Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What is the Church . . II

As the 60s faded into the 70s like so much bad tie-dye there emerged a feminist movement that was more about the uber-fem menhaters club than it was about equal rights and pay for pay equity.
Rabid, foaming disgruntaloids roamed the streets of Vegas seeking whom they could slander.
Some of them came to church.
It was about that time that I realized a spiritual gift of teaching had been bestowed on me.

The wonderful hippy group that we had been in fellowship with were ALL moving to Salinas, CA.
We prayed and didn't go. Glad we didn't, that is a story of it's own.
We were led to a little Baptist meeting place called Homesite.
The new pastor, a 41 year old recent theo-grad, ex moto cop from LA,
did not believe that the group should hire someone to fill the pulpit when he wasn't in it.
The elders should teach just as Paul says.

I had been given the opportunity to teach on several occasions and the pastor was asking me if I would consider / pray about going to Theo skool. Heady stuff for a 23 year old new dad with one on the ground and one in escrow, and who had only been a Christian for 3 years.
Did I mention lousy student and the lack of education?

Enter the Equal Rights Amendment.
A very bad, vague law that was being put forth as the fix-all for every sort of inequity.

Simply put, and I mean simple, this change to our Constitution would eliminate gender differentiation, completely. The fembots and their Congressional helpers told us that there was no way that it could happen like that, but the wording, again, was too vague. There would no longer be male or female. I told my wife and pastor that if this thing went through, they were going to need some bail money, cuz I was walking into the UNLV women's athletic locker room to take a shower. Then we were going to the Supreme Court to test this new Amendment.
I do not have the right to stop anyone of another race from using a drinking fountain.
With this amendment no one could stop a man from being in the women's shower.
The sexes would not exist.

Side note:
I grew up thinking that gender had to do with language
and sex was reserved for humans.
Is that right, teach?

Well, that statement got around through a few folks and back to our resident ERA supporter.
Little did I know that the American Baptist Convention was also supporting the ERA.
Peg decided that it was her duty to inform the ABC that I was against the ERA and therefore since I didn't follow ABC authority, I was a "False Prophet and a False Teacher" and should never be allowed in the pulpit again!!!!

Their first response was "Who?".
They had no idea who EdwardBear was but they had heard from Peg many times and that played in my favor. They asked the pastor to 'please try and stop this woman from writing us.'
They left me alone.

Now, what has any of that got to do with the Church?
The ERA was not an issue that should divide the believers, it had nothing to do with God's Word or plan. These types of situations happen all over the world every year and should not even be an issue, but the Church has forgotten what it means to be the Church. We major in the minors and get tangled in the minutia. I tried to reconcile with Peg, was kind and loving toward her, as we should be, but she was an angry bitter woman who thought I had usurped the authority of Her church and bewitched the pastor. She was actually afraid of me and would never meet with Patty and I, finally leaving the group. Homesite just wanted to dine on the pure Word of God and to my knowledge, I never allowed for politics in the pulpit.

Boy, did I exercise my free speech in the streets.

The Church has one main ministry, the Ministry of Reconciliation.
That is all of our jobs, regardless of skill or confidence.

Monday, July 21, 2008

What is the Church?

Somewhere along the path, churchianity replaced being the Church.
An easy study of the scripture reveals two basic concepts:
Concept #1) the Saints are anyone who names the name of Jesus and trusts in Him. Period.
Read Paul's letters and it becomes quite evident that there is no basis whatsoever for the saintology that has risen out of iconograpically based belief systems.
The Gospel message is pretty simple.
Easily understood by 4 year olds and yet deep enough to baffle the most astute thinkers of history.
Jesus Himself offered the answer in John 6:28-29
Then they said to Him,
"What shall we do, that we may work the works of God ?"

Jesus answered and said to them,
"This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."

