Monday, February 2, 2009


Happy new month!

Two down, 26 to go. By the end of this month we'll have another hour of daylight. Yeeeessss!

But the 29th of last month wasn't bad. In fact, it was grand. In a cooperative effort with a Christian student group at Reed College, Koine Community helped bring the film Lord, Save Us From Your Followers! to the Vollum Lecture Hall at Reed. 40+ people attended, among them the film maker and star himself, Dan Merchant.

The students kept Dan talking for more than 90 minutes after the showing, and it was a great conversation. They weren't shy about identifying themselves as atheist, agnostic, Mormon, Catholic or Christian. And they were open to hearing anything Dan had to say--because he had shown them several hours' worth of his willingness to hear what they had to say.

One young woman behind me (that's a redundant statement since I was the oldest person in the audience) spoke up and expressed her frustration about being unheard and unrecognized by Christians. So much so that she found it difficult, if not impossible, to have a conversation with them.

I thought to myself, "Oh, could you only know how long I've felt like I've had a gag stuffed in my mouth here in the USA!" Christianity is not monolithic. But so often I feel unable to speak as a Christian because I will immediately be thrown into the box of stereotypes labeled as such.

I feel like I'm walking around with a gigantic bar code on my forehead. And the bar code readers of other people will only read the label, not me. We can't honestly know each other unless we get past the labels.

What labels do you use for other people? What labels do you feel them using for you? Do these labels work? At all? Is it time for us to break the bar code?

Oh, by the way. . . That 90-minute-plus conversation at Reed? If you had been there, you'd want to bottle it and take it home to your church or small group. Yep, that good!


Pastor Roger

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