Saturday, May 28, 2005

Salvation

Somebody told Gordon that "we need more balance" because he focuses on social action. Well here is my comment.

O for a Teeter-totter view of the world again
Either/Or in the middle
So simple which side are you on
Black or white
Liberal or conservative
Social Action or Jesus
a crock
Need balance?
Balancing what?
Just Salvation in al its forms
Physical Mental Emotional Spiritual
Balance? What Balance?
If we don't preach salvation of the whole
Is Salvation of the part worth anything?

Well I had a very interesting conversation with one of the program directors at Harbor Light (HLC) We had a good meeting and he said he liked my input because the mission of the Army is to save the soul. I told him that that is only part of Salvation. There is a lot more to salvation then the soul. We are to save the whole person. Did Christ come just for the soul? No. Did Christ even view people as Mind, Soul, Body? And if he did...Did he ever I mean ever advocate for salvation of just one part? Why are we so screwed up then? Why do we as evangelicals (I'm not sure about using we there) only focus on one part or one at a time? Why is the single focus am I going to heaven or not?

It does not matter. Now I've done it. Now I'm a heretic (if I wasn't before). Its not my business to tell people whether they are going to heaven or hell. Its my business to invite them on the journey of knowing God. Besides if we know God and are in relationship with God (as AA says as we understand God) then we will be with God. So what's the point? And if the only reason I'm a Christian is so I don't go to hell then screw it. I mean how bad can hell be? It can not be worse then this hellish existence on earth. Thus God the rescuer. Conquering death and rescuing us from hell I mean earth I mean hell I mean all of it. So maybe hell is simply living on an endless earth without God. Jus imagine this hellish existence if God was not present.

I think I'm done ranting. But I just want to understand what it is I'm in the business of. I'm becoming quite clear about that now. So what's the point.

"We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to become wholly sanctified ad that their whole Spirit, and Soul, and Body (read whole person) may be perceived until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Doctrine 10

Now we understand its about the person.

its about the person
its about the person
its about the person
its about the person
its about the person

Its not about heaven

Its certainly not about hell
Its certainly not about hell
Its certainly not about hell



.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Two things

As I said earlier I'm reading "hitchhikers guide to the galaxy" If you are going to read the book please stop reading. But the last book is pretty jacked up. Anyway, my favorite part up to now (I'm about 30 pages from the end) is God's final message to creation. "We apologize for the inconvenience." Maybe that's the whole point.

On another note we took our good friends Bill and Brenda to diner last night. We had a great conversation. It feels weird though. They are moving to Dallas. While I'm happy for them it is sad that they are going so far away. So I feel weird. I know that distance matters little anymore in friendships but it still feels weird that I will go to Crestmont and not see them. They have also been my pastors for around 5 years. I mean they married us, they mentored us, and well they are just good friends. It is comforting to know that they were there. I will miss their presence. But they will be in a better place. Bill and Brenda, Thanks.

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

He's back

A number of years ago Jimmy Swaggart was caught in a a prostitution scandal. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Swaggart

Anyway, being in the Pentecostal world at the time I remember all of it. Well he's back this time on TV (we were flipping channels and came across his crap) hawking his new study bible. The problem is that he's using the name "Expositors". He has notes (read his thoughts) in between each verse. Of course its KJV because unless its word for word (the KJV isn't really because word for word would be in the complete wrong word order and be incoherent, but I guess the KJV fits that description anyway) then its not the bible. He specificity talked about the message. He probably wouldn't like my NLT which I now preach out of all the time. Anyway, just like he plagiarized Drake I'm shure much of this new thing plagiarizes others. Did I say he wants a $100 for one on a pre-publication price?

Anyway, what gets me is that he is part of that school of thought that sees Jesus in everything. You know, Isaac prefigured Christ, the circumcision prefigured Christ, every word in the OT prefigured Christ. What a pile. There is a lot there if we read it on its terms. I mean you can not read the history and say its all about the cross. But I just thought that its just so funny I had to write about it.

On a much better note: we had a great Sunday examining God's mercy. The problem is that I do not like having mercy on idiots. So there you have it.

1 Comments:

my names christopher k jenkins . ive been a scout since first grade . ive come to know jesus and i believe he would want you to know that scouting and salvationism . are the two most singed greatest thing ever introduced to mankind , i also joined the salvation army at 17. until curently im stillenvolved with both . ive nevr had more enjoyment out of a single solitary time in my life . when i had no hope. when there was nothing else, left, (but life) i had my board of review . and it couldnt have come at a better time. i met 6 presidents , got a full pardon , records sealed , learned what a scout vehicle was , defined who i was ,improved my credit score , god himself spared no expense at my needs . as well ive seen a community rebuilt , justice restored , heck i even got an offer to go to the mere project ,, and a 1962 scout truck. just goes to show when you believe dreams come true . i can now look forward to life cause it was a gift i earned. ive even got all the tribal law documents! and a townhome . venture corp and angel investors have literall turned my life around . now i can ponder what not only life , but what god has to offer . thanx jinx @welapensit

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:57 AM  

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Generous orthodoxy part 3

"Jesus, savior of what?"

