Session 3 - Live comment here...

This is a powerful session. Take a minute and share your thoughts.

In the drama, in Dan's message, in the panel - there is so much to process - what's on your mind?

The panel will be taking questions at arts@willowcreek.org - ask them anything!

84 comments:

Sean McDermott said...

is there a difference between interest and using it for a laugh?

Ray Pelletier said...

Hey Sean - just wondering if you could explain more. Interest? Using it as a laugh? (I might have missed what you are referencing)

Jon Becker said...

The drama was powerful...but I think it left Willow Creek open to some question about whether it is modifying its theology on homosexuality. I watched an entire row of people from the same church get up and leave after the drama was finished.

Sean McDermott said...

Yeah, sorry. Is there a difference between a bobble-head Jesus that raises interest in Jesus and one that is mocking toward him and what he was about. I am all about raising interest but not if we are degrading the name of God and his image.

Sean McDermott said...

I think we need to be careful are remember that dramas are not a theological statement. It's purpose is to raise questions. There are dramas about divorce, but my church is not saying that divorce is ok, just that it happens.

Anna said...

Most of my friends at school and a lot of times myself see Christians
as seriously hypocritical. Not just Christians who swear or do stupid
stuff, but the Christians who seem to go out of their way to hurt
someone or stereotype people. They are extremely judgmental. My boyfriend
and i talk about this on a daily basis and it is something he just
can't get past. Due to that he is rejecting almost all chances to go to a
church or any faith-based activities.

Anonymous said...

hard thing for us is.... this threatens the status quo.... odds are if we try to venture outside the bubble or try to pop the bubble we will be shot at by our own brothers and sisters....

Kyle said...

The drama didn't raise any questions in my mind on Willow Creek's stance. To me it only raised questions, didn't give any answers. This is something we should wrestle with.

Jon Becker said...

You make an excellent point, Sean...dramas ARE intended to raise questions. And this one did a terrific job. It just saddened me to see a group of people who obviously took this so seriously that they felt they had to leave.

Anna said...

the drama made me worry on what people who dont have an opinion on this subject will think. it didnt take a stance very well and just left it. i thought dan would go further on it....

Anna said...

the drama made me worry on what people who dont have an opinion on this subject will think. it didnt take a stance very well and just left it. i thought dan would go further on it....

Elaine said...

That saddens me they got up and left. Because they are missing the whole point. Like Sean just said, it's not a theological statement, but it does happen, everyday. If we can't face the things that are happening in the world, the REALITY, then we can never be the true light. Things like that just confirm what dan is talking about right now....

Anna said...

maybe the group jus wanted to talk about it....idk dont think they were offended i guess. for all we know they jus wanted to pray for somone dealing with the issue. it was hard to listen,....i have so many friends that r gay. its hard to work with or hear people talk about.

Sean McDermott said...

Jon, I'm with you on that. Assuming they left because of the drama I need to remind myself that not everyone is ready to wrestle with these ideas. They need to, but they may not be at that point. I hope that people like this are able to wrestle through these topics openly.

This is going to be tough for alot of people to take these ideas home and not seem like they are accepting the "sin".

Adam said...

Is anyone catching all of Dan's teaching notes? He's breezing through them really fast; I can't type as fast as he's rolling through his material! :)

Sean McDermott said...

me either adam

Elaine said...

Adam, all these points are in his book "They like Jesus but not the Church" I highly recommend it.

Sean McDermott said...

Could someone post what his 7 points were? Please?

Sean McDermott said...

Of course they talk about it as I hit publish...

Elaine said...

and there you go... Nancy clarifies.

Elaine said...

here are 5... I was blogging. LOL


1) Organized religion and into right winged politics.

- business terminology, is it church or a place of business

2) The church is judgmental or negative

3) Male dominated and oppresses females

4) The church is homophobic

5) We are dogmatic simpletons

Adam said...

I caught Dan's SIX points. Didn't catch a seventh (?).

1. The Church is “organized religion and all into right-winged politics”.
2. The Church is judgmental and negative.
3. The Church is male-dominated and oppresses females.
4. The Church is homophoblc.
5. The Church arrogantly believes all other faiths are wrong and Christianity is right.
6. The Church is full of fundamentalists who take the whole Bible literally.

CB said...

So... what do we do now?

How do I confront sin and darkness without coming off as if I'm being judgmental? Shouldn't people feel conviction?

