Ted's Tidbits

Ten Years Ago

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Ten years ago today:

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Redefining Holiness

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There are many words that Christians use today that I feel have lost their original meanings. Christianity took a common word and used it to explain a uniquely Christian concept. Over time the word fell out of the common vernacular, but the church kept using it. When such words are used today, they come with theological baggage: a specific understanding of the concept is implied whenever the word is used.

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Persecution

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Yesterday, I posted a link to an article by Rachel Held Evans on walking the second mile. It was re-posted by a few people and generated several comments on the different people’s posts.

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The terrorist as rock star

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Dave Winer:

…they show us our fear of ourselves. The realization that we equate youthful and sexy appearance with benevolence. Our value system fails. The input does not equal the output. Does not compute.

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One Grain More

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This is just brilliant. With the new Les Misérables movie, I’ve often thought of resurrecting Les Buffet, but I’m not sure I could best this.

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Influence

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I don’t like national elections. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in and understand their importance. In fact, I think it’s great that every citizen gets a vote in choosing national leaders. The problem I have with national elections is that it over-inflates the importance of our national leaders. They trick us into putting our hopes and dreams into one candidate. The one candidate who has all the answers for the economy, military, society, etc. It’s easy to get caught up in this contest, even if you try not to.

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2012 Big Tex Choice Awards Finalists Announced

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UPDATE: Descriptions Added

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History Never Sits Still. Thus Neither Can Our Politics

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Lee C. Camp:

…everything is so very polarized that it seems, at worst, that there are only two possible positions, or at best, that there is only a single continuum between two possible positions. If the daughter comes home talking about non-violence, and the mother is a supporter of her government’s wars, then the daughter must be a damn communist, too.

…as the theologians have increasingly explicated, “the powers” get made manifest in a variety of institutions, -isms, systems, and structures. “The powers” are created for good (per the letter to the Colossians) but overstep their bounds, and rather than serving humankind, get “hell-bent on their own survival” (per Walter Wink) and thence begin to enslave and oppress.

…to those who foolishly idealize “the free market,” we insist that the powers of darkness are cunning, baffling, and powerful, and that they do in fact co-opt the supposedly free market for purposes of greed and grasping which corrupts and controls as much as any tyrannical dictator. Or to those who foolishly idealize “the welfare state,” we insist that the powers of darkness are cunning, baffling, and powerful, and that the over-weening bureaucratic mechanisms of control do in fact limit creative human creativity, and create dependence.

The centralization enacted by Joseph for the good of the starving Hebrews provided the very bureaucratic tyranny that served to enslave those same Hebrews. History never sits still. Thus neither can our politics. If we find ourselves lumping together into one mass group of political enemies anyone who disagrees with us (as in the irrational conclusion that a pacifist must be a communist), the perhaps we have become enslaved to the powers which use a binary, polarizing view of the world to create enemies, stratify communities, and breed hostility, precisely for the good of the corrupt powers, but never for the true good of humankind.

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A Restless Patriotism

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Richard Beck:

I’m a mess when it comes to the Pledge of Allegiance.

So I’m trying to walk this line between being socially appropriate, respectful to others (particularly to those who have lost loved ones in war), deeply grateful, and yet holding onto the belief that the Pledge of Allegiance is inherently idolatrous.

The problem is that it’s a pledge of allegiance. If it were a pledge of respect, love, or gratitude there wouldn’t be a problem.

Can’t I just say Love and Thank You without pledging allegiance?

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Who moved the goalpost?

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Dan Bouchelle:

All this happened despite the fact that the language of “salvation issue” and “go to heaven” does not even appear in scripture. These matters are never the concern of Jesus or the apostles. Jesus was concerned about God reigning on earth as in heaven, or to put it another way, the Kingdom of God.

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