In a post last week, Russell Moore talks a bit about the recent Gallup poll that shows, for the first time ever, less than half those surveyed belong to a church. But he spends more time talking about the ways the Church is responsible for the decline.
Early in the year 2020 BC, our pastor was preaching on the importance of community, of being in a small group, etc. He talked about the things a lifegroup (the official 121 nomenclature for small groups) did together, starting with being in the Word together. And then, as he is wont to do, he went off-script. “Maybe you’re uncomfortable studying the Bible, maybe you’d like to learn to study the Bible. We could start a How to Study Your Bible life group!” And then he went on with the rest of his sermon.
Knowing how these things went, I checked in at the office after the service.
I’ve told this story probably a hundred times over the years. If you’re one of the ones I’ve told it to, well, sometimes real life has reruns, too. This one will be better than all those Saved the Bells. But not better than Batman, because what could be better than a Batman rerun?
In the summer of twenty-five years ago, the XO of our church at the time asked me to breakfast. Just like in the military, an XO at a church is the person who makes the things happen that the captain/pastor dreams up in his head. If you were to look up XO in the dictionary, this guy’s picture is who would be staring you in the face.
It has been obvious for several years that a lot of people don’t understand what kind of Joker we have.
We don’t have Cesar Romero’s Joker, suave, sophisticated, with an air like he was a little better than everyone else in the room, and many days he was right.
We don’t have Jack’s Joker, a goofy, avuncular uncle who’s gone a little seedy but still retains his old panache.
No, we have Heath Ledger’s Joker, who claimed to be a better class of criminal and an agent of chaos and was only one of those things.
Some friends of mine engaged in a political conversation on the Twitter a couple of months ago. Two things were said in the course of the conversation that have stuck with me. (But not with the Twitter apparently; the conversation was gone when I went looking for it this morning.)
- “Vote for the policies, not the person.”
- “But you have to respect the office, it says so in the Bible.” (emphasis mine)
There are many issues with the first statement. We’ll start with the implication that you can separate the two, that a person, their character, is totally separate from their policies.
Today I learned (TIL for all the cool kids):
You can swap the lyrics of “Amazing Grace” and “Gilligan’s Island” into each others’ tunes and it works.
Go ahead, try unhearing that.