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The Responsive Burrito – Part II

The Responsive Burrito – Part II

So here we go. I have had enough pokes in my inbox, comments on my statuses, and insanity in my newsfeed to warrant that I write. Evidently that’s what it takes these days, because it has again been quite some time since I posted. We sit in the midst of yet another battle of “The Culture Wars”, and I find myself increasingly uncomfortable with the term.

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the base of my faith convictions, being Anabaptist, so I will start with my unease with that term. In the foundation of Anabaptist tradition, most denominations are known as “historic peace churches”, meaning that we are quite often at odds with folks going into battle. In fact, many members of Anabaptist churches were considered to be guilty of treason in the Revolutionary War way back at the start of our nation, simply because they didn’t want to fight. I think that it’s probably a good thing I live in today’s world where I’m not faced with that choice, because I feel confident it would be a struggle for me. That being said, this culture war, claims casualties on a daily basis on both sides of the issues, and I am convinced that quite often it’s simply because we are approaching it as an actual war, than perhaps a simple conversation.

So, in the framing of this culture war, as I scan through my newsfeed at the red, blue, and various other colors, I see provocative statements attached to many of them. In a lot of cases, I love provocative statements because they can start great conversations, but it is increasingly evident that those making these statements aren’t interested in the conversation. They just want to state their viewpoint, and have people agree with them. In the responses that follow, I see all kinds of battle; from name calling, to intimidation, to outright accusation and hatred. There are beacons of light on both sides, of course, but in the meantime, both sides are shooting themselves in the foot, rendering the valid points moot.

So to directly speak to the issue at hand, I think Tony Campolo pretty much sums it up well in an article he wrote for the Huffington Post (here) as well as addresses in many of his books. The basics are found in this quote from the article though. “I propose that the government should get out of the business of marrying people and, instead, only give legal status to civil unions. The government should do this for both gay couples and straight couples, and leave marriage in the hands of the church and other religious entities. That’s the way it works in Holland. If a couple wants to be united in the eyes of the law, whether gay or straight, the couple goes down to the city hall and legally registers, securing all the rights and privileges a couple has under Dutch law. Then, if the couple wants the relationship blessed — to be married — they goes to a church, synagogue or other house of worship. Marriage should be viewed as an institution ordained by God and should be out of the control of the state.”

It should be that simple right? Well, not so much evidently. When it comes down to it, what you see in the root of all of these things is taxes – that is money. Now, I’m all for “rendering unto Caesar…”, but it would appear some folks aren’t. So what I’m really looking for, is an honest, and caring conversation. I can respect any viewpoint I disagree with, as long as it is presented properly and caringly, but wrapping it up in a burrito for the moment, I have to ask: What happened to the conversation?

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Posted by on March 27, 2013 in General, Ramblings

 

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Dunkards – 60 Days Of Second Blog

Dunkards – 60 Days Of Second Blog

Day 20: Dunkards – I Am Second Blog

60-Days-of-Second: Follow along as 15 bloggers journey through 4 readings each from the new book, Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Together they will blog through 60-Days-of-Second. Register to follow at http://www.iamsecond.com/blog. Get the “Live Second” book in stores December 9.

Day 17 by Zach Emerson

“Jesus didn’t bring an entourage. He didn’t dress in glowing robes or a halo. Instead, he lived the simple life of a carpenter, and when the time was right, he stepped into the Jordan River and inaugurated his ministry.” -Live Second, 24.

I remember the day I was baptized extremely well. It was June 8, 2008. The date stays in my mind, not because they gave us towels with the date monogrammed in them, but because that was the day that I felt my calling to what some would consider more traditional ministry. It was the strangest thing. I had known all my life that I was put on this earth to make music, and of course after I came to a solid faith, I figured that I was probably going to end up in a music based ministry. It didn’t work that way.

I had a band that had gone through all of the motions of preparation for signing to a label, recording an album, and touring. We had a following, we had the equipment, and for the most part we had the drive to do pretty much whatever it took to make it to the next level. Then it was over. Poof – No more band. The drummer and myself moved on to another group and recorded another album and played some more shows, but just as quick as that one came it was gone. No more bands. I was pretty confused.

Now interweaved with the whole band timeline is me finding a girl, having a kid, moving in together, getting married (yes, really in that order, we did it backwards, I know) and finally finding a church that we wanted to raise our daughter in. After doing the Sunday syndrome thing for a while we decided it was time to commit to the church and we were baptized. We went through a class teaching about history of the denomination and different belief points, as well as the typical “why baptism matters” stuff and a few more points along the way, but one of the big points made in the class is that in our church denomination we dunk you 3 times. Yep, when Jesus said “…and baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” our denomination took that to mean once for each.

