Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Carlos Santana on Religion…

November 11, 2005

“Spirituality is saying, “May the heavens open up and angels bless everyone with a deep awareness of his own light.” Religion is saying that only Jesus got the light, you’re full of $%&@ , and you are in the dark. They are the only ones that got it, and you’ve gotta go through them to get it. Man, in this life the only thing that’s holy is your relationship with your heart, your family, and the air you breathe.”

-USA Weekend

On the Cover of Rolling Stone

October 30, 2005

With thanks to RandyElrod.com for this…

Excerpts from Rolling Stone’s interview this week with Bono:

Q:What role did religion play in your childhood?

A:I knew that we were different on our street because my mother was Protestant. And that she’d married a Catholic. At a time of strong sectarian feeling in the country, I knew that was special. We didn’t go to the neighborhood schools — we got on a bus. I picked up the courage they had to have had to follow through on their love.

Q:Did you feel religious when you went to church?

A:Even then I prayed more outside of the church than inside. It gets back to the songs I was listening to; to me, they were prayers. “How many roads must a man walk down?” That wasn’t a rhetorical question to me. It was addressed to God. It’s a question I wanted to know the answer to, and I’m wondering, who do I ask that to? I’m not gonna ask a schoolteacher. When John Lennon sings, “Oh, my love/For the first time in my life/My eyes are wide open” — these songs have an intimacy for me that’s not just between people, I realize now, not just sexual intimacy. A spiritual intimacy.

Q:Who is God to you at that point in your life?

A:I don’t know. I would rarely be asking these questions inside the church. I see lovely nice people hanging out in a church. Occasionally, when I’m singing a hymn like . . . oh, if I can think of a good one . . . oh, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” or “Be Thou My Vision,” something would stir inside of me. But, basically, religion left me cold.

Q:Your early songs are about being confused, about trying to find spirituality at an age when most anybody else your age would be writing about girls and trouble.

A:Yeah. We sorta did it the other way around.

Q:You skipped “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and you went right . . .

A:. . . Into the mystic. Van Morrison would be the inverse, in terms of the journey. It’s this turbulent period at fifteen, sixteen, and the electrical storms that come at that age…

Q:You never saw rock & roll — the so-called devil’s music — as incompatible with religion?

Look at the people who have formed my imagination. Bob Dylan. Nineteen seventy-six — he’s going through similar stuff. You buy Patti Smith: Horses — “Jesus died for somebody’s sins/But not mine . . .” And she turns Van Morrison’s “Gloria” into liturgy. She’s wrestling with these demons — Catholicism in her case. Right the way through to Wave, where she’s talking to the pope.

The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or away from God. Both recognize the pivot, that God is at the center of the jaunt. So the blues, on one hand — running away; gospel, the Mighty Clouds of Joy — running towards. And later you came to analyze it and figure it out.

The blues are like the Psalms of David. Here was this character, living in a cave, whose outbursts were as much criticism as praise. There’s David singing, “Oh, God — where are you when I need you?/You call yourself God?” And you go, this is the blues.

Both deal with the relationship with God. That’s really it. I’ve since realized that anger with God is very valid. We wrote a song about that on the Pop album — people were confused by it — “Wake Up Dead Man”: “Jesus, help me/I’m alone in this world/And a fucked-up world it is, too/Tell me, tell me the story /The one about eternity/And the way it’s all gonna be/Wake up, dead man.”

Q:Soon after starting the band you joined a Bible-study group — you and Larry and Edge — called the Shalom. What brought that on?

A:We were doing street theater in Dublin, and we met some people who were madder than us. They were a kind of inner-city group living life like it was the first century A.D.

They were expectant of signs and wonders; lived a kind of early-church religion. It was a commune. People who had cash shared it. They were passionate, and they were funny, and they seemed to have no material desires…

But it got a little too intense, as it always does; it became a bit of a holy huddle. And these people — who are full of inspirational teaching and great ideas — they pretended that our dress, the way we looked, didn’t bother them. But very soon it appeared that was not the case. They started asking questions about the music we were listening to. Why are you wearing earrings? Why do you have a mohawk?…

Q:What draws you so deeply to Martin Luther King?

