Apr 03 2012
If Jesus Had a Blog: Big-Time Leaders

 

(From Brant, an explainer, for those new to the series: The "comments", directly below, are NOT real. They're just my best guesses, if Jesus had a blog, what the comments would look like.)

If Jesus Had a Blog

Man, this has been a tough week. Things are winding down. Good thing, as far as this borrowed Gateway laptop is concerned.  I think it's got about four days left, too.  Everyone else here at this coffee place in Jerusalem has a Mac. I feel kinda retro-cool.

Anyway, there was this crowd today, and all these big-time religious leader fellers.  These guys LOVE being recognized, being significant, being "The Man" and all that.  And people give them the accolades, too:  "Ooh, it's my teacher!  MY leader!" -- that kind of stuff.  So I says (and I'm quoting myself from the New Living Translation, owned by Tyndale):

Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.  And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father. And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be a servant.

Were they cool with that?  (Snort.)  Uh...no, they weren't cool with that.  I told them that the people who thought they were "all that" now, with titles and what-not, would get humbled, and the humble would wind up being "all that".  That didn't fly, either.

Truth is, these guys get accolades, but you know what?  They just make life harder for people.  I told them that.  

Big news, coming later this week: I'm about to make life a LOT easier for people...

Posted:  Today at 6:32 p.m.

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Comments (13)

Well, this doesn't surprise me.  You've been anti-clerical for a long time, ignoring thousands of years of tradition.  This kind of caps it for me.  Not fair.

-- BigBob209

I guess I see where you're coming from, but really:  They're ALL bad?  You've apparently had some bad experiences in the past, and I'm sorry for that, but you don't need to make big blanket statements.

A lot of good comes from these guys, and you can't argue with how big their followings have gotten.  Maybe a jealousy issue...?  I don't know.

-- davec3410

I was there and all I heard was, "Blessed are the cheesemakers"...?

[Edit from J:  Don't take me literally.  I meant ALL makers of dairy products.  BTW, Peter, we've got to rent "Holy Grail" next time.]

-- pete_the_rock

You sure like rocking the boat.  I think you're throwing some good people overboard. 

Some of these guys are our top experts on scripture, and I can't see how calling one my teacher is such a bad thing.  Yes, there are a few bad apples, but what are we supposed to do, stop learning?

You say you, Jesus, are they only real teacher? 

Uh...are you going to personally be in every religious building? 

I bet you won't.

-- vision4life2020

Yeah, I gotta piggyback on vision4life up there.  I usually get where you're going, but we need people in the offices of the teacher or the leader or, in some traditions, "father". 

You've got to delegate, and have somebody have some kind of stand-in status.

 Fact is, you're one dude, and you can't be there every time two or three people get together.

-- terpsfan98

My Pastor has seven books.  I don't see any of yours in our church BookTime CoffeeCenter. 

-- luv_n_grace

This post made me cry.  How dare you.

My husband is our church Teacher.  He is a man of The Word, and there's nothing wrong with recognizing that he is Anointed to be the Leader.   It's not like this is a glamorous position -- he's had to put up with jerks in every church he's led.  Now, he's being called to be the Leader of a different place, we think, and so we're going there, and if they want to act like he's their official Teacher, I don't see the problem with that, and they offer a better health package.

Point is, you're really judgmental.  The real leaders are the servants?  Who's going to be on the church stage?  Why don't you put the volunteer custodian up there, then?  See how many people come to THAT church!

-- deb4213

Why did you say, "You're all equal as brothers and sisters"?  We knew that.  No one believes otherwise.  What's your point?

-- someguyscaredtousehisownname

I think you guys aren't being fair.  Chill.

I think Jesus is only saying here that we shouldn't be Catholic or Jewish.

-- intheword4ever

So teaching the scriptures makes life "harder" for people?  Good.

Studying IS hard.  Keeping the Word IS hard.  Keeping track of the right stuff to do IS hard.

No one said the yoke would be easy.  No one said the burden would be light.

-- cubbies1908

Gee, nice post.  Real well thought-out.

I can see why your Technorati rank is like, twenty-millionth.

-- lifecenterworshipguy

You need to spend some time reading the epistles, apparently.   What Bible College did you go to...?  Are they really accredited?

-- DTS_09

hi jesus i like it when you sai d if i love you then you will take care of me :)

-- horsegurl9

Mar 27 2012
Katniss and Her Friends: Why "The Hunger Games" Resonates



So every teenage girl, it seems, wants to be Katniss.

I'm not surprised.  I would, too.

