Who is this Jamin guy anyway?
I am the husband of one and the father of nine. I was created to sing, to worship, to encourage, and to be steady. I am the Owner & Executive Director of Trinity Arts Center, a multi-disciplinary Arts Center in Eastern Tennessee, and the President of Trinity Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization focused on funding arts education and performance. I've been involved with four music projects in my life -- Hot Pink Turtle, Spin Radio, Stand Like Stone, and of course, Jamin Rathbun.

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box_bible bible

What's next... Beer for communion?
That was my original title for this post but -- after some reflection, I've decided to go another direction. (Although I figured I'd keep the title for it's enticement value.) = )

Rather than continuing in the criticism that's all too easy (and tempting) in this genre -- I just want to highlight a church that has caught my eye lately. Admittedly, they caught my eye in a kind of good-and-bad way but -- in spite of some questionable vocabulary decisions... They seem to be doing a lot of things right. Enough so, that I thought I'd point you their direction for some inspiration, or -- to get your blood boiling... Depending on your perspective. = )

Anyway... I'll get to the point:

LifeChurch.tv's message on March 19th included some great information about discovering how God uses pain to strengthen and mature us but -- half way through the message, he starts talking about how his youngest son introduced the phrase "No balls. No falls." to their household as a way to communicate stepping into your fear to seek the ultimate payoff. He said it had become a mantra for their family.

He lost me right there. I didn't even hear what else he had to say. My dilemna is this... I'm not sure if I'm justified in being offended, inspired by his transparency, or both.

The truth is... I'm not one of those guys that burps and scratches and all the rest. I don't drink. I don't cuss. I don't smoke. I don't tell dirty jokes. I don't do anything that might be considered crude. I'm just not comfortable with it. It just doesn't "feel" right to me.

With that said, I've borrowed a phrase or two from Solomon when wooing my wife (especially that one about the teeth like sheep). = ) I've talked to my boys about how to manage their "stuff" while they're peeing in the woods for the first time. I've also laughed with my friends at some of the humor in Monte Python and There's Something About Mary, and with my oldest son, at the "may contain nuts" sticker in the new Wallace & Gromit movie.

My point being -- that I'm not a prude. I have a healthy sense of humor and I get that part of what God designed us for is to be happy -- and I am. = ) After all, I am the father of five so... It would be hard to get through life without both an appreciation for humor and for all of the inappropriate comments that kids make. I also think that I'm a pretty transparent (I'd like to think authentic) guy and I'm not one to "put on" a pretty face for the public.

Does all that mean I'm being a hypocrite or being dishonest?

I don't think so. I think that I have the freedom to joke and have fun with my family and friends because I know it won't cause any problems or (to use the Biblical term) -- cause them to stumble. They know me and I know them -- personally. And knowing them -- I'm able to make good judgements about how to communicate, perhaps, more casually that I would with a stranger or with an audience.

Here's are some of the verses that I try to keep in the back of my mind, as I relate to people, both friends and strangers.

Titus 2:7-8
In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Proverbs 4:24
Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

There are tons of other passage that communicate the same idea... Be holy. Act justly. Be above reproach. Be light. Stand. Run. Win. Etc...

Look -- I get the idea of trying to be "real" and "approachable" and "authentic" and -- I see the value in breaking down some of the self-created walls, hoops, and obstacles we've created through some of our traditions but... Where exactly is too far?

My answer? Too far is beyond the scope of the passages above. Everything we teach should set an example, show integrity, exhibit seriousness, build others up, and benefit those who listen.

Anything that doesn't meet that standard is, at best, immature and, at worst, in direct opposition to what God would have us do.

Anyway... Keep up the good work at LifeChurch -- just maybe choose your words more carefully. From what I've seen, you're shooting about 98%, which is way better than I'm shooting. Hang in there. = )

© 2006-2010 Jamin Rathbun & Superdink.com. All rights reserved.
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