This week on Voices In My Head Rick leads you through roughly 30 minutes of guided worship with songs, scripture, readings from sacredspace.ie, and reflections along the way. This episode is intended to help you worship and have some quiet time with the Lord away from distractions so that God can speak into your life. Featuring songs written by Rick Lee James, Mark Altrogge, David Lubben, Vicci Martinez, &Timothy Pagnotta.
Many thanks to Music Pastor Brannon Hancock and the music team at Xenia Church of the Nazarene for including one of my sillier songs (We Lost The G) in their Sunday service this past week. They even made a funny little music video to go with it. I never thought one of my songs would be featured in a video with the Rock, but here it is. Thanks my friends. For those of you interested, you can buy my version of the song buy clicking on this CDBaby link.
Timothy Kurek, raised within the confines of a strict, conservative Christian denomination in the Bible Belt, Nashville, Tennessee, was taught the gospel of separation from a young age. But it wasn’t long before Timothy’s path and the outside world converged when a friend came out as a lesbian, and revealed she had been excommunicated by her family. Distraught and overcome with questions and doubts about his religious upbringing, Timothy decided the only way to empathize and understand her pain was to walk in the shoes of very people he had been taught to shun. He decided to come out as a gay man to everyone in his life, and to see for himself how the label of gay would impact his life. In the tradition of Black Like Me, The Cross in the Closet is a story about people, a story about faith, and about one man’s “abominable” quest to find Jesus in the margins. We talk about his book and his experiment this week on Voices In My Head.
I’m not saying this to be argumentative, just sharing my honest thoughts. Convince me that Jesus would ever use violence against anyone and I’ll be convinced that followers of Jesus may resort to it as well. Violence may be the best idea men can come up with but that doesn’t mean Jesus endorses it. Sure, killing our enemies seems like a good and effective way of stopping them but Jesus preferred dying at their hands rather than resorting to their ways. Short of having a new word from Jesus that says, never mind, don’t love your enemies, don’t turn the other cheek, don’t bless those who curse you…fight them instead…then violence is a hard sell for me. I realize there are many justifications for violence and that scripture can be used to support it, but if Jesus came to show us what God is like and how we’ve misunderstood Him (and scripture) then I have to go with the life, teachings, and witness of Christ above all else.Truthfully, I’d rather be like John Wayne ( who ironically may have been a draft dodger) and charge in with guns blazing, but Jesus’ way doesn’t let me take that route. The Jesus way will probably get us killed, but there is no greater love than a man lay down His life for another. Why should we expect anything else for ourselves as followers of Christ than to have the same violence done to us. On the other hand, there’s more to life than living and it takes more guts to lay your weapons down than it does to pick them up. The call of Jesus is a foolish call to courage, but if He is in fact, God in flesh, then we better heed the call. He will use the foolish to shame the wise and the weak to conquer the strong.
This week on Voices In My Head we are joined once again by author Brett McCracken to discuss his new book Gray Matters. Gray matters is an important book deals with the line between legalism and liberty by diving into the way we consume and how that influences culture that we live in and our relationship to Christ and his church. Listen to the show, buy the book,and share it with a friend. It’s well worth your time.