What can i say about my God? Well, lots...
- My God is God, and we aren't (no matter what people believe; even Christians fall into this thinking)
- My God's perfect (and rest of us aren't). We do not deserve to be in His presence. We do deserve to go where we choose: "Hell" (which is eternal separation from God; for people who no matter what they say or seem to do, actually believe they don't need God)
- My God loves us any way (not just gushy, touchy-feely feelings, but really feeling pain when we do wrong -- but real joy when we do right)
- My God came to earth as Jesus the Christ ("Anointed One") to empathize with us, and show us how much He cares, and how He wants us to truly live
- My God, as Jesus, died for us, to make up for what we can't make up for (i.e. the pain and separation caused by "sin" -- choosing our own way rather than God's way; doing nice things for people won't make make up for all the effects of "sin").
- My God forgave me, and continues to forgive me, because i accepted the fact that only Jesus' work is enough to make up for what is truly my responsibility
- My God doesn't just love me, or "Christians"
- My God loves you just as much and He wants to forgive you if you let him
The Sev Files: A cartoon spoof of The X-Files.
- Jesus Seems obvious? He shows us God's real love and real understaning of us.
- Rich Mullins The song "Creed" by Rich Mullins, 5th Track on the album A Liturgy, A Legacy, and a Ragamuffin Band , probably most clearly states my theological beliefs:
"i did not make, not it is making me...it is the very Truth of God, not the invention of any man."
- Steve Taylor Also, the song "Jesus is for Losers" by Steve Taylor is also a good place to understand my theological mind. Actually, most of Steve Taylor reflects a lot of what i feel.
- Joe Moseley : You may never have heard of him, but if you live in Chicago (he's gone as far as Northern Illinois University), you might have seen him happily handing out tracts (he does that, because that's how he made a commitment to submit to Jesus Christ at age 14). Even though he grew up in Little City, he's someone who has a clear and sincere faith in Jesus and so much wisdom. Being quick-minded does not equal wise-minded.
- John White : a Seminary student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He's discipling me, specifically through the book of Romans.
- Tony Campolo : This is recent choice...i know a little bit about him: he's an intentse speaker, strives for social justice, and provides a challenge for the thinking Christian. Here's some harsh criticism of him. i suggest you look at it, see where they actually have a point, and where they are being Pharisees.
- St. Augustine : He's been recently introduced to me as well...
In general, i'm not very comfortable in having a separate Christian culture, one that operates pretty much like an ethnic group. There's Christian music, Christian TV, Christian telephone directories listing Christian businesses, etc. [True Tunes Magazine had an article describing Christian Soda Pop (which, i think, would reflect "Christian" behavior: very sweet and bubbly, but with low nutrition and causing Truth decay.)]. i don't like dressing up for church. i do not believe that the Christian Coalition reflects much of Jesus' attitude.
Yet, i actually do believe that the Bible is the Word of God and the Key to Life.
Pet peeves about "Christian culture"
- Christian Coalition Daniel and Joseph, among others, were followers of God in an anti-Christian/anti-God government. Paul told us to obey & pray for the government, whose excesses at the time were far worse than what Bill Clinton has been merely accused of!
- Christian "Whiteness" rather than "Witness" Christians following along aspects of white culture: a facade of perfection, using Christianese (English words used only at church)
- A bunch of things that aren't on the top of my head
The bottom line is: i need to be real--with others, my God and myself. Otherwise, this whole living process becomes a waste.
Until recently, i was a part of
Joshua Community Church. What's Joshua Community Church? It was a baby Cell Church, with the goal of presenting Christianity as it was was in the beginning: a "real" lifestyle based on relationships with God and other people, rather than rules and regulations.
Joshua Church ended, but i continue the vision of reaching the youth of Uptown, and developing them into spiritually and emotionally whole leaders of the future.
Ironically, the idea of Small Groups is now trickling into Uptown Baptist life. The Junior High Youth Group now uses small groups, while the Men's Discipleship Sunday School class is considering how this idea would work. Other Small Groups are appearing as well.
For more resources on having a relationship with God through Jesus, check
my music page. You'll find something that's close your tatste in music.
Gospel Communications Network is a good source for Christians or people interested in learning about Christianity. For example, they have an excellent on-line Bible reference, Bible Gateway, where you can look up a verse via keywords in several translations of the bible.
Christian Student Equipper An incredibly well done page with many resources to help you grow.
Radio Bible Class is another good christian Resource. Though over 50 years old, they are have not grown cold in their resources. They have a lot to offer. RBC stuff is free for the asking (funds are generated by unpressured donations and a publishing division, Discovery House, which does sell books and tapes). Our Daily Bread is probably their most famous, and most used publication.
First Evangelical Free Church This is where the former leaders from Joshua Community Church met (and went for Sunday Worship/spiritual feeding). "First Free" was pastored by Carl Sutter (until recently). First Free ministries include Small Groups, Free Time (social activities for all ages), community service (especially to Trumbull public School, which is 1 street south of the church) and Breakthrough Urban Ministries, which provides employment, housing referrals (and a nightly shelter: The Dwelling Place), food and other services for men in the Edgewater/Uptown/Rogers Park area.
First Free is located at 5249 N. Ashland Avenue (at Ashland and Berwyn). Services for the regular year are at 9 AM and 10:45 AM on Sundays. For summer and Christmas and New Year's, there is one service at 10:00 am Sundays.
Excellent computer animated series (direct-to-video), teaching Christian values. The theme song is catchy (Many adults know and sing the theme song!), the dialogue is smart, and lessons are well taught. They use parodies of pop culture (Batman, Star Trek & Monty Python & the Holy Grail, for instance) and music to get the point across.
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