This is a post from a good friend of mine and co-leader of Eikon Church, John Hardin. I say this b/c I am very happy that as a new church some of eikon’s first appropriated financial resources are going towards providing for the homeless and not finding or building a new church building. This is not meant as a big ol’ pat on the back or ‘atta boy, but instead if you read John’s post (link included below) he completely expresses my point of view on the new monstrosity of a church building to be built in Dallas.
Tag Archives: John Hardin
In changing themes it seems I have lost my blogroll option; I’d love to be able to pimp your blog but I guess I can’t. Hopefully I’ll find a way to get them back on my blog but for now my apologies go to:
This is the church that Midrash Little Rock will be connected with. If you’re a fan of Midrash Little Rock you should come on out and grab some food, a tasty beverage of your choice, and hang out with us.
I swiped this from Ryan Byrd and eikon’s website: http://www.eikonthechurch.com
i’m excited to announce our upcoming spectacle/shindig/gathering (it’s your choice of the 3 words…we’re all about free will at eikon…) for august. on sunday, august 30, at 6 p.m., we’ll be hanging out at the house—the great new addition to hillcrest—engaging in a conversation that we’re calling EIKON | WHY: a conversation about yesterday.
why is it a conversation about yesterday?
- 1. we like to use really intriguing-yet-bordering-on-pretentious titles for our gatherings.
- 2. we want to encourage the spontaneous singing of the beatles’ yesterday, being that we currently lack a solid british element at eikon. (we also encourage the boyz 2 men cover version of yesterday, being that it includes exponentially more “oohs” and “uhhs” and probably includes a spoken word part by an otherwise under-utilized bass singer…)
- 3. (seriously), we’re all experts on yesterday. we just lived it and need to process it. knowing the what of our past speaks to the why of our present/future.
- 4. we think your yesterday story is probably much closer to others’ stories than you think and thus, closer to the story of why we’re starting this thing called eikon.
ok, well, we are now equally confused and intrigued. how about yourself?
in the event that you find yourself confused and/or intrigued, you should definitely come hang out with us on sunday, august 30 at the house. our conversation about why we’re starting eikon will be a great entry point if you couldn’t make it to our gathering at vino’s last month and likewise, a great conversational entry point for those who have already been hanging out with us.
here’s the quick minutiae of the gathering. try to be there fairly close to 6 p.m.. we’re working with the chef to create a special menu for us that will give you a choice of 5 entrees and your choice of any of their beverages (beer, wine, coffees, soft drinks). just to be clear, eikon isn’t picking up the tab, but we think you’ll find the menu reasonably priced (and well worth it). instead of the usual ordering downstairs, go ahead and come upstairs, grab a seat and they’ll do service at the tables. we’ll spend the first hour just eating/drinking and hanging out. we’ve reserved a small room to the right upstairs, but during the first hour of dinner, feel free to sit anywhere upstairs. around 7 or so, we’ll transition into our conversation into the smaller room (where people might have to squeeze in, stand, lean, squat or engage in other means of fitting a large mass into a small space).
my (ryan) goal is to talk a little and listen a lot (though I can often be more successful in the reverse scenario…). i’ll intro the conversation and serve as a guide, but my hope is that the conversation will revolve around the group rather than myself.
NOTE TO THE INTROVERTS WHO ARE CRINGING AND DRY HEAVING RIGHT NOW (which actually includes myself, in terms of the introvert personality type): because I can certainly empathize, you don’t need to worry about being called on, called out or singled out. it’s your choice about how much or how little you contribute to the conversation. while we encourage active participation, we want to honor the fact that everyone engages in different ways. some do it by talking, while some do it by listening. so, please discontinue your dry heaving…no need to panic…you’re in good hands with eikon.
alright, that’s the story. come hang out with us. if you’ve hung out with us before, be sure to come again and if you haven’t been able to come or have been hesitant to come, this is a great entry point. (we’re a friendly bunch, despite our generally hairy, frightening exteriors…)
Recently a friend of mine asked me what I thought about suicide and the role it plays in determining our eternal destination. She mentioned recently that the husband of a friend of hers took his own life. They attended the funeral and since then my friend and her husband have been talking about this subject a little bit. My friend and I are no strangers to this subject because during high school (she somehow completed high school in 4 years, it took me 7 jk but we had three of our friends commit suicide – and as always they were three people you would never expect. Also, I’m in no way shape or form an expert on this topic – I have a brain, knowledge of religion, and an internet connection which in cyberspace grants me liberty to post my thoughts. But I hope my thoughts my provide some information for people to chew on and ponder.
