Saturday, July 12, 2008

Water Woes, Etc.

Rain! . . . Let's Keep It

Most sections of the Texas Panhandle have gotten a few inches of rain over the past two weeks. In some cases it's been the typical downpour accompanied by lots of wind. But we've also had some gentle overnight showers. The high plains are relatively green these days.

However, . . . Lake Meredith, a key source of Panhandle water, continues to sit at record-low levels. (The photo of a buoy where there used to be a lake is no gag). Given the circumstances, I'm amazed that some folks here in Amarillo continue to leave their lawn sprinklers set to run every day. That's not even an effective way to keep the lawn healthy. Every third day, in the early morning, is plenty. Because of the recent wet weather, I've watered maybe twice in the last three weeks.

And then there's the problem of over spray and run-off. You don't have to look around much in this city to see well-watered driveways and soaked sidewalks, with the excess running down the street. Most everyone here would agree that we have a problem. Few seem ready to acknowledge that they're a part of that problem. We can and must do better.

The Silencing of God: Part Deux

I don't plan to write about every segment of the "Silencing of God Seminar." I just don't want to. But here are a few responses based on notes taken during the second installment. Speaker Dave Miller begins with George Washington's farewell speech, delivered at the end of his second term as President. Several quotes from Washington are read, words to the effect that religion and morality are essential to the common good. So far, so good.

The speaker then says that, from his words, we must draw the conclusion that our first President rejected the idea of separation of church and state. (!) Here we have a completely unwarranted leap, a textbook example of non sequitur. "It does not follow." To say that a great nation must first be a moral nation is simply not an argument against what Thomas Jefferson called a Constitutional "wall of separation."

Something positive! I agree with Miller's assertion that you can't go just anywhere and, among any group of people, set up the institutions of an American-style federal republic and come out with the same results that we've seen in the U.S. Along this line, Miller's passing critique of the Bush Plan in Iraq is, in my opinion, spot on.

Back to the negative. It's a little irritating to see the way that other Protestants, and even Deists, are referred to as "Christian" when under different polemic circumstances representatives of the Churches of Christ have not acknowledged the Christian identity of these people. The subtitle of the "Seminar" is "The Dismantling of America's Christian Heritage." And the U.S. Founding Fathers are said to have established a Christian nation.

However, if any of the Founders had strapped himself into into ye olde time machine, set the dial to 2008, and flown forward in time, my guess is that very few promoters of the "Silencing of God Seminar" would extend to any of those men the right hand of fellowship. That is to say, none of the Founders would be considered true Christians. So tell me again how it is that non-Christians established a Christian nation. . . .

Video of Mark Henderson Interview

A few months ago, Frankly Speaking featured a few posts about the Quail Springs Church of Christ adopting instrumental music. Located in the Oklahoma City area, Quail Springs was formerly an a-cappella-only congregation. At the time, I didn't see a video of an interview featuring Mark Henderson, preacher at Quail Springs.


Adam Gonnerman said...

Back in the late '80's (if I remember correctly) we had a drought in the midwest that really impacted us in northeast Missouri. My grandmother began extreme rationing. She bathed and drank, of course, but limited her water consumption radically in all other ways. At the same time, a lot of people in her small town kept the sprinklers on. My great-aunts noticed that one of their neighbors left the garden hose running ALL DAY.

It is funny that conservative Church of Christ folk would call Anglicans, Congregationalists and Deists in times past "Christians" while refusing the title to contemporary evangelicals and others.

That was an interesting video. You know, in independent Christian Churches I've noticed a push towards more and more "contemporary" worship. I'm afraid many are looking for a good show on Sunday morning. I wouldn't advocate division over it (chuckle) just caution. Are we trying to worship God together, or please ourselves? From the video, I'd say Quail Springs has good motives. I wish this wasn't such a focus, in a world so filled with pain.

If it turns out most a cappella churches won't have anything to with Quail Springs after this, the independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ will be happy to welcome them. :-)

Anonymous said...

"So tell me again how it is that non-Christians established a Christian nation. . . ."

(rolling eyes)