Lindsay Lohan Is My God

Yesterday, one of my freshman in my youth ministry made a profound statement. We were comparing the idea of "abundant living" from a media/Hollywood/culture perspective versus the idea presented by Jesus in Scripture. My teens were able to tell me all sorts of ways that one could live an abundant life as portrayed by media (money, relaxing and shopping, lots of friends with the latest styles, etc.). Then I asked them to describe what an abundant life lived in the way of Jesus would be like... blank stares. After a little bit, I rephrased the question. What does it mean to follow Jesus? Then came many Sunday School answers: believing in Jesus, forgiveness of sins, etc. So I decided to ask another question: If would it mean to be a follower of Lindsay Lohen? Immediatley all kinds of answers about lifestyle, habits, dieting practices, etc. Then I dramatically hushed everyone and asked, what is wrong with this conversation? One of my freshman proclaimed: we know more about Lindsay Lohan than Jesus! There it was. Finally, someone had said it. I am glad that one of my teens got there before I had to say it. It made a much more profound impact coming from her than me.
Of course I don't think this is isolated to my own teens or even to most Christians (adults and teens). We know far more about the gods of our society than about Jesus. We do a much better job of following these gods than we do of following Jesus. Indeed, this was a priceless moment.


The Dignity of Poverty

In trying to eliminate poverty, we have dehumanized those with less or without, taking away their dignity. It we would instead seek solidarity with those with less or without, we would recognize that they are more human than us-- that their dignity is far greater and shines brighter than our own.