Category Archives: Found on the ‘Net

What Assumptions Have You Made About Homosexuality? (article link)

I want to invite you to take a look at an Article on Relevant Magazine (a Christian publication) that looks briefly into the assumptions that are often made when it comes to the topic of Christianity and Homosexuality.  I think these assumptions are some great conversation starters.  I hope you’ll take a look and share what your thoughts or questions are.

LINK: “Christian & Gay?” | Relevant Magazine

Should We “Do The Church Dance”?

Check out the video from www.PushingHope.com and my thoughts below.

Would Darren “Do The Church Dance”? Anyone who knows me well would probably quickly say “YES” because I’m known to dance – and on occasion break a sweat doing so.  But the continued enjoyment of dancing hasn’t come without much consideration in my Christian life.  In fact, when I first had my born-again experience in 1998, I quickly stopped dancing all-together because I associated it with being “worldly” and leading to “sinful behavior”.  That was my conviction then, but it was probably fueled more by zeal and shallow thinking.  It’s probably didn’t help much that the church I was part of at the time didn’t condone any dance other than that modified two-step or an equivalent of bucking around wildly. (Full disclosure… I could “cut a step” with the rest of ’em!)

However, as I grew and studied the word, I came to realize that dance (and music) aren’t strictly the devil’s territory.  I eventually found a renewed desire to express myself through dance – and to do so in praise to God.   I also learned that much of what we disdain in church has more to do with our cultural objections (and fears) than with transcendent biblical truth.

I posted the “Do The Church Dance” video on my Facebook page and (as to be expected) was met with mixed reactions.  I’m also following the comments on pages of several friends who posted it.  Mostly there are LOL’s about the video, but by the comments a few people have taken offense.  I’m curious to get others perspective on why this is offensive to them.  Many seem to consider this ‘inappropriate’ for church – and while I wouldn’t lead a congregation in a round of it, I don’t think it’s ‘wrong’ or making fun of the church.  (They do a STRING of dances you can see in many African-American churches on any given Sunday!)

On one of the comment threads, I shared this in considering the opinion that church should be reverent/reserved.

Listening to the lyrics (while not life changing) he talked about living his life differently than the way his contemporaries are living. I think he also is encouraging people to dance and express themselves in the dance style that is familiar to them – while incorporating some ‘moves’ from the previous generations.

I think the modern “hip-hop” styling and dancing may be challenging to many – especially for people from traditionally reverent worship communities. But this is true in the same way that the introduction of the Hammond B-3 organ was considered the devil’s instrument and inappropriate for the church (the “B” stood for BAR – like where people go to Drink).

I think people generally are cautious about cultural things that relate back to areas that were sinful for them in the past and for good reason.  We can’t just go about life without giving consideration to what influences us.  But in considering history, I think this will pan out in similar ways to the contributions of Thomas Dorsey (great video link!) and Mahalia Jackson, or more recently songs like “Oh Happy Day” – in their time, they were considered worldly and inappropriate – but today they are “traditional” and “old school” church!

What are your thoughts?  Would you defend or support releases like “Do The Church Dance”?

The Power (and Danger) of a Single Story

LINK: sat’day riddymz: the Danger of a Single Story «.

Check out the above link to AfroSpear – a blog where I found powerful yet simple video that inspired this post.

I’m becoming more and more interested in the dynamics of story. Not just in literary form but also in music, drama, video, and cultural traditions.  Our worldviews are built on the stories we’ve heard and accepted.  History exists as a collection of stories.  We long to live the kind of life that makes a great story someday after we’re gone.

What also must be considered is the fact that stories are often told from a single perspective.  We often gain new understanding when we hear a story from another perspective – even if the story has been told to us for ages.

Article: “What it means to be white”

Link: “The History of White People”: What it means to be white – Nonfiction – Salon.com.

I just wanted to share an article I stumbled upon at Salon.com.  I’ve heard Tim Wise speak on the subject as well as a dear friend who is a College professor expound on these topics.  It’s a good non-sensational read.  Check it out and feel free to share your thoughts here.

I’m familiar with the history of a group of scientists coining ‘race’ and making ‘whiteness’ the next thing under God in their hierarchy of creation.  I wasn’t familiar with the origin of ‘Caucasian’ and how this so frequently has been about aesthetic beauty.

Finally, a Non-Alarmist Article on Location Awareness & Privacy

LINK: Over-sharing and Location Awareness | Center for Democracy & Technology.

I just read this article from the Center for Democracy & Technology and thought it was very useful and reasonable in the scenarios it presents.  The article looks at the growing nature of location aware information and services and the real and needed privacy controls around these services.  This was a refreshing read after wading through the information spun by groups like PleaseRobMe.com – which was rewriting actual location aware posts from Foursquare to basically say “I’ve left and gone to ______ location, please rob my home now.”

Everyday it seems we become more aware of concerns about identity-theft, personal information accidentally being exposed, and the ever-present Big Brother seeing too much into our lives.  The reality is that today we are exposed to more information in a single day than people of the past were exposed to in their entire lifetimes.  The challenge is being wise about how this information is collected, stored, and used.

Take a look at the article and be mindful of supporting legislation and other forms of policy that support privacy ideals like these.

YouTube – “Are You Listening” with Kirk Franklin & Friends

YouTube – “Are You Listening” with Kirk Franklin & Friends.

I’m very late on hearing this, but I certainly enjoyed it.  It seems EVERYONE was able to do a more heartfelt and compassionate musical tribute to Hati than the “We Are The World 25” remake. Kirk Franklin is a great songwriter – especially for songs like this.  Enjoyed the vocal performances of everyone in this as well.

Your Brain Can’t Handle Your Facebook Friends

LINK: Your Brain Can’t Handle Your Facebook Friends

Check out the above link for a quick and interesting article about the Number Robin Dunbar is credited with defining. Basically, he asserts that people can only maintain about 150 meaningful relationships and beyond that the connection deteriorates.

I’d observed this same principal when I noticed how small churches that are very focused on their pastor ‘max out’ at around 200 members.  I said that in a scenario like that, there are only so many people who are able to genuinely connect to the pastor or leader. When his limit is reached, it cuts off new people to the ‘appeal’ of that community.  Those who come in after that number has been reached, never feel connected and simply drift away to another church or community.

I think it’s important that we are mindful of these kinds of numbers when we think about our own leadership and relationships.

Stirred Up Leadership: 10 Symptoms of Emotionally Unhealthy Spirituality

Stirred Up Leadership: 10 Symptoms of Emotionally Unhealthy Spirituality.

Check out the above article for some great points about unhealthy ways we approach spirituality.  I’m currently reading The Emotionally Healthy Church by Peter Scazzero and it’s digging up some very key points in how we do church and relate to each other.