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Weekend Update

Weekend update

This weekend I had a few thoughts to expand on, one happened on my trip to COSI and the other at Brice UMC on Sunday. They are totally unrelated but I thought I would combine them anyway.

Saturday we took Alora to COSI, which is our local science museum, you may be thinking she is 15months old, what would she do there, but we took her to the water room and let her splash around and they do have a toddler room where she can touch and play with different things. She had a blast with the light switches that were about 8 inches long.

But my main thought was because a church group had an overnight there the evening before; you could tell because as a rule teenagers don’t get up and head to COSI in their PJs. It brought an overwhelming sense of loss to me; I really miss being a Youth leader. I know God works all things together for the good of those who love him and I know he is sovereign thereby in control of my life but gosh I miss it. I watched the leaders playing Egyptian rat screw (If you don’t know I can’t explain) and saw all the girls chatting about which boy was the cutest. We even got caught in the elevator with a group that had pushed all of the buttons the tried to blame each other for it, it was so funny. God, I miss you all.

Sunday Heather and I attended Brice United Methodist church, a church which we have driven by thousands of times in our time in Columbus and I have voted in since we moved to our new house. We went for the 9:30 service which we were told was a more traditional service. We walked in the front door and were not greeted by any greeter team. Eventually we looked out of place enough for a man, Steve, to turn and greet us and as how we were doing “Good and lost” was my response. Steve, we eventually learned was the youth Pastor there, and we got Alora checked in to the Nursery where everyone was very helpful and friendly.

We went to the chapel which could have held 100 people but this morning only held 40 or so, mostly older women but at least one couple that could have been in our age range. It was a really a traditional service, we sang hymns that hadn’t been remixed, thank God, and it was great. We started with “Because he lives” (OK 1971 but still 20 years older than most songs I hear on Sunday Morning) which was powerful with a simple piano accompaniment and the voices of the saints. The message was delivered by Pastor of Adult education, Leah Gunnings Francis and it was about doubt but to be honest she lost me half way through, I was thinking about other things. But, it felt good to be back at church. We will probably go back for the 11:00 service which is more contemporary and much larger.

Finally Tax day is right around the corner, if you are excited about filing your taxes because you get a refund, you don’t understand how things work; being excited about a refund is like being excited about getting change from a purchase, a year later. It is your money! A lot of people, when asked, how much they pay in taxes, they say none I get a refund. That is because (Harsh Language warning) congress has been using a drug called with holdings to keep you from knowing how badly you are getting screwed. Could you imagine if people actually had to write a check for their taxes each month, or year? People might actually have a clue! If you would like to see some interesting facts about taxes that you will not hear on the news check out this article. Additionally know that if the average person paid all of their check to taxes starting January first they wouldn’t be done paying taxes until April 30th. That is right all the money you earn from January until May belongs to Uncle Sam, because we aren’t paying attention.

I am in favor of The Fair Tax, but you won’t hear Congress working on it, as people would be very aware of the amount of taxes they pay and congress would lose some of their pork power.

7 replies on “Weekend Update”

I’m beginning to become a big fan of the Fair Tax proposal. I’ve been reading up on it, and I think it’s quite revolutionary. I would love to see something like this proposal go through, but I fear it would take a revolution on the part of the common American people. Too many elitist politicians, with their hands too deep into the pockets of a far too bloated beaurocracy.

The fair tax proposal would uttler decimate the money and power base of the entire “tax industry,” which I of course think would be wonderful, but they’re not going to give that up without a MAJOR fight.

2nd – you spoke about longing for youth ministry again. I find that to be an interesting twist. To get into “the system,” whatever system that may be, you have to learn to play by the rules of said system, which is something I know you have NEVER been into doing. You also have to be very careful about what you are willing to fall on your sword about. And I simply don’t know if you are at the point in life yet, where nobility for the sake of personal conscience takes a back seat to flexibility and the rule of love.

Unless you are either A) willing to start your own work somewhere, or B) willing to play by someone else’s rules, even if you don’t 100% agree, or C) find a work that 100% lines up with you and your current philosophy of Christian conduct and ministry (and that is assuming your current philosophies NEVER change), then I’m not sure how realistic it would be to move back into youth ministry in an established church.

However you have already mentioned how having a critical spirit lends itself to pre-judging some churches you’ve recently visited. I would challenge you to find out what is at the root of your current attitude, and kill it. I think at one time or another, all of us involved in church ministry have to fight against a critical spirit (I know I have), and killing that attitude at its root will certainly help you be more successful on your journey.

