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Preview: Comments on: Personal Freedom and Community Responsibility

Comments on: Personal Freedom and Community Responsibility

Sniffing out the work of God in the world...

Last Build Date: Thu, 08 Feb 2018 20:38:13 +0000


By: Larry James

Thu, 26 May 2005 22:53:00 +0000

I guess I find myself wondering about the fact that the poor guy needs a job. And, I understand the beer part--a good expository sermon is nestled in Proverbs 31:4-9. Might be a good text for a message the Sunday before Mother's Day when we all take out Prov. 31:10ff--:). No doubt about it--I have been here too long--what mind I have is slipping away! It is not that my ears no longer "hear" the word on the shirt. It is that I understand the frustration and cynicim of the crude retort spelled out for all to see. No job, no beer. . .what's a guy to do??? Many of my friends live where this guy seems to be. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that may fit just here--hope to cause no offense but it read, "Religion: the only reason the poor don't murder the rich."

By: Jared Cramer

Thu, 26 May 2005 13:29:00 +0000

OK, here's a good example. I have a friend who wears a t-shirt that says "jesus loves porn stars." He is a student at ACU and gets nast comments all the time. Personally, I think the shirt is terrific. One of my friends who disagrees with me commented that the shirt seemed to make light of sin and that Christians should stand firm on sin. In my experience, the church does a good enough job standing up for sin, but a less good (oooo bad grammer) job proclaiming Jesus' unconditional love. I'm still debating about getting the shirt, just so I can engage some of the people who object to it in some tough theological thinking.

By: Mr. X

Wed, 25 May 2005 12:56:00 +0000

What is offensive? I had a t-shirt that showed a Viking holding a monk by his hair, about to chop off his head. It read: "Vikings: Killing Christians Since 793 c.e." No curse words, and it was historically accurate, but now and then I'd get a nasty comment from some myrmidon. Was I wrong?

By: Grant

Wed, 25 May 2005 07:13:00 +0000

What did Little Light mean by "Santa Claus not existing..." (Perhaps this explains why Amy's never gotten a Christmas present in the 16 years we've been together. I just figured she'd been a bad girl. Sorry, hon.) Back to the guy at the bakery. I disagree with his judgment but can only applaud his ability to knock out a plurality of the seven deadly sins with one article of clothing. (And I must say I've also had days when I felt that way about both beer and work.) As is usually the case, perspective rules the day on this issue. Profanity is most offensive to people who don't use it. On the other hand, I have a lot of friends whose speech is sprinkled with what I'd consider curse words but isn't intended by them to offend. Mike, you and I are admitted pot-stirrers, meaning we occasionally (and proudly) offend. I remember you taking some heat after you showed a video during a worship service a few months ago of a modernized and somewhat ribald account of Jesus meeting a prostitute. I recall your argument then when some suggested you should've "protected" young ears was that you shouldn't gloss over the often rough-and-tumble stories of Scripture just to appease those of the Sunday-go-to-Luby's crowd expecting to have their ears tickled. That video didn't offend you but did others. This guy's shirt offended you but not him. Some in church that day felt blindsided by the video. While you certainly weren't expecting to see the f word on a t-shirt...especially in a Mexican bakery. (Please tell me you haven't learned curse words in your Spanish classes.) Where was I? Santa Claus. Beer. Prostitution. I forget. Oh, yes. Perspective. What this proves conclusively to me is how large the bubble over Abilene really is. Fifteen years ago, vendors at Candlestick Park were proudly and prolifically selling "F*** the Dodgers" t-shirts. One town's cash cow is another's misdemeanor.

By: Grant

Wed, 25 May 2005 07:07:00 +0000

This post has been removed by the author.

By: Grant

Wed, 25 May 2005 05:50:00 +0000

This post has been removed by the author.

By: Grant

Wed, 25 May 2005 04:46:00 +0000

This post has been removed by the author.

By: David

Wed, 25 May 2005 01:56:00 +0000

A new book you might want to check out -- Home Invasion:protecting your family in a culture that's gone stark raving mad. I read her book last night and heard her speak this morning. Very powerful stuff!

By: David Michael

Wed, 25 May 2005 01:56:00 +0000

A new book you might want to check out -- Home Invasion:protecting your family in a culture that's gone stark raving mad. I read her book last night and heard her speak this morning. Very powerful stuff!

By: SG

Wed, 25 May 2005 01:54:00 +0000

I think you found a soar spot Mike! Last week in WalMart my son and I were looking through the Star Wars toys. Two teen guys were also there. One kept saying "That's so F---in cool!" I looked him in the eye and with a smile on my face said "Little ears are listening to you." Much to my suprise his buddy said "Yeah you know not to say that in front of kids and ladies." The boy apologized to me and leaned down to Rhett and asked him about his favorite Star Wars character. They talked about Anikin and Chewy with and then said "You be good little dude" and went on their way. I think there is hope for society. I don't know what the answers are, but I don't think we will find them unless we talk about it. Thanks for bringing this up Mike!

By: anti-hero

Wed, 25 May 2005 00:35:00 +0000

I guess to start you would have to realize that our nation's majority is a bunch of reality-tv, Jerry Springer,WWF Pro wrestling loving idiots. Just because the masses do somthing, or even vote for someone does'nt mean they are correct. Which brings me to the topic at hand. Its all in upbringing. Anyone who would wear a vulgar shirt would find it justified to kick your ass if you questioned it. Also I am in NYC, and I lived in Dallas in the 80's. The foul language there was just as bad.

