Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's my birthday and....

I am overwhelmed with work today. I still have a paper to write due at 2:00 for grad school as well. So I am taking a break from blogging just for today. Instead, let me send you to a blog post that my friend Bill created especially for me today.

Yeah, Bono's still got it! And he's 18 mos. older than me. (The Edge and I share a birth year - he turned 45 in August... Why do I know this?)


Dave said...

Happy birthday, fan-girl! :o) I have a gift for you that I'll try to get out in the mail today or tomorrow. It fits with the theme (no, it's not my Ted Haggard used book'n'video collection...)

kimmy said...


Cheryl said...

First of all, Happy Birthday. Here are 45 candles for you: iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

I've been reading some of your posts here, but I found out about you on Jesus Creed where, after you commented on a pastor needing time to heal without losing his job, I suggested that perhaps churhes need rotating pastors, especially in the larger churches.

What fascinates me (and perhaps someday I'll write a post about it) is that we take the verses in scripture that relate to accountability for the actions of other believers, and we suddenly seem to think we're each other's Holy Spirits.

I can see how it can be confusing (I find myself there at times) to let God sort things out, and at the same time, deal effectively and lovingly with the failings of people who call themselves believers.

I know there are a ton of people who might doubt the authenticity of my faith by what I'm saying is MY criterion for drawing the line, but that's okay.

Where I've drawn the line for behaviors in my own life, and where I would draw it with others is this: Is the behavior illegal? If no, then ask, does this behavior infringe on the rights of others? If no, then ask, is this behavior causing me to be a less effective disciple of Jesus? (And to me, being a disciple of Jesus means helping the poor and needy, working to relieve oppression. comforting the suffering, etc. with the motivation being obedience to Jesus' command to love God and love others.)

This manner of evaluating my behaviors causes me to focus a LOT on issues that previously I (and I suspect many other American Christians) have allowed to become part of the warp and woof of my being...materialism, gossip, workaholism, coveting, pride, and on and on.

If any of those behaviors are ruining the efficacy of my "being the presence of Christ in the world" (and they inevitably do in different degrees) then I'd better deal with it!

This questioning hierarchy in areas where scripture is unclean or perhaps has a cultural bias, allows those admonitions to be dealt with on an individual basis and not serve as "Christian rules" to bang people over the head with.

Like you said in an earlier post, grace and the freedom we have in Christ is something that we weep at when we first discover the love of Jesus. Somewhere along the line, it gets lost in the attempt to become "good Christians."

Perhaps if we focused more on the DOING in obedience to the primary commands of Jesus, then the BEING of a disciple He can use to change the world would be a bit easier.

(I had a point in here somewhere, but I think it might have gotten submerged in my stream of association. :)

Keep up the great writing, and again, happy birthday!!

cheryl said...

Good grief!

In this paragraph: This questioning hierarchy in areas where scripture is unclean or perhaps has a cultural bias, allows those admonitions to be dealt with on an individual basis and not serve as "Christian rules" to bang people over the head with.

I mean to say "where scripture is UNCLEAR!"

OldMom said...

No! Not really? How cool --it is my son's birthday too! -- one reason I've been among the missing was an almost 11yo who got STREP before his bd and it had to be cancelled. So I hope yours goes better.

Now that I think of it, you and ds share the same kind of inquiring mind and original thinking. (I trust you are past the creative almost burning down the house part though.)

Enjoy it just as much as your life permits. . .


jim said...

Happy Birthday Julie!

Ryhmerock's Delaware said...

Your use of the word better in refering to Evangelical believing that the Holy Spirit makes morally superior to others is not only a misquote of the Scripture and a dishonest rendering of the teachings of Evangelical Christianity, it betrays your own prejudice ! It's obvious that you resent any Christain whether in leadership or not standing against the tide of immorality and peversion that has resulted from our cultural slide into Secular Humanism and Hedonism and working to protect our society from the ravages caused by the moral decay that has resulted and will further result from the abandoning of Judeo-Christian Principles and Western European Culture.

