Putting the Word “Christian” in Front of Something Doesn’t Make It Christian
The team over at Blimey Cow have released a new video that I want to add a hearty AMEN to. Take a look at the video and I’ll add some thoughts below.
Oxygen14 – Day 3 Photos
Check out some of the highlights from Day 3 of Oxygen14.
My Adam4d.com Top 5!
Adam4d.com is one of my favourite webcomics. Even better, it’s a great Christian comic with a sharp satirical edge. I’ve written about the comic before. A couple of months ago I promised to put up a Top 5 list of my favourite Adam4d.com comics and here it is! It wasn’t easy getting it down to five but I got there eventually. These are presented in no particular order. Is your favourite on the list?
Webcomic Review: Adam4d.com
Adam4d.com is a Christian comic that has grabbed my attention over the last few months. And judging by my Facebook feed, I’m not the only one. Often laugh-out-loud funny (yes, I’m old and I will not be using the acronym, thank you) and very often insightful, Adam4d is a comic you should be checking out regularly. There are some strips that I have bookmarked for future use, because they’re just asking to be used in a sermon or Scripture class. The creator, Adam Ford, has a way of taking complex ideas and satire and reducing them to punchy sound bites and drawings that I admire. I read a lot of webcomics, but Adam4d.com is one that I know I’ll be a consistently better thinker and preacher after reading it (I’m trying hard to lay it on to thick here guys, but I really love this comic!).
Pop Culture Christ Cam (PC3) Episode 1
The first episode of Pop Culture Christ Cam!
In this episode:
Kamen Rider Kuuga
X-Men: Battle of the Atom
And the Australian Federal Election – Why I’m reminded of Transmetropolitan
If you have any comments, questions, or things you’d like me to discuss on the show, comment below or check me out on:
or Pop Culture Christ: http://www.joelamoroney.com
And make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode of Pop Culture Christ Cam!
Am I Going To Heaven? Part 2: What Are My Afterlife Options?
When I take my wife out to dinner, it usually begins with us trying to work out which restaurant to go to. I’ll start by asking her where she wants to go. She’ll say she doesn’t know. And then I’ll say I don’t know. Then she’ll ask me to give her some options to choose from. And then we’ll narrow it down to one choice. And then, knowing my luck, the place will be shut and we have to go through the whole process again.
It’s good to know your options before you settle on a decision. Especially when the decision is where you are going to spend eternity. I want to go to heaven, but before I get my heart set on it, I really should investigate the alternatives.
Words Christians Use That I Don’t Really Understand: Blessing
Have you ever sat in church or had a conversation with a Christian and wondered when they stopped speaking English? One second they’re speaking perfectly normal, then all of a sudden they start using strange words and you’re wondering if this is what Swahili sounds like. Just like any other group of people, Christians have their own lingo. Words and phrases that we use that are particular to us. And there’s usually nothing wrong with those words. But sometimes we forget to explain what they mean to the new guys. Or even worse, we use them ourselves without ever learning what they actually mean. Every now and again I stop myself and ask “What does this actually mean?”
A recent example of this is the word blessing.
I was reading Genesis 12:1-3 with someone. It’s a great passage that introduces us to Abraham and the promises God made to him. These three verses are not only key for the story of Abraham, but of the entire Bible. They establish God’s plans for his people.
The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
“I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
In those three verses, bless/blessing/blessed is used five times. It must be an important word. But what does it mean? Christians say things like “bless you” or “God has blessed me”. I sometimes get the impression that we use words like blessing because we know they are good words and we should use them. But that doesn’t mean that we actually understand them.
The first thing we can tell about blessing from Genesis 12 is that it’s the opposite of cursing. God will bless people who bless Abraham’s family and curse people who curse them. When you curse someone, you want bad stuff to happen to them. So therefore, it would be logical to assume that blessing has something to do with wanting good stuff to happen. Blessing is a positive thing. It’s something we want. I’m always in favour of having good things happen to me. In this passage, God is promising Abraham that he will receive good things.
But there’s more to it than God giving good things to Abraham and his family. Blessing is about being in relationship. Being in a right relationship. It’s being able to truthfully say that you are friends with God, that you are one of his people. That there’s no issues between you and God, nothing that would cause division or unrest. Receiving these good things is not the goal here. No, the more important thing is the relationship. Receiving good things from God is a happy consequence of being in the good books with the creator of the universe.
Because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross, we have been blessed. When he died on that cross for us, he did the impossible and mended the relationship between us and God. We went from God’s enemies to being his people. Because of this momentous act of Jesus, we know that God will look after us, both in this life and in the life to come. We look forward to the ultimate blessing we have been promised – life in the new creation where all the evil of this life has been destroyed and we get unhindered access to God. That’s a blessing that I can get behind!
So when we’re talking about how God has blessed us, what we’re saying is that God has accepted us and has welcomed us into a relationship with him. And that he has expressed that relationship by giving us good things. That doesn’t mean that everything will always be perfect in this life. But we know that we are on God’s side and at the end of days, we know where we will be standing.
Christian Comic Books
In the May edition of Southern Cross, I had an article published on Christian comic books. If you missed the article or don’t go to an Anglican church in Sydney, you can now read the article online.
