a simpler faith and a work in progress

What are you doing for lunch this Friday? I have something that might help men and women find the right Valentine’s Day gift that would last for a lot longer than wine, roses and candies. Today I am having lunch with a guy named Ed Galisewski for my Friday conversation. I will write, shoot, and record the interview for DEE and I wanted to let you in on what I will ask him.

Hope for people who struggle with…

…church in this case. There have been books that identify the problem why “men don’t go to church.” Ed is a Jersey guy who pumps iron. This helps with a debate over the subject of Apologetic and I apologize a lot because Ed is in really good shape and I will agree with him- no problem! There is no steroid use in his work outs and he is against any additives in food, fitness, work, home or church. In fact that is what a simpler faith is all about

Too many add-ons

We already have add-ons, ad-nauseum in our culture. With millions of messages competing for allegiance from political campaigns, to car ads and even into our churches. Ed was brought up a Jersey Catholic boy, who went through the Sacraments. But like many others Ed had enough and gradually stopped going to Mass. Yet he still valued his relationship with God. He just craved simplicity. Like the Facebook relationship box gives you, the ins and outs of what state of love you are in, Ed never figured that he would need or want to check the “it’s complicated” box in his relationship with God.

Today the questions will be brief and uncomplicated

What are the main religious add-ons that have turned people away from the church?

What are some of the obstacles in our culture that keep people from connecting with on another?

Our big command is what Ed asks us to picture. It is the Last Supper. Jesus is giving final instructions before going to the cross. His instructions are simple.

“My prayer is not for you alone. I pray also for those who believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to lety the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23 with emphasis added.) That’s it. That’s simple faith- “Love the Lord your God with your whole heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself.” It’s the basis of everything. You have in this verse the mandate for the common union at the last supper and the birth of community. No additives or small print, no extra credit for theological mastery or extra curricular doctrine.

Meet Ed (AKA Joe Palooka)

As a new author and a long time business man Ed has written a book that convinces men and women everyday the “Whats in it for you?” aspects of the church. We know what drives people away but here are some of the questions our readers have had about evangelism and church:

We are bombarded by brand statements and that is fine, except people want to experience relationship with God and other people. How does the church offer that valuable resource?

In the above verse we are called to two things: 1. Don’t forsake the fellowship and 2. Don’t miss or screw up community. Why are we called to these two things and where does a reader, listener and viewer find it?

There will be the veterans at church who say “Because we’ve always done it that way,” or better yet, ” “We’ve never done it that way.” What do you say to newbies at church in ways of handling the Old Guard?

How many people don’t go to church because they are simply frustrated with the political ad-ons inside the church?

What are the best ways to go church shopping? What do people look for?

There’s the classic line from Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” He’s right and he’s right-How can they both be right?” What’s your answer and why must we (mostly men be right?)

What makes us afraid of being wrong?

What “religious” baggage do people carry with them into a church?

How can they lose the baggage?

Talk about the C-S-G (Creator, Savior, God) that’s all the theology we need to know -isn’t it?

People have a hard time with the concept of the Trinity, but it is God’s perfect design for community isn’t it? Different parts working together in unity of one God. That is the churches systematic theology. The play your position and “do your job” of coaching. Can it be any simpler than that?

What doctrinal issues do people get hung up on? What other obstacles are there that we should address?

What motivates people to either get closer to God or push away?

Jesus is the advocate to the least of these who equips leaders to be advocates to the least of these. How as evangelical can we continue that process of servant leadership?

There are some churches that are too liturgical for some people’s taste and others that are too Spirit driven – which tends to frighten many away. Is there a balance out there?

Are we hurting our kids by force feeding them our denominational-ism?

Talk about Drew Litton and his cartoons which adorn “a simpler faith.” Why are his cartoons an emphasis to the words and concepts you have in this book?

How has the church responded to your subject matter?

If you would like to comment and answer any of these questions for you, please do so in the comment spaces. After the interview this morning I will fill in Ed’s answers. But I think these are good questions for our readers, listeners and viewers as well as Ed Galisewski.

Lets catch up later. If you have questions you would like me to ask Ed, please e-mail or comment on this blog or column or at Facebook.


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