Jared Witt l March 31, 2018
I’m not wired to be a very religious person.
I say that knowing that not everyone will understand what I mean by it, and the ones who get me right away are likely wired in the same way.
When I first went to seminary in 2008, I was sort of surprised that there were pockets of otherwise normal, healthy people who were really into the whole bit. And whether it be the featureless praise songs or the plodding organ dirges, the Greek tattoo and pompadour haircut or the clergy collar and Great Clips haircut, the professional stage-lighting or the incense burning made no difference to me. This rendered the red-faced debates over "traditional" vs. "contemporary" worship somewhat humorous, seeing as I was what you might call a neutral third party. Without knocking any of it, for me, it all just kind of lumped together as so many different shades of generically religious shtick. I accepted that certain types were just more inclined toward that whole thing than others.
One barrier to entry for me was it all seemed so horribly made up. I couldn’t get over the feeling, “Wait, so you’re telling me some guy just started lighting that candle and this time a while back, and so now we all have to do it?”
Jared Witt l March 22, 2018
One sees it in every farmer’s market, in every seasonally sourced restaurant, in every documentary about human rights in the clothing industry, in every Netflix show on the sustainable food movement (my favorite is Chef's Table). There is a deep desire, that is surfacing in communities all across the country, to re-humanize the things that we buy. And we’re starting at the most basic level: with the things we put on and put into our bodies.
It’s not like we all got together and planned this. There was no conference where grass-fed beef farmers in Wisconsin got together with “buy local” activists in so-Cal and said, “Alright, here’s what we’re going to do.” In fact, none of us who are a part of whatever this is can even fully say what binds us together or what the movement is called. Some of us have very high-minded ecological concerns. Some of us, just a gut yearning to live in a tastier and less artificial way. None of us even fully sticks to our ideals a hundred percent of the time (for my part, I can’t seem to quit the cheaply made queso sauce from the tex mex place near my house). But we know it when we see it. We can sense when a dish we’re eating was seasoned with a little bit of love. And we recognize each other from across the room.
Jared Witt l March 15, 2018
Consider for a moment this well known line from the United States' Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
As kids, most of us were probably taught in school that the founding documents of our nation—the Constitution, the Declaration, the Bill of Rights, that preamble that we all had to memorize before knowing exactly what a preamble is—were something like the boundaries beyond which power and law in our country must never stray.
Jared Witt l March 8, 2018
Anthony de Mello (1931-1987) was an Indian Jesuit priest, who became well known for writing pithy parables and koans, which drew from his deep engagement with both eastern and western spiritual traditions.
One of my favorites is this:
“After many years of labor an inventor discovered the art of making fire. He took his tools to the snow-clad northern regions and initiated a tribe into the art—and the advantages—of making fire. The people became so absorbed in this novelty that it did not occur to them to thank the inventor, who one day quietly slipped away. Being one of those rare human beings…he had no desire to be remembered or revered; all he sought was the satisfaction of knowing that someone had benefited from his discovery.
Jared Witt l March 1, 2018
You hear it constantly...
“Oh, these days you have to protect yourself…”
“Anymore, you can’t be too careful…”
“When we were kids we used to…nowadays, you wouldn't even think of letting…”
…this gnawing assumption, everywhere present but scarcely ever analyzed, that the world is somehow more dangerous and the people less trustworthy now than back in the “good ol’ days.”
This is just a straight up devil's lie.
How Castle Church is stirring up a new spirit in the church from a brewery in Orlando, FL.