Lately, because of political controversies and headline-grabbing court cases such as the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision, the public’s view of evangelical reverence for life has been reduced mainly to fetuses and fertilized eggs. In truth, evangelicals are addressing myriad threats to life, from poverty and slavery to genocide. If the life movement can devote itself to fighting these, can’t it also confront the threat to our life-giving water — and compel the small- and large-scale actions that will conserve it for human beings today and tomorrow?
“The mentor’s role,” writes marketing and storytelling author Jonah Sachs, “is to make change irresistible but not mandatory.” That sounds to me like a great story for the church’s relationship with culture in the 21st century. This is the story in which we compel people toward our particular version of the good life, rather than coerce them into superficial, deistic moralism. The mentor never threatens, ensnares, or bullies. Instead, the mentor points, challenges, trains, and releases. To borrow from Antoine de Saint Exupéry, mentors teach protagonists to yearn for the vast and endless sea.
As we stood there, something happened: the glossy, perfect, unrealistic, airbrushed version was replaced with something way better. The longer we looked, the more amazing that real version became. Of course, they weren’t perfect. Of course, they were actually a little dirty and their fur a little soiled. We stood watching those pandas sit on their bums munching on snacks, and the more we saw, the more adorable they became.
To see another human, to be allowed into their world, is an incredible privilege. In an age of convenience and obsessive consumption we rob ourselves of that opportunity. We trade long-term satisfaction and growth for comfort in the short-term. It’s vulnerable to look into the eyes of another —so we look at our phones and our screens instead.
How many entrepreneurs, owners and CEOs, like Jones, choose their egos over potential greatness? The list is depressingly long. One is reminded of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs. In the early days Jobs was so ego-soaked that he’d steal credit for the inventions of others. He hired John Sculley as CEO and almost immediately tried to undermine him.
But then Steve Jobs did an amazing and rare thing: He outgrew his fatal flaws. He morphed from an immature egomaniac during the 1970s and 1980s into a superb team leader until his death, in 2011. What caused this transformation? His Apple ouster in 1985? The struggles of his successor company, NeXT? His purchase of Pixar, where he learned the power of a light-handed management style? Marriage and children? (By all accounts, Jobs was a devoted husband and father.) Whatever got Steve Jobs to trade in his ego for lasting greatness, it worked.
But some of the loudest opposition to the Satanic Temple in metro Detroit has been from other Satanists. The Satanic underworld, like virtually all other religions, contains groups firmly in disagreement.
Even the Church of Satan, claiming thousands of members worldwide, is quick to distance itself from the Satanic Temple, despite agreement on atheism, individualism and affinity for pentagrams.
“When you enter the drive thru you’ll drop a memorial into the memorial box, sign the register book, drive forward and you’ll be able to sit in the privacy of your vehicle for three minutes,” Phillips said.
Paradise is providing the drive thru option to families at no additional charge. It’s designed to allow more people to see someone who has passed away, even if they can’t make the traditional visitation because of work, disability or other challenges.