Levels of Lostness*

*Uncovered behind the tract-rack in a small Texas Church of Christ was this official Church of Christ(c) chart distinguishing various levels of being lost depending on one’s acts and beliefs.  The author’s name was missing but this tiny church has a storied history among Restoration Movement giants.  It seems that 100 is actually the worst, and 0.0 would be someone perfectly saved.

0.5          Dead Church of Christ members who attended every service, never used instruments, rejected Pre-Mill, never divorced, and condemned the sects regularly.

5.0          Living Church of Christ members who never used instruments, reject Pre-Mill, never divorced, and condemn the sects regularly. (of course, we ain’t sure if they are saved or not, but pretty likely)

10.0          Living Church of Christ members who used to be a part of a sect but converted after rejecting their denomination.

15.0         Living Church of Christ members who used to believe in Pre-Mill and don’t attend Mid-week Bible Study.

18.5      Church of Christ members who only attend Sunday morning.

20.0      Church of Christ members who use the American Standard of 1901 instead of the KJV.

25.0      Church of Christ members who have been divorced.

30.0      Catholics

35.0      Church of Christ members who attended Harding or DLU.

40.0      Penny-costals and any Church of Christ member who ever moved during a hymn or cried during a sermon.

50.0      Hindus and Buddhists

65.0      Church of Christ members who attended Pepperdine or ACU.

70.0     Community Church Members.

80.0      Child Molesters, Muslims, Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, clappers.

85.3       Church of Christ members whose church changed the Biblical name to a non-scriptural name.

87.4      Rick Warren, Presbyterians, Churches that employ small groups.

90.0      Rubel Shelley, Murderers, Church of Christ members who think Instrumental Music is okay.

92.5       Church of Christ members who listen to Joel Osteen Sunday morning while getting ready.

95.0       Democrats and people who have never heard the gospel.

100.0    Max Lucado, Baptists, churches who use praise teams, NIV users

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I love 90s Music!

I am going to throw out some lists of favorite bands, albums, songs, and one-hit wonders of the 90s, my favorite decade of music in the coming days.  I have invited some friends from as far back as high school and some so recent I haven’t even met in person yet.  They all love music, some more than I do.  They will be talking about their favorites as well.

I spent the 90s in high school and college.  In the late 80s I worked in tobacco one summer and bought a CD player.  Little did I know that a component system would not play without a receiver and speakers, so I had to listen with headphones for a year or two before getting the rest.  The first CDs I bought were Eagles Greatest Hits and Led Zeppelin IV (obviously not a part of this series).  I mention this because the 90s was also a time of CDs.  Technology was changing and music was changing a little as well, the once-every-decade (hopefully) shakeup.  Seattle became a big deal.  Grunge, alternative…whatever you call it was reaching mainstream.

In 1990 I started high school.   My mother died that December and things changed a lot.  I loved music.  I would often listen to it in bed at night for a long time (still do).  I remember the first time I heard “Like  Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan in the winter of 91 laying in bed.

There are two parts to music.  The music itself.  A great song is a great song.  “Sweet Child O Mine” is a great song but the fact that my sister played the cassette single every morning in her tan Camry as she drove both of us to school my 8th grade year and her senior year is something else.

Also, I can’t hear “Plush” or Dre’s “It’s been a Good Day” without being transported to Journalism camp in Bowling Green, KY, in the Summer of 1993.

Offspring’s “Come out and Play”, REM’s entire Monster album, Green Day’s Dookie and Weezer’s blue album automatically take me to my college years.

So, we will be talking about music but also about memories, life, childhood.  Nostalgia just like in “Sweet Child O Mine” is a powerful thing.  Music can take us back.  Maybe that is why I like 90s music so much.

That and awesome guitar playing.

Fake Crying vs Real Crying

This will go into the book I want to write about what my kids have taught me about God and church.  But for now, it’s just a simple blog post.

I have gotten good at distinguishing the “I fell and hit my head” cries from the “mom won’t let me do something”  cries.

I am not always exactly right, but usually I know.  It’s because I know my kids.  I am often downstairs in the office, working or playing, and I hear tears.  If I hear a *thud* first, then it’s obvious.  But if I don’t hear a thud and the crying comes first I listen as I walk towards the stairs.

If it’s an injury cry (physical or emotional) I will usually come on up even if I am supposed to be working. If it’s a whiny cry, I wait and ask the wife later about it.

I am trying to practice this in church as well.  I really don’t get that many “complaints.”  But when someone expresses something, I try and distinguish if it’s for real.  Sometimes people complain about something because they don’t want to bring up what’s really bothering them.  Sometimes they got their feelings hurt.  Someone didn’t get their way.  Sometimes they are just cranky.  I know I get that way at times.

But often, there is some true hurt underneath it all that needs to be addressed.  I don’t always know what to do, but can always pray and listen.

Reality TV Outreach Ministry (RTVOM)

I think we really need a 501(c)3 Christian organization dedicated to reaching out to these poor people on Reality TV shows.

I am not volunteering.  I would feel much more comfortable serving sex offenders, ex-offenders and the homeless.

Who are these people?

In essence, I don’t believe they are any more broken and messed up than the rest of us, but what sets them apart, is their desire to expose their “messed-up-ness” on television.  I might be willing to open up to close friends and Christians, but feel no need to let my freak flag fly on a major network.  And then you have the sad cases of the oblivious and “self-awareness challenged” that fill up American Idol and many of these shows.

There are many ways to date and meet people (church, online, etc.) without going on national TV to drink wine and ride in helicopters and have your heart break in a limo.  I really believe future generations will look back at the Bachelor as we look back at the work of Dr. Kinsey and Dr. Mengele.  Super Dates and Fantasy Suites are pretty far from reality.

I tweeted about Bachelor recently and had America’s favorite sociopath, Bentley, follow me.  That was scary.  But I tweeted him back to ask, “so, I suppose ur gonna follow me a couple of weeks and be super nice before blocking me?” (if you didn’t see the show, you won’t get it)

I took my kids to an eating establishment that caters to kids recently and while in the playroom, a guy hit a telephone outside.  I called 911 to make sure the police knew, but didn’t feel the need to go outside and stare as many did.  Some helped.  Some just took pictures.  I may have tweeted, I can’t remember. Oh, I did take a picture of the car and pole as I drove away, but not of the guy (who seemed okay).

Reality TV is train-wreck TV for the most part (with a few positive exceptions such as weight loss and building houses for families in need).  Sometimes I force myself not to look.  You know, you can pray without seeing everything that happened.

Rubbernecking often leads to more accidents.  I wonder what type of accidents staring at Reality TV causes.