Posts Tagged ‘theater’

I have recently been tuning my ears into a local talk radio station here in Seattle. All they are talking about recently is this whole Tiger Woods fiasco.

I have a couple of things to say about it…from a mans perspective…from a pastor’s heart…from an outside observer with inside knowledge because I am a man.

Warning! If for some stupid idiotic reason you have a high undo imposed idolicised view of me and my purity of mind, this will ruin you and you should not read what I am about to write. Close this now. Run!

No man is prepared to have hundreds of women throw themselves at his feet offering their bodies up to him for whatever he wishes. No man is prepared to turn the free offerings of sexual pleasures away, when it is available 24/7 and with no apparent or worth while price tag. When a man is married or enters into a committed relationship, he quickly discovers that he will have to work at love and affection and sex and he discovers that the sexual world isn’t all about him getting pleasure and his own fulfillment, his view of relationships changes and over time the desire of self fulfillment and personal attention grows and becomes somewhat tragically enticing.  All cards are stacked against him.  Every question is asked. Can I get away with this? Is it really that bad? Why not, everyone has been unfaithful at least once, right? Will anyone really find out? Questions that plague man by the enemy.

Consider this, every Biblical patriarch had more than one woman in his bed. Even David, the man after God’s own heart.   Adultery has been a common place in all of history in all of the world and is consistently available at all times. And… adultery is not a black and white list in a book some place.  Where does it start?   At sex? Does it begin with a look? Or a thought? Or a dream, or spending to much time with a woman or is it really even about women, or the opposite sex or the same sex or is it about what ever else we decide to pursue when we should be pursuing our spouse?

Take a man who is being constantly tempted. Even if he discards the 99 out of a hundred offers of infidelity and takes the one, he will be forever remembered for the one he took and not the 99 he turned away from.  No one will ever tell of the strength of this man who told 99 to get lost, who stood up and with power and determination to stay true to his wife turned his eyes to only focus on one.  He will always be remembered for being unfaithful because of that one.

Wait!

Consider this.  Almost every movie that has been released since the dawn of the screen has glorified infidelity. Theater before that. Every magazine, advertisement, billboard, clothing add,  television and news show gives the grand experience of fulfilling self. It bombards us on every front and in every direction our eyes turn. We cannot get away from it!  Over the years the men and women we look up to have fallen from grace.  Many great pastors have given themselves over to selfish gain and fulfillment and left a trail of despair and tragedy in his wake. And you and I both know that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg, because the few who have been publicly arraigned are only the very few who have been caught with millions who stand in the gap and the fear of wondering if they too will be caught.

As men of God we are in a constant battle for purity. In a constant battle to preserve our bodies, minds and emotions for God and our mate. We all deeply desire to walk uprightly and never stumble. But the truth is we ALL stumble and fall.  And for some reason when the public finds out about our secret we are taken to a corner on Pike Street, stripped naked and crucified by the very men and women who wooed us into sin and who are themselves in bed with one who is not their spouse.  We are paraded in front of the masses who are throwing insults and bricks at us as they hold the hand of the prostitute they are about to dine with.

Yes Tiger Woods is wrong! It is wrong to be unfaithful to your wife or husband. Wrong! It ruins relationships, ruins families, ruins faith, ruins trust, ruins life, ruins….But can I just ask this question? Why is the world so torn up about Tiger? He isn’t a Christian as far as I know. Why not cheat on your wife when she is being a nag and all around ungrateful for the life you are giving her? When a Christlike ideology isn’t part of your essence, why would this little escapade really matter to the world? If evolution is how we got here in the first place, there really isn’t any such thing as adultery, its really about the survival of the fittest and let’s face it Tiger is the fittest. Why not let him create a new era of the evolutionary world by becoming the daddy of many Tigers and ultimately controlling the golf world as we know it.

Personally, I feel sorry for the guy. Yeah, I can hear the comments on that already. But seriously I do feel sorry for him for many different reasons. One being that as far as the media and world tells us – we are expected to fulfill ourselves and take advantage of what is offered to us. We are told there is nothing wrong with it. Two – Why single Tiger out? Just because he held some aura of admirable quality doesn’t mean he is the poster child of right and wrong, or what people deem right and wrong at the moment. Tomorrow there will be a lineman of the Seahawks who sleeps with three different women a week. Nothing will be said about him and if something is said it will be glorified and praised. Three – the guy is a human who desires fulfillment. Our world has for centuries told us that’s alright and that we should be about taking care of ourselves. He was just following societal norms. Four – Tiger really is desiring God. As long as he is running from a personal relationship with Christ he will not be able to keep from pursuing other means of fulfillment. Why should we get down on him for these pursuits? Five – The news media has made this the fiasco it is. It is trash and that is what news is. Trash. The noble man does not make the news. Six – I am not unlike Tiger. Yes you read that right. Tiger Woods and I have many things in common. My desires, thoughts, eyes and actions are not always on pure things. (I caution you about crucifying me, just because I am stating openly what you also have in common with Tiger and me). I only have one thing going for me – – I am forgiven and can live in freedom and my desirous focus is always drawn back to Christ by Christ and not on myself or even my wife, but Christ. That is what ultimately keeps me from cheating on my wife.

