my post about “a response to the accusation that ys is embracing eastern religion” has drawn, as any blogger would expect, a steady stream of commentors — some strong but courteous, others just strong — trying to uncover my true new-age sensibilities (or so it would seem); or, to be more gracious, to convince me that i’m wrong.
and, boy-howdy, these particular blog commentors can write some long comments! i get winded reading them.
i see the wisdom, at times, in tony jones saying in one of his earliest posts that he didn’t expect to respond to comments. this morning i got up at 5:15 to get a jump on the day — huge stretch of ministry trips starting today (i’ll post about that later this morning) — and stumbled out of our bedroom to the computer desk to check email. i saw i had a new long comment on that post, and patiently (more or less) read it. when i got to the bottom, i realized it was from a high school girlfriend! i mean, a girlfriend of mine from when i was 16 — in 1979 or so! for a second or two, i got a big smile on my face — i love reconnecting with old friends. but then i just got way-grumpy and a bit ticked. no hello, no “how are you?” just, “i have concerns about ys.”
so, i posted this comment minutes ago:
IMPORTANT NOTE TO ALL READERS OF THESE COMMENTS
i’m pretty much out of the loop for the next two weeks — lots of travel and ministry stuff.
this is getting nowhere. when a high school friend (and ex-girlfriend!) writes a very long comment with her concerns about me and ys without even saying hello, it’s time to pack it in.
friends, clearly we are not going to convince each other on this subject. i have read every word of your comments, and will, as always, remain open to God’s leading in my life. i don’t mean this to be dismissive, really. it’s just that we have 7500 real youth workers who DO trust us and desperately need a fresh touch from Jesus coming to nashville in a few days, and i have two trips before that — starting today.
you are welcome to continue posting comments here — i will not edit or delete them unless they’re WAY out of line. but i have other fish to fry, so to speak, and can’t continue to be consumed by this discussion.
as i recently (this week) did with Brett Kunkle from Stand to Reason (with whom i’d had semi-contentious blog-comment discussions with over a different subject), i’d be happy to have lunch or coffee with any of you if you’re ever in san diego, and wish to have a real conversation face-to-face.
there are days when it becomes crystal clear why american christians have lost most of their leavening ability, any desire or ability to be a transformative presence in culture.
14 thoughts on “i don’t have the time or energy…”
Marko…brother, don’t let anything derail you from what God has called you to do. I am one of the 7,500 who is looking forward to Nashville. Don’t let anyone or anything be a stumbling block in your prep for that event. I’ve seen first hand how God uses you and the YS squad to speak truth into the lives of YP’s, and just want to encourage you to stay “up” and remember that the mission God has given you is so much bigger than any of this crap. Praying for you and the team.
If I’m honest, this is exactely the kind of thing that finds me in my weak moments jaded and ready to wash my hands of the traditional church. The pointless infighting and tearing each other down. I just don’t get it. Yes, fight heresy … but take the time to find out what the person actually believes instead of buying into the rumors.
I can’t help but think of these words from Mark ( and also some where in Luke (didn’t one of the disciples want to call down fire from heaven on some people?)
“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
“Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
Mark 9:39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward. “And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.
I can’t help think of these words, used by General Stilwell and many others:
“Illegitimi Non Carborundum”
what’s that mean, dan?
Illegitimi Non Carborundum means roughly:
Don’t let the bastards get you down.
If this is where the church is going, I am getting out.
Uh. . Safe to say the Ex Girlfriend is NOT a Yoga Instructor?
omg, that’s funny.
i loathe that you are all being drained of creative energy by things like this. it makes me so very sad. please know you, your staff and all of the volunteers for nashville are in our prayers as you head into this week. thanks for all you do!
thank you for what you’re doing. so far this is the only post I’ve read, (thanks bobbie) but you seem to have your heart and head in the right place. bullies stink, don’t they? it seems they sometimes forget 1 John 4:7&8: Beloved,let us love one another (love one another) for love is of God, and (now the song is la la la)so the rest of this is NIV: Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (back to KJV from song) He who loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love, Beloved, let us love one another, first john four seven and eight!
(song courtesy of Psalty, the singing Bible)
Keep on keeping on.
The so-called Main-line churches have nothing better to do than attack anyone who doesn’t do things their way. Which is why I bailed a long time ago from any “traditional” church.
The Bible says in several places that we are to “meditate” in God’s Word day and night. I am no scholar, but my Strong’s Concordance tells me that to “meditate” means to talk to yourself, to repeat verbally, what the Word says.
Listen, Mark. If your heart is right with God, and you are following His leading, (I have no reason to doubt that this is the case, since some people I trust have vouched for you) don’t let the sanctimonious, pharisiacal, Graceless twits get you down. The religious leaders of the day persecuted Christ Himself because they were more interested in their own kingdoms than they were in God’s Kingdom.
Keep up the Good Work.
thanks for the warm words, arthur. just one small comment: it’s hardly the mainline church that is slamming us on this!
Sorry for the misunderstanding. My comment stands for whom-ever it is that is doing the maligning.
Allow me to quote a piece from jesustheradicalpastor.blogspot.com
“Jesus behaved as if those who rejected others and marginalized them committed a more grievous sin than those guilty of sexual sins and greed. Jesus behaved as if “sins of the spirit” or “sins against relational harmony” were more repugnant than “sins of the flesh.” This Jesus is still walking around our cities today. Sin is worse than just moral failure; it is anti-relational. Factions and prejudice among people are social pornography, and religion, even some forms of Christian fundamentalism, are mass distributors.
Jesus behaved as if the Almighty God, Lord of Hosts, would hang out with and eat, laugh, live with those suffering societal rejection, regardless of their sins, long before God would spend “free time” with clean, “Sunday-go-to-meetin’ ” types.
Jesus behaved as if marginalized people were a strong God-magnet and as if really, really “good people” who obeyed all the rules of religion and culture were prickily repulsive. We wonder why.
Jesus behaved as if those living in shadows and alleys and those pushed out into the “unpleasant places” and inner cities would make God feel more “at home” than those lounging in palaces and handling holy things at the Temple and golfing in the suburbs.
Jesus behaved as if broken people were more aware of God’s non-judgmental presence than unbroken, judgmental people with “lofty glances.”
Jesus behaved as if socially and religiously sick people would welcome God like a physician and receive God’s gracious words and ways like good medicine.
Jesus behaved as if you had human skin, no matter your ethnic origin or color or status in society or sex or religion or morality or orthodoxy or past, your skin made you God’s friend. Good friend. Remember a young pregnant-out-of-wedlock girl named Mary?
Jesus behaved as if God had stores of food for hungry people, but empty shelves for the full; God had comfort and inclusion for wounded and rejected people, but nothing for the well-connected and whole; God had outrageous, scandalous mercy for the severest sinners and social misfits, but contempt for the (self)righteous and affirmed.
Jesus behaved as if God deeply loved people in pain, but despised the “painted,” those masquerading with outfits made out of their “best foot forward.” Jesus used the phrase “white-washed tombs” for people unwilling to see their true condition.
Jesus behaved as if those who taught God’s Word in such a way that others had to give up trying to obey, saying, “We will never ever live up to these teachings. They’re killing us” were teachers who, in fact, were changing God’s Word into heavy concrete weights, crushing people. God really hates that. God says his Words are like honey to our lips.”
Somewhere I got the idea that Christianity was about LOVE. “Love one another as I have loved you; You will know we are Christians by our Love.”
What happened to all that? Are we not all on the same team trying to dispel darkness and introduce the world to The Light? So why all the negativity towards those whose calling and/or methods are not the same as ours?