The American Religious Right’s conflation of faith and partisan politics has been bad for the country and for faith... But, while Vince used to feel the best response to that was to strive to pursue an politically neutral faith (“both sides are equally bad/good when it comes to the model of Jesus”), he now feels that to be just as unsatisfactory... so what now?
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On the Sunday we set aside every year to thank and celebrate our volunteers, Vince passes on some of his most recent reminders of why he loves this church and all of the volunteer efforts that make it happen (and not just because he’s supposed to). He also tells us what’s ahead this summer for volunteers: (1) our Kids Program is exploding (great problem to have!), and (2) how we're taking advantage of the Chicago summer.
What can we learn by tracing a line through Bubbles from HBO's The Wire, Jesus on the Cross, and the writing of St. Paul? That churches at their best are like a 12 Step Meeting. Vince's own experience has taught him that maybe it's worth expanding our understanding of the 12-Steps beyond just Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Sex Addicts Anonymous. Maybe all people need the 12 Steps.
What if our church was known for activating people to genuinely feel like they can make a positive difference in our wider community, city, and world? The earliest churches had this legacy as the way they operated subverted their hierarchical culture. Perhaps today, what it takes to activate people is subverting consumerism in our culture.
Virtually everyone in America believes to some degree in ‘soul mate ideology’ (the belief that everyone has a soul mate out there and that true love is one’s only hope for happiness). But this belief is cruel to us! -- to single people and married people alike (and particularly to women). In our romantic/sex lives, how might we live out something less cruel and more fulfilling than soul mate ideology?
Perhaps nothing shapes our identity more in American culture than what we "do"... Work can form who we are in healthy ways, but how can we avoid the unhealthy ways work forms who we are?
BLV is a community held together not by sameness, but by Jesus bridge-building power. Some of us have grown up bridging more than one culture or worldview or ethnic tradition (as a result of immigration, for example), which presents challenges, but also makes those of us role models of love.
BLV is a community made up of people with many different stories and backgrounds. Those of us who are "not the religious type" offer a valuable perspective that our longtime churchgoing friends don't have, but we also tend to carry with us an ugly inheritance of unearned privilege.
BLV is a community held together not by cultural sameness, but by Jesus' unique ability to build bridges. What are the positive and negative inheritances that people who have grown up going to church bring to our community?
Series: Something I'm dying to tell you