Monthly Archives: March 2005

Here’s a perspective you don’t hear everyday. In this particular post, amidst his railing against false accusations of the ec movement, I found this section troubling:

2. the poor will always be here. Giving us plenty of opportunity to minister in the model of Isaiah 58. There are many emergent blogs currently linking to an organization called Make Poverty History (http://www.makepovertyhistory.ca/e/home.php)

On the surface this seems to be a noble effort, but in reality it is a work in the mode of Babel (Genesis 11,) as it only exalts man and his efforts, and not Christ. I am not saying that we do nothing. The sin and shame of the Church has been our in-action on behalf of the poor and needy. However all our work must be done in accordance with Scripture, and must glorify God (Isaiah 41:17)

I wasn’t sure of the connection with Babel. I asked the author to explain, and here’s the response:

Becky, I am not surprised that you took those statements out of the context they appear in.

I repeat, in Matthew 26, JESUS says,
“Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

This is a statement of fact. HE is not saying the poor will always be here until the more enlightened emergent/liberals come upon the scene and end world poverty.
The church was always meant to minister to the poor, needy, and homeless, without fanfare, without boasting. (Isaiah 58)

Babel is any effort to place man as the center, man as the seeker, man as the do-gooder. Where all Christendom has wrecked itself is in the mindset that like the government, we just throw money at the problem amd let the specialists do the work, while we get about our lives. I have read emergent blogs that proclaim Bono and Kofi Annan and Nelson Mandela as “prophets”

These men are only prophetic in the sense that Balaam, his donkey and Caiphas the high priest were prophetic. (Numbers chapters 22-25 and John 11:47-53)

If Jesus said we will always have the poor with us, is it not the epitomy of arrogance to believe that WE will end poverty? Notice HE didn’t say to do nothing. The make poverty history website makes no acknowledgement of a sovereign God at all.]
Babel is man’s attempt at self-exaltation whenever and wherever it appears.

[...]Hey, I pray that these men feed thousands of people. The fact that I don’t support them financially, or by putting a “white band” on my blog, is no indicator of a lack of caring and concern However, don’t tell me that this is the Kingdom of God. Good works of men are not the eternal fruit. The good works predestined by God, performed by the people of God, are. Ephesians 2:10

The church in America has sadly dropped the ball. So we are stuck with government agencies etc. doing the work that we are told to do.

Oy, how to respond?

I agree that we’ve dropped the ball, in many senses of the cliche. That said, I’m not a fan of using the Bible as a weapon — dropping verses and making huge leaps in my reasoning.

I don’t think by calling attention to social movements, that you’re qualifying yourself as “boasting.” I don’t think that people that do call attention to actions like Make Poverty History, Save Darfur, or Fair Trade are doing this out of a desire to brag about themselves. It’s not like these organizations are claiming to be a panacea to the problems they are calling attention to. They are just addressing a need and they’re offering help, not complete salvation from the problem itself.

While I think there’s merit in prayer, I also think actions are sometimes needed to accompany it — whether it’s sending money to agencies, volunteering your own time, or even telling others about problems in the world they may not see or know about.

I also don’t think that a relief agency necessarily needs the stamp of “Christian” on it in order to make a positive difference in the world. The Bible itself has instances where God used someone who wasn’t a follower of him at the time for his work. When the comments above say: Good works of men are not the eternal fruit. The good works predestined by God, performed by the people of God, are. I don’t buy it — and quite frankly, I think you limit God and his abilities to work in the world if you only think that.

Ultimately, we’re called to be good citizens — and that sometimes requires us to get off our knees and get our hands dirty.

To catch you up, before going to write on thesis:

  • There’s something about being at school so early that you’re the only person in the computer lab — and the hallways are still dark. I can’t wait for summer term, when this place is deserted once again.
  • No more jackets for me! It’s plus temperatures all week, I’m wearing a sweater — and loving the new-found freedom of a winter jacketless life. Snow is melting all around, which means I can drive on the actual road again, in addition to seeing grass peeking out around the melting mounds of snow. Maybe this winter will actually end sometime soon.
  • Just getting over a round of sickness in our little slummy apartment. New found energy and appreciation for food abounds. (just in time to enjoy hearing our drug-dealing neighbors crank up the tunes at 11:20pm, and then skid out of the parking lot. Joy.)
  • Saw Hotel Rwanda yesterday with hubby and Ang. One hard movie to watch, and with the book I’m finishing up, I spent most of the movie either in tears or fuming at the inaction of the world during this atrocity. When the film was over, the theatre sat in a stunned silence. It’s sad that it take Hollywood to educate the Western world about matters of world history. Hopefully everyone will remember this beyond this Oscar season.
  • Taxes are done! Thank goodness I have Marc to consult in matters of income taxery. I miscalculated my return, and had myself paying the government $1300. After he worked his magic, I had $70 coming back to me. Much, much better. (he rocks)
  • Lots of new things on the horizon for me. Exciting stuff. I love Spring.
  • And with that, up to my stuffy little graduate student cubicle, so I can stare at my laptop screen until I’m motivated to write something that may come off as intelligent.

