31 July 2011

I Need to Know Where I Stand

Trying to find the line between "hardass" and "pushover". Thing is, I don't know if it's a fine line or drawn with an oversized magic marker. I think what I'm finding is it's altered with every person in every scenario. I don't like that very much.

12 July 2011

Lord, Save Us From Your Followers

Finding my afternoons wide-open following graduation in May, I finally caved and registered for Netflix. Oh what a can of worms. A delightful and time-filling can of worms.

One of my favorite queues to insta-browse is the documentary line-up. I have always loved stories about people, about problems, about studies, about this world we live in and who inhabits it. After watching various shows on drugs, culture and history, Netflix prescribed a movie with an intriguing title to me. It was called, Lord, Save Us From Your Followers. Now, being the church-going sort, I immediately took offense to this title. And that was that.
No, after about a week of ignoring it, curiosity got the better of me and I sat down, ready to take in a brow-beating of the anti-bible thumping variety. It had been a long while since I had been so absolutely pleasantly surprised.

I don't want to give too much away because I truly believe it's something that everybody should watch, especially those of us who call ourselves followers of Christ. The premise comes from Dan Merchant of Portland (PNW represent!) who had one simple question: "Why is the Gospel of Love dividing America?" That's all he wanted to know. And thus he set out on an adventure around the States (in an outfit made of bumper-stickers nonetheless) interviewing the public and public figures alike--pedestrians, theologians, missionaries, politicians, radio show hots, protesters, Liberals, Republicans, Christians, Atheists. He did something very few people seem to do, he started civil discourse. He craved conversation with people to understand what they believe and why and to demonstrate what he believes and why. There is no scripture throwing, no condemning, no fire and brimstone. There are just words from a two-sided conversation, yearning to understand the brokenness we live in and how the body of Christ can actually reach out and do something about it.

Dan also has a book of the same title. In it, there is a quote from Michael Reagan that reminded me of a conversation from my summer as a Trainee when discussing whether even more stock should be placed into outreach programs.
I think Jesus cares about everybody individually. And we have to be a light to the world. And there are battles that you fight. I understand that, but we have to take care of our own house. Today I can't find a church that doesn't have an outreach program, and I can't find one that doesn't need an in-reach program. Everybody wants to become a megachurch--I'm bigger than you, I'm better than you. But I sit there in prayer circles in church and there are a lot of hurting people in churches today. We gotta heal the churches and through that we can heal the world.

It's the start to a conversation that needs to happen. We don't live in a perfect world, not even within the walls of the Church. I don't know how to fix it, I am only one person, but I'm more open, more aware. I'm not going to just wear blinders and hope and pray that things do get better. Now, the only questions is do I wait for lines to open, or do I open them myself?

This was a lot longer than I originally intended. Regardless, the trailer:

I really do encourage you to watch this movie and/or read the book. If nothing else, watch it and discuss it with your ex-catholic pot-head co-worker. Oh the places you'll go with that.