Category Archives: culture

An Unlikely View…a Different Review on Beauty and the Beast

This movie was not created to be a catalyst for the gospel. It was not designed with an agenda to lead people to the cross or challenge them in their walk with the Lord…and yet that is exactly what our family took away. Was there sin in the movie – yes. There was a hateful man that treated women and men like the dirt beneath his feet, who lied, who abused, who lifted himself above everyone else. There was the inclusion of magic, of prejudice, the belittling of women, the hint of homosexuality, the abuse of the elderly, the worship of idols to name just a few. Not a one of these sins greater than the next; not a one less ungodly than the the other. None of them so blatant – all just a piece of the tapestry of the film. As a mama, I had a choice. I could have pointed out all of these things to my children before going into the theater.I could have painted a picture of hating all of these things and they would have watched the movie through that lens – absolutely. Instead, I asked them to view with God in mind. They did observe those same things, these sinful moments, but with the perspective of God in mind they viewed them with a broken heart, from a place of understanding our need for Jesus in this world. My little girl hopeful that she too would come to a place where she trusted the hope that is in Jesus – that she doesn’t have to be a ‘beast ‘ forever. My oldest challenged in his faith, strengthened in his walk. Their mama moved beyond what she can adequately express.

( Billy’s thoughts – Read the rest of this thought provoking post. )

Be an encourager, don’t just protest the bad 

( Below is the Breakpoint radio commentary for today. )

When it comes to culture, do you consider yourself a foot soldier or a gardener? Okay, that’s a bit cryptic. But let me explain.
When was the last time you participated in a boycott? Or shared a Facebook post alerting your friends to a dangerous cultural trend?
Good stuff. Now, let me ask you this: When was the last time you went to an art museum? Or bought tickets to the theater? Or listened to a great piece of music? Or wrote a poem and shared it with friends?
I ask, because, I believe even more important for Christians than being on the front lines of the culture war is participating in the culture—and better yet, helping to create and nurture it. If the main contribution that Christians make to culture is complaining about it, we’re doing something wrong.
That’s what my friend Makoto Fujimura says in his new book, “Culture Care: Reconnecting with Beauty for Our Common Life.” You may have heard me interview Fujimura before. He’s a brilliant artist and writer who has thought long and hard about the relationship between faith and the arts. “Culture,” he argues, “is not a territory to be won or lost but a resource we are called to steward with care. Culture is a garden to be cultivated.”
In other words, Fujimura wants us to shift our thinking away from the “culture wars” model, in which we think of culture as a battleground. Of course we need to have convictions about culture, and to stand by them. But Fujimura wants to offer a better way for us to influence culture for good. His image of a garden is just one of many he draws from nature, to show how we can carefully and patiently help to cultivate that cultural environment and make good things grow in it.
So, how do we do this? Fujimura suggests that both Christians and the arts community start by learning to look at each other as potential allies, even friends, instead of as sworn enemies. He asks us to consider investing in cultural works, as we’re able to afford it. (As an example, he mentions customers who have purchased his own paintings by giving him a little money every month until they were fully paid for.) He suggests that leaders in the church, the arts community, and the business community form partnerships to help support each other and nurture the culture around them. He cites the example of singer Mahalia Jackson, who encouraged Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to “tell ’em about the dream,” spurring him to make his most famous speech. Such encouragement can flow in both directions.
This isn’t always easy work, but it’s extremely valuable and worthwhile. It requires thoughtful engagement instead of blanket condemnation, and it may call for us to broaden our understanding and deal with ideas that seem unfamiliar and uncomfortable. But from such efforts come moments that he calls “generative,” or “life-giving.” Christians who enjoy and support art and culture, who make it a priority in their lives, and who reach out to those in the arts instead of reflexively pushing them away, can help bring the culture toward a renewed appreciation of goodness, truth, and beauty. And that is good for everyone.
Fujimura acknowledges that Christians in the arts, or even just Christians who love the arts, can feel caught between two worlds. But he argues that this is not a bad thing. The person in this position may in fact be playing “a role of cultural leadership in a new mode, serving functions including empathy, memory, warning, guidance, mediation, and reconciliation.”
One of the best things about “Culture Care” is Fujimura’s optimism about our future—especially if you’re feeling a bit weary and battle-scarred from the culture wars. He firmly believes that, as tough as this cultural moment is, we can turn it into a “genesis moment” by learning to nurture and care for our culture and those who create it. If you want to be part of that effort, I can’t think of a better way to start than by picking up this excellent book.

Was Franklin Graham Right to Call for a Disney Boycott?

Read the column.

Casting Popcorn on President Trump, and others ( Our Hyper-Judgmental Culture )

Eric Metaxas :

When it comes to not judging others, we moderns are so far advanced over our forebears. Umm. Not quite.
 
