rick & 1j13
Monday, September 22, 2003

Mondays are strange days for me, getting back to work, wrestling with the God-thoughts, sermons, music, worship of the weekend. I've written a little before on some of the inner turmoil I feel with things at church, so I won't go there. I will say that I've talked to Pastor about it. My wrestling with the evangelism class is a good thing in his view, and I'm glad. He said that he sees me having a problem with dogmatism, with people who are straight to the point. He's right - that kind of stuff always seems to me like it's got an agenda behind it that's less than sincere, leaves little room for questions without ridicule, etc. He said he's noticed that I feel the same way about Rush Limbaugh - I used to like him, listen to him every day, etc, but that I'm not real big on that kind of thing anymore. Again, he's right - Rush is "right" on alot of issues, but that talking-at-you rather than talking-with-you aspect goes against the grain for me.

For me, I just feel like something around here's taking a step backwards. It's like we've made it seven miles on the interstate, so lets go back three miles to the rest area and see what's going on there. I've printed out an article - don't remember from where, but I think I linked to it from b4G - that mentions needing to be invited into another person's "space" before preaching at/to them. That resonates with me, because I've got a cynical tendency to see most evangelistic efforts as nothing more than propaganda and marketing. Jesus promised to draw people to Himself; we should be beating 'em off with a stick. But that's not happening either, so I want to remain as "open" as I can to whatever's taught in tonight's video session @ class.

Started reading a new book: HOW MOVIES HELPED SAVE MY SOUL, by Gareth Higgins. Haven't made it out of the introduction yet, but I'm really looking forward to it. Still got three or four others on my nightstand, too - but I am finding that I finish more books these days than I did in the past, so it's all good. This is another one of those things I've got that's kinda opposite the views at church. I appreciate finding truth anywhere it pops its head, and I'm not offended by language or violence. I do have a problem with nudity in a film - it's usually unnecessary to the story, uncalled for, only there for $$$ - and it usually gets in the way of whatever story might be told for me. I didn't like the rave scene in MATRIX2 - same thing: unnecessary and distracting. It could've been a shorter scene if they wanted to show something between Neo & Trinity, but the quick cuts were more tantalizing than plot-moving. I can skip it on the DVD though. All that to say: truth is often portrayed in story, and movies are so much our best storytellers today. The best parables are visual for the image-sensitve generation.

But hey, maybe that's just me. I don't want to bash anyone or write off anything. As far as I'm concerned, I'm on the same page with the Pastor and the rest of the staff. Unity is a big thing for me, and my inner wrestling amounts to a stretching, I'm sure. I'm not leaving, not looking to say I'm right and they're wrong, and trying like anything to make sure I'm on focus rather than trying to change anyone else's opinions. And I pray - that my often pigheaded & one-tracked thoughts won't derail the train too soon; that hearts will be softened to truth; that I will not feel split. I want to be wholehearted, but I want to be sincere and maintain integrity, too. There's the rub.
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