By: Joy Williams Martin

Wed, 25 May 2005 00:04:00 +0000

What a topic!! Just the other day, my children and I were at a convenience store getting gasoline and we were all shocked (thank God) at seeing a large hand silkscreened on the front of a mans shirt holding up the middle finger, with ""printed big and bold on the back of the shirt. Well I am here to give my opion now I suppose. Here goes... I have been born again for 8 years now. I was once a vulgar, violator and offender of all that is righteous, good, real, true and pure. Christ is always seeking to save that which is lost. I know that with one touch, He will roll away the stone that holds mens hearts and those who will repent, will weep and mourn over they're dark hearted sins. It was Christ's mercy and love, His "touching" the lepers that accepted them as they were, but...THEY did not want to remain in that awful condition, no more than He wanted them to. We are now Christ's body on the earth. We are his hands and feet and eyes and heart and mind. We may not be able to know all the workings of God, but we can have the mind of Christ (which is God's wisdom and love revealed to the world). We have freely received, now we can freely give. Making people obey a law is good, but it won't change the heart. So, I do see several things that have also been covered in several comments: 1) To let YOUR light so shine before men that they may see YOUR good works and glorify YOUR Father which is in heaven. 2) That unless OUR righteousness EXCEEDS the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees, YE shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 3) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. 4) The vulgar profanities that are revealed through language and lifestyle are simply the obvious fact of an unregenerated heart and unrenewed mind (a spirit void of new birth from above). We should not be shocked (although it's hard not to be), that the world would hate us, it hated Christ too. But like Daniel, Joseph, Christ, Paul, and so many others who have believed God and obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine they received, (it even says that "righteous" Lot was vexed daily", we are to be in the world, but not of it. We are the ones making a difference. What they wear on their t-shirts is not acceptable, but neither is unbelief. John the revelator mentioned several things that were damning, the fearful and unbelieving, the abominable, murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters and ALL liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. So, the real concern and reality of it is that we are talking about most of these people who are walking dead, subject to the second death if they don't repent. The real issue isn't "language". But, I do believe that if they can set things in motion to modify and "publically" bring someone into accountability for such things, thats great. Not only for those who are offended, but even for the offender, even though they don't know it and don't care. Because if we could get guidelines that would restrict such content from being allowed in public places, then the offender wouldn't look near the idiot they don't realize they look like when they wear such things. 5) We are to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. We can pray for them, do what we can to institute such guidelines in a way that doesn't even need to target people in a "one on one" confrontation. Jesus said the children of the world are wiser than the children of the kingdom, and I believe that He expects us to change that fact by using God's wisdom, love and power, thr[...]

By: Deana Nall

Tue, 24 May 2005 23:26:00 +0000

By the way, my Christian stay-at-home moms group has been looking for a motto. Can you find out where that guy got his T-shirt?

By: Deb

Tue, 24 May 2005 23:23:00 +0000

Well, this comment might seem like it's totally out of concert with all of the above. But I ask myself about 'community' every time I see a child at church acting inappropriately and the parents are just standing around totally oblivious to the rude and inconsiderate actions of their little darlings. Where are the boundaries? They obviously are not being practised or applied in a loving and consistent manner. If I step in and break the spell in order to gently correct the child's behaviour, I'm not sure if the parents will give me dagger looks and threaten to take legal action or thank me for caring about their child. They're child is acting out and screaming for attention, but they are upset with me, or perhaps another caring member of the church community for taking the responsibility for their child's actions. I don't know, but until we can learn to compassionately confront, nurture and care for each other with respect and thoughtfulness within the 'safety' of our own church communities, we have no business confronting non-believers who are repugnant to society. Children today are getting so many mixed messages on social behaviour from Christian adults, as well as non-believers. Within a church of, say, 2000 members, there are a variety of different ideas and practices on parenting. Some children are given boundaries, and others are not. Until the adults can show some common ground on supporting each other in raising the children of the church, then transferring those practices and supportive measure onto the rest of society will be a tough nut to crack. For example, two Sundays ago, two of our young teenage boys from our church saw me see them share some fags (what we call cigarettes in the UK). I’m close with one of the mothers. I saw her after church, and gently asked her if she new her son was ‘experimenting’. She shared that this has become a great concern, and if I ever saw this happen again, she wanted me to go up to her son and personally yank the thing out of his mouth. I waited until the next Sunday to approach the other lad (who is quickly and sadly descending into our ‘yob’ culture). I took his face in my hands and explained to him how much I loved him, and that I was concerned for his health, etc. He smiled sheepishly and hugged me. He knows I know he is struggling with some things right now. His parents are weary, and others of us need to now enter his journey and walk alongside his parents for support. Last Sunday, a row of teens were playing games on each other's mobile phones, and texting each other right before communion. They stayed seated and slouched insolently while the rest of us were preparing our hearts and minds for communion. Some had their baseball caps glued onto their heads from the week before. As we all stood to sing, I walked over to them, looked them in the eyes, and with a big smile, asked them to please show some respect and join the rest of us in worship. Well, shock of all shockers, they smiled back (no smirks!) and complied POLITELY! I was then worried about being confronted later by parents for trying to engage their kids in worship. But to my and my husband's surprise (and relief), four couples came up to me and congratulated me! Gave me their full support. (But why did it have to be me?) And I so want these kids to remember me twenty years later as a woman from their church memories who loved and cared for them, not caused them to seek therapy for regaining self-esteem. If we focus on our own children and families, as integrated as we all are in our secular society, non-believers will observe how we react and respond to those we are in close fellowsh[...]

By: Deb

Tue, 24 May 2005 23:06:00 +0000

This post has been removed by the author.