Miz Shelby had not been home in nearly a year. Not since Christmas last, when that awful phone call about grandmama dying interrupted the gift-giving.
So she came home this weekend. Miz Shelby and her momma got facials, did a little shopping, made Rice Krispy treats and generally hung out, talking girl things.
On Sunday, after a breakfast of bacon and omelets, Miz Shelby and her momma went to church. Miz Shelby had never been to this particular church before.
Miz Shelby goes to one of those churches that meets in a cavernous auditorium.
Her momma goes to a church where the timbers form an A-frame roof over the Cross….
Her momma goes to a church where ladies with silver curls take up the offering and speak openly before God and man.
Odd, isn’t it, that this church is really the more progressive one? her momma noted.
Miz Shelby nodded.
Us old people get blamed all the time for the gender inequalities, her momma said. But in many ways, you young people practice it more than we do.
Miz Shelby winced knowingly. It’s true, she said.
Maybe when people get to a certain age, they don’t care so much about all that anymore, her momma said. Maybe people outgrow gender inequalities. Maybe they are simply content to minister alongside each other instead of bickering about power and position.
A tribute for a wonderful pastor, Jim Martin, whom I am honored to call friend.
Speaking of church, Steve Cuss fires up his blog with a post on church unity:
Unity between churches is challenging and time consuming but is also at the center of Jesus’ prayer in John 17.
As a general rule of thumb, if Jesus prayed for it, we want to be part of it. Collaboration between churches is exciting and powerful, but if you’re not there yet, here are two easy-peasy steps any pastor can take toward true unity with other churches.
2 minute unity: Take 2 minutes in your church service to pray for other churches in your city by name. We’ve been doing this for a few years now. We invite people to pray for a local church they know and we offer a few suggestions if they don’t know of churches. We pray for the mega church down the road, the smaller recovery church downtown and the lutheran church near us, among others. Most of all, we mean it. We sincerely pray for their blessing and well being.
25 Minute Unity: Meet with other pastors and pray for each other, for each other’s churches, for each other’s people. Because we’re wild and crazy, we pray once a month, 6:30am on Sunday mornings, but you might choose a
less biblicalmore convenient time As pastors, we pray and worship together on a Sunday before going separately to pray and worship in our churches.
Do famous authors intend symbolism? Read this. (No, mostly not.)
8 foods you’ve been eating wrong — including apples and PB&J.
The Mefferd-Driscoll controversy points to another aspect of celebrity culture: celebrities are routinely allowed to behave in ways which would not be tolerated in ordinary mortals. For example, being drunk on the job and hurling abuse at an employer would make one unemployable in the real world. Not for Charlie Sheen. A conviction for rape would be enough to have you characterized as a monster in the real world who had forfeited the right to sympathetic media exposure. Not for Mike Tyson or Roman Polanski (just ask that champion of women’s rights, Whoopi Goldberg). In short, normal rules do not apply to celebrities in the same way as they do to others.
The same is true in the celebritydrome of the evangelical subculture. Driscoll is a classic case in point. For example, he has claimed that God gives him explicit images of the sexual sins of other people. He has embraced prosperity teacher and denier of the Trinity, T. D. Jakes, as a brother. He has written an explicit book on sex. Most recently, he engaged in a cringe-inducing publicity stunt unworthy of a spoiled teenager. For most of us, any one of these things would have ended in church discipline and (in the Jakes’ case) removal from office. Yet in all of this, the fan base and those with a vested interest in capitalizing on his success grant him free pass after free pass.
So the fall-out from The Janet Mefferd Show has been interesting even as it has been entirely predictable. The fan base and those with a vested interest in Driscoll’s reputation rally around their hero while excoriating Janet Mefferd. In so doing, they ironically demonstrate why shows such as Janet Mefferd’s can be so very important: if the conservative evangelical world continues to be increasingly dominated by one or two huge media-style organizations, the conversation will be corralled and controlled, the hard questions will not be asked, and the leaders of such organizations and those over whom they choose to extend their patronage will not be held to account.
Discovery of a 10,000 yr old home in the Holy Land.
Sexism in sports journalism, a veteran female journalist, Andrea Kremer speaks up:
Kremer: The definition of sexism is: “discrimination or devaluation based on a person’s sex, as in restricted job opportunities.” I believe that in the sports media, it’s still “easiest” to be a white male. Sadly, I think there continues to be a high percentage of viewers, listeners and readers who want their sports news and information delivered solely from men. The double standard still exists. If a man makes a mistake, he misspoke. If a woman errs, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Thankfully, there are more women employed in the sports media than ever. I don’t think they’re viewed as such an anomaly anymore, but there are times it feels like women are token hires and not there based on knowledge and ability. And pity the poor woman saddled with the moniker “high maintenance.” That can be a job killer. There is much greater tolerance for that among men than women. This is an area where stereotypes creep in and can be tough to overcome. And trust me — I’ve seen just as many men fret about their hair and overall appearance as do women! When executives overemphasize women’s looks I believe it encourages the talent to emphasize their personal branding and not their work and accomplishments.