Friday Stream of Consciousness – 157

The Best Christmas Movie, Best Christmas Album, and the election (sigh)

stream of consciousness

Here’s what’s on my mind this morning:

  • It has been a while since I’ve posted completely original content. It’s been two months since my last stream of consciousness. Remember, the thoughts are my own, and written quickly (virtually impromptu) as a stream without careful editing.
  • There are three reasons. First, after more than a million words, and over ten years of blogging, you need a sip of coffee every now and then—a time to have some new thoughts and break the routine so the joy of writing can return.
  • Second, during the election season, it would be hard not to comment on it. I doubted whether opening my mouth much on the subject would contribute to my sanctification (or yours as the reader)—and adding fuel on top of an already smoldering dumpster fire of societal anxiety…an uncommon season of intellectual dishonesty and self-righteousness…seemed unnecessary.
  • Third, I myself was running for election (School District Board). I was supposed to run unopposed after having been appointed to a vacancy between elections about 16 months ago. At the last minute, someone else decided to run—so I’ve been waiting for the results to “go official.” They did yesterday. I was blessed to win. I never wanted to run for office. I was appointed and was told I’d run unopposed.
  • The process of running has been highly educational and fun. Some friends from church decided to throw a feaux “campaign headquarters”-style party on election night for us. We had a blast. By night’s end, it looked like I’d lost. I know that feeling. When I woke up the next morning, I was ahead.
  • So let’s get election-related stuff out of the way, then…then we can be done with it.
  • As I said to our church as I ran for election myself—it might do every Christian some good to run for election once. It would humble us a bit.
  • Christians, generally, did not represent Christ well. Even in the aftermath, many outside the faith probably think we are mean people far more interested in and committed to politics than either Christ or our local churches. It’s not supposed to be that way.
  • We also said things about both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton that those representing the Prince of Peace should NEVER consider saying—particularly in a public square. The two most slanderous, ungodly written pieces (on almost any subject) I read during the election season were written by Bible/Religious Professors that profess to be devout Christians. They were liked and retweeted and passed around by Christians like they were the Samaritan woman going to the tell their whole village what a Satan the candidate was. Despite the fact neither candidate has ever been President and they don’t know them personally. They only know them through the stained filter of their own echo chamber of media.
  • Jesus said we will give an account for every careless word we utter. Metaphorically, I think the line at the pearly gates is likely to back up a bit when Peter gets to the election of 2016 section.
  • Again…Christians who have never or rarely shared Christ with their friends advocate for their politics with such intensity you’d think Clinton or Trump was the Messiah rather than Jesus.
  • Those who are open and passionate about their faith in Christ did it, too. I know, we were being “prophetic.” Sure we were. Isn’t it amazing how many prophets God chooses today?
  • I have well over 5000 “friends” on the major social networks. I’ve never turned down a friend request—except obvious spam. I’ve never hidden or defriended anyone—I’m rather against it in principle.
  • Until this season.
  • I hid one person. It made me so sad. He and I have been close friends for more than a decade. That’s how shrill it got. Surely we can do better.
  • I “unhid” him.
  • He’s still ranting.
  • People are mistaking their Facebook accounts for a blog itself—where people go out of interest in your opinion. Facebook is primarily a great place to let people know what’s going on in your life…or share a Tweet-length opinion or thought occasionally.
  • Facebook political rants can become a form of forced readership for those who don’t have a following for their political opinions. It’s a drive-by. It’s a way to dump one’s anxiety on others without them having the chance to say, “no thanks,” to a line of discussion—or an argument.
  • The most significant, lasting ramification of this election is likely to be the burial of the age of American news media. It was the year much of “news” was really fake news because it was spun, facts were omitted, conclusions were jumped—and pure editorial masqueraded as “news.” Even the best journalists and publications in America got caught up in it.
  • The sad thing is—they seemed to have doubled-down after the election. They seem torn between whether media should in fact be biased, and whether there is bias in media at all. Of course there is!
  • Bias is normal. Bias that causes such journalistic sin and dishonesty is not. “In your bias, do not sin.”
  • On a daily basis, I could watch a candidate say something in a full speech or debate that was later ripped from its context and/or hyperbolized as a headline and sent out to millions with a click—and the next firestorm would start. It wasn’t just to sell newspapers. It was an ideological crusade…win and destroy at all costs.
  • This was the year we learned we have to fact-check the fact-checkers.
  • I still enjoy reading a good editorial, but I couldn’t have less trust in media to report news than I do. Polls suggest they are less trusted than Congress…so I’m not alone. The proverbial shark was jumped this year.
  • My hope for all Christians after the election is that we will return to thinking more about what God is doing in the world and less about what the media says Donald Trump said ten minutes ago. One is much more important than the other.
  • No really, it is.
  • It’s a Wonderful Life is still my favorite Christmas movie.
  • A Christmas Carol is still the best Christmas story outside of the Manger.
  • Pound for pound, Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas is probably the best Christmas album ever made.
  • Seriously, “Christmas Time is Here (Instrumental),” by the fire and Christmas tree with a cup of good coffee.
  • The Padres are going to lose 100 games next year…and probably won’t break .500 any time soon.
  • At least the USC Trojans are in the Rose Bowl. Man, I wish they had Darnold at QB when they played Alabama. I’m one of the few who thinks Washington has a legitimate chance to beat Alabama.
  • I said, a shot…not that they will.
  • I have a Hall-of-Fame vote for the IBWAA (Internet Baseball Writers of America). I can’t tell you how I voted…but there are some interesting names on there. I’d love to know how you’d vote for:
  • Bonds, Clemens, Fred McGriff, Lee Smith, Vladamir Guerrero, Sammy Sosa, Larry Walker.
  • I signed a contract to write, “What the Bible Says About Money and Possessions,” with College Press…who also published, Jesus: the Powerful Servant back in 2006. The volume will a hardback likely north of 200 pages and will be part of their “What the Bible Says,” series–available also on Logos. It should be out in early 2018.
  • I’m excited. It’s time to get writing again. A book every ten years isn’t too hard 🙂
  • I’m making a considerable effort to get back into shape. I enjoy the exercise.
  • I’m nearly finished with David Baird’s outstanding history of Pepperdine University. If you are interested in Pepperdine, you must read it.
  • My best books of 2016 posting is coming soon…like Monday.
  • My wife is simply amazing.
  • Leadership thought for the day: You cannot lead people you don’t love. People won’t let you love them if you aren’t committed to them in a way they can sense.

What’s on your mind this morning?

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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