What is the barrier between my generation and those before? I think about this often, but more so recently. When we communicate it feels as if we’re in completely different worlds. It seems as if we’re incapable of understanding each other. In regards to “the church” or “Christianity”, I know we want the same things. We’re not trying to dismantle the cross or degrade the blood of Christ. We want to be a part as much as you do. We are simply trying to explain that what “the church” is now does not fit the state of mind that our social circumstance has given us. Not the principles but the practices. The best way I’ve been able to describe the disconnect is as follows, the generation before me needs absolution in, truth, ethics, faith, etc… My generation because of the social diversity we’ve grown up with do not feel the same need for absolution. We’ve grown up in a world that is constantly changing, so change doesn’t mean we loose security. We can believe in Christ or the words of the bible and be ok with not being absolutely sure that We’re right or they’re right. And because of that I believe we approach some of these “moral” or “ethical” topics with a little more caution or grace than previous generations feel acceptable. Neither one is wrong just different. And we are your children. We are what you made us.
It’s been awhile. These are serious questions and I would love some feedback. I have been thinking about what Heaven and Hell may look like, if they’re real, and even if I’d want to serve a God who views Hell the way I’ve been taught to see.
- Is Hell real?
- If it is, then is it truly a place of eternal torment? Or is it a place of redemption, a “cleansing by fire?”
- Are we all children of God or only some of us? Who gets to choose?
- If God IS love, what happens to that love when he chooses to save me but not my brother? Would that make me a better father than God?
- Why do we as a society take a God and religion that is rooted in love and minipulate it in a way that breeds hate?
The Bros. Landreth – Tappin’ On The Glass
Let’s Love. Let’s Talk.
I’m going to keep this one short, real short. I feel like I haven’t accomplished what I’m trying to accomplish. All I want is for people to have an actual conversation. So this week all I am going to blog is a question.
WHAT IS CHURCH FOR YOU? WHERE DO YOU SEE IT GOING?
I’ve missed a week or two. I have had a couple ideas floating around and I feel like this one is the most put together. I’ve ate way too much turkey, drank a lot of beer, dominated in dicecapades, ate more turkey, finally had a good night sleep in what is not my current bed, ate more turkey, and then got thoroughly pissed at this weeks walking dead. KILL BETH REALLY!?!?!?!? and the Cowboys got their ass kicked in there somewhere. I’m not looking forward to tomorrow, I hope for my wife’s sake it is a good day. My heart is heavy and I wish I didn’t have to go to work tomorrow. I apologize if this post gets scatter brained. The whole point is to create conversation so please comment….
Can faith and science coexist? I think they can, I think they have to. I’ve grown up hearing the ” Evolution vs. God” debate, and recently I’ve tried to begin to dissect that for myself. I think that as an evangelical Christian we have put God in such a small box that we can’t except anything outside of what we perceive him to be. God is Adam and Eve, the garden, the fruit and the fall of man. God is eternal damnation to the sinful nature. God is the destruction of entire nations. God is the destruction of man minus Noah and the Ark. God is hope. God is peace. God is joy. God is prosperity, if you follow him and keep his commandments. God is a mansion on a hill? I think God may be what we’ve made him.
What if the bible was written today? Would culture change the way it was written? Would it have a more feminist approach? God forbid Paul was a black man, or gay. I currently cannot say that the bible is the inherent word of God. That’s not to say that it can’t be used by God, or wasn’t even breathed by God. I’m saying that the culture of the time heavily influenced the way the text was written, and the way it was interpreted there after. Entirely written by male authors, suggesting that men are superior. Extremely patriarchal, suggesting that women have no place of authority. The bible throughout history has been used to justify so many horrible acts. Slavery, prejudice, rape, sexism, most wars, and many other forms of oppression. Did God want us to not eat that fruit because we would become to much like him? Would we truly know the difference between right and wrong? Would we not need him anymore? Did the devil deceive us or did we deceive ourselves?
