Thursday, July 05, 2012
In the old George Burns movie, Oh God!, a young man keeps getting messages from God that he's supposed to relate to the rest of us. In one scene, he goes to hear an evangelistic preacher who in many ways is a caricature of the worst in all of us. This young man interrupts the preacher's sermon to tell him that God has a special message just for him. The preacher stops the service. He announces to the crowd, "This young man has come with a message from God!" The young man, looking straight at the preacher says, "God wants you to shut up because you're embarrassing Him!"
Tony Campolo says this need not be in his book Following Jesus Without Embarrassing God. We can have a devotional life without becoming a monk. We can protect ourselves from technology without becoming Amish. We can discern the will of God without hearing voices from heaven. We can get ready to die without pretending it's no problem. We can care for people without being exploited. We can raise kids without going on guilt trips. We can be attractive but not obscene. We can hold our families together in a world that's falling apart. And it goes on and on.
One of the most thought provoking chapters was the one about how we can be rich and still be Christian. In it, he says the story about the death of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-10 is meant to teach us that lying to God is the problem, not being rich (cf. Acts 5:4). Whether you agree or not, this would be a very good book to discuss at work with friends, on WED night during a Community Book Club, or small groups at church. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. (Now I need to watch Oh God! too since I was 4 years old when it premiered lol!!!)
Most of the others disagree with the young father. Spoiler alert: they say God is not good and broke His covenant and is guilty. Though I disagree with some of the conclusions they reach at the end, I think this film brilliantly sets the stage for a discussion of the Great Controversy. And how Jesus' death on the cross proves that God really is good. Even though the cross and the Holocaust simultaneously proves some things aren't. It's worth discussing. Get your copy here. I'm gonna show it this fall for Film Fest and invite the community as well. BIG thanks and WTG to my friend Allan for sharing it with me. Click here for more info.
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
(photo courtesy Harpo, Inc. / Chuck Hodes)