Over the years many have coined the nicknamed “Dunkards” for the church, since we dunk ya 3 times. To me, I had heard the term, but didn’t make the connection because I didn’t know any “dunkards”, and growing up in different denominations, all I had ever seen was one dunk heading backwards. When I waded into the baptismal that morning I got on my knees and was dunked three times forward, face first. I can remember between each dunk taking a breath and feeling the air seem different to me. Once I got up, got out, and walked down the steps to receive my aforementioned monogrammed towel, things were just different.

Now, I have no solid comparison on what exactly I felt. Maybe if you’ve been baptized you know what I’m talking about, and maybe you don’t, but either way I went home knowing I was about to start something new. In the scripture for today’s devotional Jesus shows up to have John baptize Him, and as He came out of the water, we see a solid picture of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit co-existing in the same place at the same time. I wish I could say that it was that awesome when I came out of the water, but alas, no doves or shining light, well, short of the super bright light that shines on the baptismal because of the white walls surrounding me. Regardless, what happened next for Jesus, and what happened next for me sorta parallel. Of course, he had that whole 40 days of tempting in the desert by Satan thing, I just had to deal with working a call center job, but if you’ve ever worked a call center job, you may feel that Satan is behind every ziptone.

After my baptism, some time went by where I immersed myself in biblical history, different schools of thought on Christian theology, and all out Bible study, and then one morning after filling in for teaching the youth I was asked by our pastor and told by my wife to be the new youth director. It was a new experience to be sure, but as it all started to unfold, everything came together. I had youth that were interested in learning more about Jesus, and out of nowhere some old friends that were interested in talking God in a new and fresh way. There it was, the start of my ministry, and the birth of the Holy Burrito Crew. I had arrived at the start of my new journey, and I was excited about it.

My name is Zach Emerson. I am a Holy Burrito brother, a sinner saved by grace, a baptized believer, and I am Second.

Check out Zach Emerson’s regular blog at zacherock.wordpress.com

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Devotional, I Am Second

 

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War and Peace – 60 Days Of Second Blog

War and Peace – 60 Days Of Second Blog
60-Days-of-Second: Follow along as 15 bloggers journey through 4 readings each from the new book, Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Together they will blog through 60-Days-of-Second. Register to follow at http://www.iamsecond.com/blog. Get the “Live Second” book in stores December 9.

Day 17 by Zach Emerson

“Jesus succeeds where we all fail” –Live Second, 20.

Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. ~ Isaiah 9:5.

Yep, it’s pretty awesome that I get to start my journey into this awesome opportunity of blogging through the latest book from I Am Second, “Live Second: 365 Ways To Make Jesus First” with the subject being “Prince Of Peace”. The whole scripture for today comes from Isaiah 9: 1 – 7, and is one of the most widely quoted prophetic scriptures about the coming of Jesus that you hear leading up to Christmas time.

So often I’m drawn to the prophetic visions of Christ. Most of what I believe and try to practice is what most refer to as Red Letter Christianity, essentially basing my core doctrine solely on the words that Jesus himself spoke, primarily in the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), but these Old Testament verses just ring so true and bring so much peace to me that I have no issue in going back to them to add foundation to what I try to live everyday. The verse I picked out above is one that gets looked over a bit in most circles, but as a practicing member of one of the historic peace church denominations, it just sings to me.

Up to this point in the Bible, all we have seen really is failure on behalf of humanity. We ate the forbidden fruit, we worshipped idols, we lusted for things, and we were HUGE fans of war. I think that a big chunk of non-believers have a big turnoff because of how much bloodshed is involved in the Old Testament, and really, so do a lot of devout folks too, but I think it’s because not enough of the sentiment conveyed in this scripture is conveyed wholly throughout a lot of evangelism efforts these days. We’re getting better about communicating the whole “I’m just as screwed up as you, but Jesus loves us both anyways…” idea, but I think a lot of people still see the Old Testament and New Testament depictions of God as being either two different guys, or some sort of early day angry guy that mellowed out the more time went on. It’s scriptures like this verse, and this whole passage that show the two being one.

I think it is probably safe to say that you have been failed by other people on occasion in your life, and even more so safe to say that you even feel like you have failed others a time or two at least, but the awesome reassurance we get here is that Jesus never failed, he was never “plan B”, and that the full message shows that he didn’t come only to forgive our sins, but to bring a true and long lasting peace. God doesn’t like war, He doesn’t like bloodshed, and any pain or loss we encounter from sin grieves Him to His core, but He sent Jesus to wipe all that away. He sent Jesus to clean us AND restore us. He sent Jesus to show us that even though we had made pretty much every wrong choice ever for ourselves, it was NEVER His plan to let us throw it all away with no chance of ever getting it back.

No person that ever lived could follow every piece of the 10 commandments to their fullest all day every day, but that was the law. So in walked Jesus who did just that and fulfilled every piece of the rules in place to their maximum where we couldn’t, it says it right in the book in this passage, “Jesus succeeds where we all fail.” and then He not only fulfilled them perfectly, but He took all of the punishment we deserved for not fulfilling them perfectly…total atonement. He was guilty of nothing, yet he paid the price for everything. His goal to bring us peace from the wars around us, to burn the tools and spoils of war, to show us to beat our swords into plowshares, and to show us that peace came from Perfect Love, not victory in human battle.

