Moving past a church of “Us vs. Them”

This morning I listened to a podcast, Newsworthy with Norsworthy, where Luke Norsworthy was interviewing David Fitch, author of The Church of Us vs. Them. Norsworthy was maddeningly frustrating as usual with his banter about football’s supremacy over ice hockey and Texas over Canada and certain baseball teams over others. However, when Fitch could get a word in edgewise, he had some interesting things to say.

I’m glad I listened to the podcast—I’m glad I listen to Newsworthy with Norsworthy—it provides me a different, mostly intelligent perspective on issues facing the church and the body of Christ as it interfaces with contemporary culture. I don’t always agree with the guests, especially on issues of sexuality, but I almost always find some wisdom in what they have to say.

David Fitch, author of The Church of Us vs. Them from lukenorsworthy.com.

Fitch was a guest with which I disagreed on his “traditionalist” stance on homosexuality, but what he was saying about how a church body can come together to make decisions on hot topic “issues” was interesting. Fitch maintains that people are quick to adopt identities that tend to get in the way of dialogue by making people of a certain identity fight another identity for power. He decries the impulse to win. Of course, this takes a swipe at identity politics as a valid endeavor, but I like his alternative a little: heart-to-heart, face-to-face conversations with those people who are affected. Dialogue before determining doctrine.

Of course, what Fitch seems not to be mindful of is the decades of dialogue that have been going on around issues of sexuality and the fact that churches have been painfully slow in having the dialogue, and have used calls for dialogue as a delaying tactic when people’s lives have been at stake, but if he believes this in dialogue in good faith, I can go along with that. I will, again say that much dialogue has been entertained or issue of sexuality would never have come to the forefront. It’s not like people who affirm a diversity of sexualities and genders and family arrangements woke up overnight in power and started passing edicts to be affirming all of a sudden! Plus, there is the aspect of real harm being done to real people in real time with things existing as they are. It reminds me of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s, teachings about the questionable role of the moderate stance in the civil rights struggle. Perhaps the solution is a both-and.

But more dialogue can’t hurt so long as it is not used as a delaying tactic to forestall any change—and so long as hurting people quickly get the succor they need.

What do you think? I’d like to hear your thoughts on how these ideas might be applied to other differences among the body of Christ (or in our body politic).

Thank you for your time and attention. Unless otherwise noted the contents of this website are © 2018-2020 Jon Carl Lewis. You can get in touch with me at joncarllewis@gmail.com. May God richly bless you on your journey.

Moving past a church of “Us vs. Them”

My timer is my best writing buddy

Photo by Veri Ivanova on Unsplash

OK. I’ve officially started the day. Not when I got up. Not when I had breakfast. Not even when I powered up the computer. The day started when I set my timer for twenty minutes which was my signal to start keeping track of what I was doing. And to start typing. I don’t know why my timer is so good for me that way. I have frittered away whole days where I had nothing to do—or, at least, nothing scheduled—except work when I have ended up doing nothing. But I have found that if I set my timer for twenty-minute increments, I can get instantly focused and get a lot done. So, what’s the take-home lesson from that? I need to be mindful about when I start my timer. It’s also usually around this time, 11:47, that I “wake up” and start doing stuff. Should I just take this as information that this is when I get started every day? Or can I “hack” my brain into starting earlier if I set my timer earlier? Experimentation will tell. I can try tomorrow setting my timer early, before I have to leave for work, and see what happens.

Wish me luck!

My timer is my best writing buddy

New inspiration to write from 200wordsaday.com

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

After a long period of not posting to my blog or Medium.com, I was inspired to write again by stumbling across a website called 200 Words a Day. I actually would have preferred stumbling across a website called “50 Words a Day,” but I’ll take inspiration where I find it.

Much like Medium, the site makes it easy to write two hundred words online. There is a counter which tells you how many more words you have to go to hit two hundred, and then one has the option of posting whatever one has written. Here is what I wrote:

200 Words, God willing

How hard could it be to write 200 words a day? I want to say, “It depends upon the day” but I’d like an answer that is more concrete and less whimsical than that. Part of writing two hundred words a day is to set the bar so low that it would be just as easy to do the thing as to not do it. Perhaps that’s not possible. What is possible is to focus on the moment, to focus on today, to focus on the here and now. I am writing now, and that is enough. Perhaps I will write tomorrow. I hope I will write tomorrow, but I don’t even know if God wills that I be alive this time tomorrow. There are certain promises we make that have to be conditional. This is why I like to append the phrase, “God willing,” or even, “Insha’Allah” so as to not tempt fate with the hubris that I know what is going to happen five minutes from now, let alone tomorrow. Still, two hundred words a day is a noble goal. It shouldn’t take too much effort to achieve. I think, if I can get myself to the website on a daily basis, the only problem I will have is getting myself to stop.

Jon Carl Lewis, first posted at 200 Words a Day on Thursday, 05 September 2019.

Not a bad start.

The site keeps track of how many days you write, which I imagine will be good inspiration and motivation to keep going. Also, there is a weekly writing prompt. I wish there were a daily writing prompt, but if I can’t think of anything to write, I have purchased a stack of cards, the Wordsmith Deck from BestSelf.co. It contains one hundred writing prompts, one to a card to get the juices flowing on those days when nothing comes to mind.

Wish me luck! I think this is going to be a fun adventure. Should you find yourself experimenting with either of these tools, post your experience in the comments and let’s compare notes.

New inspiration to write from 200wordsaday.com

Faith seeking understanding #076: Coming face to face with yourself

Faith seeking understanding, my personal journey towards a deeper knowledge of and intimacy with God, the cosmos, humanity and myself through thoughts, words and (occasionally) images, is a series of [hopefully] daily reflections I’m writing with the purpose of publishing something on a regular basis for others to read, either here, at joncarllewis.com or among my writings at Medium.com.

Photo by Fares Hamouche on Unsplash

Sometimes, all it takes
Is rounding a corner
To come face-to-face with yourself,
Face to face with your future,
Face to face with your potentials,
Face to face with your truest self.

And you realize
That you’ve been there all along
Waiting for you to drop the mask
And discover yourself anew.

Thank you for your time and attention.
I’d love to know your thoughts on what you’ve read.
Please comment, below, or email me at joncarllewis@gmail.com.
May God richly bless you on your journey.

Faith seeking understanding #076: Coming face to face with yourself

Faith seeking understanding #075: A return, a recommittal, a new resolve

Photo by Taylor Nicole on Unsplash

Faith seeking understanding, my personal journey towards a deeper knowledge of and intimacy with God, the cosmos, humanity and myself through thoughts, words and (occasionally) images, is a series of [hopefully] daily reflections I’m writing with the purpose of publishing something on a regular basis for others to read, either here, at joncarllewis.com or among my writings at Medium.com.

Folks who follow me may be surprised to see that I’m writing reflections again under the title of “Faith seeking understanding.” Although I swore off the series and thought I was bringing it to a close in #072: “Goodbye to “Faith seeking understanding”? I couldn’t envision an umbrella for another series that “felt” as right as this one.

Continue reading “Faith seeking understanding #075: A return, a recommittal, a new resolve”
Faith seeking understanding #075: A return, a recommittal, a new resolve