Can You Be Friends With Your Social Opposite?

Can You Be Friends With Your Social Opposite?

I’ve spent a lot of time on the couch this week. That is what happens when you are not feeling well and are recovering from passing out in worship.

I took advantage of the rest by enjoying the day simply relaxing and getting some things done for the week. I caught up on my DVR recordings of new shows. I can vouch for the quality of “Bluff City Law” and “All Rise,” while I believe the jury is still out on “Carol’s Second Act.” I also played more than my fair share of games on my tablet. And I got caught into a story that made its way around the news cycle Tuesday.

The story focused on comedienne and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres receiving backlash for sitting with former President George W. Bush at a recent football game. Yes, you read that correct. One of the biggest stories of the day was a talk show host and a former president sharing nachos while watching the Cowboys.

Why? Continue reading “Can You Be Friends With Your Social Opposite?”

Enough With Church Politics

For three years, I worked in public policy and gained first-hand experience to the growing polarization that exists in our nation. I went into it, perhaps, with a bit of naive hopefulness believing that everyone would work for the same common principles, especially since we were an issue-oriented group. What I often saw was how some were more interested in defeating the “other side” than about promoting the cause or working towards a consensus.

That experience led me to make one of the most common statements I share about my time before going into ministry: I give thanks to God I had some political experience, because it has helped to find my way through church issues.

It is sad for me to admit that being in politics, even as a staff writer for a higher education policy group, was one of the best training grounds for ministry, because it gave me on-the-field perspective regarding the polarization that exists in the church today. The church, especially my own United Methodist Church, is suffering in the United States because we often reflect of the same political polarization that has crippled Washington, D.C., and state houses across the nation for a generation. We are more interested in winning political arguments than we are about “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Continue reading “Enough With Church Politics”

The Curious Case of Tim Tebow: How an Athlete is at the Center of a Polarized Culture

Tim Tebow is an interesting case study.

He is the kind of guy you want your daughter to date. Tebow is a strong Christian who is rooted in God’s love. We’re not talking about the celebrity form of Christianity, in which one claims to be a Christian but you never see any fruit. Tebow is authentic in his faith and charitable in his care for others.

Yet, Tebow is the last person you want starting for your favorite NFL franchise. Sure, Tebow managed to lead the Denver Broncos to a postseason victory over the Steelers, but he is much maligned for his style of play. His style is more suited for the college game, which Tebow was, perhaps, one of the best ever winning a Heisman and two national titles. Tebow’s biggest weakness has been his ability to accurately throw a pass, which is something a quarterback is expected to do.

This week, Tebow was traded to the New York Jets after the Broncos acquired Peyton Manning. It has led to usual discussion that accompanies Tebow in the NFL. On one side, you have those who believe Tebow is not a starting quarterback and should change positions. On the other side of the debate are those who believe Tebow has been unfairly criticized because of his faith and that his record shows he can play in the NFL.

It is a debate that will not go away with Tebow moving to the country’s media center. With this maybe another question needs to be asked. Why is Tebow such a polarizing individual and what does it mean for all of us? Continue reading “The Curious Case of Tim Tebow: How an Athlete is at the Center of a Polarized Culture”