Jesus could have told them anything, be baptized, keep the Law, wear blue on Thursdays and only eat spinach, but He didn't. Much of what we do today smacks of man made traditions, from the separation of sects or denominations to the way our supervisory boards work.
The Acts of the Holy Spirit, (Yes, that's what I call it), and Paul's works show that the early Church was set up according to spiritual gifts and even that rather loosely. The prominent group being the Elders, who shoveled out spiritual food and the Deacons taking care of the physical needs of the body. Simple, right?
Fast forward a few millennium and the State of Nevada controls the articles of incorporation. (Insert wherever you happen to live.)
They "let" you become a Church.
Where's all that talk about separation of Church and State?
Why doesn't the ACLU defend our right to free and open association without State interference? Who told the State that they could levy taxes against the tithe of individuals toward their God?
I'm just askin'.
If Christians have to stay out of gov'mint bizness,
then the gov'mint should keep their noses out of Church bizness.
I'm just sayin'.

Concept #2) The Church is a group of 'called out ones'. Not a building on the corner. Most folk get that, but listen to your own language and the use of the word church over the next month. It rarely means the people, even when you know the difference. We have started I Cor at the Saturday Study and the first thing Paul tackles is the division in the church over who they are following. Martin Luther did not establish the Lutherans. All he wanted was a correct understanding of the scripture. John Wesley would be appalled that a group has co opted his name for their denomination. To paraphrase Paul; Did Wesley die for your sins? Was Luther hung on a tree and shed his blood for you? BY NO MEANS!

Decide in your heart that you will start being the Church and stop going to church.
No, I don't mean to stop going to the Sunday gathering, just a change of reference point.

Karen's Koinonia Connection has started to attract some with similar stories as hers and it has become a point of contact and great encouragement. the kind we should get from a body of believers. Problem is, it aint happenin' on Sunday, it's happenin' on the Blog-O-Sphere.

Next we'll look at the Church model. (continued)

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Baby Girl became Abigail Grace Mac at 10:06 last night, 07/16/2008.
6lbs 10oz, fine red hair, quiet.
Mom is doing good and dad will hang with her
while G' Ma Vegas takes care of 3 yr old Adam for the next two weeks.
G' Pa Vegas heads out tomorrow.

Hey Flare Bear, when will you get back from Alaska?
Maybe you and PK Bear could hook up.
you will absolutely freak over Adam.
I can hear the ol' Bearish scream now.


There was a time when I was worried about my sanity because my brain was always full of random disjointed thoughts. The discovery of the fact that they weren't as nonsequitous as I had believed, that they were actually connected in some rather bizarre synaptic way, filled me with an awe and wonder that continues to amaze me to this day. My siblings and I started to trace and track how far off course conversations had gotten and what exact thought had made that seemingly random connection. Others still question my sanity.

NOTE: yeah I know, some will want to chide me for the use of 'nonsequitous'.
Well, I made it up and I like it.

Snozzberries? Who ever heard of a snozzberry?
We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of the dreams.
Willy Wonka

We have a Bible Study in our home and one of my favorite things to do is take a book of the Bible and make as many left turns as possible and still not lose site of the context. Chasing rabbits, as it were. That process has lead to some very keen insights that are not usually preached from the pulpit. Sometimes controversial, but well within the framework of sound doctrine, never heretical. The point is not to add to the scripture but to enhance our understanding of the book. There is not one name, place or date that doesn't have meaning. It's up to us to find what it means or how it is connected to the other parts.

Line on line, precept upon precept it took a year to do John's Gospel and the same for Acts.
Genesis and Exodus, 18 months each.
Well worth the time.

JUNK STUFF is intended to be a series of random thoughts and discussions somewhat linked to Karens Koinonia Connection.
It can be deep, but light hearted.
Confrontational, yet never rude.

Let's have some fun.
It's all good.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Baby Girl is on the way.

Got the call about an hour ago,
Bekah's Baby Girl isn't waiting 'til 08/07/08 or even 07/25/08.
She is here NOW!
They're prepping for a c - section as I type.
Patty got the time off from work,
but we weren't going until the 25th.
She's headed out tomorrow to care for Adam
and help Bekah recover for the next two weeks.
I'll get there a little later.
We still don't know her name.
Not sure that JamBekah does either.
Course, that's the way it was with Micah,
no name for three days.

This is just a test, had this been a real emergency . . .

Well Bear,
We're up and runnin'.
You've inspired me to give it a go.
Not sure where to start but I'll figure that out later today.