Monday, July 23, 2007
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
I received a software update for iTunes this morning. At the suggestion of a friend, I actually read the EULA. Here is item #10 of the agreement...
10. Export Control. You may not use or otherwise export or reexport the Apple Software except as authorized by
Monday, July 02, 2007
My friend Bob Hyatt made it into USA Today in an article about churches and patriotism called "Faith Shouldn't be Red, White and Blue". It's a good article. You should read it.
My church is nowhere near the overboard "worshiping America" that he speaks about in the article, but I always find myself a bit torn on these more patriotic weekends (4th of July, Veterans Day, etc.)
I have a deep appreciation for those who, throughout our nation's history, have fought for the freedoms we now enjoy. I also know that for those who have personally fought for our freedom, it is nearly impossible for them to separate patriotism from worship. When they see the flag, they say "I risked my life so that we could gather to worship." Some have family or friends who gave their lives for this cause.
Yesterday, many (most?) churches across the US sang patriotic songs as a part of their worship service. We didn't. Not one. We are a multi-ethnic, multi-generational church with 4 worship services through the weekend. My task (as worship leader) is to lead these diverse generations and ethnicities into a worship experience where they encounter God and are deeply changed in the process. How do I lead Koreans, East Indians, Hispanics, Chinese, Ethiopians, and others in worship through these patriotic anthems?
After one of those 4 services (one that had a high percentage of men who served in WWII) a couple of men that I respect and love came up to me and asked why we couldn't sing at least one patriotic song. "Couldn't we at least sing 'God Bless America'? What's so bad about that song?" I told them that I really appreciate their view on this, but it just didn't fit with the theme we were working with this weekend. They both left disappointed in my answer.
A week ago I was having a conversation about these issues with some guys in their 20's. They were wondering if we could take the flags out of the sanctuary during the services that target younger people. I said "sure, but isn't that the service that our soldiers coming home from Iraq will tend to come to? How would they answer that question?" The 20-somethings didn't know what to say. They had perceived the issue as something pertaining to people 2 generations removed from them... an easy choice.
I am not personally prone to patriotism expressed in church. It just seems too easy to cross the line into "Worshiping America" instead of worshiping God. Our Pastor closed the service yesterday with a great prayer that thanked God for our independence, but also acknowledged that what we really need is for more of us to declare greater dependence... dependence on God. To me, the image above is DEFINITELY crossing that line. But where is the line? Is there a line?