The fact that you use information gleaned at gay community discussion forums as some kind of authorative source and attempt to validly apply your analysis not only to Biblical Christianity but to all people, everywhere is itself intellectually and morally shallow.

True Christianity starts at the moment a person repents and recieves the Salvation paid for by Jesus alone.

Christians have nothing to brag about but they have something incalculable to be thantful for, acceptance by God, eternal life and a relationship with God. Which are things which God longs to give to every human being. And yes they have the Holy Spirit living within them and He makes them a new creation, He gives them power to live a holy life and He will never leave them or forsake them.

When a person is born again many things from their past usually drop right off of them, also they become aware of things in their lives that they couldn't even see were sinful or wrong before they were born again. The big difference is that now, in the very depths of their inner self they want to do what is right and please God. That doesn't mean that Christians won't ever face temptations or struggles due to any past addictions, bad choices, perverted life styles or anyone of an assortment of things. But with God's help and His Holy Spirit living within them they can and do overcome those things and if something is a struggle God will be with them in the struggle and work through it for their good.

There is a big difference between someone who is struggling with a besetting sin and someone who is unrepentant. And you lump all Evangelical Churches into the category of a cadre of cold hearted phonies who are doing nothing more than playing church and being religious when quite the opposite is true ! And while deliverance and healing from deep issues aren't going to come by being religious or by some kind of great sounding formular the real hope for any of us no matter what we struggle with is in God. In knowing Him, seeking Him, crying out to Him, walking with Him, serving Him, and walking in true Christian fellowship with his people. Sometimes God does miraculous healing and deliverances in peoples lives, sometimes for reasons that God chooses not to share with us He leads us on a long, difficult road that in the end builds things inside of us that are beyond anything we could or would plan. God works things out in the lives of His people His own way but He works them out if you really belong to Him and stay faithful to Him.

I don't know Ted Haggert's personal history and I feel terrible to hear of someone in such a prominent place of leadership fall. You wrote that these kind of incidents make people doubt God's promise of the Holy Spirit's power to help someone when they are tempted. How do you know that the Holy Spirit wasn'g there offering His help, God's Word states that God will make a way of escape so that each of us can bear up under any temptation. I'm not making light of the attacks in this brothers thought life, his struggles or his weakness but are you trying to imply in your article that he couldn't say no ? I guess the more that each of us are aware of our own personal weakness and need for God the less these kind of tragedies will shake our faith in God. What these kind of incidents should do besides driving us to prayer for the person who fell is to examine ourselves because all of us need to follow close after God. The biggest concern I have after seeing a brother and those close to him suffer is how this event will be twisted by the Secular Humanist, Left Wing News Media and used to promote their godless agenda.

Mic Lawler

julieunplugged said...

Hey Mic!

This is more a birthday thread than one that is about my views of evangelicalism.

If you read more of my columns (there's a complete archive of them at UPI) or dig backward in this blog, you'll get a better sense of my journey. Then you'll know whether mine is a voice that relates to your spiritual life or not.

You criticized me for not understanding evangelicalism and all I have to say to that is that every word you wrote I could have written for about 20 years. But I have gone through a change prompted by a seeking and honest inquiry that has led me to challenge some of the assumptions you make.

There is also one comment you made I want to highlight:

The biggest concern I have after seeing a brother and those close to him suffer is how this event will be twisted by the Secular Humanist, Left Wing News Media and used to promote their godless agenda.

I'm surprised this is your biggest concern. My biggest concern and what prompted me to write is the hope that the evangelical church (any church, Christianity!) can be a safe haven for people to honestly probe their hearts and come to some kind of revelation that will lead to genuine transformation.

I actually think we're closer on this then you might realize. The difference may be my level of disillusionment with the status quo and faith that things as they are, are adequate.

So peace to you!~


julieunplugged said...

That should read:

The difference may be my level of disillusionment with the status quo versus your faith that things as they are, are adequate.