Again I resonate with what Brian says. The basic problem is that we have taken the Salvation of the world and made it salvation of me. I mean we tell people "if you were the only left on the planet Christ would have died for you." But what does that tell people? Furthermore our "salvation messages" are all about salvation from hell. When I was at Crestmont I would get deducted because tell people that they had to come to the altar and get saved from hell. Often I think for most evangelicals salvation is completely about heaven and hell. But I ask what is the point?

We interact everyday with people who have had so much garbage theology stuffed down their throats. Everything from God caused you to go through your addiction for a purpose to all that matters is whether you go to heaven or hell. Where is the idea that Christ came suffered and died so that we can have LIFE? Abundant life at that. But somehow we interpret that to say eternal life. What the?

If Salvation is just about heaven/hell then what about salvation from addiction. I love Brian's Justice to Mercy to Teaching Model of Salvation. I think it resonates with addition and recovery I will have to think on this some more. We are being saved from something. How can we be saved from hell if hell is not here yet? I mean if we are seeking a real salvation we want it here and now. Furthermore that what Christ was about. He set people free and brought salvation to people in their actual lives. But what if we like our consumeristic lives? The fastest growing churches are consumer churches. What does that say? What if Christ comes to save us from consumerism? Greed? Patriotism? (I suppose I should say that allegiance to country is not a bad thing, participation in this country is needed, but if our country becomes our God and our God becomes our country then something is wrong. There are evangelical leaders running around talking about how the country is God's country and God is using this country in the wars and stuff like that. That is confusing country and God. AMERICA IS NOT THE CHOSEN NATION.) What if God seeks to save us from all that? What will be the churches response?

1 Comments:

I liked that book a lot. I thought that he was finally moving somewhere good and healthy I just wished he would have went further in it theologically.

Also, about country: "Be patriotic always, and support your country when you morally can." - Mark Twain. (loosely paraphrased actually).

By Blogger Dwight, at 8:44 AM  

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Generous Orthodoxy Part two

Last night as I laid in bed I read another chapter from generous Orthodoxy.

While I agree with virtually everything he wrote I was struck by one simple question. Would Jesus be welcome? I mean would the true servant, master, king who is in control but who is not a dictator be welcome in our church? I mean often churches are built around the pastor. Often pastors have great control. I do not know why but I think its because some people like power and some would rather have someone else think for them. So if a Jesus who is more interested in leading and serving came in would he be accepted by the church? Or would we take him out try him and have him killed or run out of town? We say "let us welcome thin King of Glory" but will we welcome him when he chastises us for our fancy buildings, our nice dress, our religious words, and our ignoring of the poor, or our persecution of those "not like us." I mean there is a church in the Springs (Colorado) that has declared war on non-Christians. (I think its New Life Center or something) My problem is that when did Jesus "declare war?" He talked about fighting principalities and powers which could be interpreted as power structures and economic systems. But what on earth or heaven gives these people such assurance that they are right that they can declare a spiritual war on those who don't agree with them. Besides that its not far from declaring a jihad against other countries who don't see things they way they should according the dominate supper power. But we've already done that. Do you see? I guess I just venting here cause I'm saddened. I angry too though. I'm angry because my witness, the gospel I believe, Christ himself are all seen in this light by many. We get lumped in with all the bad ungenereous orthodoxy and the non-orthopraxy. Those who truly try to show Love and a liberating gospel are labeled as liberal or heretics buy the "Christians" and seen as "Christian" buy all the others. Persecution was promised. But remember the first persecution came from the religious. Besides if persecution comes because we are jerks then its not persecution just retaliation. I feel sorry for Christians in Iraq and Afghanistan because often the flag is seen as a cross. For that I weep.

2 Comments:

Hey Bill,

I think this kind of venting is healing for all of us who are listening.

Thanks for sharing your heart.

By Blogger Dan (aka Br Bozano), at 2:36 PM  

Bill,

I think much of the same is being said about the "kingdom of God."
Is it a future place, or right now.
It could very well be the place where Jesus gives abundant life.

I suspect the "heaven and hell" situation may be the reason some find salvation. However, it would seem to me that God would want people to love Him and accept Jesus from a standpoint of love and respect - not for fear of reprisals such as "hell."