Read: The Evangelicals are All Right (aren’t they?)
NYT Op-Ed In the Name of Politics (user/passwd: grrrlmeets)
NYT Wearing Their Beliefs on Their Chests
New NBC apocalyptic show Revelations — looks to be good for a laugh, in the spirit of Omega Code and Left Behind.

Oh, and buy me one of these teeshirts.

ttfn!

Don’t you just hate it when you’re in the bath, reading one of your favorite magazines, and you come across an article about your favorite (reality) TV show that makes you reconsider some of its appeal?

From the Winter 2005 issue, “The Unquiet Americans” by Rachel Fudge

But for those who prefer to see conflict play out in a more public, exterior arena, there’s The Amazing Race. The two-time Emmy-winning competition show narrows the sphere of conflict even further, confining it to pairs of people, but completely discards the domestic setting and instead unleashes the dyads onto a global game board in pursuit of a million-dollar prize. It’s Xtreme Eurailing meets The Beach.

[...]To complete their tasks, as well as obtain transportation, players are forced into direct interaction with the natives, who are recruited to act as referees or assistants. The conceit built into the setup is that the contestants are positioned as actually “helping the locals in a necessary daily task, like collecting lobster traps, hauling water, or herding goats, when clearly the locals get along just fine on their own.

[...] [the producer's] misusage of the term “foreigners” pretty much sums up the ethos of the racers: They rarely seem to understand that they are the ones who are out of their element. In other words, The Amazing Race showcases American belligerence, narcissism, and ignorance at their most shameless. Set loose in unfamiliar lands, forced into extremely stressful situations, with little guidance, very little money, and no advance preparation, it’s no wonder that the races tend to become hysterical and less than well mannered.

[...]Players may wax philosophical about the life lessons they learned while negotiating a prop-plane ride in Malaysia, or about how the high-stress, weeks-long ordeal really brought their relationships to a new level, but in the end, like every other reality show, The Amazing Race is about the destination — that is, the cold, hard cash — not the journey. There’s some great metaphor in here about America as a global superpower, viewing the world as her playground, sweeping in and out of nations as she pleases, re-framing exploitive actions as benevolent tourism, and never noticing along the way just how tacky and offensive her behavior is.

Damn it, I hate it when articles make me think and question my forms of “entertainment.”

Walking to lunch this afternoon, I noticed strange patches of green amidst the snow on the ground. One lovely rumor is that it’s grass.

I’ll keep you posted, as the details develop on this story…

Okay, I lasted a few hours on the blog-fast — I had to post this: Unphotographable

[...]While this may not be a picture of a train conductor who was just doing his job, or of the scared Americans who believe that a man on a train platform with an antique camera and a cable release is a terrorist, it is a picture of the sad, desperate, hate-filled state of my country’s paranoia, which, with each televisable missive from that little house on the prarie of Pennsylvania Avenue, is turning its citizens into fear-based automatons that only respond to what’s on cable, (as long as it’s a station owned by Rupert Murdoch).

All hail the message when the message keeps you incurious, complacent, and scared straight out of your little, stupefied minds.

(via)

I’ll post less tomorrow.

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. – Henry David Thoreau

I’m having a bit of a blogging break this week — so posts will be sparse, if any. I’m hesitant to say there will be NO blogging, mainly because if something really big happens (on the news or otherwise), I’ll be back.

But for this most part, this space should be pretty lame for the following week. I gotta get motivated on other parts of my life, sans-blogging responsibilities.

So there’s nothing to see here folks, move along.

(oh, and Happy Easter)

It’s funny how movies change on you. Or maybe you are the one that changes, and not necessarily the movie.

I’m watching one of my Streisand favorites (yes, I am a fan), Funny Girl. In addition to obnoxiously singing along to all of the songs (I’m now especially found of “Sadie, Sadie, Married Lady) — I’m now noticing I have a whole new appreciation for the film.

I remember how upset I used to be at its ending — I always thought she should end up with Omar, because that’s the storybook ending, after all. Yet now I think I appreciate more the fact that she chose to follow her own path rather than be held back by someone who obviously didn’t love her as much as she deserved. I respect her choice — and maybe that’s because I’m “wiser” after the last couple of years.

I wonder how many other movies have changed on me lately? I don’t think I could sit through an entire viewing of Titanic like I did when it first came out — question is, what other movies have I either outgrown, or found a new appreciation for?