Archive for December, 2007

it doesn’t mean anything… does it?

More than a few months ago (maybe even a year ago), I made a post on a blog (similar to this one) about how Ohana means family, and family means noone gets left behind. I made a comparison to how the church is Family, (or… supposed to be Family).

Then a friend, through an IM, after reading my blog, made a comment to me: After reading your blog about how Ohana means family…  I couldn’t help but feel angry and bitter because i know that in any church, that means absolute bull.

At the time, I thought my friend was just suffering from some sort of resentment towards particular people within that church, or a few broken relationships. But you know… the older I get, the more small groups and fellowships and meetings I do to, see how that’s true. sometimes, the concept of family is just… nonexistent in church today.

how sad…

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useless

This is so nerdy and cute it sends warm fuzzys into my stomach.
…. especially the Fourier Transform of love…. heehee.

Once

Last night after informal praise, some of the girlys and I managed to catch this independent film at our local theatre. I actually enjoyed it — but it’s one of those, you’re not quite sure how to feel right after you leave the movie.

When the finishing credits came on, I literally said — ‘wait, that’s the ending?’ because in a way, it was so dissatisfying. The premise of the movie is about an unnamed boy who plays guitar on the street on the side, and works in his dad’s vacuum cleaner repair shop during the day. He bumps into this unnamed girl who works odd jobs during the day, but is an immigrant from the Czech Republic and loves to play the piano. In a somewhat magical and surreal setting, the two of them start to reveal their pasts to one another — the guy with an ex in London, and the girl’s husband who’s still abroad — through music & song.

All cheesiness aside though, what I expected to be a sappy chick musical/flick turned out to be a little combination of an indie, European version of Garden State (minus the hamsters, plus some guitars).

But I’m still left with the feeling of,… why didn’t the girl stay with the spunky guitar playing, somewhat of an emotional wreakage of a guy? hmmm…

//my favorite line from the movie:

girl: so you do this (playing guitar on the street) for a living, yeah?
guy: no, i actually work in a hoover repair shop..
girl: what a coincidence, eh! i have a broken hoover at home! i’ll bring it to you tomorrow, yeah?

college students

random thought:

There are times when I wish I could just grab some of these college kids by the shoulders and tell them straight to their face that their God loves them, that their God adores them and has gone to such great lengths to passionately chase after them, and that there is a God who is bigger than problem sets and prelims and final exams and if they could just see that, if we could just see that,…. and that I can see myself doing it to youth group kids and seeing how four years later we’re all just that young, oh so very young and in need of our Savior,…

//end thought

When to call it quits

I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine last night about the nature of churches. The fundamental question that came up was, when are we justified to leave a church?

At the local church I am currently attending, what started out as a humble, 70-ish or so people gathering at a movie theatre (read: only a dozen or so cornell students) within the last two years has attracted to nearly 200 regular attendees, and about 50 or so Cornellians. That being said, there has also been a noticeable shift in the nature of sermons within the congregation. Comparing a sermon series from last fall (Sermon series on the Sermon on the Mount, picking apart verse by verse to see the meaning of living out the Kingdom on earth) and this fall (Series on How to Overcome your fears, with fears from loneliness to spending too much money, to fear of God).

It’s not difficult to see that the direction of the church has moved towards more of a Christian advice-y, seeker friendly, relevant church that has moved away from more of its exegetical, Christ-focused preaching. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more churches like these all across the United States — in an effort to attract those within a community, to focus more on the benefits of Christian life and less on the atonement and sacrifice and glory of the cross — not as extremist as the prosperity gospel, but somewhere sketchily between.

But where do you draw that line? How do you maintain the wholeness and integrity of the Gospel while keeping its relevance to culture?

And,… for those attending said churches, when would it be okay to leave?

Personally, more often than not, I’d feel like I’d be coping out on a congregation by picking up my bible and notebook every time something like this happened. At my home church in Chicago, a number of members left when our English pastor left — only to return this past summer when we received a new one. But, what loyalty does that show to the church? Or are we not leaving because of comfort issues?

Sigh… who knows. Back to complex integration.