Matt Merrill said...

The drama made me uncomfortable - and I loved it. Drama is great at breaking down walls, getting emotional responces and bringing up subjects. Drama does NOT teach well. Props to them for doing it - they got me emotionally engaged with the subject wondering what would come next.

Anna said...

i think if we know what we want to say about certain topics and have a strong opinion it will make it easier for non-believers to hear us.

Anna said...

cb i dont think christians should be so judgmental that u shove it down their throats. so many christians think its the time and place to tell them about faith and christ when the person they r talking to just wants to have a conversation. we tend to puch our opinions on people and tell them what is correct.

Anonymous said...

we must embrace the darkness before we can point someone towards the light...

CB said...

I have to agree with jon becker...

For instance, what did the DNA point in the drama have to do with a conservative viewpoint on homosexuality?

Is there some new science I've never read?

Anna said...

cb they were referring to how a lot of people think gays r born gay. its in their DNA. it sounds liek the drama was sayin it was correct tho....that worries me

Anonymous said...

Ok, so we don't want to shove our opinions down people's throats. I get that. However, when I am dealing with a drowning person, I am not going to try to explain to him the value of a lifeboat and how it makes me feel. I think the church needs to stand strong on the truth as one body.

Jason said...

we have a lesbian couple at our church that attends regularly. they know that we believe their lifestyle is a sin. however, we love them just as we love everyone else in our church. they have told us that we are the only church they've been to since they've been together (20 years) that they feel comfortable and not judged. our job is to show Jesus to everyone, not judge them for sinning. if you couldn't come to church for sinning, then every church in the world would be empty.

adam hann said...

I don't think he made a 7th point Adam

Sean McDermott said...

I think we need to remember that it is a drama. They are allowed to have a character speak a non-truth. Just because the drama said something does not mean that Willow believes that. They are merely putting on an act that could happen in the real world to help us enter into the debate. I don't think it is right to critique what the drama said. I think we should question what the panel is saying

Elaine B said...

The DNA thing was regarding the argument that homosexual people are "made" that way. The argument that they can't help it, and it's not a sinful choice they make. there are many people who truly believe that who call themselves Christians and attend and are involved in church.

Conservatives believe it;s wrong - period.

Anonymous said...

y do people keep saying the "...drama was sayin it was correct"? the drama was just that, a drama, as others above have said. the drama simply presented views that are out there, not saying that that thinking was right...come on folks

Anna said...

amen jason.....i think it takes time to show a person jesus and for it to sink it. some quicker than others but if we keep loving them and letting them come to our chruchs then at least we have planted a seed.

CB said...

Of course I'm not to judge, but I am to confront. The other side of cowardice (vs cynicism) is fearing to speak the truth when it needs to be spoken.

What are some practical ways of achieving the balance.

Ray Pelletier said...

Hello, this is Ray from Willow and I just wanted to give some context to the Drama. It was part of a service where the issue was addressed with great clarity and biblical wisdom in the message that Gene Appel gave. The drama was not meant to stand alone, it was meant to point to how much we need to talk about this.

Jon said...

Brennen Manning said is the Ragamuffin Gospel that the church is not a congregation of saints, but a hospital for sinners. we all sin, Jesus died for our sins. We need to open our hearts and minds and love as Jesus would.

Jason said...

thanks anna. i just feel that in our churches today, there are those "big sins" that are taboo. like, what happens when someone has an affair? or any of those "visible" sins. they get shunned and that just isn't right! i sin every day. i can't help it. i'm just a sinner. if we don't accept homosexuals into our churches, then what we're telling the world is that we don't accept sinners in our churches. and we are ALL sinners.

Sean McDermott said...

We have a couple in our church that had been living together for about 10 years with getting married. I interviewed them for a school project and asked why they continued to attend and ultimately trust God and get married, they said they felt comfortable at the church. They knew what the church's stance was but they never made them feel terrible about it. It was ultimately a Holy Spirit thing that moved them across the line.

If we asked them to get married or leave they would have never come back to a church again.

CB said...

And absolutely. Brennan is right. But... loving the sinner does not mean ignoring sin. If we as believers did that, how long would we last? (of course, plenty of us ignore sin but that is another issue)

Let me put it this way.
In my congregation, I'm not going to let an Adulterer cheat without confronting it, I won't let a liar lie without pointing out the lie, I wouldn't let people who fornicating go on thinking thats just fine.

now applying that to the subject, what is the correct way to approach those struggling with homosexuality?