Genesis 3:5 (NIV) 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
I can’t get past the fact that most of the bible, if taken literal is completely fucking crazy. The creation story I can except, though I lean toward a theistic evolutionist approach. Jonah and the belly of the whale, maybe the “belly” of the whale was a the inside of a ship? Noah and the Ark, maybe that was the best way at the time to explain the ice age? Then there is the plagues, the red sea, Moses the Pharaoh and all that jazz. I think most of those “out there” stories could be fairytales meant to make us behave. To scare us into submission. To differ from science a little bit. The Lords’ Supper has always struck me odd.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26New King James Version (NKJV)
Institution of the Lord’s Supper
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat;[a] this is My body which is broken[b] for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
This do as often as you drink it. Did he really mean once a year when you drink this remember me. Or did he mean every night, when you drink wine(fermented grape juice, because they had no fridge), and crackers(because unleavened bread lasted longer than leavened) remember me and what I’ve done. Also, we exclude communion from “non-believers”, but Jesus didn’t. Judas would betray Jesus, but he participated in communion with him. Is that grace? Is that how we should approach our table? Is that how we should approach church? These aren’t questions I have answers for, just what makes sense to me now. How could a jealous God only want us to think of him once a year?
1. I am thankful for family.
2. I need tomorrow to be a good day.
3. I confess that I’m angry and bitter towards people.
MY BADASS MUSIC SESSION
Another week down. Thanks for reading my wife’s post last week, it got quite a few hits. We spent the weekend in Austin. Very relaxing and much needed. We played a cool little record store in San Marcos Saturday and then watched an awesome show Saturday night at the Parish. This title may not really encompass what I’m trying to say in this blog, but it is how I’ve been feeling lately. So much so I wrote a song about it. #emptysessions coming soon. Also we found out today our music will be played in BREW URBAN CAFE in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This post will however include my take on last weeks post. Last weeks post was probably the most honest and vulnerable post we’ve had thus far. I’m going to try to keep that up this week.
We’ll be married 6 years this Friday. We’ve been trying to have a kid since day one. I don’t know for sure if it’s what we “really” wanted, if it was something we thought we needed, or if we were just chasing the “American Dream”. I don’t know that it matters, but for whatever reason we cannot have children. We tried just about everything, spent a lot of money, had a lot of sex, prayed a lot, had a lot of other people praying, and even got medical help (that ended up with my wife undergoing surgery about 6 months ago). Then about this time last year, we found out we we’re pregnant. Needless to say that was probably the best news I had ever heard. If you got a phone call that week, you’re one of the people we love most in this world. My brain was kind of a blur the first couple days, I didn’t really know how to process it. I would think if any of you mothers or fathers out there took your joy of having a child under normal circumstances, then multiply that by a million, you might come close to how I felt. After that fog cleared I realized, WE’RE FINALLY HAVING A BABY, there is no way after all we’ve been through God would take that away. But He did. That day, December 1, 2013, was by far the absolute worst day of my life. All that joy instantaneously turned to pain and confusion. We spent the next two days in bed crying. Why God? Why give and then take away? What’s the point? Are we suppose to learn something? This pain can’t be for good, can it? As the smoke cleared throughout this past year, I realized God did have his hand in it and it did have purpose. We took something as good as a child and made it an Idol. We placed the majority of our hope and focus into having a baby, which is not healthy. I believe that God allowed us to go through that to teach us, he is in control, he CAN give us a child, and he CAN take it away. And, also maybe you should get your head out of your ass, because I have this other really cool thing you should be doing. I heard today that a good father walks through adversity with his child to teach perseverance. To shield all heartache from a child would be neglect. Does God give us more than we can handle? I think most people would say no, but I would have to disagree. I think God intentionally gives us more than we can handle. If he didn’t, we wouldn’t need him, and we wouldn’t grow.