A:So now — cut to 1980. Irish rock group, who’ve been through the fire of a certain kind of revival, a Christian-type revival, go to America. Turn on the TV the night you arrive, and there’s all these people talking from the Scriptures. But they’re quite obviously raving lunatics.

Suddenly you go, what’s this? And you change the channel. There’s another one. You change the channel, and there’s another secondhand-car salesman. You think, oh, my God. But their words sound so similar . . . to the words out of our mouths.

So what happens? You learn to shut up. You say, whoa, what’s this going on? You go oddly still and quiet. If you talk like this around here, people will think you’re one of those. And you realize that these are the traders — as in t-r-a-d-e-r-s — in the temple.

Until you get to the black church, and you see that they have similar ideas. But their religion seems to be involved in social justice; the fight for equality. And a Rolling Stone journalist, Jim Henke, who has believed in you more than anyone up to this point, hands you a book called Let the Trumpet Sound — which is the biography of Dr. King. And it just changes your life.

Even though I’m a believer, I still find it really hard to be around other believers: They make me nervous, they make me twitch. I sorta watch my back. Except when I’m with the black church. I feel relaxed, feel at home; my kids — I can take them there; there’s singing, there’s music.

Q:What is your religious belief today? What is your concept of God?

A:If I could put it simply, I would say that I believe there’s a force of love and logic in the world, a force of love and logic behind the universe. And I believe in the poetic genius of a creator who would choose to express such unfathomable power as a child born in “straw poverty”; i.e., the story of Christ makes sense to me.

Q:How does it make sense?

A:As an artist, I see the poetry of it. It’s so brilliant. That this scale of creation, and the unfathomable universe, should describe itself in such vulnerability, as a child. That is mind-blowing to me. I guess that would make me a Christian. Although I don’t use the label, because it is so very hard to live up to. I feel like I’m the worst example of it, so I just kinda keep my mouth shut…

Q:How big an influence is the Bible on your songwriting? How much do you draw on its imagery, its ideas?

A:It sustains me.

Q:As a belief, or as a literary thing?

A:As a belief. These are hard subjects to talk about because you can sound like such a dickhead. I’m the sort of character who’s got to have an anchor. I want to be around immovable objects. I want to build my house on a rock, because even if the waters are not high around the house, I’m going to bring back a storm. I have that in me. So it’s sort of underpinning for me.

I don’t read it as a historical book. I don’t read it as, “Well, that’s good advice.” I let it speak to me in other ways. They call it the rhema. It’s a hard word to translate from Greek, but it sort of means it changes in the moment you’re in. It seems to do that for me.

Q:You’re saying it’s a living thing?

A:It’s a plumb line for me. In the Scriptures, it is self-described as a clear pool that you can see yourself in, to see where you’re at, if you’re still enough. I’m writing a poem at the moment called “The Pilgrim and His Lack of Progress.” I’m not sure I’m the best advertisement for this stuff.

Q:What do you think of the evangelical movement that we see in the United States now?

A:I’m wary of faith outside of actions. I’m wary of religiosity that ignores the wider world. In 2001, only seven percent of evangelicals polled felt it incumbent upon themselves to respond to the AIDS emergency. This appalled me. I asked for meetings with as many church leaders as would have them with me. I used my background in the Scriptures to speak to them about the so-called leprosy of our age and how I felt Christ would respond to it. And they had better get to it quickly, or they would be very much on the other side of what God was doing in the world.

Amazingly, they did respond. I couldn’t believe it. It almost ruined it for me — ’cause I love giving out about the church and Christianity. But they actually came through: Jesse Helms, you know, publicly repents for the way he thinks about AIDS.

I’ve started to see this community as a real resource in America…

(Excerpted from RS 986, November 3, 2005) Read more here. Or better yet, buy the magazine.