Please be aware that when I reference Christus Victor and substitutionary atonement I do so in very wide swipes, and in some cases generalizations, because otherwise my response to my friend would have been about 1,000 pages to unwrap all the history of the atonement theories along with all the cause and effect possibilities. Here’s my response.
I’m curious if the Reverend giving the funeral hinted to one way or another at the funeral? That could be very touchy.
Ok, here are my thoughts. Like I mentioned this is a very tough question and I am in no way an authority on the issue, but I don’t know if anybody is an authority on it other than God. From the way I see it there are 3 basic responses and it pretty much depends on 1) how you view Christ’s crucifixion as atonement for sin and 2) a belief that there is a hell. I’ll run through the different atonement views very quickly and how they would approach suicide and then I’ll also tell you which one I side with.
1) Substitutionary atonement – this view accounts for two of the options (options ‘a’ and ‘b’) – Christ’s death on the cross is a substitution for our sin. Equal retribution for our sin on earth.
a. Suicide is ultimately damning to hell. He’s in hell. The thought is that the person is saying, “God, my problems are so big that not even you can help me.” So they’ve given up all hope even that God can help them.
b. Suicide is sin and equal to all other sins. He’s in heaven. He murdered himself and murder is sin, but every sin carries the same weight (except for blaspheming the holy spirit which I don’t think applies here). Christ died to pay for our sins. Personally, I’m very conscious of when I sin and when I sin I’m in essence saying, “God I know I’m about to sin, but even you can’t help me for what I’m about to do and I’m going to do it anyway.” This is the same situation as above but somewhere along the line as Protestants we started to weigh certain sins as heavier than others – murder, rape, suicide, etc.) (it’s kind of been unspoken, all the while still saying that sin is sin and no sin is greater than any other sin) The reality in this view is that sin is sin and they all carry the same weight in God’s eye. Christ’s death paid the price for our sins no matter what they are.
2) Christus Victor atonement – this view accounts that ‘every knee shall bow every tongue confess that Christ is Lord’ and that everybody will be in heaven; it makes no difference what a person’s sins are. And depending on your view of Christus Victor it also sometimes makes no difference who you believe is God. Christ’s death has conquered sin completely and he reigns over everything so almost everybody will be in heaven.
Not to get on a soapbox but I personally fall somewhere between substitutionary atonement and Christus Victor (it would take too long to explain why, but over the past 10 years my theology has changed a bit). Regarding suicide I used to hold the first view that suicide is saying, “God you can’t help me.” Personally I believe that God is a loving God (more than I ever realized), who loves his creation. So, I would hold to the ‘b’ option and your friend’s husband is in heaven. But it is definitely a tough, grey area and I’m glad that God’s in control of what’s going on for our eternal destinations and not me.
I talked to a couple buddies of mine about the subject and I’ve included one of the guys’ thoughts on the topic. My other buddy basically said, “ditto” to my first buddy’s thoughts.
my buddy’s thoughts…
“Suicide as a damning act is a novelty of Roman Catholic doctrine so far as I know. I could be wrong, but i’m not aware of that belief in Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, or Judaic streams. The premise that someone goes to hell (which requires a belief in a literal hell to begin with, of course), is premised on the last act of a person’s life being self-murder, with no chance to confess or offer penance. Judaism never had much of a firm afterlife theology and Protestantism rejects the notion of itemized repentance, so it’s easy to see why that idea did not crystalize there.
I’ve had a couple of friends commit suicide, and while i think it shows a profound level of unhealth and degradation to get to that point, I don’t get why that is suppose to send you to hell.”
It’s me again,
So I hope in some way shape or form this might help; and I’m sure that your friend who is dealing with her husband’s suicide is in pure anguish – I can’t imagine having to cope with that situation. Love on her like crazy.
Let me know what you think; and what your pastor says too. I love hearing different views.
cigar recommendation – Rocky Patel, Olde World Reserve – I enjoyed this cigar last night and it’s a quality cigar. It has hints of being just like the name implies, Olde World. It has earthy elements and has a rather strong, full flavor. It was every minute of a 2 hour smoke and definitely worth the $12 (I live in AR where cigar taxes are ridiculously high). I don’t think you can go wrong with any cigar from Rocky Patel.
There are three guys who if you don’t know them already you should get to know them. Tad DeLay – on my blog roll, John Hardin – on my blog roll, and Ryan Byrd – soon to be on my blog roll. If you don’t know these three guys you should because they’re awesome. They’re good friends of mine and have been great to grab a brew and cigar with and muse on our theology, politics, current events; and with John why the Royals are superior to his cardinals. I’m definitely happy I’ve met these guys since I moved down here to Little Rock. No man-crush going on here just three cool dudes who are great guys.