Stupid Wars- The Machine vs. Newbies

It is an interesting situation that we have in our so-called "western" world of Christianity. We have a fight going on between the emerging church and the institutional church. If you listen to the sides involved on each team you would think that the fight is about structures, systems, and other important things. But when you look at how each of these groups "do" church, they look amazingly similar.
The problem is that this war has been too categorized. First of all, the categories of types of churches is very hard to define-- mainline, fundamentalist, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, evangelical, charismatic, pentecostal, emerging, postmodern, alternative, house, etc.
I grew up in a very conservative, fundamental, independent, 250 member Baptist church. My wife grew up in a evangelical megachurch of 3000. We went to college at a conservative, evangelical Christian university. I then worked for a small, evangelical rural church in Indiana. After that, my wife and I moved to the heart of the 2nd wave charismatic renewal movement-- Tulsa, OK where my wife worked for Oral Roberts University and I worked for a large, conservative non-denominational Charismatic mega-church. Now, we are in Fresno where my wife works for a small mennonite brethren college and I work for a midsize mainline slightly evangelical church who has a senior pastor who is really into the missional church approach, where we have a emerging/alternative/contemplative ancient-future worship service/community.
And then there is just me-- a moderate, postmodern Christian who works in the institutional church but whose expertise is in the emerging, postmodern deal.
Why am I saying all of this... the reason is that in my experience the institution and the emergent is hard to define.


God-Breathed Lives
One of the saddest things that I have watched in my life is church people, scholars, pastors, professors, and others debate over the inspiration of the Scriptures. They analyze and philosophize and theologize what this important belief should be. The reason I see it as sad is that in all of their debating they have missed the point. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that "God-breathed" writings are able to do a list of stuff. What is really amazing is that I can pick up and read these "God-breathed" writings and feel the very breath of God, smell the very odor of God, hear the very voice of God. This breathe shapes me, molds me, moves me towards living life fully, doing ministry completely, serving more greatly. This breathe lets me know that God is near, it gives me comfort, peace, and provides a space for safety. People will know that I have been with God because His odor/smell/breathe overflows from my body.
My wife and I cooked some onions as an ingredient for a meal the other night. The smell of the onions inhabited our apartment for 2 days! All who entered knew we had eaten onions. In the same way, all who come into our midst, all who walk among us will know if we have been with God because we will smell like him.


Why My Vote Doesn't Mean Anything
This election season, I feel completely pinned in. And I think much of John Q. Public feels the same way. We don't have any good choices. Bush sucks. Kerry blows. The third party candidates know nothing! It amazes me that there is such a big push to vote this year by everybody. Why? It is because no one wants to vote. We lack desire because our candidates SUCK! Just needed to blow off some steam. Oh, and I still will probably vote-- maybe I will fill in all of the circles!