My “Social Gospel/Justice” Comment To the Church

If and when we as individuals and/or collective bodies of professing Christ followers have violated scripture (God’s Word, The Bible) in our attitudes, speech, behavior or policies, we need to repent –regardless of our political affiliation or lack thereof.

Moral authority, any genuine moral example the Church (all actual followers of Jesus in whatever form or communion) has to call sinners to faith and repentance re. the world around the church BEGINS with our own individual (and when applicable) shared repentance.

Every generation of believers have had to wrestle with this reality from the beginning -I’m referencing Adam and Eve re. personal responsibility before a holy and righteous God. The pattern has continued to this moment and will not end until He “rolls up the world like a scroll”. But hear this: “judgment begins in the house of God.”

God is clear throughout both Testaments that He is the only perfect (indeed is and shall be) Judge. As much as we love to blow off judgment as non-existent, neither Jesus nor any prophet in The Bible, Paul, James, John, or Peter or any of the Gospel writers not include it as part of their testimony.

For all the truly good-hearted service we professing Christians perform, for any love we show anyone anywhere at any time, we all still sin as well as make mistakes. We do neither Christ nor those without faith and relationship to Him any favors by running to defense mode (which of course, most of us fly into very quickly) when we are being called out, especially in public.

I am NOT saying any should and must confess and apologize for sins we have NOT committed. I am indeed saying plenty of believers in our day have fallen into mean-spirited, harsh and indeed ignorant rant patterns when it comes to facing up to our own responsibilities of loving others as Jesus commands us… while at the same time pounding loudly on the issue of THEIR (the “others”) responsibility. That, dear friends, is hypocrisy.

A core concern is “social gospel” meaning that there are those who are “so focused on practical matters of sinful society they have rejected, ignored or stopped preaching the very gospel of Christ”.

I hear that complaint and agree it has -some-, some I say… merit. What has much greater merit is the very Word of God such folks often ignore while applying it to others.

For your consideration:

I am convinced God’s OWN heart and view rather than yours, mine or any particular local church, stream or denomination among us is THE moral, ethical and actual high ground of truth. This is not something I wish to debate. Where the issue explodes is whether we apply only those verses that comfort as opposed to confront -us-.

It was a murderer who asked the question “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

That term “keeper” in Hebrew means to keep, guard, observe, in essence “to care for”. The idea that it’s all about the individual doing it all for themselves apart from anyone else is not a biblical concept with zero link to you and I caring for others. Standing at a distance and judging them has zip to do with scriptural love.

Jesus commands us to love, love our very enemies, “give to the one who asks of you”! There is no debate about these very words of His in the Gospels which ARE the Gospels. Divorcing the Good News from the action of sharing what others need is not a Bible truth. It is a human re-direct, a “legal loophole” game with no footing but is in fact a division from Jesus’ Own teaching and example. “Command” is the accurate term and if you know His words you know this to be beyond debate.

The argument happens when it comes to applying The Book of Truth to our daily relationships.

The mirror of God’s commands are ever to be trusted above our own hearts and defenses, for before Him “none is righteous”. In and through Jesus Christ alone, in and by His grace via faith (both undeserved, unearned gifts from Him!) we have ground and example of how to treat our neighbor.

Church- how are we doing at this?

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn


Out of Prison Again :) !

SUPER Cool time w. my friends Todd Anthony Joos & The Revelators yesterday at Dixon Correctional Center (Dixon, IL). We had nearly a full house of perhaps 375 men who were appreciative and attentive to our music and message. So good!

Now to one of my amazing grandson’s Birthday party, a bit of rest, and more recording this week.

After a long (and just unloaded the gear) but SWEET day at Dixon CC -outside Cellar Records, Dixon, IL

These sets are so very important to me and I likely get more out of them than those incarcerated do. For many, such events are few and far between as many inmates are locked up for a loooong time and just don’t get the opportunities to get out.

Some prisons do a 23×1 day meaning they are in a cell but for one hour per day.

And then there is the solitary confinement matter… whew.

My main concern is that our nation is far too often focused on punishment rather than restorative justice. God help us!