To tie back into the title, I’m going to give my view on the “church” during and after this. To be honest it’s been cynical as of late. I am currently burned out on the fake and shallow nature of the present “Sunday morning church”. I don’t want to sale it short, I think it served its purpose with my parents’ generation, but it will not reach mine. My generation does not care about a show, we crave authenticity. However ugly that may be. I’ve heard lately that the church can’t conform to the culture of the world, the culture of the world has to conform to the church, or else. The church to world comparison is dumb, we are all in this together. The statement is BULLSHIT!!!! If we don’t find a way to impact this culture, Christianity will die. And we’re suppose to be the light of the world, right? Let’s stop being so damn afraid of it. RANT OVER: BACK TO NORMAL BROADCASTING.
During this time we heard a lot of, “if you only have faith”, “you just haven’t prayed enough”, or “it’s the devil”. As heartfelt as all this may be, it’s very hurtful to someone already hurting. God does not give us the right to speak into someone’s life we know nothing about. Sometimes the loudest way to speak is to listen. Religion, politics, sexuality, scene, or whatever else you attach yourself to is all bullshit, if you can’t love the person next to you. This blog and our music is an attempt to break that cycle. God or no God we are all on this earth together.
1. I am thankful for 6 years with my wife.
2. I need (I’m good today)
3. I confess that I’ve had a cynical approach to church lately.
My Badass Music Section
Armon Jay – Everything’s Different, Nothing’s Changed
And we’re back!!! The Cowboys won. I’ve been installing floors all weekend. My body is sore and my knees hurt. My brain is fried(I’ve been staining floors). My lovely wife accepted my invitation to write this blog, thank you. I think she did a very good job, probably more delicate and less offensive than I might have put it. 6 years WOHOO PARTY!! They have been an incredible journey. Ascend the Hill, NICE. Where do doubt and faith meet? “Where’d the American Dream go? Did you give up and go home? Am I here alone?”
We live our lives afraid of the mistakes we’ve made. We’re afraid of the people we might become. We’re afraid of our failures. We’ve settled for good. We’ve stopped fighting for great.
-The Wonder Years
Hi! My dear husband, Rob, is currently slaving away at our house installing some sweet new floors and custom stairs. While he is preoccupied with projects on our house, he asked if I would write this weeks blog post. I was a little hesitant when he first asked me, I am not one to let my heart explode all over the internet, but considering Rob has been doing it for a few weeks now, I figured it was probably the right thing to do. Don’t worry, I only think controversial things, I don’t blog post about them. (have they invented a sarcasm font yet? no?)
I would like to start off by giving you a quick recap of the worst year of my life. Here’s a hint, I am still living it. Rob and I are coming up on our 6 year wedding anniversary(yay!) WAIT–that means I should have had the best years of my life, right?! WRONG. Although I have had some of the best days of my life and made some wonderful memories, I have also been in and am currently in, some of the darkest times of my life. We will celebrate our anniversary on November 21st– and 10 days after that, we will acknowledge the 1 year anniversary of the loss of our 1st child, Cadence. As I choke back tears just thinking about having to breathe, cry and even being alive on that day, I am somehow at peace, but I am also tempted to stop the blog right now too.
Our lives are 100% different then what they were last thanksgiving. We have barely held on through what I consider to be the biggest loss of my life, our new music careers(and actual ones), having friends turn their back on us, having friends move, battling porn addiction out of my marriage, struggling every day to figure out why God hasn’t healed me, and watching our lives change and move in ways we do not understand.
Which brings me back to the quote above and the scripture of Genesis 12. ” The Lord said to Abram ‘Leave your land, your family, and your fathers household for the land that I will show you'”
Say what?! You want me to leave my home and go somewhere….but You wont tell me where? I just have to wait around..blindly…and youll show me….uhhhh..NO THANKS!! I’m pretty sure I know whats best for me. I’m also pretty positive that I like to have control…therefore, God, my Saviour, Jesus Christ, I am going to stay right here. These have all been my thoughts as I packed up my home, all my beautiful antiques, and every time I step foot in my home to work on it. Ive been taught growing up in the American church to only see God in one way– That He will bless you if you go to college… if you get married young……if you have kids right away…if you work 100+ hours a week and dont forget that you’ll be healed instantainously if you have enough faith. Well, shit!! As my life goes on, it only gets more difficult to follow what I feel is the right thing. But I continue this path. Why? Because Its OKAY to have a season of doubt, its okay to question why these terrible things are happening. Faith is hard. Which leads me to the two biggest questions I’ve been having lately and I hope this amount of transparency will create some meaningful conversation.
