Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Fighting to Win What?

My buddy Spunky (whose blog is so awesome, by the way!) has a really thought-provoking post up now about intelligent design and the battle being waged on campuses. Spunk quotes a Washington Post article about a Republican judge who is trying to vanquish the whole Intelligent Design argument; she then asks,

"Why do parents keep fighting these battles with the schools?"

I'll let you read the rest of her commentary there, but wanted to point you guys to it. I wrote in her comments:

I think this is definitely one of the more pertinent questions I've seen asked on the topic. I think Christians need to be informed about what we believe and why (ready to give an answer for the hope we have), but we're delusional if we think we're going to "win" battles like this. History is headed to a specific conclusion, and before the return of Christ, things like this are going to happen and get worse. I realize everyone doesn't agree with my eschatology, but...suffice it to say, Spunk, that I agree with your view here, absolutely.

And that's not to say that there are no battles worth fighting; I'm not a defeatist. But which battles are really worth it? Are we going to change a system, or should we read the writing on the wall and get our children OUT?

I saw a GREAT Focus on the Family video about ID/evolution once--here it is! Boy, it was great. I heartily recommend it. But the veracity of ID versus evolution certainly isn't what I am bringing up here: it's the 'battle' that Christians are waging against the secular media, in the schools, etc. The same could be said of the sex ed battles, for instance. What exactly are we trying to do? What is the intended outcome?

On one hand, sure, we are a part of the public forum and should not have to be silent. I don't recommend holing up in a Montana survival home, waiting for an imminent departure or apocalypse. But at the same time, 'pearls before pigs' does exist. The System, the Institutions, the World: they're not going to wake up one day and "get it." They're not going to see the Light: they're blinded, collectively. (Yes, I realize ID is not the gospel and that Christians have differing opinions on it. Pick another issue if this one is offending you, and apply it to my point.)

Individuals, of course, can see the Light, turn, and change, which is why we should be informed and ready to share. But I believe that at some point we have to realize the horse is dead and seek other transportation: public schools fail our children in every possible way, and we should not send them there. Trying to fight battles there is expending a lot of effort in a mostly wasted direction--other than its usefulness in stimulating discussions among individuals.

I'd be willing to fight for the right to homeschool. It's so important to me that I'd move out of the country if I had to in order to keep my kids from public school. But intelligent design vs. evolution WITHIN those very schools is not a battle I think worth plunging into whole-hog (no pun intended with the pearls before pigs, HA HA!! Okay, time to go home).

Should Christians be fighting it out in the schools over controversial issues? I am probably not as fiercely opinionated as I make it sound here. I realize we are called to different things, and that's not what I am called to do. As a graduate student and then as a teacher in a PS, though, I saw how VERY DEEPLY the schools are entrenched in New Age philosophy, practice, and methodologies; perhaps that will account for my despair concerning them.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I always thought it should be.

Uh, oh...does this post count as fluff, though?

Your Blog Should Be Green

Your blog is smart and thoughtful - not a lot of fluff.
You enjoy a good discussion, especially if it involves picking apart ideas.
However, you tend to get easily annoyed by any thoughtless comments in your blog.

3 AM Thoughts

I think this is the first time in my really, really VAST blogging career (yes, that's a joke) that I've plunked out some thoughts in the middle of the night. I'm not at all the "night owl" type; if it tells you anything, I start getting cranky at 9 PM. Anyway. I'm in a random mood, so expect anything.

First, though, the predictable whiny update: I'm up so early because my throat is swollen and painful. I feel like I swallowed a pineapple whole, and it's refusing to go down. (Too much information?) I started getting sick on Monday and my fever broke on Tuesday, so I thought yesterday was "recovery day" and I'd be fit as a fiddle, whatever that means, today (Thursday). AU CONTRAIRE! NOW I HAVE PINEAPPLE THROAT! ...Which is, of course, a very serious condition. If you know anyone who has died of Pineapple Throat, please do not tell me now. Crying would only make my acute condition worse.

So, let's talk about something else.

Ryan and I did go see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and I still feel much the same way as I did last March, when I discussed LOTR a bit. I don't feel up to a full review, but please see Amy's absolutely excellent thoughts and Rachel's spot-on review.

