Sunday, February 21, 2010

Crowbars, Mary Jane and "Loritab"

News from the Middle School this week:

1) Several 8th grade students were suspected of possessing the wacky tobaccy, (1 dealer and 7 with contraband on their person). All were suspended and one was charged with intent to distribute an illegal substance.

2) Two crowbar wielding parents had a knock-down drag-out in the parking lot before school, over what was apparently a skirmish between their children the day before. Law enforcement was called and teachers took the opportunity for a "teachable moment". One 6th grade teacher may or may not have mentioned that "a good understanding of spacial mathematics can provide an individual the upper hand in a crowbar fight".

3) A 6th grade student was caught trying to sell prescription "pain pills" to other students. Who knew that Loritab pills had a big "M" for Midol imprinted on each pill! The boys were excited to learn that a side effect to taking Midol is excessive gas.

Moral of the story: When the economy sucks, kids will do whatever they can to help their parents meet bills, pay rent or buy food.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Haiku

Cold gusts from the north -
we stay indoors for some fun.
Weekend starts today!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Church signs

Is it really a good idea to refer to a bible study for women (For Ladies Only) as "FLO"? Menstruation jokes aside, what about the women who are not "ladies"?

Church Wuss: Part 3

In a previous life, when I actively used a myspace profile, I posted several blogs about issues surrounding violence and the church. Most notably, I recognized my apparent hypocrisy of hosting not one, but two indoor laser-tag events in our sanctuary, while calling out the incredible danger of another church's giving away of a hunting rifle at a youth rally. I wish I could link to the blog posts, but I deleted the myspace account.

However the gun-give away was canceled as noted here. I realize that laser-tag and giving away real guns are super different, but fundamentally there are some underlying similarities. Similarities that even still I struggle with in relation to how the church does ministry with young people.

So I'm not a violent person, and don't really get into big shows of machismo or brute. Although I do like the Rocky movies, and would one day like to serve on a Brute Squad. But when it comes to offering a Fight Club style ministry to attract teenage boys to the church, I do have major issues. I wonder what happened to the non-violent teaching of Jesus? He, after all, was more about the political "slap in the face" rather than a literal one. That's part of the biblical story that includes "turn the other cheek" and "go the extra mile". Besides, if Jesus was all about fists and round-house kicks, he might have come to Jerusalem on a stallion with an army, rather than on a donkey with a few dozen peasant followers. Oh, and Chuck Norris would have played him in Gibson's "Passion" film.

So what about violence being used to attract teen boys to church. What message are they being taught about God's love? About loving our enemies? If being physically violent to another person, whatever the purpose, is equated with Christianity - then what does that say about a Christ who did not fight his captors, but instead went along with the beatings, accusations and ultimately his death sentence. So much for the ultra-tough image of Jesus? Or was (and is) the toughness of Christ expressed differently that we expect in modern western culture?

After all, the US does have one of the highest violent crime rates among "modern" nations. So we should expect, just like all other aspects of our culture, that in an effort to grab peoples (in this case young males) attention, the church is willing to adopt practices directly opposed to any serious interpretation of the Gospel. Just sayin'.

Has the church lost cultural relevance if even the church is willing to sell out to popular culture and marketing?