Teresa said...

Homosexuals believe they were created that way, i.e., it is in their DNA. Christianty has said that it is a choice and has nothing to do with DNA

Sean McDermott said...

cb how would you confront a person that was sinning?

Tom Broad said...

Thanks for clarifying Ray. Great subjects to be addressed and to start discussions and thoughts. Definitely another relevent issue of today. Great conference so far!

Jason said...

i don't know how to find that ballance CB. but, i do know that we can love everyone just as Jesus did. Jesus didn't suggest that we love each other as ourselves, he commanded us to love each other as ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Brian,

how does the inside the bubble change?

Kris Hatcher said...

I was raised in an extremely conservative protestant denomination and now attend a non-denominational church that is, at least to me, rather liberal. I feel extremely accepted and appreciated in my new church; while my former church, in which I was actually much more active, never even thought to offer a simple "thanks". However, my former church, which the rest of my family still attends, would ostracize me if they knew, so I hide the fact that I no longer attend their denomination. What would you suggest that I do to let my former church know that, while I support their basic beliefs, I do not support and do not wish to condone the politics that go on within their organization?

Jason said...

like i said earlier, the lesbian couple in our church knows that we do not approve of their lifestyle. so, we did talk about it. i think "confronting" is a strong word. but, we did talk about it.

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CB said...

Well, in my experience it all depends. If there is a relationship I'm just going to be blunt.

but assuming there is no relationship... I suppose that I would answer their questions. I wouldn't feel it my place to start berating anybody. The lost need the truth, but you can't start them with "this is wrong and that is wrong" I suppose I would begin with Jesus and go from there. I would pray, I would wait for the spirit to move. In short, I would begin a relationship with the hope of seeing them enter the Kingdom, and by entering the Kingdom, begin to move them towards righteousness.

So often we get it exactly backwards. We expect people to be moral without Jesus or the Holy Spirit; that is ridiculous.

I really want other peoples responses and pointers. I'm seeking a better way of loving people, shouldn't we all be?

Sean McDermott said...

Who was it that Christ normally confronted? Those sinning within the church.

Who was it that Christ normally ate dinner with? Whores and corrupt tax collectors.

Tim said...

I have to disagree with what the guy on the left said (I forgot His name). He's focusing on what was popular 10 years ago. Regarding the subject matter of worship music today.

CB said...

Thanks Sean...

Joel Quile said...

Question for Dan.

You had to (God called you) break off/split/splant from Santa Cruz Bible to create a new environment for non believers to be engaged by believers. I always get so hacked @ these things because I know that if I want to move into any of this new territory, I'm going to have to teach & pray & teach & pray for a year to get my people (& other leaders) for a year (minimum) so I don't get the Jeremiah/John treatment. I am faced with 4 choices:

1. Don't change.
2. Don't be like Jesus.
3. Get fired, have my kids don't go to college, sell pies
4. Launch another (different, new) Willow, Mars, Journey, Vintage, etc)

Joel

Jason said...

kris. i TOO grew up like you did and now attend a non-denominational church. i usually don't even address the issue. my parents are VERY strict Southern Baptists still to this day. However, they come to my church a lot. so, i usually don't have to address the issue. when it does come up, i express my point of view in a kind way. i don't shove it down their throat because they still go to church there, but, they know how i feel when i'm asked.

Elaine B said...

anyone else getting lost in this panel? Ok Nancy just brought it back... I'm not sure what the point is anymore...

Tess said...

why do we discuss confrontation on the sin of homosexuality or adultry, etc. However, we never discuss confronting one another for the sins of gossip, gluttony, omission, etc? Could it be because we only confront the sins we don't do?

Sean McDermott said...

I think Dan is right. We need to find the difference between church and the culture of the people of the church

Tim said...

Amen Tess!

Jason said...

i agree elaine. panels lose me. their filled with all their own opinions. i get nothing from them. i know others do, i just don't.

Anonymous said...

When are they going to talk about twenty somethings? Is Shauna addressing the blogs? I came to this session because I think we are in a code red with 18-30 somethings in our churches...

CB said...

I agree Tess, and I do my best to be self-aware of those in myself and others.

For whatever reason, someone somewhere decided that being fat because you have no self-control with food is not that bad and having sex because you have no self-control with your sexuality is bad.

They're both not good, right?

