I thought that this was a really interesting dialogue involving Tim Keller, Rabbi David Gelfand, and the hosts of MSNBC’s show Morning Joe. With MSNBC’s reputation for liberal slant in mind, I felt like this was a really great, unbiased discussion. Tim Keller, as usual, did a great job. He even had the opportunity to share his beliefs without being shut out or interrupted. Take a look:
I started to begin this blog post simply stating that “I like folk music”. As I began typing out the words I could feel the judgmental stare of a couple of my friends that actually like folk music. I don’t actually like folk music. I like hipster indie versions of folk music. I like folk music that is best experienced live in a college bar while holding a bottle of an obscure, hoppy American beer. I like folk music that gets mentioned on the right websites by the right people.
Anyway, I enjoy the simplicity of folk music. I appreciate the fact that talented singer/songwriters can carefully craft a song from nothing more that a delightfully catchy melody and a handful of thoughtful lyrics. I appreciate the fact that a well-constructed folk song can be just as poignant sung by one person holding an acoustic guitar as it can be played by an entire band. I appreciate that you don’t have to be much of a musician to write folk songs… you just have to know the basics and be able to sing about things that are found common with all humanity.
Here is the problem with folk music: there are a lot of people that have abused the simplicity of the genre in the pursuit of fame and renown. There are people that think that they can be folk musicians because they can play guitar and happen to have scribbled a few thoughts down in a notepad.
You see, there is no formula to folk music. There is, for that matter, no formula to any sort of art. When you try to create art with a formula you end up with something inauthentic and stale. People can tell the difference between art that is true, honest, and beautiful art that is created with improper aspirations for success and pride.
I love Chick-Fil-A. I don’t care who knows it.
Recently there has been a stirring of controversy around the chicken pedler because the company gave money to a group that “opposes gay marriage”. (CNN article) I care about social causes. I really do. I believe that people should be treated equally regardless of their social status, gender, sexual preference, race, religion, culture, creed (and so on…) However, I can’t help but feel like this is a little ridiculous.
I feel like this is just another example of people acting surprised when a huge company is doing something that upsets them. If people wanted to get mad at Chick-Fil-A about this, they could have gotten started a long time ago. Chick-Fil-A has never hidden the fact that they are a Christian company. They are closed on Sundays. And, let’s be honest… they’ve been donating to “groups that oppose gay marriage” for decades… they’re called churches.
With that said, I would like to address a different facet of this discussion.
Why is it that Chick-Fil-A (and millions of other evangelical Christians) focus so much thought and attention on the issue of homosexuality? This argument has been run into the ground recently, and I apologize for that. However, I think that it needs to be constantly revisited.
The Bible says that homosexuality is a sin. I get that. However, if we are to follow the example of Christ we will also see that Jesus spends a whole lot of His time condemning the church for judging people. To borrow an example that my friend Tyler just shared with me (from Alan Hirsch at the Untamed Conference)…
When Jesus met the woman who was dragged out to be stoned for adultery he made one of His most often-quoted statements: “He who is without sin, cast the first stone”. He then says to the woman “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more”.
Notice the order here. He says “Neither do I condemn you” BEFORE he says “Go and sin no more”. He is offering love and compassion to the woman who is sinning before he tells her that she needs to stop sinning. This is how we should treat all non-believers (including homosexuals). We need to stop treating them like they are less than us. We need to show them the love that Christ has for them… not the hate and prejudice that we have been showing.
If we are following the example of Christ we would be a lot more likely to condemn things like pride and porn addiction and abuses of power in our own churches before we go out to condemn homosexuals.
Leah’s grandmother used to have a pillow that said:
“God couldn’t be everywhere… That’s why He made grandmothers”
Though I think that the pillow is extremely theologically inaccurate, I appreciate the sentiment… especially today.
Tonight was a difficult night for me.
As you know, I work at night and sleep during the day. This evening I woke up from my second shift of sleeping at around 7:30pm. My wife and I had to immediately go to the church to set up for Sunday morning.
Usually Judah spends the night with my mother-in-law on Saturday nights. This allows us to set up at the church on Saturday night and keeps Leah from having to get him ready on her own while she is rushing to get to the church by 7am on Sunday. However, tonight my mother-in-law was out of town. That meant that we had to go to the church around 8pm to set up for Sunday morning with a one-year-old, who has an 8:30pm bed time.
Fortunately my mom was willing to watch him so that we could get our work done. However, that still meant that we kept Judah out until 9:30pm… an hour past his usual bed time. It was… stressful.
So, what’s the point of my boring story?
1) Sometimes I feel really guilty about what I am putting my family through by having this job. They have to spend full days at home, tip-toeing around and trying to be quiet so that I can rest. When I do wake up, we have to rush around to get things done because there just isn’t enough time during the day for me to sleep and get things accomplished.
2) I am really thankful for the people in my life that help us out. We are in a place where we honestly aren’t able to be who we need to be for our son 100% of the time. In addition to being parents, Leah and I have 3 full-time jobs between the two of us. There is no way that we could function the way that we did tonight every single Saturday night. We would be miserable.
I am so thankful for both of Judah’s grandmothers. They are incredible.