Once in a Blue Moon

Nothing surprises me these days. But usually when I say that it’s in reference to something bad happening. In this case, I was surprised yesterday by an email I received from Dave Page, the subject of an earlier post. I typically will not and have not posted personal email correspondence, but in this case I felt it was fair to post it, so here it is:

Steve –

As I have had read your website (especially the “Purpose Driven Pastor Season” post) I can now see I was wrong in my criticism of you and what you said. You really didn’t put Rick Warren down but were attacking blind followership to a church culture that I realize can be a big turnoff to the unchurched and many Christians as well. I let my emotions get the best of me as I was seeking to defend Rick, whom I greatly admire, and the pastors who attend his conferences – some of which are friends of mine. Forgive the rude comment I made toward you and your bloggers.

Please accept my apologies,

Dave

I have emailed Dave to thank him and accept his apology. I appreciate Dave’s willingness to come back and read a bit…and then to go above and beyond and apologize when he felt he was wrong.

I wish more pastors and church leaders who visit this site would stick around and dialogue. That’s the most disheartening thing. Some (like Jimmy Bob or Shieldsy and even Tony Jones back in the day) are willing to stick around and interact. Even though we largely don’t see eye-to-eye, they provide us balance. They’ve been attacked, laughed at, ridiculed and called out, but still they are willing to give us the opposing opinion and insight, and I greatly appreciate them for that.

The Immaturity of Religion

Ok kids, put your thinking caps on!

I was a Christianity major in college. I was also a Sociology major. Considering I attended and graduated from a Southern Baptist college probably sheds light on my very limited knowledge on both those subjects, however, I did keep some of the books and have turned to browsing through them. It’s amazing how they are much more interesting now than they were then.

Fortunately, not every textbook we purchased came from the Southern Baptist Press. We were provided with mainstream texts, but they were filtered through the Southern Baptist lens of our professors. Reading them now in my un(church)filtered state, I am sometimes amazed at what these books were trying to tell me, and I am saddened that we weren’t allowed to have honest discussions regarding the subjects they raised.

Here’s some passages from an introductory text entitled “The Sociology of Religion” that I found interesting.

“The role religion plays in maturation is highly problematic. While it is difficult to assess religious dysfunction in maturation, we can see that there is the possibility that religion institutionalizes immaturity by encouraging believers to be dependent upon the religious institution and its leaders.

Religion can provide the necessary elements of security and definition at certain stages of life, to enable the individual to meet crises successfully and to develop a mature personality. Paradoxically, even in its dysfunctional promotion of dependence and immaturity, it can become a focus for the development of independence and maturity by becoming the object of conflict and rejection. From this process the development of a more mature attitude and point of view, either religious or irreligious, can take place.”

This passage makes me feel smart. It says what I’ve been saying for the past three years: CHURCH PEOPLE NEED TO GROW UP!! As I have said before (most eloquently I might add)… the church is just a big nipple that people love to suck.

The church is a complete and total paradox. The church says that Christianity is about freedom and then in seeking to set you free it enslaves you. It tells you it wants to make you a “mature disciple and follower of Jesus”, but to do so you have to stop thinking, stop questioning, get in line and be a stupid sheep follower of our version of Jesus.

The church says it offers you the “meat of the scripture” and that anything the world offers you is “milk”. What you don’t realize is that the church is offering you processed meat devoid of any real food value and that the milk of the world might be much more valuable to your overall balance and health.

No doubt, like the passage above states, the church can provide certain functions in a persons life to provide security and a level of stability. It can even assist in the maturation of a person… to a point.

I just think it’s time that most church people grow up.

Spoken Like a True Duck

Here’s a comment I received yesterday on an old post entitled “Purpose Driven Pastor Season“.

Ducks “quack” and eagles soar! You guys are a bunch of ducks quacking as you spend time critizing Rick and other pastors who are seeking to make a difference.

Get a life!!!