In other news, did I mention I can barely swallow? Oh, yeah. I did.

Watched a documentary the other day called The Corporation--it was a fascinating look at whether corporations, which are considered 'persons' under the law, are psychopathic:

TO THE anti-globalisers, the corporation is a devilish instrument of environmental destruction, class oppression and imperial conquest. But is it also pathologically insane? That is the provocative conclusion of an award-winning documentary film, called “The Corporation"....People on both sides of the globalisation debate should pay attention. Unlike much of the soggy thinking peddled by too many anti-globalisers, “The Corporation” is a surprisingly rational and coherent attack on capitalism's most important institution.

It did seem to have a socialist slant to it, but the criticisms, IMO, were quite well-done, some inarguably so. Definitely worth seeing! Makes you want to spit contemptuously on all big-business blowhard rhetoric. (I also saw and liked Super Size Me; a good companion book for that film is Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation.)

Kim! Ack, you're sick, too! I haven't forgotten about you and we need to talk as soon as we are recovered, okay?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Giddy-yup at Saddleback!

I saw this the other day at Slice of Laodicea (one of my favorite blogs):

Come for the Worship, Stay for the Sounds of the Islands

Now, if you've been reading my thoughts for even part of the year I've been blogging, you know that Rick Warren ain't my favorite teacher. I knew that Saddleback, the church Warren pastors, probably reflected Warren's approach to Christendom. I wasn't quite prepared for this, though. Note particularly the text in bold.

Main Service is our venue for those looking for a Saddleback style of praise and worship with a full band.

Praise is our venue for those who prefer to spend a little longer singing songs and features the Saddleback Gospel Choir. Praise! Meets in Venue Tent 3.

OverDrive is our venue featuring a rock 'n roll music style. This venue is for those that like their worship loud. OverDrive meets in Venue Tent 2

Ohana Come for the worship... Stay for the sounds of the islands. Experience hospitality and hugs. Learn to worship through signing or hula. Room 404 near the Beach Cafe and island huts.

Elevation is our venue for all singles. Elevation has two services. One on Fridays at 7:00pm and the other is on Sunday at 11:15am both in Venue Tent 2 . You'll get the same great message along with live music.

Passion Join us for a time of expressive worship and heartfelt praise. The look and feel is younger than our main service and more intimate.

El Encuentro Worship with music in Spanish and listen to the live message in either English or Spanish. El Encuentro meets in the Plaza Room.

Traditions Enjoy a lower volume worship experience with a mix of classic hymns, old favorites, and cherished choruses. The message is videocast on the big screen for great viewing.

Country Country music, boots, and buckles are all part of this worship experience with a videocast message. Line dancing for novices and experienced dancers happens after the service. (Note: Children and youth programming is not available for this venue.)

Now, look. I don't have a problem with choices, inherently. And I realize that many churches have tried to deal, with varying degrees of success, with older people wanting hymns and younger people detesting organs and "dorky music". But something about this doesn't sit right with me. Something about it speaks to me of "having it YOUR way." I don't even know how to properly put my great discomfort with the whole paradigm into words, but I do know that it is unrecognizable to me as Biblical Christianity. It's entertainment, not humility and sacrifice and service. I am not saying the people at Saddleback exhibit none of these things; I am saying that this paradigm is not conducive to cultivating them.

And hula? Does that really, really have a place in the gathering of the saints to admonish, encourage, exhort and prophesy? FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! "Room 404 near the Beach Cafe and island huts"!

I just found this really bizarre, and definitely funny. In a sad way, if that makes sense. My flesh likes the idea of getting exactly what I want, but my spirit knows that is not always the best thing.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Thanksgiving Pictures

We spent Thanksgiving at the home of Ryan's sweet cousin Jessica and her husband Kurt. Here are a few of the pictures we took there (the first, though, is at the home of our friends Felicity and Chris, where we ate an early Thanksgiving meal before pigging out mere hours later at Jessica and Kurt's).

Kristen and Felicity

The CUTEST Little Gal in the WORLD (Jess and Kurt's daughter, Malia)

Ryan and His Parents

Ryan and Me

Starting Good Habits Early

My Mother Laughing with Ryan's Nana