense. Just ask any teenager about the politics of middle or high school, and you're sure to get an earful about the pressures to act, dress and talk like the others. Former Yale psychologist Irving Janis used the term groupthink to describe the phenomenon of the conformity of group decision making. Groups of people naturally stress cohesiveness rather than individuality in their discussions. Groupthink, Janis said, often results in poor decision making because the most creative and unique (and thus non-conforming) people and ideas are excluded or silenced from the group. Much of this silencing comes from self-censorship. Most of us censor ourselves when we sense that the group we are part of is moving in another direction.

Who are your heroes? MLK? Gandhi? Mother Theresa? A former teacher or coach? A grandparent? My guess is that, whoever these people are, they were not conformists. Greatness does not arise from towing the popular line. I'm not calling for open rebellion here, but rather for us to embrace differences both within ourselves and those around us. I hesitate to even bring up the word diversity because it is not only overused, but it also conjures up images of political correctness that can be just as silencing as the conformity of the majority. Instead, why can't we encourage those aspects of ourselves and others that are unique? Can we find fascination and beauty in these differences? What can we learn from them? In the global and multicultural world we live in today, can we truly live by the words of Jesus (an extreme non-conformist!) to love our neighbors, especially when they do not look or think like us? How do you feel pressure in your own life to conform, to suppress your ideas or your true sense of who you are? What lessons can we take from the rock band, the priest and the psychologist?

Pastor Loses Job Amidst Rob Bell Debate

by Tom Breen
Huffpost Religion

DURHAM, N.C. -- When Chad Holtz lost his old belief in hell, he also lost his job.

The pastor of a rural United Methodist church in North Carolina wrote a note on his Facebook page supporting a new book by Rob Bell, a prominent young evangelical pastor and critic of the traditional view of hell as a place of eternal torment for billions of damned souls.

Two days later, Holtz was told complaints from church members prompted his dismissal from Marrow's Chapel in Henderson.

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Making his new belief public is both liberating and a little frightening for Holtz, even though his doubts about traditional doctrines on damnation began long before he heard about Rob Bell's book.

A married Navy veteran with five children, Holtz spent years trying to reconcile his belief that Jesus Christ's death on the cross redeemed the entire world with the idea that millions of people – including millions who had never even heard of Jesus – were suffering forever in hell.

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Gray Southern, United Methodist district superintendent for the part of North Carolina that includes Henderson, declined to discuss Holtz's departure in detail, but said there was more to it than the online post about Rob Bell's book.

"That's between the church and him," Southern said.

Church members had also been unhappy with Internet posts about subjects like gay marriage and the mix of religion and patriotism, Holtz said, and the hell post was probably the last straw. Holtz and his family plan to move back to Tennessee, where he'll start a job and maybe plant a church.

"So long as we believe there's a dividing point in eternity, we're going to think in terms of us and them," he said. "But when you believe God has saved everyone, the point is, you're saved. Live like it."

How am I different as a person of faith?

by Martha Woodroof
Faith Unboxed - An unconventional conversation about God

I grew up awash in Pop’s doctrine of fundamental isolation; believing that I felt as alone as I did because that’s just how humans naturally feel. It continued through two marriages, as well as many relationships with lovers, friends, and colleagues. After I became a person of faith however, at some point, I noticed that it had simply gone; that I now lived as a human among humans.

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These days I’m able to accept (for the most part) that as a person of faith, I must slog through real life’s inevitable discomfort without attempting to dodge or deny its existence, doing what I need to do in spite of how discombobulated it makes me feel; learning, thinking, observing, caring, and making the best decisions I can. My partner, God, is the Whatever that is in me but isn’t of me., and It gives me the will and ability to rise above prejudice, fear, and personal anxiety in order to act and think in ways that are beyond my own self-interest. God binds me to others in common concern for a common good. I may hunger for protection from the discomforts of reality all I want within such a working partnership, but I leave it behind immediately once I expect God (or Rush Limbaugh or Einstein or or my mother) to provide me with any such protection. God is my ability to participate in and, yes, enjoy, reality.

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My faith, then, is what I do with my absolute acceptance that God is. My partnership with the great Whatever is not something I need to think about or figure out. Instead it is inherently a call to kinder, gentler, more truthful, more forgiving action than I am capable of on my own.

Religionless Spirituality

by Tony Campolo
Red Letter Christians

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Christian martyr, once prophesied from a Nazi concentration camp that there would come a day when there would be a religion-less Christianity. With ambivalence he looked into the twenty first century, and with a prophetic eye saw that while Christianity might increase, institutional religion would go into decline. There is now statistical evidence that he was correct. Studies indicate that in the Western world church attendance is in decline.

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The irony of this is that while church attendance is in decline, people are apparently more interested in spiritual things than ever before. Books dealing with religious subject matters top bestseller lists. Young people turn out in mass for concerts featuring the performance of super-star Christian artists. Massive rallies of men and women are filling football stadiums and civic auditoriums. It seems as though God consciousness is alive and well even as church attendance withers. I recently interviewed some key sociologists and asked about this new spirituality. They concluded that it had three distinguishing characteristics.

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It has been said that all heresies are simply exaggerations of neglected aspects of traditional Christianity. I believe that is true. And I believe that unless churches recover ministries of healing, environmentalism, and meditation, people will leave to have these concerns met elsewhere.