Jared Witt l May 25, 2017
Since the early days of pitching the Castle Church concept to people, Aaron and I have frequently been asked, how are you going to do church in a brewery? The question is frequently posed with that familiar raised brow and bemused smirk which says, “Of course, the only only way you can get together to break bread is to go millions of dollars into debt in order to build a giant sanctuary with lots of stained glass or renovate a warehouse with laser lights and sound booth. It is known.”
If you don’t know from the title what I mean by “compromised,” and you’re not a little bit worried that the word “Christian” has become a meaningless term in 21st century North America, I won’t burn up valuable blog characters trying to explain it.
However, if you’re the type who already suspects there is something wrong with a religion that claims to worship a God who “lives not in temples built by human hands” and a wandering rabbi who had “no place to lay his head” but which, itself, lives in multi-million dollar campuses, I’m talking to you right now.
Jared Witt l May 18, 2017
In her book Traveling Mercies Anne Lamott says everything I’m about to say but more pithily, “They say we are not punished for the sin but by the sin.” I couldn’t agree more with the truth of this statement, though I’m not really sure who “they” are. Most Christians, in my experience, believe very much that we are punished for the sin, that God has a gavel ready and Satan a pitchfork because we failed to follow the rules at some point.
In fact, anytime there is a public debate in which conservative Christians invoke the Bible as the justification for a given policy, the one thing that they and secular progressives both agree on, with regard to that book, is that there are a lot of arbitrary rules in there.
The former happen to think that you should follow those arbitrary rules because they believe the fact that it’s in the Bible means flatly that God said so. But you would never hear them try to give a rationale for why all 613 commandments, including the thing about not mixing cottons with polyesters, should be considered moral in their own right. On the other hand, many secular progressives talk as if the whole thing is a fanciful tome of sheer outdated nonsense, except none of them disagree that we shouldn’t go around killing each other as one of its commandments says.
Jared Witt l May 11, 2017
The book of Acts, the first account of the movement of Jesus followers calling themselves “the Way,” is sprinkled throughout with descriptions of their community life just like this:
“Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts (2:46).”
And that unassuming, perhaps even mundane, account of what actually went on in the homes of this community, that was variously accused by compatriots in their pagan, Roman world of being atheistic, cannibalistic, politically dangerous, and anti-social, is always followed by a plausibility stretching statement of the hundreds and thousands more that were constantly being added to their number.
Jared Witt l May 4, 2017
As far as we know, bison do not care about birthdays. Even seasoned farmers do not report having ever seen their Clydesdales keeping calendars. Halibut do not go on holidays.
In all of the animal kingdom, humans alone feel that the days should not just be allowed to pass by anonymously, that time should be marked somehow.
Perhaps it’s because we alone are self-reflective enough to realize that our days do not just go on indefinitely, that for each of us, new days will stop coming at some point. Perhaps we observe important benchmarks in time—confirmations, Christenings, and quinceañeras—because we alone have contemplated death and so have felt an urgency about life.
On how Castle Church is stirring up a movement from a brewery in Florida.