Social Connects



Twitterformity Versus Cruciformity: Leadership, Celebrity, and Power in Light of Philippians 2.6-11

[Sidenote: This is the first "syncroblog" of the Despised Ones blogging collective. To read more submissions on this topic, visit our Facebook Page.] 

"Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father."

If you're an evangelical Christian under 40, you've more than likely encountered the phenomenon of celebrity pastors using Twitter to communicate with the world. And if you've read tweets by celebrity pastors, you've probably cringed, thrown things, laughed, cried, cheered, or feverishly wrote angry responses on your blog.

It's clear to many of us that a pattern has emerged: 1) A celebrity pastor posts a crazy, stupid, homophobic, insensitive, and/or racist tweet; 2) This sparks a news cycle's worth of responses on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and Christian news outlets with nothing better to write about; 3) Eventually the hype dies down, only to be resuscitated by the next tweet heard around the interwebs. Am I the only one who is getting exhausted by this cycle?

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Scandalizing Jesus: Discipleship, Allegiance, and Olivia Pope

Scandal is the latest show I've started watching since binge-watching House of Cards and reaching grief-stage 5. The show revolves around professional "fixer" Olivia Pope (played by the gorgeous Kerry Washington). A fixer is a crisis manager, an expert in public relations and the law. Pope's character is loosely based on real-life person Judy Smith, who represented figures like Monica Lewinsky and worked as Special Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary in George W. Bush's administration. What might distinguish Smith from the Pope character in Scandal, is that Pope is herself deeply-embedded in scandals—which simultaneously make her desperate to hide her own secrets and gives her leverage by hiding others'.

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Obedience, Illumination, and Liberation

The only way to truly understand the will of God, or God's written word, is by obeying Jesus.

Scholars can spend their entire lives mining the depths of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament for its truth without satisfaction. Devout believers routinely wrestle with "knowing God's will," yet remain disappointed. Neither academic analysis of the Scriptures, nor soul-wrenching angst, can illuminate God's will or God's word more than simple obedience of Jesus's teachings.

This thought is so simple it may be dismissed out of hand. How could simple obedience serve as a tool to illuminate God's will or God's word? At least part of the answer can be summed up with two ideas: 1) The Superiority of Experiential Knowledge; and 2) Faith as Relational Trust.

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Following Jesus


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The Seduction of US Politics and the Freedom of Christian Discipleship

Whenever election time comes around in the US, the air is filled once again with polarizing partisan rhetoric. It is the candidate's job to paint his or her opponent's views, policies, administration in the starkest of terms when contrasted with his or her own. It's the candidate's goal to convince you and I that he or she will "do a better job," understands the "founding principles of America" better, or isn't an "Washington insider," etc. etc. Furthermore, candidates tell the story of the American dream again, selling us on hope that this is the "land of opportunity," that we can "make it, if we work hard." Each candidate wants us to believe that their election will ensure this outcome, remake the world.

I have a confession: I've bought into this sort of thinking more times than I'd like to admit. I confess that I have too often believed that the election of a particular candidate is the determing factor in my well-being or the well-being of those for whom I care. I've believed that if "those guys" are in office, the world will go to hell in a hand-basket. But if "my candidate" is elected, there will be justice, peace, [add your utopian ideal here]. I confess that I've fallen prey to the seductiveness of political coercion.

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Welcome to

Theological Graffiti is a blog written by T. C. Moore @tc_moore ...a Jesus-disciple, husband, father, Associate Pastor @NewCityChurch of Los Angeles, sometimes web designer, writer, and theology geek. For more about me, visit my Personal Website or my Online Profile. Otherwise, enjoy the graffiti.

T. C.

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