…And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6

#princeofpeace

My name is Zach Emerson, I’m a Holy Burrito Brother, and I Am Second.

Check out Zach Emerson’s regular blog at zacherock.wordpress.com

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Devotional, I Am Second

 

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Boycott The Burrito

Boycott The Burrito

http://www.karismag.com/boycott-the-burrito.html

Ladies and gentlemen, how about a little controversy? Maybe you’re used to me by now, and maybe this isn’t as provocative of a position as I think it is, but based on my newsfeed from the past month or so, a whole lot of people are screaming about boycotting or supporting businesses based on positions they’ve taken on particular hot button issues. Now, I don’t have the desire to talk about the issues themselves for this post, so I’m not going to. The question today is a little more broad. Are we responding correctly?

Here’s what I’m seeing from both sides of the recent arguments. What we are doing is responding to what we are perceiving as an incorrect view with the same hate and vitriol that we are perceiving from the other side. Friends you are killing your cause by using the same tactics you are opposing. So, I have said before that we are called to be “Holy” which literally translates to “set apart”, I have even likened the position to being downright strange, but are we any different if we respond to hatred with hatred, or if we respond to immorality with immorality?

To put it extremely simply, If I didn’t shop, eat, listen to, read, play, or visit things/places that I don’t agree with, I’d be sitting naked, in an empty room, reading my Bible 24/7…I’m pretty sure that’s not what God has called us to do regardless of your side of the argument. To further this, if you call the other side wrong, or hateful, or anything to that effect, you’re not a part of the solution to all of this, you are a part of the problem. To put it in internet talk…YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. Do you remember those posts and emails flooding you a few years ago telling you to boycott gas for a certain day? How well did that work?

To wrap it all up in a burrito here folks, we are to go tell the world about Jesus, and along the way we are going to encounter things we don’t agree with, it happened to Jesus, it’s going to happen to us too. If our first reaction is fear and attack, pack it up now friends, because that “tolerance” you’re looking for, and that “love” you espouse with lip service and status updates, is about as far from your mind as it is from theirs, and if you’re both that far away from love, chances are you’re probably a lot closer to each other than you realize.

Zach is a father, husband, and social media addict that describes his approach to faith as being a “Charismatic, Evangelical, Anabaptist that loves Orthodox tradition, or just a plain old ‘lover of Jesus’ for short. He is the Youth director at Poages Mill Church of the Brethren and hangs out with an odd group he calls the “Holy Burrito Crew”.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Karis

 

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Shrimp Burritos…

Shrimp Burritos…

Mamma always said…

So this week, Ive been inspired by the greatest movie of all time, Forrest Gump. Now, I say it’s the greatest movie of all time because regardless of whether its your favorite movie or not (it’s actually not my favorite movie either, but I do love it), you at least like Forrest Gump, everybody does. Now it doesn’t hurt my opinion of it that Forrest played football for the tide either, but that’s not here nor there. The question today is all about moving forward, and looking toward the future.

Now, the way Forrest Gump inspired me, was, of course, through the immense wisdom of “Mamma”. We all know, that “Mamma always said stupid is as stupid does”, but in my own imagination, I feel like at some point “Mamma always said you gotta’ put the past behind you before you can move on.” Now, we are all faced with situations in our life that will alter the future course of your life based on the decision you make at that point. Of course, it can be good, or it can be bad, and we all make those “Bad” decisions now and again, especially in our youth years. I made a lot of those in my day. The challenge is taking the results and using them to fuel your journey in the right way. Its VERY easy to let these things push you farther down by dwelling on them, but if you take the experience, and use it as your knowledge to help others stay away from that mistake, the experience can be invaluable. YOU can be that person that someone can identify with and once someone identifies with you, they’re gonna listen to you a lot more and hear what you have to say. So make sure you tell them what has brought you to this point of your life, and what you owe to the Lord.

You probably hear the scripture all the time, but, it bears repeating for context, from 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If then any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away, behold all things are made new”. You’ve done all the hard work of screwing up in the past, but now they’re behind you, simple experience, but now you’re a new person with all the experience of forgiven sin with no work on your part whatsoever. So why aren’t we boasting in our weakness? SO next time you roll up on lieutenant Dan to give him some ice cream, let’s start handing out some burritos stuffed with the shrimp of Mamma’s wisdom and Jesus’ truth in love, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

Today, I will close with the scripture. It comes from Phillipians 3:13-14.

13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Zach is a father, husband, and social media addict that describes his approach to faith as being a “Charismatic, Evangelical, Anabaptist that loves Catholic tradition, or just a plain old ‘lover of Jesus’ for short. He is the Youth director at Poages Mill Church of the Brethren and hangs out with an odd group he calls the “Holy Burrito Crew”.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2012 in Karis

 

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