A few weeks ago someone posted something on Facebook that prompted a chuckle. It went something like this: Watch out! There’s a speed trap on 127 at the I-70 overpass!
Over the years, I’ve developed a mild disdain for formality in church. Whether it’s stodgy prayer or rigid liturgy. Every church I’ve been at I’ve tried to push my casual approach. The way I dress. The way I design our worship services. The way we interact with our congregation. You’d be surprised, but not everyone appreciates my resolve to alter church culture. To be honest, I’ve simply written off these objections. But I’ve come to realize I shouldn’t.
If ever you’ve installed any kind of software or signed up for a web service, like paperless billing from your electric company, then you’ve encountered the EULA—End User License Agreement. The EULA describes in painstaking detail what you, the user, are allowed to do. I don’t know anyone, except for maybe a lawyer with time on his hands, who has read the EULA. We just click the “Agree” button and move on. Just as lawyers and doctors tend speak in their own trade language, so do many Christians. …
On this particular silver coin would have been the image of Tiberius Caesar with the Latin inscription “Tiberius Caesar, son of the divine Augustus” around the coin’s perimeter. On the opposite side was a picture of the Roman goddess of peace, Pax, with the Latin inscription “High Priest.” Jesus’ audience, which included the two strangely linked groups [Pharisees and Herodians] as well as his followers, would have been well aware of the Second Commandment, which forbids the making of graven images. This coin with its image of Tiberius and Pax would have repulsed the Jews.
Stanley’s little book (less than 100 pages) is fantastic for people who are searching to know and understand God, whether they’ve never been to church before or if they’ve been “saved” for a long time. He breaks down the commonly-held view that adherence to things like the Ten Commandments and overall morality will assure us a place in heaven.
I have mixed feelings about copyright law. In some ways, I think the laws are so strict we could be prosecuted for just about anything. I do think, however, that artists should be compensated for their art. I’d like to create some someday I could get paid for. On the other hand, I have a really hard time with copyright law as it pertains to church use. You’d be surprised at what church musicians are not allowed to do. Most churches purchase an annual blanket license that allows us to use just about any worship song and project the lyrics for congregational use. But that’s where our license ends.
I was talking with some friends recently about gossip, how it destroys unity in the church—brothers and sisters in the family of God. But here’s the thing: whatever grievance you have against someone that led to your gossiping about them loses merit the instant you sin against them with your slander. It may not seem fair; it may not seem right. But when you involve others in a dispute you have with someone, then you’ve upped the ante.