I will end this by saying regarless of the outcome of your search, you have your daughter to think of first and foremost. And with all the evil things that exist in the world that are gunning for her soul, mind and body, SHE deserves a church family, even if YOU have issues about it. There is something protective about group fellowship and accountability, and you know I’ve NEVER been a huge fan of the lone ranger Christian mentality. Besides the moment you became a dad you lost the right to be a lone ranger any more. All this may be preaching to the choir at this point, because it does sound like you are searching for a new home, and I applaud that search. I just encourage you to complete it quickly, and to search with your ear listening for the whispers of the Holy Spirit.

What is Scott talking about?? You were playing by the rules at your last youth ministry position and the fact that you didn’t 100% agree with their ‘rules’ wasn’t a deal breaker for you — it was a deal breaker for them.

I’m glad you visited a church and I hope you are able to find a church home soon. I know you aren’t under any dilution that there is a ministry that 100% agrees with you and certainly aren’t seeking that as a criteria.

What I am talking about is the fact that “The Rules” that were in place at Jason’s previous work is that staff and members tithe at a 10% rate. Doesn’t really matter if you agree with it or not, that was one of the established rules. You could disagree with the concept of a mandatory 10% tithe, but still tithe at 10% in order to play by the rules. Jason chose to both disagree conceptually and then put forth the action of not tithing at 10%. So that is not playing 100% by their rules.

I’m not defending the rules at Jason’s previous church as 100% perfect. And I’m not saying Jason was wrong in his actions. I’m just saying, in MOST American churches one of the rules you gotta play by is the tithe, right or wrong.

Another rule you gotta play by in most American churches is “attending services on Sunday-rule,” even though that’s not in the Bible either. I’m willing to bet you would have difficulty being the youth pastor of a church if you only showed up on Saturdays when the building is closed (because that’s how they did it in the New Testament) but the Pastor decided that Youth services were Sunday night. You would have to be willing to submit to the “Sunday rule” and show up when the Pastor wanted you to, even if in your heart you believed the Sabbath was on Saturday.

It’s just one of the harsh realities of professional ministry in modern America. My point was, that if Jason truly wants to get back into some type of church-organized, Pastoral-sanctioned youth ministry, he’s going to have to play by their rules all the way, even the ones he’s not entirely in agreement with. Because if he doesn’t, if something else, or even the tithe thing becomes a “fall on your sword” issue again, he’s going to be right back in the same situaion he is in right now. Hence the three choices I outlined.

I think the good news for Jason, and other believers that have come to the conclusion of grace-giving is that there is an ever growing percentage of grace-giving churches across the the land. That may present more of an opportunity for an entire group of believers who don’t quite feel they fit in other places. And that’s a wonderful thing.

For the record, if the issue was “We know it isn’t biblical but it is our rule” then I would have been fine. However I respect the Bible enough to not force it to fit my rules, I know there are some things that you can see both sides on but the tithe isn’t one of them.

Scott — Fair Tax is the right way to go — but I think its never gonna happen—

As for Jason and playing by the rules — In my experience there are many many churches out there that do not require the tithe for membership or ministry, however most of them are non-pentecostal denominations. My sister currently attends a pentecostal church that not only does not require tithe but preach that it is not biblical and not required. It takes people standing up to a false doctrine like Jason did to bring about change. Martin Luther stopped playing by the rules when he nailed his thesis to the church door. Thank God he did.

As I know it – Jason’s old church required tithe for membership but nothing was said for its ministers prior to Jason’s stand. I do not believe its splitting hairs to make that distinction as many churches have different rules for its members than they do for their ministers. Jason had expressed that he would not renew his membership once he decided to stop tithing (correct me if that’s wrong Jason). AND just to be clear – he’s decision to stop tithing did not stop him from regular giving to ‘said’ church… just the mandate of 10% – I don’t know if he gave more or less than that after he abandoned tithing…

Dale, I like the fact that you brought up Martin Luther. Luther basically chose option A from my list of three options after the rejection (and rather violent at that) of his thesis by the established church in his day. And that I think is my main point. There is a tremendous cost to be paid sometimes when you don’t play by the rules. And, Bible and doctrine aside, it really doesn’t matter who’s right and who’s wrong, there is gonna be a hefty price attached. At this point in my life, I’m probably not willing to pay much more of a price than being the ardent conservative in the face of political and theological liberalism. I’ll let other good saints, like yourself and Jason, fight the rest of the battles. 🙂

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