Can I listen to what God is saying while I am in complete darkness?
Can I question God while trying to follow Him?
1. I am thankful that the holidays are around the corner!
2. I need to live a healthier lifestyle.
3. I Confess that I would rather be sleeping all day than finish what needs to be done in my house.
MY BADASS MUSIC SECTION
Mae- We’re so Far Away
Ascend The Hill-Heaven Come Down
How do you speak to God?
How does God speak to you?
If you could hangout with Jesus the man, where would you go?
1. I am thankful for time away from reality.
2. I need coffee
3. I confess that I’ve been angry at people who don’t deserve it.
MY BADASS MUSIC
I probably got your attention with that one. If you didn’t catch the reference, it’s from an interview with Shia Labeouf in this months Interview Magazine. It was an incredibly good article, if you read it in it’s entirety. In this article, Labeouf stated that he came to Christ while filming his last movie “Fury”. Also very good. Labeouf said “I became a Christian man, and not in a fucking bullshit way — in a very real way …I could have just said the prayers that were on the page. But it was a real thing that really saved me. And you can’t identify unless you’re really going through it.” This was a very small part of the interview Labeouf went on to explain his childhood, how he got into acting, how he processes his job, and what he uses to cope. My first thought when I read this was “Hell yeah, Shia Labeouf and Brad Pitt too, that’s awesome”. The posts and comments I read from fellow “Christians” and “Believers” were more like, “I’ll give him a pass on the cussing”, “We’ll see if he changes his act”, and “You can be a Christian and cuss?”. This is a guy who has had a shit life, terrible parents, incredible stress from his job and when he says “I found God” our first response is “no cussing”? Fuck was probably one of the first words the guy learned. It’s who he is and where he’s been. So, this week I’ve got two questions. Can Christians cuss? and Why do we always look at the negative first?(I’m doing it now)
“I’m willing to do anything and everything. It’s not good for my personal life. But neither is being bad. I’d rather be anything but bad.”
“The only thing my father ever gave me that was of any value to me is pain.”
1. I’m thankful for beard oils, you should try it.
2. I need to sleep
3. I confess that I’m guilty of looking at the negative first
(remember answer these before you comment)
MY BADASS MUSIC SECTION
Noah Gundersen – Jesus, Jesus
Neulore – EVE
THIS WEEKS THOUGHTS
It’s that time again. I’ve been jamming a lot of @twypoppunk lately if you haven’t picked up on that. I am trying to move away from the gay marriage debate. Though the main article is centered around gay marriage that is not the purpose of this post. If you are wondering which article I am speaking of it’s one of the many involving HillSong pastor Brian Houston. How many churches thought they were going to have to change their Sunday morning set list? Thank God he clarified his statements Saturday night… Brian’s just the next victim on the hero hit list. I’m surprised there wasn’t more conversation about Mark Driscoll this week, I guess we already chewed him up and spit him out. The problem I had with this article is not that Brian chose to not take a public stance(which I think was wise and he still never really did) but that we put him and his church in a place of a “Spiritual Super Hero”. Why do we need a king? Why do we need some great role model? And why when they fall short of godly stature do we automatically destroy them, they’re human too. Do not worship your pastor. Do not worship your favorite rap artist. Do not worship your favorite “Christian” athlete. Do not abandon them when they mess up. Another thing I have noticed is that while we are so quick to tear down “Christian Heroes” we are just as quick to bring a non Christian up to our ranks. Point being someone like Mumford and Sons(who I like) can say “fuck” at least once a record, but then sing Amazing Grace or elude to God somehow, and we eat it up and claim them as our own. Brain(HillSong) or Dan(Jars of Clay) says you know what that’s something I have not quite worked out yet, we feed them to the wolves and claim they never had a gospel to begin with. Don’t forget about Michael Gungor. Why can’t we just let each other doubt or question or work out our faith for ourselves? Side note: These pastors and role models get into these situations because we put an enormous amount of pressure on them to be great and to not let us down. So when they get in a position where they need help it’s to late, they can’t be honest because they know what we’ll do.
