Today’s recommended reading

1. David Bruce Murray has anĀ  insightful post up about our tendency to assume that people who enjoy the same things we do think like we do too. Money quote:

People who align themselves with various groups usually don’t even agree with everything the group as a whole claims to represent. When we all meet “in one accord,” whether it’s at a public concert or at a worship service in our own church, I believe most of us tend to project our own religion, values, morality, ethics, and doctrines on to those around us.

Exactly. I wish I had written that because it’s a much more concise way of defining what I meant the other day when I talked about the useful fiction of ecumenicalism that helps southern gospel concerts work. DBM’s full post is here.

2. Apropos absolutely nothing music related, but because good satire and parody writing is hard to do and find, there’s this piece from Bill’s Blah Blah Blah. … “Weapons of ab destruction.” Now THAT’s funny.

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  1. Mike McIlwain wrote:

    I think that DBM is right on target. As I am getting older I am learning that life is so much richer and fuller when I am willing to listen to and fellowship with others who have some differing opinions. I have certain biblically-based convictions that I do not plan to relinquish, but I am learning to love and to listen to others whose viewpoints are different. I have also been willing to change my viewpoint when someone can show me where my viewpoint is faulty.

    I actually think we are undergoing such a change in the conservative movements of politics and religion. There are some conservatives in each group who still have some strongly held viewpoints who are beginning to do some critical analysis of those who hold the party line and are beginning to make some changes.

    In religion some who are very conservative when it comes to their theology are beginning to question if the traditional church way of doing things is the right way. They are beginning to become more missional and take ministry to those around them instead of trying to make them come to church to get the ministry. In politics there are those who are conservative in their thinking who have become very dissatisified with the war situation and the ambiguity of the present administration in stating why we are in this war. Is it to defeat terrorism or to bring democracy to a group of people who cannot truly grasp what it means to govern oneself.

    I think if we were to talk to others in a concert setting many of us would be surprised to hear the variation in viewpoints that would be presented.

  2. Leebob wrote:

    Wow! Now I AM confused. Just a few blogs ago we were discussing how we should not mix politics and SG and yet….here we are again.

    I would like to know what people mean when they use terms like “conservative” or “liberal”. A person can be liberal in his giving but conservative in his theology. The college I went to, at the time that I went, broke down conservative or liberal by the practices of certain “Christian” people groups.

    Again, one of the things that amazes me is that perspective changes everything. To a Church of Christ I may be very liberal because I choose to have music with my singing. Yet some of my more contemporary friends may call me conservative because we don’t (mainly because we don’t have a drummer in the family) have drums on the stage.

    While there are many movements within Christianity itself, the important thing to remember is that instead of looking at everybody else and determining whether we are liberal or conservative, it would be a good, no, a GREAT idea to look to the Author and finisher of our faith that never changes. We are more likely to hit a steady target rather than always having to adjust to one that moves with every wind.

    Back to my anti-stone barricade.

  3. RF wrote:

    The terms conservative and liberal were given new meanings in politics in the Reagan era and the stigmas have stuck. If you’re a Christian, liberal is a dirty word. You may help the poor every day and have compassion for your neighbor, but once you’re labeled a liberal, society thinks you’re for abortion and welfare and, once again that stigma sticks. I’ve heard Christians criticize one another for being liberal like it was a dirty word. Once again, we are deceived by politicians into labeling people. I thought we were too smart for that.

  4. CVH wrote:

    RF: Sorry to sound like…no, I’m not actually; as one of this blog’s resident cynics, I’d say never underestimate the ability of those with strong persuasive abilities and a clearly-defined agenda to manipulate the Christian/evangelical mind and heart.

    I agree with what everyone here is saying; we can’t live our lives according to the labels people apply to us. But coming out from our theological/philosophical/political spaces and actually engaging each other in meaningful dialogue takes patience, honesty and effort. Sometimes it doesn’t seem worth it. But that’s what the gospel calls us to do.

  5. Mike McIlwain wrote:


    I think you understand what I am trying to say. Meaningful dialogue does take patience, honesty,and a loving Christian attitude. I will always support a biblical-based Christianity because that is the only way to have true Christianity. However, I have come to see the light when it comes to politics. I was one of those 80s Republicans who even moved my entire family that direction. Some good was done in this, but I have come to understand that it is the gospel that must take precedent in our lives.

    Jesus was not a white, middle class republican. I am also certain that he would not align Himself with those who support abortion and homosexuality. However, I am certain He would love all of the aforementioned and minister to them.

    Like you said, we can’t live our lives according to the labels others put on us. The only label that matters is the one Jesus will give us when He says, “Well done, my child, you have been been faithful in a few things. I will make you ruler over many.”

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