Heaven and hell may be real places, but I would rather serve God and follow Jesus as a loving experience gained from respect, than fearing the future. It would seem that if we follow God only for fear of hell then we would follow Him amiss. Our following and our love for God would be shallow.

I think that is where the evangelists may be misplacing their messages. I would think that God would want us to love Him, not "fear hell" and follow Him for that reason. If we fear hell all the time, we won't live the abundant life Christ gives. We won't love God fully either for fear that hell hangs over our head, or we will never be good enough. Someplace along the line we need to love God for Him, not for any eternal reward or punishment He is capable of bringing. Otherwise, I think we would love and respect Him amiss.

God bless you!

Lloyd Michael Fletcher

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:19 AM  

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Generous orthodoxy

Went to Archives today with a good friend. Kevin has been a friend mentor and fellow sojourner on the post evangelical post modern post whatever journey. In many ways his coming to Crestmont 3+ years ago is why I'm still a part of the tribe called salvationists. Had a good talk sold some books (which made my wife happy) and had a good pastrami sandwich.

Yesterday I found out (had been expecting for a while) that other good friends of ours are leaving this tribe to pursuit a ministry in even a tougher area then 5th street. Good luck teaching high school. I am truly saddened and happy both at the same time. Saddened that a good friend is leaving the area but happy for them because they will be doing what God has called them to do.

There are two authors I have come across who when I picked up their books I could not put them down. Don Miller and Brian McLaren Well Brian did it again. I love his style and his wisdom. I think what I like best is that while he is serious, he does not take himself too seriously. I mean at times we need to see ourselves in relation to the rest of creation. We are small indeed. So why act as though we are creation. Too often we can think of ourselves more highly and more important then we ought. Anyway, Brain rings refreshment to my soul. He gives words to what I feel yet do not possess the words or experience to convey. So here I am just on a journey to where I am only partly certain. So blessings to all of us on this journey.

1 Comments:

Both of them have new books out that I need to "pick up and read" (as Augustine was told once).

I worry about lending their books out because on many occasions they never come back. I hope that my copy of blue like jazz comes back.

Have you read McLaren's The last Word and the One After That? If so I would love to hear your comments on it. I haven't gotten the chance to read it yet.

By Blogger Dwight, at 7:18 AM  

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

This and that

Well I am currently reading some fiction. My wife got it and it was there while she was in the hospital so I started to read. I'm reading all five books in the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy series. It is truly my kind of book. Once Tolani feels well enough we will go see the movie. But the book is funny and mind numbing if you try to follow it. Anyway great way to spend time.

On the political side of things: God save us from ourselves.

On the sports side of things: somebody, something, please help the mariners.

On the other side of things: I'm learning a great deal about people in recovery. While some simply have addictive personalities many, most, maybe all have serious issues. Often they are mental, emotional, and spiritual all at the same time. It seems that often the title means everything. One guy who is one of our more active soldiers is really struggling because he has not been recognized like he feels he has deserved. It as long story but he wants to do "full time ministry" but he doesn't really grasp what that means. He also thinks it needs fit his idea of what he wants to do. But I don't know. There is just something wrong. He likes to talk about other people too much.

We have a praise team leader who told us that he is only at church because it gives him an outlet to do music. You see his calling is music. The problem is that he doesn't care about anything else. But we shall see.

Everyday I walk by people who are crazy. I mean they have serious mental issues. They could not ever enter a program nor do they want to. I wonder where they always that way?

We oversee the feeding program the bean line as its called. Every night they sit in the chapel for an hour or so and then listen to message of sorts. I bugs me that all these guest preachers do it preach. I hate sermons anyway but preaching to a hungry and often intoxicated person from a pulpit (truly a pit that's why I'm never there) 25 feet away really is kind of pointless they don't listen. But what to do? Not sure yet. Working on it.

I realized today that I'm tired. A bit physically but I'm tired mentally and emotionally. I have not been eating well (when I'm depressed or angry I eat a lot of junk food) and I'm just tired. I'm tired of watching Tolani be sick. I'm tired of fighting with doctors. I'm just plain tired of it all. I'm ready to get started with learning and doing what I came here to do. (ie train to run a similar program) and that starts Monday. But it seems like everything else has got me really tired.

So anyway, here I am not going anywhere.

In the words of a great movie "Be excellent to each other"

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Healthcare

The past month has found me in 4 hospitals many doctors offices and its all paid for by insurance. As an officer the Army self insures me. Its a PPO with a stop loss of 1200 a year. All we pay out of pocket is 1200 any year. Its great but I saw people writing checks and I've been hearing of cases in Texas where if you not have the ability to pay the government automatically pulls the plug. Ironic that if Shivo had been in Texas the state would have pulled to plug. Bush signed this into law. Ironic? Or was the whole thing about judges? But we missed an opportunity. It should have been about health care. We should have been talking about how jacked our system is. Dwight can talk a lot about this. But if it were not for some generous doctors and the Mayo Clinic my dad would be dead. So I'm just a bit pissed off about it all.

