This is the view from my office in Louisville - yes, I have an office and, no, I am hardly ever there, long story - and what you are looking at is the new Louisville Arena; countdown to its opening, roughly 208 days.
Recently a few of my friends* have been noticed by one of today's more active seekers of theological purity AKA a "Heresy Hunter."
Good grief Charlie Brown, do people not have better things to do with their time?
I am choosing not state the current instigator, but it really could be anyone who surfs the web looking for theology that they deem incorrect, poisonous or otherwise worthy of challenge. These hunters then call out those whom they think are poisonous, usually belittle their theological perspective, label them something like "apostate" and then begin to proliferate their particular theological assessment across the web. These chastisements also tend NOT to be very respectful and are often inflammatory and mean-spirited.
Now before I pose some questions, let me first say:
I don't think there is anything wrong with healthy, passionate and spirited dialog about important issues of theology;
I am under no delusions that while most of the "Heresy Hunters" are "conservatives" that go after "liberals" it can go both ways;
and, I know that many of our responses have to do with our personalities and how we natural deal with these kinds of situations.
Still, how we should respond if and when we are the target of such attacks and challenges?
Do we bother giving them any play and visibility?
Do we take them on and try to model graciousness?
Do we defend the honor/integrity of our friends?
Do we try and counteract whatever false information that is being put out there?
Or . . . do we take them on and bring on the thunder and wrath of friends, family and our collective relationships?
There are certainly many ways to respond - some easier than others, some would just feel really good - but in the larger picture, what do you think is the most effective response and what result would you be hoping for?
The new series, "Heresy Hunters: The Response" . . .
*Since there are many that are now apparently in the sights of he-who-shall-not-be-named, please know that there are many who value your presence and voice in the fullness of your ministry.
So apparently I can't count because I doubled up on days 84 and 84. So here is day 93, which actually 94. Anyway . . . just a shot from our Annual techno Easter Egg hunt at our church. And yes: fog machine, black light and DJ light show. That's just how we roll.
The girls and I spent this morning coloring eggs with my Gma Chow, their GREATGrandmother. You can see in the back left corner the area set aside for my Grandfather including the Flag of the United States. Also, before we left Middle reminded us to light our incense for grandpa. Many a find hours were spend at the counter, and the memory making continues.
While there were many opportunities for pics today, none were taken . . . so in lieu of an actual picture from today, here is one from my family's past. My grandfather, Esteban de los Reyes is on the far left with a bunch of his sharply dressed friends AKA pinoys/pinays. This was in the 40's probably in Stockton, CA.
UPDATE 05.09.10 - According to techcrunch, the 5,000 friend limit may be lifted soon. We shall see. [Full article]
UPDATE 05.06.10 - I am going to unfriend folks to get down to 4,900 folks in order to make room for new peeps. My hope is to unfriend folks who really are not interested in hanging out with me here.
UPDATE 04.06.10 - With the 5000 friend limit hit, I can not longer add friends or pages without a friend request of invitation to add the page. So if you want to RE-friend and IRL friend, family or really want to keep up with my profile per the description below, feel free.
Sound the alarm and release the hounds, I am once again getting close to the 5,000 friend limit on Facebook and something must be done! What, no global movements to have the Facebook Gods lift the limit, no raucous mob demanding that one be allowed to have more "friends" than one person could possibly have? What's wrong with you people, have you no compassion? ;-)
All together now, "Awwww, poor Bruce . . ." ;-P
While the dilemma of hitting 5,000 friend limit ranks on the list of things we should put time into right up there with choosing which socks to wear in the morning, I am there again. And while I will be the first to admit that this is a serious champaign problem, it is one that I must address.
Believe me, I know that I have invited this monster into my life and this would not be THAT big of an issue except that some have had their accounts removed because, by trying to let folks know that the page was full, they were accused of spamming. Plus, even after this Moderator journey is done and people de-friend me like a bad habit, I will continue to speak, meet new folks and hopefully get this darn book out so I hope to continue to engage folks in on this platform. And as FB is often the first point of contact, I want to honor the request to connect even if for a brief time.
So somehow I have to think through how I continue to use this medium to engage with family and friends, Mission Bay Community Church and folks from a wider spectrum of contexts. With all of this in mind, this where I am headed with both Facebook locations. If you want to keep up with my goings on and be involved with any conversations that I may be inciting here is how you can choose where you want to hang out with me on Facebook.
My FB PROFILE . . . is for those who want to keep up with me personally and all of the crazy that is my life: basically my filtered inside voice and day-to-day activities, personal and pastoral.
WHO: Family members, IRL friends, MBCC folks, San Francisco peeps and others who feel like they really do know me beyond my identity as Moderator, God Complex Radio Co-Host, Blogger or that really weird social media pastor guy in San Francisco.
WHAT: Personal musings including, but not limited to, topics related to: my family, my travels, some unfiltered snark, a few random rants and all those pesky cross posting platforms like: dopplr, Yelp, gowalla, foursquare, posterous, etc.
WHEN: Because of the ways that I post and connect with other platforms there will probably be 5-6 updates and posts a day, so don't say I didn't warn ya.
My FB PAGE . . . is for those that are interested in keeping up with my thoughts and conversations about church, culture, politics, etc. but could care less about what I did with my family, what amazing San Francisco faire I ate for lunch or the lastest addition to my "Things I Hate More than Pesto" list.
WHO: Anyone who want to dive into some good discussions w/o all the personal stuff, you should be here.
WHAT: If you like to have some in depth discussions about faith, politics, culture and life you are invited to this party. While this could happen on the profile as well, this page will be saved for folks who really don't want to follow the nooks and crannies of my life in such detail. Status update and osts will include questions, important links and any other things that I think might spark some good discussion.
Status updates, announcements and issues that I think are really important and worth putting out there to the larger body.
Thinning of the 5,000 . . . Every so often I will cull out my friend list. Because I know there are many folks who have simply hidden my updates, they will not mind being unfriended. So, every few months I'll just put something out there that says,
Bruce means no disrespect, but if you have not interacted much with him over the past few months or do not say that you want to stay friends, you run the risk of being un-friended to make room for some other folks.
Okay . . . so that is about it. I know, weird that I have to think about this, but it is what it is and figuring this out is just one more thing to add to a chaotic world that we need to navigate well.
Youngest gets to play "only child" this week with her sisters away at Gma's. So with me in the kitchen recording a podcast, breakfast in bed it was: strawberries, Nuntella toast, cereal out of a cup and Arthur online, life was very very good this morning. And yes, she gave me permission to be today's pic.
We hung out today with some out-of-town guests at The Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley. In addition to the normal interactive exhibits, LHS also has a special exhibit running through May 2, Race: Are we so different? that was very good IMHO. It does a great job at looking at the physical, political and cultural complexities of race and well worth making the trip up the mountain. One of the exhibits is from The Hapa Project, a book project that explores the diverse ways in which mixed folks embrace their Asian-ness.
“Peace it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
Thank to all who have asked for this. This is a compilation of many different benedictions that I have heard throughout the years, no originality claimed, just some great opportunities to share it.
Go forth into the world
With compassion and justice in your heart
Give voice to the silent
Give strength to the weak
See one another
Hear one another
Care for one another
And love one another
It's all that easy
And it's all that hard
Now may the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ
The love of God
And the power of the Holy Spirit
Be with us all, now and forever more