Friday, May 27, 2005

Speaking My Mind ( Part 1 )

I was introduced to Tony Campolo - Eons ago.. it seems, in a different lifetime. So I got this Book title from Estelle and Jayson, and was anxiously awaiting it's arrival. Last night, i got into my favorite reading spot and started reading.

In part 1 I agree with alot of what Tony talks about. There are alot of issues you can look at from the "Canadian" prespective. The movement taking place - "Should we move away from Christian Canada." The numbers here in Canada reflect a growth in the Evangelical Church, with movement also AWAY from the mainstay organized religions. The Muslim population is growing along with the Asian religions as well, certain "evangelical and christian" denominations.

Thank you Reginald Bibby !! And Religions in Canada Class at Concordia.

The trend towards conversion -vs- socialization is something to look at, seeing that the evangelical churches and younger church goers and those who are leaving (big ticket) church denominations are more likely to listen to their peers and others and maybe attend services where there is a "buzz" of activity coming from a leader who is charasmatic and feels and moves with the energy of his flock. That is something that I have witnessed on the University Campus of Concordia.

The one idea that "hooked" me with Tony was his ability to carry a sermon on a single sentance, and that blew me away. I mean he could preach for an hour on one single phrase, and the louder he got the more animated his congregation would get. Leading to a cacophony of "Hallelujah and Praise the Lord!!" The parish I belonged to many years ago, had a very "evangelical" area to it's main Catholic Ministry. Outreach and Youth involvement was a big deal.

I agree that one of the main problems in the U.S. IS the power that the Evangelical church has on the Political establishment. In that, with a few proper communications, can unite millions of people to do it's bidding, and that bidding is a move towards a more "Christian way of life." A more Morally Centered vision. BUT, in that vision is narrowness and EXCLUSION. Alot of people have found themselves on the outside looking in.

There IS an evangelical church right on the corner by my house, that I have seen and attended and know people who are part of this dynamic (socially and racially) diverse grouping of people. Unlike the U.S.'s split in the black and white congregations, I find that they CAN intermingle here in Montreal.

You know, I do agree with some evangelical preachers. And I do understand some of the teachings, and being (WHAT) I am does not impede me as to (WHO) I am. I believe that the "Living of a Christian Life" means that you try to BE Jesus. And in that I mean, accepting and hopeful for those you meet on the journey. You don't label or denigrate others who are different than yourself. I try to learn about them, so i can learn about me. And IF I move someone to join me on the journey then - it was their choice not mine. People follow a preacher because of his honesty and desire to be "Jesus" to those he leads. As the R.L.P. always says, that we are NOT Jesus, because we just cannot live up to that maximum impact. Trying to BE Jesus, then says that it's about ego and personality, and for me those two things are unattractive, really!!

There are some evangelical preachers that I listen to and entertain in my life, love Joel Osteen, and Robert Schuller and You got to Love Joyce Meyer !! The women have just as much to say as the men, and you know, I think sometimes they get the message across even better. My Christian Journey has taken me to a number of churches in my time. Alot of them in Florida.

I lived in Orlando for a couple of years, and you wanna see some Evangelicals get Hot on a Sunday Morning, well, that's one place you must visit, if you want some fire and brimstone, family values, No holds barred, EXCLUSION and Jesus says THAT!! way of living.

I noticed an "under current" of discussion about certain "Groups" of people and I know what some of you are waiting for me to comment on, and I am not there yet, where I am ready to say anything openly about (us). I am just into part 2 of the book. I read whispers of a movement towards some "understanding and inclusion" of those people - whom for years and years have been "excluded from Christianity!" if I am reading correctly, but I imagine that there is a larger section I am supposed to read before I make any comments.

This is what I have for you so far Estelle !!


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