Advent Conspiracy…

It’s that time of the year again. For the past three years we have pushed for change during Christmas and all throughout the year. We seek for a more simple lifestyle that “requires” less in order to give more. This does a lot of things, but we won’t get into all of that at this point. For now we’ll focus on Christmas. I do not need to say much; the video speaks for itself. Share the video with those around you. Step out of the norm, and your comfort zone to bring change to potentially dangerous “traditions” that may hang out around your family…it may be difficult at first, but it will pay off in the end.

“Injustice Lens”

This is a poem written by a student church planter at UCLA. It’s about Injustice, Christmas, consumerism, etc. I know this is probably a discussion you have already had this Christmas season, and have most likely come to your own conclusions. (appropriate for your own situations, etc.) My reason for posting this is not to convince you that giving/receiving presents is bad or wrong. All I am doing is passing along a well-written perspective that we, as believers in America, must keep in mind throughout the entire year.

“Injustice Lens” – by Myles Hamby

Righteous anger is running through my vein,
Gonna tell you a story ’bout the pain,
That other people go through in their life,
World stands ignorant, neglecting their strife.

Ugandan Rebels took kids from their bed,
Now forced to fight or they’re shot in the head,
Forced to kill their mom and also their dad,
While we’re here searching for the latest fad.

Cambodian girl was raped, ’til she blead,
Brothel owner could care less, if she’s dead,
Pimp video-taped, to sell it online,
World downloads it, pretends ev’rything’s fine.

Chinese child slave, bought ’cause he was cheap,
Working long hours, little or no sleep,
Sews a shirt wrong, beaten for the mistake,
You wear the fixed shirt, while his poor hands ache.

Learn to live in this reality.
Against injustice make a loud decree.
Give love and money so abundantly.
And finally set all these people free.

Never thought this through, though facts I did know,
Heard ’bout poverty, but went with the flow,
Only filled my mind, when shown on the news,
Didn’t affect me, that was my excuse.

But in recent years, I went through a shift,
Some say it’s a curse, but I say a gift,
Thought ’bout it more, stories stuck in my head,
Think ’bout injustice, while lying in bed.

I look at young boys, playing with their cars,
Instantly start to think, about the scars,
On body and heart, of a child soldier,
Once innocent minded, as these boys are.

When people waste money, on what they don’t need,
I think about the mouths, that they could feed,
The rich get more rich, the poor get more poor,
Yet we stand in line, wastin’ at the store.

In department stores, most just see a dress,
But I see a girl, whose life’s in distress,
Look at the tag, not made in the U.S.,
‘Cause kids are exploited, for the sake of progress.

Humans trafficked, for the sake of profit,
This is the planet’s, third largest market,
Twenty seven million slaves today,
More than the slave trade, back in the day.

Learn to live in this reality.
Against injustice make a loud decree.
Give love and money so abundantly.
And finally set all these people free.

When you see injustice, throughout your day,
You’re lookin’ through a lens, seein’ a new way,
This injustice lens, is removable,
Some wear it more, if their minds are able.

I wore this lens so much, absorbed into my eye,
Became a part of me ’til the day that I die,
This lens and my eye are now one in the same,
So ingrained in my life, it’s part of my name.

Look into my eyes, through this lens you’ll see,
Not just a world clothed in poverty,
But you’ll see my eyes, attached to my heart,
‘Cause to show them love, from the heart I must start.

To be moved to action, from within it must come,
For too many people, their heart’s become numb,
Awaken your heart, allow love to stir you,
To help the world, and expose what is true.

Learn to live in this reality.
Against injustice make a loud decree.
Give love and money so abundantly.
And finally set all these people free.

This is how my heart’s wired, I’m fine with that,
‘Cause this is the truth, don’t want to turn back,
But knowledge without action has no gain,
Listen to me now, don’t let me rhyme in vain.

My first request: put yourself in their shoes,
Imagine being raped, used and abused,
Or a slave workin’ for a dime a day
Or a child soldier, killed dad today.

Second request: give love, money and time,
‘Cause more are dying as I write this rhyme,
We can’t sit silent, no more nonchalance,
I’m making the call, what is your response?

Learn to live in this reality.
Against injustice make a loud decree.
Give love and money so abundantly.
And finally set all these people free.

And finally set all these people free.
God, please set all these people free.

-Myles Hamby-

(thanks buddy)

Dependent.

I have been thinking a lot lately about things that we are dependent upon as Christians in America & in the church in America. Sadly, my thoughts have not brought me to the person of Jesus Christ, and the leading power of His Holy Spirit. It would seem as if HE IS NOT ENOUGH.

I have had many conversations with many of you over the past few months about things that we are dependent on. These are things that, if they were taken away from us, we would not know what to do/how to function. We MIGHT survive, but you can forget a flourishing walk with Christ that usher’s in His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

It is very odd to me that most arguments or discussions I hear regarding “church” and what it means to follow Christ are rarely about an individual’s complete denial of self, and pursuit of the Great Commission. Instead, they are about things other than that…things that are seemingly irrelevant compared to the above. We will talk about “how to do church”, “church structure”, doctrine, staff, gatherings, elders, pastors, programs, worship, sermons, podcasts, etc. etc. etc.

I began to think…in my thinking I began to discuss these thoughts with some individuals. I began to introduce scenarios that lacked the above elements (“church”, structure, institution, pastoral staff, programs, worship services, sermons, teaching, childcare, youth groups, small groups, Bible Studies, etc.) and those I spoke with started getting VERY uncomfortable. They began to speak back at me as if I had just denied Christ and the Cross. It was as if it were THOSE things that mattered, as if THOSE were the things that held the most value in the kingdom. It was as if THOSE were the things they were dependent upon, and if they were taken away there would be no way to function as a follower of Christ.

My mind began to wonder to other countries where the believers there have NONE of the things in either of the above lists. They have Christ. They are LUCKY if they have a few pages of the Bible, and enough food to eat on a daily basis. Chances are they do have a thriving community of other believers who are in the same boat as them, completely & utterly dependent upon Christ. You see, Christ is enough for them. They have nothing BUT Christ, and it’s enough. They don’t “need to be fed”, or tickled by some fancy guitar riff in the middle of a Hillsong….song. They don’t need to be entertained by funny sermons or podcasts, and they certainly don’t need a group of professionals planning out their monthly service project or weekly program. (Not all of these things are BAD, however, when we become dependent upon them, and cannot fathom life without them it is DANGEROUS)

It would appear as if we, as Christians in America, are dependent upon a lot of things; Christ does not seem to be one of them. We seem to be too wrapped up in idolatry to notice our need for a risen Savior. Yes, I said IDOLATRY because that’s what we do. We don’t worship Christ. We worship the things in the lists above. We worship & idolize & are dependent upon them because if they were taken away from us our “faith” would fall to pieces. We would be left in shambles.

“Christ, forgive us for our idolatrous hearts. Turn us back to you. Do whatever it is that you must do to cause us to place you above any other gods. We need you.”

What are some other things that you can think of that the church in America may be dependent upon? (Things that an average Christian might not know what to do without if it were taken from them)