Coldplay and God

September 19, 2005

“I went through a weird patch, starting when I was about sixteen to twenty-two, of getting God and religion and superstition and judgment all confused. I think a lot of our music comes out of that. I definitely believe in God. How can you look at anything and not be overwhelmed by the miraculousness of it?”

– Coldplay singer Chris Martin –
Rolling Stone, August 25, 2005, pg. 42

Stats that make you go hmm…

August 15, 2005

Not that long ago, I attended a small pastor’s forum of 19-20 pastors led by John Maxwell and Ted Haggard. Ted Haggard who is President of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastors a mega church in Colorado Springs delivered an above & beyond inspiring lecture. It was so good – and informative – I decided to post ALL of my notes. I have to publically thank Doug Carter – Senior VP of EQUIP and Amber’s overseer for inviting me to attend such a forum. – thanks Doug! Enjoy!

I believe this is the greatest opportunity for ministry since Jesus’ day.
I believe this generation has been sovereignly prepared by God.

Interesting Facts:

For the First time ever…
• One world super power
• Economic explosion
• Trade Routes –The gospel traveled through trade routes to the world.
• Were we are today for the first time in the last 2,000 years all the forces are open to the gospel.
• US is freedom of religion
• More people today live under this special protection.
• US Navy keeps trade routes open
• UN fundamentally protects civil liberties which opens doors for missionaries.
• We have:
Economic Freedom
Military Freedom
Social Freedom

Amazingly, God has opened every force for freedom!

• We have more resources of communication, and travel ever before
• We have more radio stations, books, and leaders than every before.
• We distribute 170,000 copies of the Bible a day.
• We distribute 11 million Scripture portions a day. (Ex: 4 Spiritual Laws)
• 15,000 people are born daily. 150,000 people die daily.
• Net Growth is 2%
• 1/3 of the world identifies themselves as believers.

The 3 Most Powerful Men on Earth
1. President George W Bush A Committed Christian
2. Prime Minister of Great Britain A Committed Christian
3. Prime Ministry of Australia A Cultural Christian

We have to capitalize on this opportunity! We can’t become passive or distracted!

• Our greatest competitor is Islam – 1.2 billion
• We are growing at 9.3% a year.
• Islam is growing at 2.7% a year.
• The President has to identify it as a political conflict, but it’s actually a religious conflict (He knows that but can’t communicate that publicly).

The power of our advance is remarkable.

• More Wheaton College graduates are in the White House than any other college.
• Today there are more believers in the White House than ever before.
• We see missionaries → the number’s are amazing.
• God is raising up leaders with amazing influence.

This is why the Osama’s have great reason to be concerned. We are invading their world.

This is your Finest Hour!

Today, if you go to any nation with a prayer team and then follow it up you will see results. Our test saw 300-600% results. We are seeing this just about everywhere.

• Be outward focused, penetrate every system with the gospel because there are open doors everywhere.
• Everything you do will produce harvest if you’re in the spirit.
• It’s easier to win people to Christ than ever before.
• This could be the generation that could communicate to every person for the first time.
• Every day there are 460 martyrs (They are mostly in Asia and other unreached areas).

Books to Read→ Thomas Friedman’s “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” & “The World is Flat”
Huntington’s “Clash of Christianity”

Missiologists say that if we fail to do this in the window of opportunity Islam will prevail and we might not get another opportunity for 600-1000 years.
If we don’t our grandchildren are going to think → what was our grandparents thinking!

Examples
Cold War – We messed up! (We had the opportunity to stop them but we didn’t)
Hitler – We messed up! (Churchill warned the world but they didn’t listen and millions of lives were lost)

• There’s never been two countries with a operating McDonald’s where there has been a war. China – Nixon opened trade there and now it will go to a Democratic society.
• There are more churches in America than fast food restaurants.
• More Christians in media today.
• Mel Gibson is the Michelangelo of our generation. His movie has made the greatest impact than anything ever.
• John Maxwell– Christians are not to get into a defense mode—we are to penetrate by being salt & light.

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