Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How do you reach anger management to kids who don't see violence as a bad thing?

If anybody has any ideas, and wants to come run them for my Yr 9 Pastoral Care class tomorrow that would be much appreciated :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More on Mike Guglielmucci

This blog, and this link in particular, raise some interesting questions about what Planetshakers' response to all of this is, in particular in regards to their music department.

…Planetshakers has removed references to Michael Guglielmucci, crediting his role on these albums, from their web-site.

For example, the online blurb for Planetshakers 2004 album “Always and Forever” previously read: Produced by lead songwriter Henry Seeley, with songwriting credits and lead vocals to Mike Guglielmucci and Sam Evans, Always and Forever is an album not to be missed.

Now, the blurb on the Planetshakers discography page reads: Produced by lead songwriter Henry Seeley, with songwriting credits and lead vocals to Sam Evans, Always and Forever is an album not to be missed.

And the blurb for the 2007 album “Never Stop” previously read:“Featuring Henry Seeley, Mike Guglielmucci and Sam Evans, this studio album is signature Planetshakers praise and worship for a new generation. Includes CD and bonus DVD of Planetshakers live worship and inspiring messages.”

Now:“Featuring Henry Seeley and Sam Evans, this studio album is signature Planetshakers praise and worship for a new generation. Includes CD and bonus DVD of Planetshakers live worship and inspiring messages.”

(All references to Planetshakers live album “Savior of the World” have also been removed entirely from the Planetshakers Discography page.)

These are conspicuous absenses given Mike Guglielmucci wrote 11 out of 13 of the songs on “Never Stop”, and 7 out of the 10 songs on “Always and Forever”…

I'm pretty unimpressed that they've removed his name from the credits of CDs he worked on. Name it and own it, or pull them. It's that simple.

My fellow gameshow-winning friend Alister Cameron has written a really important post about what we learn from situations like this here.

"The obvious question is this: How could no-one have known? Not even family! What kind of “system” can promote someone to such a place of influence and yet can fail to enforce a regime of accountability and scrutiny?"

It's interesting that a comment on a forum back in Oct 2006 was pretty dubious about it all too, check that out here.

Personally, I went to Planetshakers Sunday night to support a friend who is trying to deal with it all, and was fascinating to see how they responded. You could tell they were quite visibly shaken and shocked, and legitimately hurt and confused about what to make of it all.

They were, quite rightly, at pains to point out that nobody knew. The only bit I was a tad unimpressed by was the fact that they seemed to be trying to wash their hands of him in a sense, going to lengths to point out he hadn't been in direct ministry with them for 18 months, which was still after all the lying all started.

As another commentor says on the Planetshakersinsider blog, they raised him up, and they should be keeping him to account. But, no human system will ever be perfect at catching those that lie, and unfortunately for them and us, they stuffed up this one. They're not the first, and won't be the last.

The Church is just like any other organisation with normal human beings in it, and I for one don't want to be standing in my glass house throwing stones at them.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mike Gugliemucci

This is indeed the issue that all of Christendom is talking about (well, all the Christians I know anyway), I haven't had time to write a response yet myself, but here are a couple others worth reading.

This one is from one of my favourite communicators Mark Sayers, and this is from a well-known pastor Mark Conner.

Is a pretty tough situation, and my thoughts and prayers are with those for whom he has been influential in their faith development.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Where there's a will, there's a way...

An old Italian man lived alone in the country. He wanted to dig his tomato garden, but it was very hard work as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament. “Dear Vincent, I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me. Love, Pappa.”

A few days later he received a letter from his son. “Dear Pappa, Whatever you do, don’t dig up that garden. That’s where I buried the BODIES! Love, Vinnie.”

At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived, and they dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologised to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

“Dear Pappa, Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That’s the best I could do under the circumstances. Love, Vinnie.”

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What is it that's wrong with Polygamy?

I can't even remember how we got onto this conversation, but the other day some friends and I were discussing polygamy (having more than one marriage partner), and where and why it's practised.

After moving on from the difference between decriminalisation and legalisation (which is just semantics to me, I reckon they're exactly the same) it got onto why I think it's wrong.

For Christians, I have no problem in justifying that it is wrong-one woman and man, lifelong partners, meant to have sexual unioun with only one person etc.

But, from a broader society point of view (as most of you will have guessed by now, I'm not big on necessarily imposing Christian values/ideals on to the rest of society) I had a hard time articulating why it was that I think it should be against the law.

And that in itself raises interesting questions about how and why we make laws, but that's another issue...

Obviously it has a great potential for misuse and abuse, but so does normal marriage, and we don't get rid of that as an institution.

There's just something in me that doesn't think it's right, but I'm still trying to articulate what exacly that is and why.

I don't actually think the laws on it in Australia are going to change anytime soon, because as a society it's not something we're into, but I'd be interested to hear what others think.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Learning from different Christians

This semester I am doing a couple of different subjects at some different places to normal, Reformation Church History at a Catholic College, and Romans at the Uniting Church College, both of which I'm enjoying.

Last night I was discussing with a guy at class who grew up a Catholic but is now a Protestant, about what we can learn from all of the different denominations and streams of the Christian faith.

It reminded me of this book by Brian McLaren, my favouritea author and one of his best. It basically looks at a whole heap of Christian movements and tries to find the best to take from each. So what is good about Catholicism, Lutherans, Wesleyans, Mennonites, Baptists, Hippies, Emerging Church, etc etc.

I commented that this approach is half humility in recognising that many different people have much to say about the Christian faith, and that you have something to learn from everybody, and half arrogance in thinking that you are wise enough to be able to discern what is good and bad about a movement that may have been around for many more years than you.

I think they can both be held in tension. Anyway, it's a great read of a book and gave me plenty to ponder.