Blog

Disturbing the comfortable & comforting the disturbed.

Staff thoughts and life lessons about poverty, injustice, leadership, religion and other social issues in the world today.

Does the Bible Support Capitalism or Socialism?

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 3 minute read

In short, yes!

It is unfortunate, but normal, that we look for scripture to validate our previously held convictions. I have read lots of proof texting by proponents of free market capitalism to convincingly support all of the values and behaviors of market-driven economics. But, I always wonder (mostly to myself until now), are capitalists using scripture to justify consumerism and materialism? I have also read lots of proof texting by proponents of socialism to convincingly support the values and behaviors of compassion and social responsibly. And I equally wonder to myself, are socialists using scripture to justify entitlement and avoid personal responsibility?

I’m really tired of the conservative/liberal debate and the camps built around each one. Our current political context constantly pits one against the other. I am even more tired of Christians who say that to be one or the other is more “Biblical.” I googled, “the Bible and Capitalism” as well as “the Bible and Socialism,” and was immediately directed to dozens of passages that seem to support each one. I read many of them and came to the same conclusion I started with. The Bible teaches both—prescriptive and descriptive.

Read more

Stop Trying to Be Close to God!

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 5 minute read

In our experiential and consumer-based culture, we have placed way too much stock in the emotional component of our faith. Think about how you evaluate the quality of your spiritual walk. How much does experience and emotion play into your evaluation?

  • “I haven’t felt close to God for a while.”
  • “God hasn’t answered my prayers.”
  • “God has felt distant lately.”
  • “I read my bible, go to church, and try to pray, but I don’t feel any different.”
  • “My spiritual life is dry.”

All of these types of evaluations are based on our efforts to “be close.” It’s as if contemporary evangelical spirituality is all about doing our part to find God’s presence and proximity. It’s as if He is allusively waiting for us to find the formula that activates His closeness in our lives. What a pile of unnecessary and unbiblical work. In my passion to experience God’s presence, I grew up looking more for an experience instead of Himself.

Read more

The Deserving Poor

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 4 minute read

Transparently… when I think about times I have responded to the poor… I have played a little game in my mind. Whether it’s been someone down the street, or on the other side of the planet, I put that person in crisis through my little self-righteous test.

Like most of us, I’ve been confronted by the homeless addict saying they are looking for food when they are more likely looking for a hit. I’ve also been confronted by the most extreme poverty and suffering on the planet. I’m embarrassed to say there are times I have put people in need, and my response, in two categories: The deserving poor and the undeserving poor.

If it’s clear to me that someone is undeserving of their poverty and suffering, I find it so easy to find grace and respond. I can ooze empathy in those situations because I can imagine how I might feel if I suddenly found myself in that place of vulnerability and need.

Read more

Shame and Religion's Role

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 4 minute read

Guilt is, “I did something bad;" shame is, “I am bad;” a devastating distinction if we don’t know the difference.

I can’t talk about shame without acknowledging the work of Dr. Brene Brown. She has brought a message of hope and healing with her research about shame and I’d more than suggest you read whatever she writes. Anyone who influences anyone should be keenly aware of what shame is and when we do it, even inadvertently.

What kicks me in the gut, as a Christian Leader, is the role that religion plays in shaming people. The very force that should give life, often kills someone's soul.

Read more

The One Certainty for All Uncertainty

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 4 minute read

The US election results. The war with ISIS and terror. Helplessly watching the disaster in Syria. Global insecurity. Closer to home? My kids. My marriage. My job. My finances. Feel out of control?

We in the West have this addition to certainty. We franticly scramble to ensure predictability and security in our lives. Most of us don’t like change, and all of us hate unwelcomed change. The resourced global West has been built on the value of being in control of our own lives; the result is a life distanced from God. The reality is we would rather In sha have certainty than intimacy with God.

Read more

Top Ten

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 2 minute read

I’ve consumed my fair share of leadership books, and there are many. So many…that we can easily get lost in the sea of what to spend hours of our precious time reading. If we are going to make that kind of a time investment, where should we spend it?

Read more

If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say...

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 3 minute read

I was struck recently by the satirical and cynical nature of our society and how the Church has swallowed this hook in many ways. It’s almost impossible to live in a culture and not wear it’s clothes. 

I wonder why it is that we so quickly can become critical or judgmental of other people? Next time you are in a conversation with someone, about someone else, try and notice the tone or content of your words. How much of the conversation is praise about other people instead of what you don’t like about them?

Read more

Overdone Strengths

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 3 minute read

One of the most profoundly freeing truths to understand about relationships is that our weaknesses are simply our strengths overdone and on display. When people are inconveniently not like me, they can become really frustrating. Unfortunately, I have no choice but to see everyone through my filter and value system; and it takes real discipline not to judge people using my values as the most valuable.

Read more

Movements, Organizations, or Institutions?

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 3 minute read

We’ve always done it that way.

Saying “no” until we have a good reason to say yes.

A preoccupation with policies.

Overly-managed and under-led.

Most people have forgotten about the “why”?

Characterized by bureaucracy and control.

If these statements describe your organization’s default in decision making…you might be leading an institution not a movement.

Read more

Never Enough

Thoughts by Dave Blundell – 3 minute read

Are you ever overwhelmed by the unrelenting and exhausting feeling that it’s never enough? And by “it," I mean everything. It seems that in almost every area of our lives, I need to be doing more of something. The list feels endless. 

I should exercise more. I need to get to those unfinished projects in the house. I should spend more time with the kids. I should be spending more time with my spouse. I should visit my grandparents more. I really should be connecting with extended family more. I should take baking to the neighbors. I should read that book that my friend recommended to me last year. I should get together with those friends who are hurting. I should really go to the hospital to visit my uncle. I should be making more money. I should call that person back and respond to a bunch of emails. We should have those friends over.

Read more

Pages