So tomorrow night Cook Co. Jail Chicago for me.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

Universal Salvation (Etc.)?

Someone recently asked me to reply on some issues re. judgment (God’s judgment as well as justice issues) saying many friends seem to be talking about God never allowing anything “but good” to come to us and due to that He’d never allow anything “bad” to come our way, etc., therefore no eternal separation from Him or He is no longer “a good God”. What follows is my (edited for clarity) response.

“Without doing a serious Bible study/theological/doctrinal thesis on the points you and others raise on it, here’s my short reply. God IS only good, but His view of good doesn’t always match with human judgment (get it?) on what is and is not truly good.

Grace is real and unmerited favor, mercy and love of God without which we’d all be in seriously horrid soup… and more specifically, hell, hell and other such things have once again been nicely “done away with” in teachings and beliefs. There are those on both ends re. both spectrums who have camped hard in one or the other -it’s either grace or judgment. God is God of both -and He does both perfectly whether we like or accept Him or His Word or His Own sense of right/wrong, mercy and justice or not.

What this all comes down to is not only The Bible but the God that assemblage of books reveals. The murk is not in there as I see it, but in human judgment of both God and it. If there is nothing (and I mean nothing) in The Bible re. God being both merciful AND judge of humankind, both here and hereafter, it comes down to what we like, don’t like, think or do not think. “Personal/direct revelation” alone.

In other words, we are our own “canon”, our own “scripture”, between our own ears. The key doctrine you’re referring to is universal salvation which a very few well-known churchmen believed in over the ages -and I will say that due to a number of issues in each of them (rather than mere scripture interpretation) but that’s another long bit of historical research and discussion.

The real matter is we fashion God in our own image… God made us in HIS image (and as someone wisely said) “and we’re trying to return the favor”. Only the history of humankind is brutal with or without faith in Jesus or The Bible. I’d say people masquerading as God get the sick prize far beyond the God of The Book.

A MAJOR problem is using The Bible to justify our sin, even to somehow erase that there IS such a thing as sin in us, that there is a judgment seat before which every knee will bow -and we are not then nor now on the throne of God.

That again and again is my take on these and most other like issues. There are SOOOO many passages just out of Jesus’ Own mouth in the 4 Gospels alone that speak of God orchestrating and/or clearly allowing “bad things” to come upon His people PRIOR to the day of judgment itself… so this does get to be a “pick and choose” or “re-interpret The Bible to suit ourselves” sort of matter. Which, by the way, has been a common problem from Adam and Eve (“Did GOD SAY…”). Yep. He did.

And in that He is God and perfect He neither needs human permission nor to change due to our judgment -of Him. Whew. Always a mess when the clay pretends to be the potter.” -Glenn

There is still “nothing new under the sun” and further the last passages in Ecclesiastes tell us: “v13  The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. v14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

As always, thanks for stopping by my site. -Glenn

Two -MAY- Equal One

Early on in my spiritual walk I happened to meet two basic sorts of people among professing Christians- and began to be concerned about both.

The one was typically nice, quite open, creative, often went into their imagination, not closed to fresh or new ideas and would be the kind of person you could mention most anything to and not worry about them looking at you “sideways” wondering if they shouldn’t turn you in to a “higher authority” of some sort for a “proper beating”.

On the other hand I began to meet the curmudgeon sort of individual. They were rather cemented into a spiritual and social “slot”, often deeply serious, quick to criticize anything different and particularly outside of their view of right and acceptable, small in mind and sadly, often in heart.

I’m clearly speaking in general terms and certainly there are overlaps between these two, got that! The other important point is whether one or the other is our typical go-to state or simply an occasional plane of operation.

The first type individual could truly be undependable and flighty, undisciplined, the second sort stable and constant while sometimes horrid about community, collaboration or team playing. The first might show up to join a group and within a short time run off to chase butterflies in the wind never to be seen again. The second sort being so very independent would rarely join in unless in full charge (or satisfied a militant like them is) and left unchecked, drive others off to the extent the team might even cease to exist.

I know both of these personalities well because I’ve often seen them in my mirror in the morning.

The churches (and rest of society on earth) are loaded with both kinds of people -and when it comes to biblical pronouncements and interpretation, both general personalities also appear.

