Swapping the essentials…. skubalon happens

11 May


Some notes… the “thing” or “it” ends up becoming the main deal, rather than Christ in far too ministries… These are my notes for a blog posting down the road on my theo blog.

From Frank Viola (he is referencing the house church movement… but the Jesus as footnote deal transcends a multitude of ministry arenas)


Most house churches, in my experience, have no concept of how to live by an indwelling Lord, nor are they consumed with Jesus Christ. He???s but a footnote to some other ???thing??? or ???it,??? as is the case with much of contemporary Christianity (just count how many times He???s mentioned in the typical sermon or gathering). Few know what it means to pursue the Lord Jesus with one another. I???ve maintained this observation for the last 13 years. Thankfully, more and more Christians outside the institutional church today are beginning to understand thatekklesia??is all about discovering and displaying Christ together and that the engine, drive, and motive is to fulfill God???s eternal purpose ??? which is not centered on human needs.


From Glass*Soul (She is referencing local church signs… and while praise to God is a good thing.. the witness to the community at large misses the point).


I am sometimes mystified by the church signs around my town.
Church #!: The fool says in his heart there is no God.

Church #2: Praise God. No rain on our parade.



Here are my thoughts. Church #2 is, on a weekend that saw 22 people killed in flooding south of us (and not far south) directing us to praise God for holding off the rain for the purpose of our little springtime parade we have each year.So, who is the fool here?

We have a God who honors the self-centered prayers of a small town yearning to see its leading citizens’ daughters wearing cheap tiaras while they wave from tissue bedecked flatbeds, while dismissing the desperate prayers of those drowning or watching their school buildings floating away and breaking into splinters.

I suppose if God is as unpredictible in his responses to prayer as this, then it makes sense to attempt to train him by praising even the smallest tendency toward the good. This is effective with animals and small children.

I find it very human and forgivable that we tend to fret over our little parades and such while those just beyond the horizon struggle for life and livelihood.

Nature itself has no intentions and is not an object of forgiveness.

If there is a God, there is no forgiveness, at least not from me.

I have yet to encounter a God concept that scans. Call me a fool.


From Ms Stewart’s blog… and her class of 6th graders. What is important, and how to find out what it is.??



K piped up, ???Ms. Stewart, How do we know what???s important? Isn???t it all important if it???s written down????

This felt manageable. ???Ok, imagine you???re leaving your house in the morning. There are certain items of clothing that are essential. There are some items that are still important but not essential. When you???re underlining or highlighting, look for the essential parts. Look for the pants.??? (Sixth graders are still innocent enough for this kind of metaphor to be silly but not out of control.)

K again. ???But Ms. Stewart,??what if we don???t know what the pants are? If you gave me a paragraph describing [our school], I would know to highlight information about the Middle School and the Fine Arts building, but not the information about the fish bowl (our name for the small windowless meeting rooms). But I don???t know anything about the World War I peace settlement, so how am I supposed to know what to highlight????


Twitter interaction on Mary as the mother of God… most folks didnt see this as a big deal, it was not considered essential. It parallels thesixth graders question...????


I don???t know anything about the World War I peace settlement, so how am I supposed to know what to highlight????








From Mrs Stewart?????We???ve got two choices. Never read about anything we haven???t personally experienced or figure out ways to determine what???s essential without maybe totally understanding what we???re reading, at least not in the way you understand the school. I can tell you that first option probably isn???t going to work for you or me in the rest of school or life, so let???s see if we can read this together and find ways to identify the essential parts.???


One problem in the church… is many havent studied, and very few really understand the trinity. (Just ask folks to come up with a trinity analogy without any heresies, and it becomes very apparent that much is lacking for many). Part of this I think is fear… no one wants to talk back to the sunday school teacher, to the pastor/priest etc, and ask the hard questions. And of course there are many out there who will go ballistic if even asked the hard questions too. Worse, its often not just the teacher, but the peer group who also make for unsafe environments… how dare you ask… what if it causes doubt, etc etc ect

The end result… rather than essentials, like the salvation, like discipleship, like service, like gifts of the spirit, like loving God, and loving others… more graspable things like works ie political lobbying, abortion, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, can easily become the essentials.




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