The new cultural revolution


I’m really excited that yesterday’s Catch received so many strong, positive comments. That does my heart good and encourages my soul that we are on the right track, and some of you are already picking up the mantel of grace turned outward in the marketplace and representing a different view of Christianity, culturally, than the one so often shown and touted by the media.

Notice that important word “culturally.” I have to point that out because I need to make sure you don’t miss it. We are not talking about a different Christianity — the gospel will always be the same — we are talking about how that Christianity has worked its way into the prevailing culture. What has Christianity become culturally? A right wing, politically pushy, one-sided, issue-oriented coalition, majoring on a few social issues not even mentioned by Jesus, and acting like everyone who doesn’t agree is its enemy? Well at least that’s the one getting all the attention.

Meanwhile, good things are happening, we just rarely hear about them because the more volatile news is what gets noticed first. If you have Christian leaders cooperating with leaders of other religions for mutual understanding and to get things done in the community versus Christians and everyone who disagrees with them, with bullhorns and placards, screaming at each other on the street, which scenario is going to get reported?

So you have to come to the Catch to hear stories like this next one. My good friend and former roommate in college, Wayne Bridegroom, is an evangelical pastor in Modesto, California, and he writes:

Here in Modesto, the Jewish Rabbi, Muslim Immam, three evangelical clergy and three Catholic clergy, a liberal Protestant, several Mormons, Hindus, Bhuddists and Seventh Day Adventists and the host pastor of an ELCA Lutheran Church gather monthly to listen with a view to understand one another. Right now we are working through our doctrines and practices about marriage/weddings. Monthly we also choose a controversial matter to discuss. Everyone’s understanding of Jesus, salvation, etc. has been respectfully expressed and heard. Last week we talked about the intersection of our faith traditions and culture.

Now did you know that? Probably not, unless you live in Modesto, but even then …  I told Wayne that delegates from some of the big cities need to go to Modesto to see how they do this. More importantly, you and I can learn from this example and look and see what part of this we can incorporate into our roles in the marketplace and in our local neighborhoods.

Spread the word. Pass around these Catches to all your friends. We need a cultural revolution for Christians that will shed light on the gospel of welcome — grace turned outward. Now is the time.

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10 Responses to The new cultural revolution

  1. Suzan says:

    There is another wonderful example of this kind of mutual respect underway in Omaha, Nebraska. Read more about the Tri-Faith Initiative here: I’d love to flood the world with these more positive Christian examples drowning out the “Evangelical” bullhorn.

  2. Todays Catch make me think of that great song “Get Together” written by Chet Powers and wonderfully sung by The Youngbloods….

    Love is but a song we sing
    And fear’s the way we die
    You can make the mountains ring
    Or make the angels cry
    Though the bird is on the wing
    And you may not know why

    C’mon people now
    Smile on your brother
    Everybody get together
    Try to love one another right now

    Some may come and some may go
    And we shall surely pass
    When the One that left us here
    Returns for us at last
    We are but a moment’s sunlight
    Fading in the grass

    C’mon people now
    Smile on your brother
    Everybody get together
    Try to love one another right now

    If you hear the song I sing
    You will understand – (listen)
    You hold the key to love and fear
    All in your trembling hand
    Just one key unlocks them both
    It’s there at your command

    C’mon people now
    Smile on your brother
    Everybody get together
    Try to love one another right now

    Right now…

    • John A Fagliano says:

      Pardon me if you already knew this Bob but It struck me how you were inspired to share this song when today’s Catch topic is harmony among different faiths. The song had been recorded by several acts in the 60’s but had never become a hit. Even the Youngblood’s version didn’t get much attention at first. As it states in Wikipedia:

      “In 1967, the Youngbloods released their version of the song under the title “Get Together”. It became a minor Hot 100 hit for them, peaking at number 62 and reaching 37 on the US adult contemporary chart. However, renewed interest in the Youngbloods’ version came when it was used in a radio public service announcement as a call for brotherhood by the National Conference of Christians and Jews. The Youngbloods’ version, the most-remembered today, was re-released in 1969, peaking at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.”

      If the National conference of Christians and Jews didn’t choose “Get Together” for a theme, this beautiful song might not be as well known as it became and still is today.

    • jwfisch says:

      Yep. This one is already on our playlist.

  3. peter leenheer says:

    My parents immigrated from Holland in 1954. With them they took a Protestant attitude, which means you protest about everything. Which hill do you want to die on? A watch dog that always barks gets ignored if on a leash, and if loose you avoid them like the plague. I adopted that protesting attitude for quite some time. It was very destructive to my spiritual life and did not assist in making friends who wanted to become Christians.

    Grace reaching outward, loving and not being judgmental are all things that are more joyful, than constant protesting criticism. Cynicism is no longer part of my make-up. The world is saved by Jesus Christ, and God changes evil into good. That makes me smile.

    Thank you John for your vision of Grace turned outward, it has been a joy to adopt and spread.

  4. Mark D Seguin says:

    Can u please look at yourself Pastor John and consider adding to the problem by using the term: “A right wing,..” I’m getting so sick & tried of you so self righteously often putting down the “right wing” side of ANYTHING or try using how the left I guess b/c your NEVER write they can be just as wrong too!

    PS how can u not see & understand taking Political sides drives people away from the Catch? Most what or desire to read & be reminded of God’s love – Not how we @ the Catch can be better then those guy’s the media often talks about.That’s coming close to being like a Pharisee – who cares about about what some nut job talking heads either in the Newspaper, or Cable News they have every right to their opinions & distortions of left wing, right wing. Just change the channel or stop reading. May I please suggest to start talking about us as God’s children with different opinions! You once wrote a Catch speaking against the use of labeling – please consider taking your own advice and stop this often “right wing” put downs! Try putting down the “left” every once in a while!

    • jwfisch says:

      Okay, Mark, I will try and be more careful. But my point in this mention is not to criticize the right, but to criticize the media for creating a stereotype identifying all Christians with the right. Any kind of political identification of Christians as right or left is wrong and inaccurate. True Christians are very politically diverse.

      • Mark D Seguin says:

        Sorry for using so little amount of people skills in my remarks of the day’s Catch… and please forgive me for that error…

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