Dave

The author is Dave Page, who describes himself as “a coach, communicator, teacher, encourager, husband, dad and wannabe basketball player :)”. It says on his profile that he is the Director of Church Planting for a non-profit here in Southern California. Of course, he’s making a difference… his job title says so!

If Dave can read, he would have found in the original post that I did not CRITICIZE Rick Warren, but actually the conference attendees who blindly follow Rick off the cliff of Purpose Driven Churchiness.

After reading Dave’s blog, I have a feeling I know the guy. Probably met him somewhere along the line or heard of him when I was at Saddleback. Seems he has been around the Saddleback Church stuff for a long time. He’s obviously a Warren disciple as was I, so I get why he is very invested in what he is doing.

However, I had to respond to Dave…because quite frankly he pissed me off and on top of that, he had no idea that he wrote his little BS comment to me at the wrong moment, on the wrong day, at the wrong hour, at precisely the wrong minute. Here’s my email response:

Spoken like a true pastor. Very very inspirational and life changing – yet condescending too. Love the Hawaiian shirt… guess I hit a nerve with that line huh?

So what are you for spending your time criticizing me instead of “making a difference”?? Who is it that truly needs to get a life Dave?

I’ve got a life. You’ve got your warped subCULTure. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid my friend.

Take care… I’ve got to get back to NOT making a difference in the world.

Steve

Usually I ignore DUCKS like Dave, but on this day I cannot. At the moment he wrote, he was right. I wasn’t busy making a difference. All I was doing is what millions of people do everyday… working hard at my job, trying to provide for my family, thinking about my kids future, navigating being a single dad and raising two sons. In addition, someone close to me is in the midst of crisis, so I was helping the family make physical and financial arrangements for a long-term treatment program, therapy for the children and overall trying to be a stable friend in the midst of their chaos.

Yeah Dave I guess you are right, only pastors and church planters are making a difference. Normal people like me do absolutely nothing.

F@#K! – I guess I’m a Duck

Here’s a comment I received yesterday on an old post entitled “Purpose Driven Pastor Season“.

Ducks “quack” and eagles soar! You guys are a bunch of ducks quacking as you spend time critizing Rick and other pastors who are seeking to make a difference.

Get a life!!!

Dave

The author is Dave Page, who describes himself as “a coach, communicator, teacher, encourager, husband, dad and wannabe basketball player :)”. It says on his profile that he is the Director of Church Planting for a non-profit here in Southern California. Of course, he’s making a difference… his job title says so!

If Dave can read, he would have found in the original post that I did not CRITICIZE Rick Warren, but actually the conference attendees who blindly follow Rick off the cliff of Purpose Driven Churchiness.

After reading Dave’s blog, I have a feeling I know the guy. Probably met him somewhere along the line or heard of him when I was at Saddleback. Seems he has been around the Saddleback Church stuff for a long time. He’s obviously a Warren disciple as was I, so I get why he is very invested in what he is doing.

However, I had to respond to Dave…because quite frankly he pissed me off and on top of that, he had no idea that he wrote his little BS comment to me at the wrong moment, on the wrong day, at the wrong hour, at precisely the wrong minute. Here’s my email response:

Spoken like a true pastor. Very very inspirational and life changing – yet condescending too. Love the Hawaiian shirt… guess I hit a nerve with that line huh?

So what are you for spending your time criticizing me instead of “making a difference”?? Who is it that truly needs to get a life Dave?

I’ve got a life. You’ve got your warped subCULTure. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid my friend.

Take care… I’ve got to get back to NOT making a difference in the world.

Usually I ignore DUCKS like Dave, but on this day I cannot. At the moment he wrote, he was right. I wasn’t busy making a difference. All I was doing is what millions of people do everyday… working hard at my job, trying to provide for my family, thinking about my kids future, navigating being a single dad and raising two sons. In addition, someone close to me is in the midst of crisis, so I was helping the family make physical and financial arrangements for a long-term treatment program, therapy for the children and overall trying to be a stable friend in the midst of their chaos.

Yeah Dave I guess you are right, only pastors and church planters are making a difference. Normal people like me do absolutely nothing.