While much of the country has experienced an abnormally mild winter, I have it on good authority that Hell has frozen over. Really.
I know this because we at the Colson Center recently found ourselves in complete agreement with Frank Bruni, a liberal—to put it mildly—columnist for the New York Times.
What occasioned this rare celestial alignment was Bruni’s column deriding a Washington Post article on, of all things, what President Trump had for dinner at a Washington restaurant. The Post’s food critic sneeringly described Trump’s steak order as “well done and with ketchup, as if the entrée would be accompanied with a sippy cup.”
A President may rightly be criticized for his policies. But for his dinner? C’mon folks. Besides, as Bruni retorted to those who would join the sneering, “Let he who is without a bag of microwave popcorn in his cupboard cast the first stone.”
These days, it’s not just the eating habits of politicians that are under attack, but also the eating habits of other, ordinary people.
For example, as Bruni memorably put it, “a mother giving her 5-year-old a sugary Sprite might as well be handing him a loaded gun. The looks she gets from the parents around her are that aghast and alarmed.”
As I said, we at the Colson Center completely agree with Bruni in this case. In fact, we would add that Bruni is even more correct than he lets on. Our “brutality” when it comes to other people’s food and drink habits is just one aspect of the extremely judgmental age in which we live.
That’s right: I said judgmental. For all our talk about being “nonjudgmental” and “tolerant,” modern Americans are nothing of the sort. We are simply judgmental and intolerant about different things.
To cite an example related to Bruni’s column, take the issue of weight. We can’t criticize, in even the most abstract terms, anyone’s sexual conduct. But we’re free to engage in what is known as “fat shaming,” even when there is no “fat” to “shame.” Thus, after her halftime Super Bowl performance, social media was abuzz with people commenting about Lady Gaga’s weight.
It’s not a coincidence that the “brutality” directed towards other people’s food choices and waistlines has a strong class component to it. As Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, famously put it, “you can never be too rich or too thin.”
As Bruni writes, “The more economically privileged the circles, the more people assert their identities through the supposed erudition, acuity and morality of their food choices . . . What a person genuinely, viscerally enjoys, regardless of its cultural bona fides, carries little weight. Food is the new fashion: our outward advertisement of who we are.”
Stated differently, what we eat has become a signal of our virtue. It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that eating organic is the new justice and eating locally-sourced is the new temperance, at least in some exclusive zip codes.
By implications, that means that those who do not consume in this way are vicious, in the original Latin sense of the word, “corrupt,” and “depraved.”
Of course, these ideas of vice and virtue are literally superficial. As Jesus—remember Him?—said, “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles him.”
And in so many other instances, our post-Christian era has stood the truth about goodness and beauty, virtue and vice on its head. All that’s left is to argue about the condiments.

A different approach to Disney’s live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast.” ( for some families this might be the way to go ) 

A new, predictable twist to an old tale. I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.
If you have daughters like I do, you can’t not know about the upcoming release of Disney’s live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast.”
And like me, you probably groaned at the “big news” that the film will contain Disney’s first-ever openly gay moment.
Now, my first reaction was, “Really? In a kid’s movie?” But of course. That’s the point.
The LGBT movement knows very well that culture has the power to make what used to be unthinkable seem so, well, normal. Gay moments (like Seinfeld’s “not that there is anything wrong with that”) accomplish this.
I fully get those who say they’re not going to let their kids be exposed to yet another attempt to normalize the gay lifestyle.
I’m going to take a different approach. We’re going to watch the movie, but instead of hoping my daughters miss the moment, we’re going to point it out to them and then have a conversation. After all, we’ll be confronting real-life moments soon enough just walking down the street right here in Colorado Springs. We might as well be ready.

A victory for common sense

The decision of the Trump administration to overturn President Obama’s “transgender bathroom policy” and instead to correlate bathroom usage with one’s biological sex is not a victory for any political group. It is a victory for common sense. It is an affirmation of basic human sanity.

( Read, or listen to the rest of this commentary.)

You have the  right to use the money you earn whatever way you want to, but something you should know

Read the Facebook post.

 The NFL commissioner and his staff should focus on how to attract back the many viewers who turned off NFL games last year. Let the leaders of the state focus on how to keep the folks in Texas safe !

Tony Perkins asks a good question. “If NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell thinks football unites us, then why is his league taking political sides?” The National Football League has had trouble keeping TV viewers this year. There are many theories for the rating drop ranging from concern about concussions to the ongoing Colin Kaepernick controversy.
So, you would think that the NFL would focus on how to attract more viewers for next season. But shortly after the Super Bowl in Houston, the NFL decided to once again wade into the culture wars. The NFL warned Texas not to pass the Texas Privacy Act or face the fact that no future Super Bowl would be held in Texas.

( More )

Message to Families from the late Vince Foster who worked for President Clinton until his death ( good message regardless what your politics is ) 

Listen to a commentary by Dr. James Dobson right here.

Pastor Falwell speaks for, ( should ) for all Evangelical Pastors, and churches 

This video goes back awhile, but still it has a good message for us who call ourselves Evangelical followers of Jesus. 

video )