Brennan Manning is one of my favorite authors. A Ragamuffin Gospel is one of my favorite books, and one that started my path to understanding Grace better. Not that I fully understand it, obviously, but I’m closer than I was.
I know I’ve missed two straight weeks of football, and I’m sorry. I am apologizing to myself, because the past couple of weeks have shown us some really good football. But, today, there are more pressing things on my mind. I have been struggling through some doubt lately.
I know the issue of politics is a tricky one, and it certainly becomes more so within my religion. I want to start by saying that this post is not about evangelizing my ideals. I will not talk about who I’m voting for, my thoughts on policies or the role of government, or who I think Jesus would vote for. These are all significant discussions, but not for this blog. This post will be focused on the Church’s response to government, and how we as Christians should engage in politics. Obviously, as this is my blog, I will be spewing my opinion. As is the case with every post, I want to create discussion, but please be aware that my thoughts are only my own, I do not wish to force them on you. I always desire conversation, but if you come at me with hostility rather than civility, there will be no conversation.
So, Thanks to my friend in the blogging world, Tyler Stanton, I was able to attend Catalyst Dallas last week. And it was awesome.
I know many of you guys may not be into hearing 10+ sermons over the course of 2 days, but that is totally my cup of tea. I love it, and I don’t know why. Anyways, Catalyst is more than preaching; it’s a leadership conference specifically for young church leaders, of which I am not one. I still learned great leadership skills from men of God that are putting these practices into motion to disciple and bring people into Christ.
I was raised listening to Christian music. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I wasn’t able to listen to any other music because it was obviously devil music. When I got into high school, i obviously started listening to whatever I wanted, and when I got into college I realized that music does not have a soul, and therefore cannot be deemed “Christian” or “non-Christian.” I still think lyrics are important, and most of my music taste is based on the lyrics of the particular artist. As I have matured, I have come to appreciate authenticity in art over lame lyrics. I have come across bands that, although they may not claim Christianity, or any form of spirituality, have insightful, affirming, and altogether deep and honest lyrics.
It’s very hard to find a church in Dallas.
I know, there are like a million in the Dallas area. I’m right in the middle of the Bible-Belt.
Ironically, that doesn’t make it any easier to find a church.
Autumn and I have been to many, many churches looking for the perfect place to call home. People our age are leaving church at alarming rates, for reasons that can be found here, but I still think it’s important to be in church. I’ll admit that I am not excited about it. I have been let down by churches many times, and every one we try that becomes a dead end just makes us more discouraged about the whole process. Added to the fact that we really don’t know how to find a church (is there a step-by-step process?) and it just becomes a crazy, stressful venture. So I’m reaching out to you guys for suggestions.
Growing up, I was told you could ask God for anything you wanted. I was told that God would hear your request, analyze it, and decide whether it would be in His best interest to grant it.
But I also learned that God has an express line. There was one request He would grant 100% of the time you asked it, and that is the exact reason you should never request this particular thing. What is this scary thing? If you grew up in the church, you know what I’m talking about: