18 abril 2007

it's nothing... it's just wednesday.

thought one:
can there really be no 3rd generation Pentecostals in latinamerica? that's bad news. in a big way. that's... Lenin's kids.

The fall of Pentecostals
National Catholic Reporter, July 16, 2004
by James Chichetto

* In chronicling the "rise of Pentecostatism," Sr. Marie Vianney Bilgrien (NCR, June 18) omitted to mention the high dropout rate among Pentecostals, especially in Latin America. In his book Evangelism and Apostasy: The Evolution and Impact of Evangelicals in Modern, Mexico, Kurt Bowen notes, for example, that as many as 48 percent of those raised in the second generation of Pentecostals no longer claim any religious affiliation. In his article "Shopping Around: Questions about Latin American Conversions," Edward Cleary also points out that older Chilean Pentecostal churches are losing new members at a similar rate, "perhaps third- and fourth-generation ones." According to other missiologists, the dropout rate among Pentecostals is just as high elsewhere. Sadly, the weaknesses of Pentecostalism (among second- and
third-generation believers) grow worse as Pentecostal churches grow older.

thought two:

okay, confession time:

can't rightly say i believe in hell... (not to be overly bombastic or anything...) this used to shake me up pretty badly, but because i honestly to the best of my perceived effort could not make myself act out the implications of a belief in hell, i had to let it go or i thought i'd end up leaving the faith.

i feel like there's an intellectual key to the puzzle of the "justice" of hell that i'm missing... i KNOW (he conocido, he probado, he gustado que) God is good. Not technically, no doctrinally, not philosophically, but KIND, but SWEET, but JUST. i believe He hates sin, because sin, however "small," is the embracing of rebellion to that goodness and the support of all that torments and destroys. i have no problem with Satan being tortured and burnt for all of eternity in a place where the "fire is not quenched" and the "worm never dies..." but humans are SO IGNORANT of the gravity of their actions... they have some 70 years in a fallen and rigged universe with all the powers of Satan and the World corrupting their already foolish and self-turned hearts... ah, humanity.

but, i'm not being linear. hold on, okay... so i KNOW God is good as well as i know anything, but i don't feel like i have enough information... o sea, explanation? to reconcile Him with eternal torment for unbelieving humans.

sometimes i feel close to understanding and other times i grow mentally lax in attempting to unite the two. can i- SHOULD i- take a "leap of faith?" ACCEPT that God is good and ACCEPT that Hell is real, though in my mind those two are mutually exclusive? would it be possible for that leap of faith to trigger my will/ affective domain, or do i NEED explanation (understanding) first? would accepting a "leap of faith" damage my concept of God/ my world-view (that all truth IS reconcilable)?

maybe i shouldn't post this...

i wrote the above a month or so ago, and obviously, i didn't post it. i posted it now because being... i had an epiphany involving the flu, Hitler, and sympathy/feelings. thusly, part two to the problem of Hell will be forthcoming.

thought three: re: disillusionment and assumptions

To build respect for persons on our preconcieved assumptions of who they are (or our assumptions of their proximity to what they "should" be) and then LOSE respect for them when we become disillusioned is just WRONG.

we must respect every drop of the imago Dei where we find it, but BUILDING more and more, always hoping, always praying with great expectation for God's purposes in a life.

for goodness sake, people will FAIL expectations, and if you love them less you loved them not much in the first place. love their PERSONHOOD. respect them as individuals. give role models a break. that's why it's so bloomin' good we have a multinational Body of believers... and LOTS of them! each and everyone will FAIL FAIL FAIL. sometimes even the basics. they'll be inconsistant. they'll be hypocritical. don't get cynical. meet more Christians. they'll fail you, too, but don't ignore their virtues and the fact that they could be absolute monsters but the Holy Spirit has been busy in them.

so. what a mess we are. but there are still glimmers of God's Presence! don't underestimate that by underestimating the potential depravity of man! sympathize a bit with Jesus... this is why we need heaven... man, I bet Christ is looking forward to the day the more than we ever could. at long last... a clean, trustworthy, consistant Bride. till that day, if He can bear with us, we can too.