Not enough Christians are willing to look in the mirror and take a self-inventory. So, they look at other people, if they feel better than others, then it helps them ignore their own issues I guess...

Jason said...

i think shauna is only addressing the emails sent to arts@willowcreek.com

Elaine B said...

totally OFF topic, I'm at the conference by myself, if anyone is planning on grabbing dinner and coming back tonight to the service, maybe we can meet for dinner?

Sean McDermott said...

Well looking like we are wrapping up...

Looking forward to live blogging with you again...

Sean

Jason said...

i wish you guys could have heard efram smith speak during the student conference. best speech i've heard in a long time. the title "stop telling me about Jesus, and show me what He looks like". fantastic. if they are selling it up in the seeds bookstore, you need to buy a copy of it and listen. you WILL be changed.

Joshua said...

Do you think everyone here embraces the "Emerging Church," Rob Bell and Nooma videos, Blue Like Jazz, Anne Lamott??? I was wondering where Willow stood, but not anymore.

Anne Elise said...

elaine - we're going for dinner, not sure if we're coming back for the service though, but you're welcome to join us for dinner :)
did you want to meet up somewhere?

Elaine B said...

tried e-mailing and I got error messages...

Elaine B said...

anne,

Love to! Lets meet.... um... this place is so big. right in front of the stage after this closes?

Anne Elise said...

glad you're joining us! it may take a while for us to fight the traffic to ge tdown there!
i'm wearing a yellow polo and denim skirt :)

Anne Elise said...

and by traffic, i mean fighting through the crowd to meet at the stage *grin*

Elaine B said...

I have puffy blond hair and wearing coral T-shirt

Ray Pelletier said...

Hey everyone, just wanted to thank you for being a part of this - keep it going - it's awesome and I'm humbled/blow away/excited.

Just wanted to let you know that we were monitoring the blog AND the email and sending those to Shauna.

The discussion on the blog was so great and seemed to be heading in a direction that really fit what was happening on stage - we are heading backstage to conduct interviews with the panel where they will be able to address these things more specifically.

Elaine B said...

Thanks Ray!

Ray Pelletier said...

Also, in the "Response to Session 3" blog post, Chuck will include a link where everyone can download the Gene Appel MP3 and also a link to a Mosaic podcast where Erwin McManus addresses sex & homosexuality

JuannyO said...

I was excited that the subject of homosexuality was presented through the drama.. I actually didn't mind that it ended without must resolve. However, I was very disappointed that NO ONE discussed the topic during the panel session other than to say they hold to a "conservative" view on the subject. WHAT THE HECK DOES THAT MEAN? I appreciate the dialogue about multi-ethnic and multi-generational building...these are excellent things to discuss, but these have not generally been viewed as "sin" issues. If a panel at this arts conference (which brought up the issue) will not take this topic head on what is really being said. For the record...saying nothing about a subject like this says a lot no matter how "conservative" you stance it.

emily said...

Can anyone find the free sermon download on homosexuality that was mentioned directly after the drama? i can't seem to track it down.

Paul J. said...

Thanks to everyone at Willow for a great first day.
Loved the drama...as others have pointed out, it made me uncomfortable and left questions unanswered. That's a good thing. That's art.
The panel DID lose me. But I was able to pull some nuggets of truth out just the same.
Looking forward to the breakouts. And hey, fellow bloggers...let's share some link love! If you'd like to exchange links, come to my blog and send me an email...
Paul J.
Dalton, GA

Scott Sterner said...

As was stated, the drama was intended to go with a message on homosexuality in its original context, so we should take that into account before we go throwing stones. Also, the drama was TOTALLY accurate in its depiction of the discussions real Christians are having with homosexuals (I know because I have a good friend presently living his life as a homosexual). So, should we be troubled? Absolutely, but our conviction must be over our own inability to appropriately love a homosexual community that needs Christ, not over Willows willingness to trouble us into wrestling with a very real and difficult issue.

Anonymous said...

poo poo pee doop!

Sarah Trommer said...

Additional Resources on the topic of Homosexuality
Peppermint Filled PiƱatas Book by Eric Bryant
“Is God … Homophobic?” MP3 of a recent Message from Gene Appel Sr. Pastor of Willow Creek
Mosaic's recent message / podcast [Life's Toughest Questions] What About Sex? by Erwin McManus

Ray Pelletier said...

Hey everybody, let's move the discussion over to "Your Response to Session 3?"