one person said, that i said, "christ is great, but christians suck." well, that was not what i said, but i think it is a very valid point to say "christ is cool, but christians suck" because i think that is something the church needs to know - even if you disagree with it, people think that way because experience tells them that it is a reality they live with. one may not like it, but it is the reality of the way they see the world. one of the things i strive to be in my life is more like christ and less like a christian - because i believe that they seem to be exclusive of each other. it seems that this idea that "christians are off limits" develops from a very distorted "christology" and one we need to get a grip on.
i am not seeking to have a "high christology" because i think it leads us to a place where jesus did not want us to be. instead of a "christology" focus i am seeking to walk closer to God. now, some may say that they are one in the same, a "christology" is equal to "walking closer to God" but i wonder if that is the case. what we must remember is that jesus never said "worship me" - jesus said, "follow me" [matthew 8:22; matthew 16:24;matthew 19:21;mark 8:34;mark 10:21;luke 9:23;luke 9:59;luke 18:22;john 1:43;john 10:27;john 12:26;john 13:36;john 21:19;john 21:22]and then he told us to "worship God."
i believe, that when we seek to walk closer in christ and know the path we are to follow we naturally get closer to God. i seek to follow jesus and walk in his path, that path leads me to a closer relationship with God - but if i worship Jesus, then i miss out on the path and the teachings to walk in the way. no place in scripture are we told to "worship jesus" or "worship christ" - so, that becomes a very interesting starting point in our walk of faith. the starting point, i believe, is that we see christ as our path to God and follow the teachings of jesus to the face of God.
keep this in mind, it is easy to spot the difference between a christian and a follower of christ - because as jesus told us, "they will know you are my disciples by your love." when we strive to follow jesus and worship God, love will be a product of our lives and we will see the truth expressed in the life, words, deeds, and sacrifice of our lord jesus the christ.
voiced by john o'keefe on 22.11.05
jesus is the christ - i will never change my mind on that
jesus is the son of God - i am good with that also
christians do not always follow the teachings of jesus - given
christians allow culture to determine their faith - given again
so, as a follower of christ i must be different:
as a follower of christ i must change my life - hard, but a relaity
as a follower of christ i must stand against injustice - even if i go to jail
as a follower of christ i must speak against povery - even if i become poor
as a follower of christ i must stand against war - even if i die
as a follower of christ i must hold back anger - even if i self explode
as a follower of christ i must think kindly - even of those who are not
as a follower of christ i must go the extra mile - even without shoes
as a follower of christ i must be willing to give my coat - even if it is raining
as a follower of christ i must work to change the hearts of others - by living an example
voiced by john o'keefe on 16.11.05
here is one reason i no longer desire to be called a christian:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Conservative Christian televangelist Pat Robertson told citizens of a Pennsylvania town that they had rejected God by voting their school board out of office for supporting "intelligent design" and warned them on Thursday not to be surprised if disaster struck. [link]i have come to the conclusion that people like pat robertson are not the people i desire to walk in faith with - our thougts are different, our actions are different, out core is different, our desires are different and most of all our view of God is very different. when a man proclaims that disaster will fall upon a people because they did not do what he thinks God desires, is a man proclaiming some power he does not have - and it is a man that if following a faith far different then the one i follow and the christ i know.
my robertson can do as he desire, but it is men like this that cause more people to walk away from christianity - my hope is that they walk into the arms of christ. because in my heart, while i will pray for pat, christ is not seen in his words.
the link: more on pat
voiced by john o'keefe on 10.11.05
today during our weekly staff meeting i was talking with our "worship arts illustrator" [amanda crump - who is a great worship leader and one heck of a creative person] and i said, "i am giving up christianity to become a follower of jesus." at first, the implication of such a line did not effect either of us, but as we sat and thought about it and talked about it - many things started to deconstruct.
think about it, it is freeing - to reject "christianity" to be a follower of jesus, that is so refeshing. i will be blogging more on this over the next few days - and maybe weeks.
voiced by john o'keefe on 9.11.05
over the past few years i have been a voice that has spoken out about the idea of becoming anything other then a conversation - and while i still feel that that is the case, i believe i need to let my voice be one of unity, calm and direction - and the best way, i believe, i can do that is to "join" the "E"merging.
now, i will admit that i feel like i am "giving in" at some level, but over the past i have been hearing the voices of those who have been emailing me asking that be a voice of unity. so, to be a voice of unity means i join, i join :) while i will continue to ask questions, and i may even be "on the outside" more then others - and my voice will always lean more to the "conversation" then to the "movement" - but in that, i strive to find unity. over this past year i have seen and heard those of us in the emerging church desire to "take sides" - and while i will admit to being part of that debate - it is now time for a deeper understanding of unity.
being united does not mean we all have to think the same, or that we have one "set of things" everyone "must" agree too - but it does mean that we catch the crap others are passing our way, and that we have each others back. over the past years i have been a voice for change in the church - some listen to me and it always suprises me that i am known by others outside my mind. i recently came to a realization that in that comes responsibility. if we are claiming to be a "different kind" of church, then we need to be more then just a voice claiming it - we must live it. so, it is with that heart that i decided to "join" the "E"merging.
here is what i did - i eamiled the "E"merging and asked them how i join and "become a friend." i also asked about the idea of a "cohort." so, now i wait - i wait to hear from them concering the next step. if unity is, then unity will be :)
voiced by john o'keefe on 7.11.05
i was reading "the chronicles of numbnuts" blog today and came upon this little gem. while watching it, many questions keep floating through my mind and the one that keep coming back time and time again was, "can one be a butt kisser while giving an enema?"
Holy Ghost Enema (1999)
In times of trouble, many people turn to their Faith for sustenance. Others follow the advice of Preacherwoman Suzanne Hinn, who recommends taking it a step further. Well, a couple steps, really.
(2 min 6 sec)
i am not sure i have the answer - looks like i will need to pray over this for a while :)
voiced by john o'keefe on 4.11.05
while i think this is a personal rambling, and even a personal kick in the ass it seems to me that, with the exception of a few, we have not done much in the emerging church to truly take a deep look into the theology of the evangelcial church - many simply take it, accept it and pass it on to others without thinking. sure, we can point to ideas on what i think is "the safe stuff" - you know, the definations of hell, or how we can look grace and forgiveness - what i am talking about is deep, real and solid look into the core of the evangelcial church - and if in so doing we come up with the same stuff, cool - and if not, cool -
i think we need to look into such things as:
what is salvation?
are there requirements of salvation?
the humanity of christ.
the divinity of christ.
i am not talking about just "thinking" that we need to get into it - and truly go to the root of it all. i have heard some speak of change, while many simply desire to dance around the issues - i am not suggesting we deconstruct for the sake of deconstruction, but i am suggesting we take a long and honest look at what we are saying and back it with more then words.
if your interested in rolling the ball with me, let me know and i would be happy to see what we can do
voiced by john o'keefe on 3.11.05