Thursday, 24 June 2010

Should They Like Us?

I'm preparing Junior Church lessons today (the first sign that work is very, very quiet is that I have time to do that at work; the second sign, of course, is that I also have time to write this). We're in the book of Acts, and in July will learn about the stoning of Stephen, Philip and the Ethiopian, Saul's conversion, and Saul's escape in the basket. We've already learned about two of the apostles being arrested, and Peter will be arrested again before the summer is over. There seem to be a lot of people in Acts trying to kill the followers of The Way (they won't be called Christians until the middle of August) (as an aside, I know no one is getting persecuted in Philip and the Ethiopian; it just happens to be one of the lessons).

Which led me to thinking....a lot of "how to do church" and "why we're doing church wrong" books and blogs seem to focus on "unbelievers don't like the church so we're doing something wrong and need to change." But I don't see that in Acts. They didn't change or soften their message and they didn't keep quiet and try to be "tolerant" of everyone's beliefs.

They preached the gospel, plain and simple, from the Old Testament through the death and resurrection of Christ. And they were arrested and stoned and beheaded and hounded and cast out....and they kept preaching the gospel, plain and simple.

Now, if we're so caught up in our little "christian" world that we ignore or look down on nonbelievers, or if we forget that they're people and not numbers to convert so we look good, or being jerks in general, then of course they don't like us, and we need to change.

But if we're preaching the truth and loving people and not compromising and they don't like us....well, from reading Acts, that makes a lot of sense, and maybe it means we're doing something right.

Saturday, 19 June 2010


It's about all I think about right now. It seems to be all I do right now (although there's also work, Bible study, church, Sunday School, bits of socializing....). Sometimes I dream about it (very strange dreams about commentaries).

At the end of October I will be done 1/2 of the summer classes and 6/15 of the independent study classes (did I mention I passed last winter's classes? I finally got the final marks). The current classes (Creation and Covenant and Prophets and Prophecy in Context) are said by those who have completed the program to be the toughest with the most work. I believe it. I also take comfort in knowing that when I'm finished them, the rest should be less stressful!

The thing is, except for some of the reading, I'm enjoying all of it. I don't understand all of it, of course; in fact, in Dr. Wong's "minor research project" of 206 questions on the prophets, I tend to look at the questions and think "I have no idea!" Then I research and learn stuff and have fun...but there isn't time to learn and understand all of it (nor does he intend us to; it's just to get an overview; later we will write a full paper on one of the questions). I do know some of the arguments used to defend different views of different passages, and in some cases I know which ones I think are correct.

So....back to work. I'll try to check in once in a while, but until this research project is finished, I'm doing so much writing already that I don't always want to write in my spare time (such as it is).

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Not a Good Argument

I'm in a long-running argument with the kids about cell phones and MP3 players. They want to use them at work and at sleepovers and once in Sunday School, and I want them to put them away (or leave them at home).

My argument goes like this: No. You aren't allowed to have them here; it's against the rules. You need to be doing your work, not texting or listening to music, and you do not need the music to do your work; I've seen you do it with out the music. (That would be at work; at the sleepover it was: You're with a group of friends and you do not need to be texting each other or anyone else and you are certainly not going to be calling or texting boys tonight, not on my watch.)

Their argument: It's mine and you can't take it away, that's not fair, I need it.

My question: Why do you need it?

Their response: Because it's mine and you can't take it, that's mean!

They always seem so surprised when I don't give in to their astounding logic!

Side story: Last night I told one of my teenage girls to take those things out of her ears and put her iPod away while she's here. When she was going to argue I got up to take the iPod from her so she tried to shove it in her bra (although it ended up in her shirt). Her (male) teacher turned somewhat pink and was suddenly busy teaching another student!