Safe spaces like Jacob’s Well are becoming more difficult to find in the DTES, and the atmosphere on the street has become more hostile as gentrification continues to push a vulnerable demographic into an increasingly smaller area.
I couldn’t have been much more than 10 years old when my friend and I discovered Kazaa: the follow-up to Napster and the predecessor of the Bittorrent movement. We searched giddily through the massive online music library discovering that we could find virtually any song we wanted and have it on our computer within minutes!
Jesus says, “Come to me . . . and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). We have good news for our busy culture. Proving yourself is just another term for justifying your- self. And we have good news of justification by grace.
As a future church planter, the prospect of designing a worship space excites me. And I’ll be the first to confess that I’m a sucker for the hipster aesthetic of ‘authenticity,’ and that if I were planting in a vacuum, that’d be the aesthetic I’d shoot for. But that’s the problem: the minimalist, ‘authentic’ aesthetic is only authentic to a vacuum.
As Christians around the world are beginning to hear the story of modern-day-Bethlehem, I believe Bethlehem will become an important symbol of injustice, emboldening thousands of Christians to take action. The story of the Nativity and the current socio-political realities are merging together in a flourishing of art and story-telling.
The very first issue of Hugh Hefner’s Playboy had a topless picture of Marilynne Monroe in it and that was considered pornography. Today porn is in HD and 4K, available on a cell phone for free. It is violent and degrading on a scale we have never seen before and parents have no idea.
I began to see that the amount of melatonin in my skin might have more to do with my experience as an American than I’d realized.
When did we stop loving our neighbor and start hating anyone who wasn’t a cookie cutter image of ourselves? Jesus set forth an amazing example of love when he commanded us to love our neighbors—ALL our neighbors.
In our modern age of iPhones and data plans, when WiFi seems more vital than oxygen, a constant stream of media washes over us. Connecting to Jesus on Sunday becomes just one point of contact, lost among a million tweets, text messages, and YouTube videos.
It’s a good time for Christians to rethink politics. We must recognize that politics is not the ultimate answer for humanity and that seeking the Kingdom of God is. We must seriously consider prayer and thoughtful Christian engagement as ways of being in the world but not of it.