While we all bring good and bad stuff to any table and likewise to our reading and sharing of Bible truths, it is not merely interpretation methodology and skill (sorely needed for all of us who say we love God’s Word, His Church and those not yet following Jesus!) but also our personality which needs serious consideration.

The habits and associated strengths and weaknesses that manifest in meetings with people, social media exchanges, certainly in our marriages and interaction with family, friends, co-workers and yes, enemies seem to me to often lean one way or the other re. the two general pools I’ve mentioned in this post.

I’ve never expected to agree with everyone about everything -and certainly we must learn to listen, offer grace, even forgiveness when we feel wronged, misunderstood or perhaps experienced some kind of “inquisition” among “spiritual” people.

The other side of the coin is that we have at times been the problem as much as they due to our own flippant “WHATEVER… IT’S ALL RELATIVE… UHHHH… I DON’T CARE” all the way to “SIT DOWN YOU IDIOT WHO TOLD YOU YOU COULD BELIEVE -THAT- DEMONIC NONSENSE [YOU IGNORANT] LITTLE TWIT?!”.

On one hand we can be so open to new views regarding scripture we reject sound, carefully exegetical truth while on the other we can be so closed to at least considering a fresh understanding we ourselves have in reality simply become a modern version of the scribes, pharisees and religious hypocrites who were not loving God and neighbor but rather passing harsh judgment on all who don’t agree with the illustrious and self-righteous US.

I cannot control anyone and at times find it (hmmm… you too??) quite difficult to control myself.

The fruit of the Spirit which Paul mentions in the fifth chapter of Galatians takes not only general faith in the Lord but surrender and co-operation on my part to GROW in -and every one of those nine (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) are -ready for this?: THE STUFF OF GOOD RELATIONSHIP-BUILDING, MAINTENANCE AND, GROWTH.

It’s not merely truth but attitude towards others we must face up to in our own life.

If you know me well you are aware I lean toward the more open side of things- but not by a long shot do I believe the scriptural truths have or do change, not one iota. God is perfect, unchanging, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever and what God thinks, says and (beyond mere belief) knows as truth isn’t going to change regardless of the human race nor any of our individual ideas of anything.

The issue is whether we interpret and apply scripture on the basis of sound exegesis or our individual personality -and the second is massive in what we believe and at times saddle others with in terms of both our judgment and our application of scripture.

Further, one must consider what sort of friends (if any) we both want and have this side of heaven. Which of these might you be most comfortable with? For balance I’d say you need- yes need- to hang around both. Learning to live in love and grace with ALL is Christ’s call to those claiming to follow Him.

Lastly, what sort of witness of both the love and truth of Jesus are we currently equipped to share with versus demand of others in the process of living and walking together on the road?

Perhaps important matters to consider?

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Politics in the Church??!

Ready? The old phrase is that you don’t talk about politics or religion and then everything will be fine! Only it won’t so that’s really not true. The point of course, is civil discourse so don’t talk of things that might cause disagreement. Obviously civility has taken a hike in the past several years.

But many of you won’t be ready to face this:

White folks who regularly rebuke others saying “Stick to the Gospel and quit talking politics, it just divides people!” are themselves A. often (not always of course) if they were truly honest, really saying “If you had voted like I did I wouldn’t mind so much.” B. The majority of the black churches in the United States have a long history of political organizing specifically due to Jim Crow laws back in the day, the new Jim Crow of incarceration, etc., needs for city and county response re. neighborhood infrastructure and other needs not being met via local politicians (by FAR white).

So what are we saying about our black brother and sister CHRISTIANS in CHURCHES who often sponsor politically leaning and organizational neighborhood meetings, function as polling places and such?

“Preach the Gospel and enjoy your “place” in the back of the bus”?

We talk of grace but those folks didn’t earn it like we did?

Ignorance, denial of racism perhaps? Yes. Sometimes that’s exactly what’s going on but most whites wouldn’t admit we talk against minority people, “the other” in just that way when we call folks out on the basis of “Gospel and spirituality”.

