This weeks Update and News: Packard plant, another local murder, Strange Fire and Eminem.
- Packard Plant Mess Continues
If you have ever been to Detroit (or taken a tour of the D with me), you will have been to or seen the Packard Plant. This huge facility is known for its “Ruin Porn” as it is a dilapidated building and structures that have been left vacant for decades. We have filmed numerous Hope Center videos and taken some great area pics of Detroit from the Packard plant as well. The facility went up for sale, was sold, then the buyers started dropping out one by one. As of today, its still in ruins and the City is waiting on the next bidder to respond. The area where that the Packard plant is located is known for drug use, gang spots and homeless. The homes in surrounding area are mostly vacant with squatters. Article.
- Man Charged over Porch Murder
A man was arranged yesterday here on the westside for his role in the shooting death of a 19 year old. This has made news headlines all over here locally and nationally as another homicide here in Detroit. The woman was drunk, it was the middle of the night, her car broke down and she went to a strangers house for help. According to early reports, she was then shot in the back of the head. Regardless how this event turns out, we have citizens all over Detroit with weapons because they feel unsafe and this is resulting in what I believe happened here. Detroit feels like a war zone and in many places police seem to not go at all. Sadly, we have seen many acts of vigilante justice and many cases of reckless deaths. We need more police, more community involvement and more funding. Yet with the lack of tax revenue from people fleeing the city, funding and more police aren’t in the near future.
- Strange Fire, Johnny Mac, Piper, Driscoll, Crazy Charismatics and me
Over a month ago one of the most well known Pastors in America held a conference on “the excess of charismatics” and the “prosperity gospel.” There have been some very good reads and reactions on this subject: review of both sides, Piper, and Driscoll. I got asked a few times about it and gave my thoughts privately but then the questions kept coming, so here are my two cents.
While I am crazy, I’m not a Pentecostal. But I do believe that God can still do miracles today. Now God isn’t using Benny or any of those phony TV preachers, but God can still do works today. I am not a full-cessationist, but I do believe that God isn’t in the extremes that have plagued much of charismatic Christianity. For that I get Johnny Macs point, but in all honesty he threw the baby out with the bath water.
I have met many people that believe differently than I do about gifts, they are not all prosperity gospel preachers, in fact most of them preach a more concise gospel and reach more people than those in their bunkers clinging to their cassette tapes on “why gifts have ceased”. So while I understand why JM makes a big deal, I personally believe that he crossed the line.
Driscoll, who I love and laugh at, sometimes is right but does things so wacky that it makes him and those of us that agree with look batty. Showing up at another guys conference and handing out books is a Jehovahs Witness move. On the other hand, I get why Driscoll does what he does because he wants to make a joke out of what people take too seriously. Still, I wouldn’t have done that but I did laugh for a couple days over it.
My view on gifts lines up with Piper and Driscoll more than Johnny Mac, however I just wish both sides would stop making a mess of things and work together. While there is much of bad doctrine out there, we need to be careful not to just write-off people we don’t agree with.
- Eminem’s New Album
First let me say, I don’t endorse Em. He’s a bad dude, with sinful lyrics and promotes a lifestyle that is contrary to being a Christian. With that said, he fascinates me.
His latest album dropped this week, and being a Detroit guy it is everywhere. From teens to old ladies, everyone is listening to it. The message of this latest album is filled with apparent contradictions and declarations. In some songs like “Berzerk”, “Rap God”, and “So Much Better” it feels just like the old Eminem. Party, drugs, sex and as much as you can get of it. Then in other songs like “Rhyme or Reason” & “Headlights” it almost feels like an NA meeting. He apologizes to his mom, he wishes he had a different life, he wished that he had a dad and asks for forgiveness for being such a bad father and person.
My take on Em is full of paradoxes. He is a brilliant artist and masterful performer. Whether you like him or not, he has figured out his stick and is sticking to it (literally). However, while this drug free Eminem seems tamer I still feel like one morning I’m gonna wake up to the headlines: “Famous Rapper Dead – Overdose Suicide.” It pains me to say this, but I feel bad for the guy. I’ve met so many people that are just like Em, tough and have been thru a preverbial hell. Marshall needs Jesus more than he needs his “legacy to last”.
With that said, I pray for him. I’ve seen him a few times and would love to sit and chat with him if ever given the chance. I don’t hate him or loath him, rather I pray that Em finds God. When that happens, he won’t be the “Bad Guy” who’s “Brainless” anymore.