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Pope Francis, ‘Throw-Away Culture’, and The Real Problem

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Once again, I agree with Pope Francis – but not on what you think.

Francis says abortion is a symptom of our “throw-away culture.”

Yes!  I agree that the rampant abuse of the practice of abortion is a symptom of our “throw-away culture.”

Instead of using our smartphones until they have ceased to work for our needs, we give in and get a new phone every two years – or sooner (with wireless carriers advertising heavily this sort of program, and profiting in a major way).  Instead of driving a car to the point where it no longer runs without thousands of repairs, we get a loan or lease for a new one.  Whenever a small appliance has a hiccup, our first reaction is often to go pick up a brand new one.

Now, there are certain situations where the above scenarios are the common sense thing to do.  However, we are trained from our youth to believe that the newer thing is the better thing – and then we need that thing.  This has trained us to believe that our desires are the only thing that should dictate our actions.

This is no different for many Christians, though it should be.

With that said, I believe the Pope didn’t go far enough.  Follow me, here.

Our throw-away culture is a symptom of our consumer culture.

Our consumer culture is a symptom of our capitalistic system.

Our capitalistic system is what makes this country the economic force in the world that it is, it is yet a symptom of our sin condition.

Each of our sins is our responsibility.  However, we cannot deny there is something else at work here.

Pope Francis has spoken out against greed and the financial powers of the world.  He made his latest comments on abortion to satisfy the faithful who spend way too much time on the big 3 social issues.

I just thought this connection needed to be made.

Though, not many people will read it.

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Pastors Swear, Too (WARNING: Explicit Language)

Nadia Bolz-Weber

 

I don't swear much, period.

I don't swear very much in everyday life, and I swear exponentially less on social media – but I do swear. It happens, and I don't get all bent out of shape when I do it.

In my opinion, God is an “adult” – so our hangups about a few words matter little to nothing to God.

After receiving some flack for swearing on social media, Nadia Bolz-Weber – the tattooed, bespectacled Lutheran clergy-person from Denver – decided to repost a blog entry she penned about the subject.

I would echo much-if-not-all of her reasoning. In particular, she speaks to the hyper-sterile, overly positive world of cultural Christianity. Of the needs of the real-world disciple, she says:

But there are other folks out there who are comforted by ambiguity, who need a Word of grace which is not covered in strawberry syrup. Who need the stark truth of what it means to be broken and blessed at the same time. Who are at home in the Biblical story; stories of anti-heroes and people who don’t get it; beloved prostitutes and rough fishermen. They tend to not really care that I use colorful language. If anything, they are relieved that they don’t have to watch what they say around this particular member of the Christian clergy.

When someone accidentally lets loose with some obscenity in front of me, my relpy is always, “Listen, seminary isn't charm school. That's the way I'll continue to operate, and encourage others to operate.

A “f-bomb” – used as sparingly and correctly as possible – may even help one in the midst of a particular trial.

Weeks after the death of my own son, I was called upon by local authorities to come and be present for a family who had discovered their husband and father had died in the night. The wife had collapsed on the stairs, as if she could go no further. The children were being comforted by other family members. The deceased's sister was visibly and audibly the most distraught. She had attempted CPR, in vain attempt to revive her brother.

She was wearing a sock cap, grey hoodie, acid-washed jeans and a belt-buckle that read “vagina” in the style of the Coca-Cola logo, and all she could bring herself to do was pace the floor, wipe her red and swollen eyes and cry out, “I tried to fucking save him! Why couldn't I fucking save him?!?”

After having just suddenly lost your brother, I'm not sure anyone could blame her.

Honestly, I went home and wove a tapestry, myself.

It is what was needed for her in the time. Eventually, she calmed down enough to accept some tissue from me and have a smoke (no, I didn't give her a sermon about not smoking, either).

Forest is a “bedroom community” and the family never really came back to the house they were renting.

Unfortunately, I know far too many people who would have made a point to say something like, “I know you are hurting, but that language isn't going to help.”

Wrong. It's not wrong to be concerned with the raunchy language of a serial offender – especially when that person is yourself. It's wrong to be so concerned with a few words that you cease to be useful to God and “the least of these.”

Anyway, you won't really ever see it from me on social media – and that's probably the last time you will see a word like “f***” on this blog. However, if the possibility of running into a word you find questionable is just to much for you to handle. I invite you to find the appropriate “unfollow” or “unfriend” button.

No hard feelings, though.

David Barton – @DavidBartonWB – Hoisted By His Own Petard

According to Wikipedia, a petard (peh-tard) is a French bomb meant to deal fatal damage upon one's enemy. Once in a while, a petardier would fail to detonate a petard far enough away from himself – and would, thereby, be hoisted in the air by the explosion. David Barton failed to get his petard far

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