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Deeper Roots + Wider Branches

Pursuing Sanctification, Community & Mission

Category Archives: The Church

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Thanks to The Resurgence Blog, I discovered the work of Isaac Wardell & Bifrost Arts, and what they have to say strikes me as very insightful. Wardell points out that “the church today generally takes its cues from the concert hall or the lecture hall” gravitating either toward a performance-driven mindset or an anti-emotional over-emphasis on “education and cognitive understanding” in an effort to become a “counter-cultural outpost”. He points out the need to rediscover the use of scriptures, the Psalms in particular as our framework for worship rather than “taking our cues from the larger media culture.” He also points out the strange phenomena that we listen to more music than ever before, yet we sing together much less then Christians did in the past. Perhaps we need to rediscover the simplicity of gathering together occasionally just to sing…no powerpoint, no microphones, no stage…just a few instruments (or none), a few brothers and sisters, and the beauty of voices raised to our creator and redeemer. I for one am longing to discover the hymns of our generation, and rediscover the hymns of generations past.

<p><a href=”″>Bifrost Arts</a> from <a href=””>josh franer</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Here’s the interview with Isaac Wardell at The Resurgence:

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Please pray for the peace of our city. If our city has as many violent crimes each month as we did in January, we will average out to about 1 murder a day, as we did a few years ago. Here’s a blurb from a Metro Philadelphia article I saw this morning:

As of Monday, the city’s official murder count was at 24, not including a woman and seven babies allegedly killed by abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who was charged two weeks ago. That number represents the highest year-to-date total since 2007, when 31 people were slain in the first month. Rapes are also up 36 percent from a year ago…

Many of these crimes take place within a few miles from where we worship. Let’s ask ourselves what it looks like to be the church in a city that experiences so much violence? What are some practical ways that we can serve our neighbors and work for the peace of our city?

We heard Steve preach on the beatitudes this past Sunday. One of them is “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” How can we pursue this call in our neighborhoods? How does the gospel uniquely equip us to be peacemakers?

It would be great if some of you could offer ideas in the comments section…

*Note: Photo found at

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This past weekend was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the historic decision which made it legal for women in the U.S. to “terminate” unwanted pregnancies. The brief sound bites and the hand full of blog posts I caught over the weekend reminded me of just how frustrated I am with this issue, with myself, and with other young evangelicals like me. While fighting human-trafficking is rather trendy right now (with many celebrities picking it as their “cause”), not many choose to fight for the rights of the unborn. I am ashamed to say that although I have deep convictions that abortion is murdering millions of children, I do very little with these convictions. I’m ashamed to say that it often takes an election season to get me thinking about the issue again. I’m sure many are in this boat with me. And yes, we have our reasons: the issue seems tired; over-politicized; we don’t like some of the ways that the generation preceding us fought this battle; we feel frustrated that passionately fighting for this cause seems to pigeon-hole us politically and culturally; often those who are making the most noise for the cause are not necessarily the people we want to be associated with; and let’s be honest- while saving the lives of orphans in Africa, and refugees, and child sex-slaves, and other trafficked humans is “hip” and will win us the praise of our friends and coworkers, fighting for the rights of the voiceless unborn (and by implication against the “rights” of the women who carry them) is simply not cool, and not something anyone is interested in discussing. People may accept that we hold this position, but the general vibe is “keep it to yourself.”

I don’t know what the solution is, but I no that silence is not it. As Christians who who care about seeking justice for the oppressed this is an issue that we should be learning about and talking about. Ok, so there are some crazy pro-life people out there! And yes, I agree (and hope) that my church is not made up of political clones who all tow the Republican party line. And yes, this is a delicate issue. But regardless of your political leanings, let us not deceive ourselves into believing that this is a personal issue on which we all may come to any opinion we like. Abortion is the termination of a human life created by God. Last time I checked, that’s called murder. I honestly don’t know what it looks like or sounds like to faithfully fight this evil in our generation, but we must figure it out. We must talk. We must read. We must do something! I (and I believe many of us) need to repent for our apathy towards this issue. Father, forgive us.

In a broken world with so many issues, there is no possible way that we can each fight against every injustice. I will be honest: I do not necessarily feel called to become an expert on the abortion issue, or to make a career out of fighting it. But I am deeply disturbed at how absent this issue seems to be in the conversations and justice-related efforts of young evangelicals, as well as in the hip urban churches that many of us populate. While I may feel called in other directions such as serving refugees and being part of church-planting, I still feel a deep conviction that somehow I should be more aware and more involved in this issue which I believe is no less important that ending the trafficking of children and adults around the world.

I guess part of what I’m trying to do here is to echo the call of Isaiah 6:8: “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” Who will be that person for this issue? Who will be the voice of our generation for the rights of the unborn? Who will lead us in this fight? Who will help us figure out how to talk about this? Who will pioneer the new approaches that are so desperately needed? Where are you? Will you please start talking?

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