Monday, August 31, 2015

The Uncanny Resemblance Between the GOP Debate and the 2015 VMA’s…

Yes, you read that right.  I’m connecting the dots (with great concern) that the GOP candidates resemble the same cultural disappointment and inevitable future that I saw, while watching last night’s VMA awards.

If you watched the VMA’s, i’m sorry that you lost those 2-3 hours of your life.  You’ll never get them back.  If you watched the FOX NEWS, GOP Debate on August 6th, again I apologize that you wasted those 2-3 hours of your life.  They are gone.

So where’s the resemblance?

Last night on the VMA’s and a few weeks ago at the GOP debate, we saw political-products project a future that is healthy for no one.  Both “events” were pure spectacle; individuals pandering to selfishness, power, and extremism, with no regard to what future implications may be.

On one hand, Donald Trump embodies a "self-made-man" that’s popular for speaking his mind - regardless of truth, sexism, equality, and public health and/or policy.  On the other hand, Miley Cyrus embodies a "self-made-woman" that’s popular for speaking her mind - regardless of truth, exploitation, and or health.

**I use “quotes” because they are made by inherited fame, wealth, obnoxiousness, gaming the system, and media machines.

They do what they do, because they want to.  They are bought by no one (at least that’s what they spew).  And despite their grotesque representation of culture and outlook for the future, they are gaining in popularity and influence.

Miley is a court jester and the crowd goes crazy.  Donald is a carbon copy, only his crowd is older and whiter.

INFLUENCE - really?

Yes, both have incredible influence. 

Miley’s circus and over-the-top antics poured into nearly every acceptance speech, performance, and video at the VMA’s.  The crowd ate it up hook, line, and sinker.  Donald’s candor and language, and basic disregard for human life (i.e. women, immigrants, foreigners, etc) have pushed the other candidates further to the extreme. 

Case in point: we’re now treating immigrants like Fed-Ex packages.

Miley is a product of her label.
Donald is a product of his brand.
(And both have laughable hair.)

Art and politics have always danced together; and at times, have created better cultures.  They push the limits beyond status-quo.  They create conversations that work to build better societies.  I cannot say that for the GOP field or the VMA’s. 

We will be worse-off if we are lead by these jokers with microphones.  We can of course throw our money and support to them.  But don’t complain when you inherit the future you’re applauding - nothing short of an exploitation-circus.  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Heart > Human Tradition

If you're someone that comes from a tradition that follows the lectionary calendar, you'll notice that the following text (from Mark 7) is the Gospel text for August 30, 2015.  However, regardless of your church method (mainline, non-denominational, charismatic, house-church, etc.), tradition is a factor.  Sometimes positive and welcome.  And sometimes anti-movement, anti-vision, anti-Christ.

Traditions, rules, constitutions, by-laws, the past - can all cripple a people (and person) of authentic living.

Mark 7 reads something like this:
So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live[d] according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
    teaching human precepts as doctrines.’

You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”

What do we do with passages like these?

As we gather in a body called church, called community, called family...

we gather on the backs of the faithful ancestors of our faith – hundreds of years of tradition that has culminated into this moment, this living, breathing, worship experience (no matter the day of the week).

But if we take pause and honestly look at our worship, how much of it praises brick and mortar, method and style, personal preference and programming, man made rules and constitutions and Roberts rules of order?

How much of our worship is actually idolatry?

Our prayer today is that our hearts be transformed, that our minds be transformed, that this holy place be transformed into the church – the bride of Christ – the people of God, with hearts aligned to Spirit and hands aligned to Jesus.


 After all, we are a people with transformation at our core...why not live it?