My Tears

my tears are my joy
because of the boy
who became the man
who commanded such righteousness
that the devil's plan was destroyed

my tears are salted happiness
because of Mary's great sadness
that her son's actions
was the the most loving madness

my tears are streams of freedom
because of heaven's inhuman reasons expressed
through the one blessed
to steal the keys to satan's kingdom

my tears are tracks of praise
to the one raised
from the dead
that the devil fled
in a haste

my tears will never flow
in an amount that will show
that my decree
should be
in hell's inferno

my tears will never show
no matter how much they flow
to express
the amount of my happiness
because I see and I confess
because I know I am truly blessed

- Nu Creation


The Gutter by Craig Gross

Craig Gross

The Gutter

From the founder of a group that goes into pornography conventions to share the love of Jesus with people involved in the making, producing, acting out, and consumption, of pornography, comes a book about going into the darkness carrying the bright light of Jesus' love. Full of wonderful stories (including one about City Ministries "Night Strikes" in San Francisco, for those of you back home) about God's people going places religious people wouldn't dare tread; shining love and hope into them. "Don't be angry at the dark for being dark, be angry at the light for refusing to shine in the darkness!"

Death of a Church


How To Be Someone's Friend when you Disagree

For those of you who don't know, the official Vineyard position on ordaining women, is to leave the issue up to the local church. That means that there are Vineyard churches who ordain women, and those who do not. Here is something the Vineyard put out in 2006 to help people navigate this unique position.

February 15, 2006

I. General Guidelines For Relationships

A. Accept that their view is a matter of conscience in obeying the scriptures.
B. Obviously, this mutual respect has to be worked out by listening well to one another and by careful use of our language so as not to show any disrespect to one another.
C. Abstain from using emotive or impugning language.
D. Endeavor to hear and understand one another.
E. Although it is quite acceptable to state what you believe on a point of disagreement, the basis for your views, and what you believe the possible consequences of accepting the differing view could be, these should be done without personal attack or judgment on the one who disagrees with you, and should be expressed with humility.
F. Show the costly side of loving one another by considering the high importance of the interests of others and putting such consideration into actual practice.
G. Speak respectfully about the various views.
H. Acknowledge that this is one of the "debatable issues" where good Christians can disagree in good conscience.

II. Guidelines on The Issue of Women as Senior Pastors

A. It should not be implied or assumed that those who believe that women should not be senior pastors are women-haters, etc.
B. Mutual respect means that those who believe women cannot be senior pastors must recognize that those who do are committed to the scriptures and are not heretics or among those who believe the Bible is not inspired by God. They simply happen to read the scriptures differently on this point.
C. Those who do not believe women should be senior pastors should not show disrespect to women speakers or women pastors in any of the gatherings. They should bless these women and treat them as true sisters in the Lord.
D. Include women, who happen to be senior pastors, in the guideline of showing the costly side of loving one another by considering the high importance of the interests of others and putting such consideration into actual practice.
E. Respect local churches who do not ordain women by not pressuring them to change their view.


Reclaiming Ambiguity

Certainty is the intellectual heritage of Modernity...

...and with it comes an attendant fear of mystery.

Our culture, however, is growing ever fonder of mystery, is embracing ambiguity, and is growing increasingly apprehensive about certainty. As Christians raised in a modern Church attempting to reach a modern world, we look at our culture's growing mistrust of certitude, and we are either frightened or disgusted. We fear the erosion of truth, or we are disgusted by the obvious attempt at self-justification for a hedonistic lifestyle...

But I would ask that we suspend judgment for a moment.

I do not think Christianity should be equated to certitude. There are a few things about which we must be certain (Paul argues this in 1 Corinthians 15 about the physical resurrection of Jesus) but there are many things about which we should be ambiguous! In our attempts to be Biblical we have made claims for certainty, but in fact, we must acknowledge that where the Bible is ambiguous, it is unbiblical to be unambiguous!