The Hunger Games is about culture, and more specifically, Katniss vs. Culture. And it's our culture, of course, through the lens of caricature.  

It's our culture, and every teenage girl, it seems, would like to pick up a bow, and fire an arrow directly into the heart of it, and watch it die.

-----

In the books (I haven't seen the movie, yet) Katniss is substance, and adult culture - embodied and enforced by the Capitol - is all about appearances. It's mean, it's selective, it's heartless, it's cruel, and it pits one-teen-against-the-other.  

Katniss cares about her appearance, but not very much.  It's the Capitol, the culture, that cares very much, foisting makeup and fashion experts upon her, each charged with making her understand how important outward beauty is to her survival. They convince her: Change, and change outwardly, and extremely... or you will not survive.

Katniss has romantic feelings, but they don't control her story. It's the Capitol, the culture, that wants romance to control her story, to define her, and give her meaning.

Katniss wants to protect her younger sister from this culture. No girl, she thinks, should be drawn into this, but certainly not one so young. But to her horror, the Capitol, the culture, wants to draw in the youngest, the pre-teen, girl.

Katniss wants to provide for her family, in the absence of her father. The Capitol, effectively, took her father from her, through his work. Forced to work in mines, he was killed in an explosion.

Katniss wishes she didn't need to hunt, but she is willing to do what it takes to make it work. The Capitol, the culture, literally sets up barriers to stop her.

Katniss finds a boy/man who is flawed, but self-sacrificing, protective, warm, and committed to not being changed by the culture. He will not, he says, become a self-seeking "monster." The Capitol, the culture, is patronizingly charmed by that... as it is fully committed to changing him into a self-seeking monster.

Katniss knows truth matters. She's no philosopher, but she knows loyalty matters. She knows sacrificing for the vulnerable matters. She knows there is such a thing as Good, even if she can't articulate it. The Capitol, the culture, tries to convince her otherwise.

Katniss loves her family. The Capitol finds that quaint, and valuable only in that it adds to an entertaining storyline, since amusement is, of course, the ultimate goal. And a human, a teenage girl, only has value to the extent the Capitol, our culture, is attracted to her.

No wonder Katniss wants to kill it.

And millions of teenage girls want to help her.

Mar 21 2012
Excerpts: The 417 Rules of Awesomely Bold Leadership

It's taking me a while to finish this, but I've read a lot of extremely impressive leadership books from some extremely awesome-sounding leaders, and now I'm coming out with my own leadership book, that I hope will out-awesome all of them.  Here are some excerpts:


Rule #31  Awesomely Bold Leaders Lead Authentically

...and, gentlemen, there's no getting around it:  To awesomely, boldy lead in an authentic way, you must be authentically awesome.  There's no room for deception.

This occurred to me as I was out flying MiG's with my Saturday morning Leaders' Bible Study and Adventure Group:  Leaders must be true-blue.  Your followers can see right through you if you are not truly, deeply, honestly, as awesome as your leadership.

Search your heart.

That morning, as I buzzed the homes of the men who oppose me on the Elder Board, I could see the look in their eyes.  We may quibble over budget issues, but -- never forget this -- they knew I wasn't just posing as a bold leader.  I am a bold leader, through and through.  It's important to be authentic, and...

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Rule #112  Awesomely Bold Leaders Lead the Leading Leaders of Visionary Leaders

...so gentlemen, you can't get around this. 

The other day, while I was dead-lifting 635 pounds, I remembered a time I led a group of men up Kilimanjaro, where I introduced them to my good friend, Norman Schwarzkopf.

Norman looked at me, his eyes moist.  "Thank you," he said.  "For taking the time to lead me.  I lead everyone, but you're the only one who led me, and I'm one of the leading leaders of visionary leaders.  Thank you."  He tried to hug me.

It' was right then, when I realized you can't be distracted by everyone who's clamoring for your time.    Be like Jesus, who Himself chose only proven leaders, like Peter.  Jesus knew His time was limited.  He didn't have time to "mess", as the kids say.  And neither do you.   Don't let teenage guys with problems distract you, or some guys who want you to go fishing.   Pick proven leaders.

And in this day and age, in today's churches, it's not enough to only lead leaders.  It's not enough to lead leaders of other leaders.  You must prioritize: You must lead only the leading leaders of other visionary leaders. 

Remember:  Without your visionary leadership, with the leadership of leading leaders of visionaries, the people will perish. 

And then recall #16:  If your people perish, you will not be selected to facilitate a break-out group at my next satellite seminar.