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i just couldn’t resist

September 24, 2008

i was getting ready for our office bible study last night here at the bgm office, when a friend told me about a magazine controversy.

can you imagine a magazine that could only be purchased by asking for it? while a store might carry it, they definitely wouldn’t put it out on the shelves for others to see. you know the magazines that i am describing…the seedy magazines that have wrappers on them so children can’t see the cover. wal-mart even blocks the covers of the weekly tabloids to keep kids from seeing who is losing how much weight and who is addicted to what.

imagine how i felt when i read that LifeWay Christian Stores was the store, and Gospel Today, was the magazine! the magazine was pulled not because of sexual or risque pictures, but because it portrayed women pastors.

i just keep having questions as i see things like this…why? if it’s a fundamental difference with the magazine, why carry it? if it’s going to cause problems, why have the magazine at all? but then, wouldn’t other titles need to be pulled from the shelves? how about rick warren’s, purpose driven life? didn’t that cause a great controversy? how about the book that’s causing uproars everywhere (and exciting even more people)–the shack?

how can LifeWay pull this magazine cover, and keep a book like pagan christianity on its shelves? this book by george barna and frank viola challenges EVERYTHING about the church…going as far as calling many things–like worship services–pagan!

just one more instance of someone making a decision, that might not have been the brightest…seems to be the theme in the religious world lately…and we tend to wonder why people aren’t acting interested in hearing our strategies of evangelism.

maybe we don’t need a strategy any more. maybe we need to fall so madly in love with the Creator God that HE influences everything we do. maybe we need to quit worrying about being the filter and keeping things from those who can’t handle it, and start letting HIM take control. yes, i completely understand the need for filters (it’s why Cartoon Network is blocked from my televisions at home!), but could it be we focus too much on the how, the why, the method, and the plan, and don’t focus enough on the WHO. yes, i know i sound jaded and cynical…and i AM. i am because i’m seeing that we’re selling people something that isn’t real, rather than introducing them to SOMEONE who loves them and wants to consume them. the One who is going to make the changes happen. the One who is responsible for LIFE. the One who cares so much He offered His grace freely and without second thought…

just pondering…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. blue permalink
    September 25, 2008 4:33 am

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  2. Jilliefl1 permalink
    September 30, 2008 1:32 pm

    I like what you say here: “maybe we need to fall so madly in love with the Creator God that HE influences everything we do”. You mention the book “Pagan Christianity”, by Frank Viola and George Barna. I believe they wrote this controversial book for the very reason you state in the above quote. The authors are not out to dismantle the institution, but to call us to a higher vision-one based upon the eternal purpose of God Himself. And sometimes it’s necessary to shake things up a bit when the Body of Christ has veered off course. (Think Martin Luther). To get back to His original thought. Also, the sequel to “Pagan Christianity?” is out now. It’s called “Reimagining Church”. It picks up where “Pagan Christianity” left off and continues the conversation. (“Pagan Christianity” was never meant to be a stand alone book; it’s part one of the conversation.) “Reimagining Church” is endorsed by Leonard Sweet, Shane Claiborne, Alan Hirsch, and many others. You can read a sample chapter at < HREF="http://www.ReimaginingChurch.org" REL="nofollow">http://www.ReimaginingChurch.org<>It’s also available on Amazon.com.

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