The fact is we have all been implanted with a moral code of right and wrong from Adam to now and even those who don’t follow Christ know that adultery is wrong. Something cries out to all of us Christians or not, we are to be faithful to the one. The world want to be able to hold someone up who is a great role model, someone we can point to and say, “See, someone can be noble.” But let’s face it “The Noble,” really doesn’t make very good news.

Man was not designed to be God. We can’t handle the pressure of being idolized. It doesn’t work. It tears us apart, destroys us. This has brought a new meaning to the passage in James that says. “The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.” Why yes, when we are poor or “humble” in our circumstances, being faithful to but one woman is much easier. When we discover what we really deserve as men, as humans, it humbles us and pulls us more in the directions or not fulfilling self and turning our focus on others, namely our wife.

So…Tiger, I am praying for you.  Men and women who read this, I am praying for you. We live in a world that will constantly draw our eyes off the Father.  Don’t be too quick to judge Tiger when the truth is we are all susceptible and guilty of idolatry,  we are all guilty of cheating on God.  But if you are a Christ follower you have been set free and the guilt no longer remains. We must however daily take up our cross and follow Him.

I would love to hear your comments. Thanks for reading.

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I am seriously looking forward to the day that the Oak Tree Cinema becomes the Epic Life Church main campus. I am going to just type and see what comes out…The AMC big guys in their AMC big office building will one day say to us, “Hey you there, Epic Life Church, we really don’t want this building anymore and we were just wondering if we could bother you by giving it to you.”  To which we would reply, “Oh that’s no bother, we’ll help you out and take it off your hands. Glad we could help out.”

From there Aurora Ave would have a sweet spot at the Oak Tree Village.  We would quickly remodel the children’s theater to be a bit more children friendly, by knocking out a wall and creating a sweet nursery, baby and toddler area. Then take the theater and make it a place where crafts, videos, drama, music and great teaching could happen. The images are beginning to form in my brain as I type.

We would head off to the adult theater and create a stage, lights and sound that would be quite stellar. Better lighting, new colors, and a stage that could have depth and the ability to build and create.

Of course the other theaters would become different language churches, like Korean, Spanish, Ethiopian, Russian, etc. and the children from these communities would all go to the children’s ministry theater. I can see the beauty in such a international children’s ministry. A lot of encouragement, excitement and heart for the nations.

Then we will show second run movies and encourage date nights and family nights and charge as little as possible and only show good wholesome movies. We should be able to make enough money to cover the cost of the building, then every bit of tithe can go directly to ministry, on Aurora and around the world as our international community grows.

With this the AXIS (the Epic Life administration and education campus) can grow and be remodeled to host a bigger school with more teachers who are better paid. And we can start planning for the Bible College and Seminary on location.  Then the Cafe can be developed and begin to Thrive and the Epic Warehouse can open, making a major difference in the lives of the community youth, bringing them by the hundreds to the foot of the Cross.

It is only a matter of time before all of this happens and even more, because God is big and he wants to reach all of Seattle!  And his dreams and plans are much bigger than mine or even what I could imagine.

Three years ago God tugged on my heart to leave a very secure and exciting college pastorate and move to Seattle to start a church. This past Sunday, after three years of listening to and following after God, Epic Life Church was officially opened.

And it was awesome!

We began the morning pulling the trailer to the theater and starting to set up a half hour late at 7:30am, but things started coming together and we broke at 9 am to pray and asked God to give us peace and let us enjoy the morning, no matter what happens.

Ten sandwich boards and an eight foot banner set out on the streets and outside the theater and then with the lights down on the house, lights up on the stage and a great atmosphere creating screen behind, D-Vic and the band cranked up the amps and worship ensued with 110 people in the main auditorium and twenty some kids in the children’s theater. The worship music ended with a hiphop hymn and Nathan rapping to bring it home. It was sweet.

I spoke on John 1:1, The Word/Logos with painted black boxes with white letters painted on them, “LOGOS” and explained the Epic Life vision and what God is doing in North Seattle and on Aurora.

We ended out with David’s own song, Your Words.  Then it was off to talk to people and encourage them and answer questions.  It was excellent!

By 12:30 pm we had the trailer packed back up and exited the theater clean and ready for the next movie.

Later that night we met to celebrate at our home with ample celebratory ice cream and toppings.

Thank you God for letting us be in the midst of your Story here in North Seattle.