Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Commentary on the Church

Now, after watching that, most of you will probably think this is a joke. If you really know me and how I feel about that movie, you will be guessing that I am no more joking than I am being serious. The truth is, while you would think that is just a bunch of good acting, think about it. According to the Bible, that is what church is supposed to be like! Dancing, singing, rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord! Of course, James Brown is not going to be the Pastor that leads us there, but that is a glimpse, I think, of what church should really be. 
Lets face it, the church today is in a pretty disorganized mess. I don't think it is going to get much better till our generation takes control and even then, we will have our hands full. My question to you guys is this, What can we do? How can we make church what it should be?
I personally think that there needs to be more concentration on the arts. Not just music, but film, painting, photography etc. I think if the church wants to have a chance, we need to use the weapons that God gave us to fight for the lost souls of unbelievers. 
I would like to read some of your thoughts on this. 

Thursday, December 20, 2007

And Now for something, well, you get the picture!

I think things in the culture side have been covered well enough to take a break from that. Today I want to move into another subject that I am passionate about: politics. 
As you may know, it is Election time and the whole country is wrapped up in the debate over who will get their party's presidential nomination and who will be president overall. While I could blog about that, I think instead I will write about something a little more interesting to me: My platform as a candidate. 
Over the years, I have watched and listened, trying to learn as much as I could from the gifted thinkers around me. One thing in common that I find increasingly important in a candidate is character. People don't want the person that will tell them what they want to hear just to get their vote. They want someone who will take a stand. That is what I want to bring to our nations government. Realism. However, it is easy to say one thing and do another, so let me demonstrate by putting out my "platform" issues. Keep in mind, these issues are liable to change as the years progress, but for know, lets assume I am running for office in this years election on the issues of the time. 
1. Taxes. Our government takes in and spends trillions of dollars every year. It is my opinion that too much of that money is taken in, and a hugely excessive amount of money is being wasted. The answer to this is to abolish the IRS and institute a "Fair tax". I would tell you all about the Fair tax and how it could better our country, but for times sake, I will move on. If you are interested in the Fair Tax, got to Fair

2. Immigration. I look at the state of our country today and I see a huge problem. Our country is being overrun by people we don't know. We have people coming into our country and sucking the life out of our infrastructure and causing huge problems. Its not just the fact that people are coming in, its the fact that we don't know who they are and its the fact that because we don't know who they are, we don't know what type of person they are and if they have a criminal record or not. I think it is extremely important that we take control of our borders before we become a province of mexico. 

3. The War. A lot of people may not think that this is as big an issue any more. I, however, think it is important that we finish what has been started by our president. Regardless if you believe the war was "just" or not, I think the important thing to do now is to finish it. We are on the verge of a great victory that is striking fear into the hearts of our enemies. The fact that we still have the power to unseat a regime in less than 24 hours scares countries that wish us harm. I think it is important that we finish what we have begun in Iraq, if for nothing else but to not let anyone ever say that America quit or that America cut and run.  

Other Important Issues: 
Abortion. I am Pro-Life, but I don't think that Federal legislation is necessary. I believe it should be up to the people of this nation. 
Education. I believe that the Government School system is a failure and should be abolished. I think the government should shut down its government schools and then sell its school facilities to private and christian schools. This will lessen the money spent by the government and will ensure a better education for our children. 
Corruption in the Government. I believe that the current U.S. Government needs another McCarthy to clean up corruption. I believe there should be harsher penalties for people who are taking bribes and are granting favors. I do not see how any government can govern justly with corrupt individuals are in it. 
Gay Marriage. It is my belief as a Christian that Gay Marriage is wrong. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I do not think our constitution grants its citizens the "right" to gay marriage. I believe, however, that our citizens, not our Federal Law makers should decide on a ban of Gay marriage. 
Congratulations on reading that. 

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Raspberry Beret

Continuing on the subject of influencing culture, I think I should post on the "secular" art and "christian" art. 
Lets look at music first. If you listen to christian radio, as I do, you would know that just about everything on christian radio that isn't a cover of a previous hit, is probably a copy of something in the secular realm. A popular choice amongst christian bands is to imitate, wether knowingly or unknowingly, the sound of great secular bands like U2. When christian artists aren't copying a popular band, they are probably copying a previously successful christian song. How many different versions of Open the Eyes of My Heart have you heard? Chances are, quite a few. 
Now, time for a show of hands. Who here likes overly fake and totally unrealistic music? 
Thats what I thought. 

I like music. I listen to some form of music all day almost every day. I like music that is different, creative and entertaining. Most Christian music does not fit many of those requirements. There are a few artists who do (David Crowder Band, Casting Crowns and of course, Steven Curtis Chapman) but that is really it, and unfortunately, nobody is following their path. Third Day is another artist that comes to mind. The sad thing is, instead of creating new music that is different, christian artists are just copying (or covering) any of the actual creative music. 
Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Eric Clapton, Bon Jovi etc etc. In the realm of secular music, you almost HAVE to be different and unique and creative in order to survive as a band. Even an artist like Coldplay, while extremely similar to U2, has to differentiate themselves in their sound, in order to be themselves. 
If we as christians want to ever really impact culture, we HAVE to be ourselves and let me just tell you, who you truly are is not who somebody else already has been or is being.  You are different, so be different. 

Friday, December 14, 2007

Purple Rain...

An earlier post begs me to follow up in a post of my own.  How active in culture are we really supposed to be? I for one am someone who could care less about actors and actresses and people who make dumb decisions and don't get in trouble for it. To me, the people who are famous and in the news all the time, are less worthy of my attention than people who aren't. Think about it. When was the last time someone got recognition for doing a good deed? No, all we ever hear about is the bad stuff. 
I personally don't care, even about the musicians of today. Few of them are worth looking at on a personal level. Their music may be great, but their personal lives suck. 
How do we fix this? We, the media saturated generation. How do we fix something that is growing every day into a monster we can't control? Follow the money. "Its all about drugs and money" is one of the most interesting quotes I have ever seen on a T.V. show. Two cops, understand the evil motivations of people. I think, while the show is fiction, the wisdom is not. What does the media look for when it is publishing its news articles etc? What makes them money. That seems to be what anybody ever cares about these days. 
How do we fight the culture trends we don't like? Cut the head off the snake. Stop the money flow. People have been screaming it, but are we all too infected to realize the disease that is going to eventually kill us?