Thursday, October 23, 2008


No offense to people like "the Reverend Billy Graham" or others like him, but why oh why is "reverend" still an acceptable title for pastors?!

I don't really care much how people refer to me. As a Children's Pastor, I get all kinds of names. Some of my kids call me Pastor Nathan, some just Pastor. Some call me Mr. Nathan, others Mr. Hyde. A few simply call me Nathan. Their parents are much the same: though most just call me Nathan, some call me Pastor Nathan and a few simply Pastor.

No one, however, calls me "Reverend". There's a good reason for that - I've specifically asked that no one use that title...

There are two reasons for this preference. First, I'm no more "revered" than anyone else. Our standard is Jesus, not any person running around on His earth. Like you, I'm a sinner saved by grace. I just happen to be a pastor.

Second, it reinforces that very misguided notion that the profession of pastor is more "revered" than any other profession. There's nothing more holy, more godly, more special, more important, more ... anything about being a pastor. We are each called to service; mine is to serve as a pastor. Yours isn't. So what!

Okay, back to the impetus for this post. As you saw in the image at the top, I received a piece of mail today addressed to "Reverend Nathan Hyde". I assume it was so addressed because it came from Operation Christmas Child, a ministry led by the son of "Reverend Billy Graham". I assure you that I did not ask to be addressed as Reverend!

I type this post with the sincere hope that I'll never see another piece of mail addressed to "Reverend Nathan Hyde".


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Christian postmodernity ... ?

Most of you know that I've been beating the drum for a Christian understanding of cultural postmodernity for a long time now. But I think I've discovered that I'm either irrelevant, misguided, or cutting-edge...

What am I talking about? I'm beginning to think that few people are talking about postmodernity in specific cultural terms. Evidence: Google "cultural postmodernity" (with the quotes) and a few interesting things happen.

1) A post of mine is third on the list! I'm not that relevant, folks! So my presence in the top three likely indicates that my topic is not all that relevant...

2) The majority of the posts are from a spiritual/Christian perspective. If only followers of Jesus are using this term, it's well on it's way to being a part of some Christian subculture - the very last thing I want to be a part of!

3) None of the entries are really popular level. If I'm merely a part of some "intellectual" conversation, I'm not sure I'm on the right track...

So I'm left with the initial conclusion that I'm either wrong (there's no such thing as cultural postmodernity), misguided (there is such a thing, but everyone else is using different language) or cutting edge (soon everyone will be a part of my virtual self-conversation).

Right now I'm not sure which it is... but I'm still working on it. I'll keep you posted, eh?


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As some of you may know, I've had a MySpace account for a while now. For reasons unclear to me, that social networking site has gone more or less dormant amongst my various friends. There's only one reason left for me to check that account - a former student in Maryland. If not for her, I'd likely give up on it altogether.

But recently my wife - my extremely technically-challenged wife - setup a Facebook account and is enjoying it immensely. I've therefore started one myself. For those that are on Facebook, you may view it here.

If you're not on Facebook, thus far I highly recommend it. It's simple to join and maintain the page - go for it!


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Monday, October 20, 2008

The stuff that matters most

I continue to be amazed at the things we - meaning follower of Jesus - make an issue of. One of the things I most appreciate about my home church is that we've zeroed in on simply six "center circle" issues and work hard not to allow other things to be divisive.

Anyway, I've recently stumbled across a few very silly stereotypes that still continue to linger in our culture...

A good friend of mine, who happens to be a pastor, takes some time once in a while to visit the local bar and strike up friendships and conversations. You guessed it - one of the patrons recently expressed shock that a pastor would drink a beer! Are we still fighting that one!?! For reasons I'll not disclose here, I am a complete abstainer from alcohol. But it's not possible to argue that everyone must be an abstainer. Thus saith the Bible: don't get drunk, yo!

Another: I've had an ongoing discussion with a friend that thinks school-age students at Christian schools should have a hair code. Not too long, not too wild ... you know the stereotype. Part of his argument is that plenty of professions have dress codes that include standards for hair. I agree, but I'm also pretty sure that school-age students don't get that, and that they don't care right now (nor do they need to, in my opinion). More to the point, doesn't having codes like that reinforce all the wrong stereotypes about Christians?

If we're going to live as truly authentic follower of Jesus in our culture, we can no longer afford to reinforce all the wrong images. I'm certainly not arguing that we adopt all the culture has to offer, but where culture is just culture (and not immoral) why not?

Be the real you! If you really like rock music and long hair, listen to rock music and wear long hair ... and as you live your life be sure to talk about the Saviour.

If you really like emo and bald heads, listen to emo and shave your head ... and as you live your life be sure to talk about the Saviour.

You can't fake these things. As I've noted before, postmoderns have their "poser" sensors set to turbo! You be you. I'll be me. Together we'll authentically witness to His grace, His power and His desire to transform this world.


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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stranger things have happened!

As you may have noticed, I installed a traffic feed near the bottom of my blog. It shows me where the various visitors to my blog have come from. It's been fascinating to watch the locations that pop up, to say the least.

Using the feed, I can tell when certain of you visit my blog, since some of you virtually never leave comments! So, for example, when my former student from Maryland visits, I see "Baltimore, MD" show up on the list. I like having this feed - it amuses me!

Having said all that, I had to share a few facts from my feed...

Interesting fact #1: Some of you have apparently figured out that I have this feed and have taken steps to mask your identity. Periodically I see simply "United States" on the list. Not sure why you'd care that much, but I respect your right to privacy.

Interesting fact #2: I had absolutely no response to my post awhile back on Jesus as High Priest and King. Then a strange thing started to happen. I found my feed showing hits to that particular page, over and over again. Hits from South Africa (at least twice, from two different towns). Hits from all over the US. Hits from places where I've never visited (and therefore made friends that now read this blog). Curious. But not as curious as ...

Interesting fact #3: I had a visitor from Mongolia! Seriously. The image posted at the beginning of this blog entry is a screenshot from it. Some dude from Mongolia found my post on Jesus as High Priest and King via Google. I had to Google "Ulaanbaatar" to figure out that it was in Mongolia, incidentally.

All of this leads me to think that perhaps I should finish the posts on Jesus as High Priest...

A penny for anyone's thoughts or comments.


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