1. I am thankful for the delicious red wine I’m drinking
2. I need to finish painting the house because I’ve already gotten high enough this week
3. I confess that I have been angry and unfair towards my wife this week
(She confesses she’ll delete your comment if it’s about gay marriage)
MY BADASS MUSIC SECTION
It’s Sunday again. The Cowboys won again. We spent a lot of the day driving. It’s 11 pm and I’m just getting this thing started, so I may be a little delirious. I am going to attempt to answer the questions asked from the first part of this blog. Thanks for waiting. We’re also going to introduce a couple new segments this week.
I guess we’ll talk about the scripture first. 1 Corinthians 6 got thrown around a lot., so we’ll start there. The passage does speak of homosexuality as a sin, but in the context it is being directed at me, the church. Like was mentioned in several comments, I can’t hold someone to my standards when they don’t share my belief system. And, again that passage is directed at me. I need to read it, I need to interpret it, and I need to apply it to MY life. Also, I can’t forget the other long list of sins in that scripture that I am guilty of. I’ve been guilty of all but one of those sins. As far as the infallible part goes…. Where does my faith lie? Where does my salvation lie? it lies in JESUS. The Bible is probably the most intricate piece of art to ever be put together. Yes I think it is God breathed but to take away the human fingerprint, to me, would take away a lot of the beauty. So what if the gospel accounts aren’t exactly the same, so what if some stories are repeated in slightly different ways, or even used in other religions. What does it really matter if Genesis is just a series of stories to try and explain something unexplainable. Maybe we didn’t start life with Adam and Eve, and the Garden wasn’t the beginning of creation. Maybe the world wasn’t formed in seven literal days, maybe it was formed over and extended period of time. Maybe Noah didn’t put two of every animal on the planet in a big ass ship and float around for 40 days. Maybe the animal species population was very small at the time and evolution started after the flood. I personally liked the Russell Crowe version. Maybe Sodom and Gomorrah was just a fairy tale told to make children behave. Then there’s that damn list of rules we can’t follow again, even just the 10. The beauty is all that points us to Christ. Amen. I am saying all this to point out that God is bigger than the Bible, he is bigger than my brain, he is bigger than my failures. My faith and my salvation is not created by words written on paper it is enhanced by them. We too often take a book that should bring peace, and hope, and refuge, and turn it into a weapon to stab someone in the back with. How do we LOVE someone in light of the scripture? I would say we leave scripture at the door and just LOVE. See where that gets us.
The other big question: Do I think homosexuality is a sin? The short answer is yes, but it’s so much more than that. The Bible that I read and I attempt to follow says it is. It also says it’s a sin just like any other, and all deserve death. Not only just a sin but just a sexual sin, and that’s where I get hung up. The reason I can’t not support gay marriage or condemn homosexual behavior is because I view it better than my personal sexual sin. I struggle with lust and pornography, and the same bible tells me that if I even look at another woman with lust then I’ve committed adultery. If I am honest I do that most days. I love my wife to death and she knows my sin, but that makes me feel like shit. So how can I condemn someone who struggles with the same sin I do? Like Macklemore says “No matter what god you believe in, we came from the same one”
Hopefully I answered all the questions.
The first new section: I’m going to ask you to answer three question before you comment about the blog. I am borrowing this idea from a friend, so thank you and I hope it works. I would like to know one thing your thankful for, one thing you need, and one confession(I ask this because forgiveness comes from confessing to God, but healing comes from confessing to man)
1. I am thankful for a wife that loves me despite my flaws
2. I need to not want for people to be attracted to this blog for me
3. I don’t love my wife the way she needs to be loved all the time
The second new section: I am going to post a few songs that are speaking to me this week. Music is what I know, it’s where I find escape and clarity. It is my therapy.
The Wonder Years – I Just Want to Sell Out My Funeral