I’ve received some good feedback from this article but still keen to hear what you think.
Justin Bieber: Pray
So, Justin Bieber has a song called Pray. How about that? The Bieb has gone on record to discuss his Christian faith and there’s a bit of controversy going on at the moment about some of his convictions that have come across in a recent issue of Rolling Stone. So it was bound to happen that Bieber’s faith would be reflected in his music. Pray is Justin Bieber putting it out there and sharing his prayer life with the world.
And now I have some questions.
It’s no secret that I love comics. And it’s no secret that I love Jesus. However, it’s not often that these two loves of mine intersect. When it comes to Christian comics, it’s apparently really hard to punch out a quality product. The Christian stuff can be really good, but the art is boring and uninspired. Or the art can be really good, but in the process really misses the mark and you’re left with something that’s not quite Christian. Worse case scenario? The art is bad and the message is dodgy. What we need are more good Christian comics.
Parable is a really, really good Christian comic.
The Timothy Strategy
The internet is a very big place. People from all over the world are connected through their internet connection. Personally, I have made friends through the internet, friends that I may never have met in real life, both here in Sydney and overseas. As Christians, I believe we have a responsibility to harness tools such as the internet for the Kingdom.
And that’s just what The Timothy Strategy is doing. Using our connection to the world wide web to pray for each other.
10 Unintentionally Hilarious Christian Music Videos
Man, the 90s have a lot to answer for. I came across this post that offers up 10 Unintentionally Hilarious Christian Music Videos. You just know MC Hammer is going to be on that list.
I don’t think I made it through any of these videos without wanting to hurt myself. And now I’m not sure if I’m meant to be afraid of the Devil or 5.5 inch floppy disks.
Coming Soon: Webcomics Monday
Starting next Monday, I’m planning a new weekly series for Pop Culture Christ called Webcomics Monday. Over the last few months I’ve been storing up a whole bunch of webcomics that deal with Christian and/or religious themes. Each Monday, I’ll be linking to one of these comics and briefly discussing them. So far, I’ve got enough to last me a few months at least, but I’d be very keen for people to link me to more. I don’t care how old they are, as long as they’re accessible on the net.
To get you into the mood, I thought I’d give you an idea of what webcomics I’m reading on a regular basis. Bonus points if you can link me to a comic with Christian themes that isn’t on this list!
What Do I Do When Teenagers Question Their Sexuality by Steven Gerali
I love being a youth minister. God has used me to influence the lives of many young people over the years. It’s an enormous privilege. And it’s not just because I can justify buying video games as a ministry expense. The big reward is seeing the results of your hard work, when you see a young person growing in godliness and maturity. But before you get to that point, there’s a lot of trials along the way. And a lot of conversations. Some of them you are prepared for. Some of them come out of nowhere and you don’t know how to deal with them.
That’s why Steven Gerali’s new series of books What Do I Do When… is such a valuable resource.
Glee and the Christian Student
I’m a big fan of Glee. I love the dark irony and the musical numbers that come out of nowhere. The show has faced some criticism from Christians because of a perceived anti-Christian agenda. Now it may be because I’m not part of the American Christian scene, but the examples I’ve seen quoted strike me as being more anti American conservatives than anti-Christian. Is there a difference in the USA? I’d hope so.
Anyway, the second season of Glee is looking to add some new characters. And one of them has me interested, as she is a conservative Christian. This could either be really interesting or really, really bad. The show’s creators say that this character will “not be held up for derision.” (Quote from Fancast) If the character is treated fairly, they’ll provide an interesting contrast to a lot of the immorality that goes on amongst the Glee teens. If treated unfairly, then we’ll have a new punching bag for those who don’t like Christianity to launch into.
At the very least, I hope they cast someone who can sing real good.
Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung
“God has a plan for your life.”
So when is he going to let me in on it? When is he going to present me with a folder full of which decisions I need to make to end up where he wants me? I don’t care if he uses visions, dreams or skywriting, I want God to tell me what to do. Otherwise I’ll end up doing the wrong thing and seriously ruin God’s plan for my life. I just don’t know what to do.
Ever feel like this? Ever feel like you just don’t know what to do with your life? Well Kevin DeYoung wants you to stop over thinking and stop waiting for a sign. He wants you to Just Do Something.
Speaking to Teenagers by Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins
Speaking to Teenagers: How to Think About, Create, & Deliver Effective Messages
Written by Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins
Years ago, my church started a new congregation for high-schoolers. It was an exciting time. But there was one thing I never understood. Whenever it was time for one of the student ministers to preach, they were incredibly anxious. Sweating blood anxious. For them, speaking to teenagers was on the same level as jumping out of a plane without a parachute while wrestling with an irate grizzly bear. Being only a few years out of high-school myself, I didn’t understand what the big deal was. I think they would have been more confident if they had read Fields and Robbins book Speaking to Teenagers.
Alice Cooper Quote
“Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that’s a tough call. That’s real rebellion,”
Fervr Presents Mission 09
I thought I’d link to all my mission posts in one place. Enjoy Read More…
Fervr Presents: Moore College Mission 09 – Thursday
It’s a bit late, but here’s Thursday’s Mission Vodcast!