Category Archives: Culture at Midnight

Do the Opposite

There is a private wrestling match going on in me. It has to do with how to navigate the force-fields that are operating in the world right now. More than that, I struggle with the sense that we as followers of Jesus must get prepared to live apart from the surrounding culture, not taking our cues from media, politics or any other of the cultural bellwethers, but from the Spirit and from the example of our predecessors in the faith.

Yesterday I had a discussion with a young friend who was curious about my political opinions. I told him I had very few. That was being honest. I have little confidence in political motivations and the ability of government to bring about a just and peaceful world. Moreover, I doubt that we are getting real transparency through the media and from persons in places of power who have good reason to tell the viewing public what the focus groups say we want to hear. Continue reading Do the Opposite

Let’s Build a Rat Park

As the culture clock ticks toward midnight, we read the following headline: Deaths from booze, drugs, suicide could spike 60 percent to 1.6 million over next decade.  Tragically, that dire warning didn’t  surprise me. I bet you could say the same.

We’ve watched the downward skid for quite awhile. Watched. Fretted. Made peace with impotence.

As this blog series has suggested, there’s not much we can do outside the community of Jesus. People gonna do what people gonna do.

What we can do, though, is build a rat park. I could argue that Jesus has commanded us to build a rat park (John 13:34-35).  Continue reading Let’s Build a Rat Park

Caution: Microcosms of Malice

And so it happens again, this time in a church. People are gathered to worship. Children playing with friends. Adults enjoying conversation. There is music and prayer. A community has come together in the name of the Lord, Jesus.

A man, boiling with hatred enters the sanctuary and begins firing a weapon which has as its sole purpose the taking of human life. It performs flawlessly. Twenty-six brothers and sisters of the Kingdom are dead with another twenty injured. The illusion of safety in this world, if such an illusion persisted, is shattered in a tiny town in Texas.

Another mass shooting. Days before, a worshiper of a demon god (certainly no righteous deity could have inspired such an act) murders eight innocents with a rented truck in New York. Before that, 58 killed in Las Vegas. Elsewhere in the world, acts of cowardly inhumanity are standard fare. Hatred has gone viral. Continue reading Caution: Microcosms of Malice

On a Garden that Needs Tending

 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…


 

I’ve been thinking about the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis. It occurs to me that it is a fitting inspiration as I learn how to coexist in a culture nearing midnight.

All around us we hear of violence and antagonism; of dispute and discouragement. Time and again I feel like “throwing my hat into the ring” on some of it.  I want to make my opinion known. Fight for the right, you know? I recently did just that and then regretted it. I’ll talk about that next time.

Seriously, what good will it do to stake out my position in a society that is coming unraveled? Particularly when my own garden here in “God’s Kingdom coming” needs tending. While the world outside blusters and blows, shouldn’t we be the calm in the storm?

St. Francis does a good job of outlining our job here between heaven and earth:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy. 

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console,

to be understood as to understand,

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive, 

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, 

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen.

New Blog Update

A while back I wondered on this blog about starting another blog at stonebutterfly.net, a domain name that I hold. I was concerned about some of the things I see going on in the culture and was thinking about addressing the “in-house” response that we Jesus followers should make as we live in a culture nearing midnight.

I’v e decided not to start up another site. I already curate this one at  ‘tween2worlds as well as twoworldsmedia.com, summithome.org, danmayhew.net, and I need to be launching the site that’s sitting idle at abideministries.us.

Enough, already!

Rather, I’ve decided to try to consolidate my of my online activities so I’m not splattered all over the web. That means that my thoughts about the church in a culture at midnight will appear here at ‘tween2worlds.  They’ll have their own category, “Culture at Midnight.” There are a few already so labeled.

Stay tuned for more.

Shalom, y’all!

Another Blog? Maybe Not…

I’ve been thinking about starting up another blog. Believe me, I’ve been resisting. I already have responsibility for multiple sites. It’s not like I need another one to think about. Still, there is something that won’t leave me alone.

I believe in recent years, there has been a shift in the cultural climate.

There was a time when we as Jesus People felt we had the opportunity, even an obligation, to influence the direction of culture and society. We got political; we sounded the alarm and called the church to action; we urged the electorate to take back America’s Judeo-Christian heritage; we decried the downward moral slide of Western culture. We designed programs and launched campaigns.

I think those days are over.  Continue reading Another Blog? Maybe Not…