I love the fact that my wife can get the best care but I'm pissed because that should be the right of every American. I do not know an answer but every person (documented or not) in America should have access to quality health care. And if it affects those of us who have great care now, so be it. But the system we have now is really jacked.

2 Comments:

Hey Bill, whats your spin On the ARC's? Are you a corp officer?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:27 PM  

Hey Bill, whats your spin On the ARC's? Are you a corp officer?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:28 PM  

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Tolani's Health

Well if you follow this site for my insanity you know my wife has had a hell (no other word fits sorry if it offends you) of a time lately. But last Friday she had a fever of 104 and we went to the ER at Cedars-Sinai. For the last four weeks we have been asking her nurosurgeon to tap her shunt and check for an infection. The not nice person (I'm trying to not swear) wouldn't do it. (you should be laughing if you know me cause I'm being good). The on call surgeon at Cedars tapped the shunt guess what? Shunt infection. But she had to get 10 times sicker then she was for Dr. Gruen to admit that there was a shunt infection. (more LOL)

So now after the surgery she lays on a bed in ICU with a headache at times. She is getting better but it will take a few weeks. I'm just pissed off that she could have been a lot better if he had checked 3 weeks ago. So I'm just a bit pissed off now that her Mom came so I got some sleep last night.

I was very scared because it took a while to arouse her. But it is getting better. I just feel so powerless. She is in so much pain and I can't do anything. That is why I'm so pissed of at the doc.

3 Comments:

Bill,

It is sad that you and Tolani are going through so much right now for whatever reason. It is always difficult to see a loved one suffer. Let us hope things will get better over time and Tolani's health will be renewed.

I should mention that your use of language is not common for officers and it would be nice if you would indicate that at times. One could get the impression that Salvation Army officers talk like that when the majority of them do not. Many of them are going through major health setbacks, too.

However, you are going through the fire lately and perhaps it makes you feel better to talk as you do.

Lloyd Michael Fletcher

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:10 AM  

Maybe being postmodern I never think to assume that anyone would ever look at one person's actions and think that those actions were indicative of all other people that may be in the same camp as them.

I guess then it should also be pointed out that Bill's political views are also not indicative of the Salvation Army. The fact that he has an interracial marriage is also not indicative of the Salvation Army leadership, nor is his fixation on the injustice in this world.

Also since Bill is a graduate of CCCU like myself and I want to state that his beliefs and opinions are not supported by the faculty and staff at CCU.

My language and opinions do not represent that of Quakers either, nor CCU as an institution.

I wonder Lloyd if Bill's use of language is not because he finds that it makes him feel better but it is a part of who he actually is. I also wonder if being postmodern we have very different views of language and while you may see it as offensive in your culture it is not in his.

Well I will leave you to ponder the language issue with a t-shirt I saw on the web: WTFWJD. To me it expresses a sense of urgency (I need to know it now), to you (when you figure out the TF stands for in WWJD) it will probably be offensive.

I also do not mean this as an attack though it certainly sounds like one, but the very nature of a personal blog is that one speaks for her/himself unless stated otherwise.

I just don't understand why Bill can't express his frustration with the medical system which is majorly f_cked up in America. I guess I am pissed off as well. I'm sorry for any hurt that I caused you. I am just venting some of my frustrations as well apparently.

By Blogger Dwight, at 10:24 AM  

Hi, Dwight!

I am not offended by Bill's language. You explained the situation very well.

A personal blog is supposed to be one in which the writer is comfortable sharing. Bill certainly "bares his soul" and is honest in his appraisal of life's realities.

Like you, I believe we should have universal health care coverage for all people. It is a matter of appropriating government funds. If our country can sustain a war and all the other excesses, we certainly can afford national health care for all our citizens.
I would suspect the insurance industry lobbies against it on a regular basis.

Having served in inner city much of my officership and watching my 51 year old late officer wife of 32 1/2 years die of cancer, I realize that watching a loved one suffer is never easy. Being a caretaker of a loved one is very difficult on both the sufferer and the helper. I felt she had every right to live and I often poured my heart out to God. The words may not have been angry words, but they were from the depths of my heart.

I do pray for Bill & Tolani to get through this health crisis. I also know Bill would be ministering to people who have so little in resources and need better health care.

God bless you, Dwight, for explaining.

Lloyd Michael Fletcher, Major (R)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:53 PM  

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