The fact is, love costs and it may well cost the white majority politically -which means plenty of white Christians in the U.S.A. are about as angry and/or afraid as they can be.

So you want followers of Jesus to quit talking about politics? I don’t think that’s the gut truth. I think being the majority, the dominant power, the very thing we cling so hard to and are so rarely willing to share or even relinquish re. both church leadership and political dominance are idols like all idols, that need to go.

I think loving our neighbor rather than running the show, especially if they are among “the least of these”, is a cross that many of us have avoided far too long.

Yes, let’s talk religion and politics, and in the words of Bob Dylan, “Let us not talk falsely now, the hour’s getting late.”

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn


A myth is just a myth neither fact nor history though it may well allude to both. Made-up stories of imaginary gods to help explain the trials and ambiguities of life. Sometimes Christians and the Bible are referred to in this way. Sometimes professing believers are indeed mythologists in various areas- and there is always the possibility those who dis-believe create myths of their own much like those they criticize.

By now I’ve likely mentioned in my writings one of the supreme myth-busting moments of my life happened as I sang lead in a band one night as a teenager.

I was far underage so should have not been in the place at all much less drinking right through the night but none of that was uncommon for me.

It was likely either a Friday or Saturday but in any case, the club was packed out, the band was cooking along, somewhere in mid-song I opened my eyes just a bit (sweat and salt kept ’em shut mostly) and right in front of me below the stage stood the vice-principal and physical education teacher from my public school.

At the time I was perhaps 16 or maybe 17, but in any case, both of them and I recognized one another and at the same instant mouthed “What are YOU doing here?!!”

I shrugged laughing. Everyone at my high school knew I was in a band, had always been in bands so no big revelation. Much of the time my bandmates were four or more years older than I and so doing shows in places like that were common and they likely figured that out quick.

What was really strange (for a moment) in my view was they each had a drop-dead beautiful blond lady on their arm -and I may be mistaken but I think one of those guys was married- and not to the babe. But it was date-night and for me quite strange to see them in that situation.

What happened inside my head was a major (duhhhh smh) revelation: nobody is a god. Not my parents, grandparents, teachers, no politician, pastor, cop, fireman, general, admiral, nobody in authority, no “big shot” anywhere was somehow and automatically a sort of deity. They were all (indeed, like many Greek mythological gods) quite human-like in terms of… well… sin. They, like me, could do incredibly stupid or remarkably brilliant, destructive death-bringing things, make choices with horrible and far-reaching or truly life-giving decisions. All of them. And all of us. And nobody is God but God.

This for me became and continues to be a deep and informing reality as I consider writing, speaking, lyricism, worship, attitudes and actions in my own life, those of my family, church, local and national government, on and on.

Either we pretend to be deity or we humbly bow before and serve God and others as the flawed, imperfect yet God-focused humans we are. But to ascribe some sort of sinless perfection to -or offering absurd levels of respect to people purely due to their station/position in life seems to me, a practical but foolish mythology but worse, it can and likely at times does border on idolatry.

Your idols, like mine, have feet of clay. No matter how amazing, loving, gifted, inspiring, they all -and you and I dear reader, “have feet of clay.” All have sin nature. All make mistakes. All will let you down and sometimes if your focus is too much on them and too little on the true Redeemer, you will likely begin to dislike if not eventually despise them for being… just like you and me.

In my case, this and a few other seminal experiences helped me understand that nobody but Jesus could be considered literally perfect, utterly trustworthy and completely faithful in all their ways. It brought me to a sense of compassion, forgiveness and common sense regarding human relations that are rather important for both respecting people but also not setting them on a pedestal from which I could “righteously” blame them and knock them down later.

At the time I suppose I even envied and was jealous of the blonds but harsh judgments, even prior to coming to follow Jesus began to get washed from my thinking about them.

They, like myself, were human, sinners in need of the only Savior.

I am deeply grateful grace began it’s work in me even through those days.Thanks to Jesus, it continues, but I’m grateful God began that work, even in that time and place.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

First ELECTRIC Guitar Ever?

Miku (whom I discovered some time ago in does amazing work- you can see this Polish wunderkind’s beautiful and intriguing art-cigarbox-gits at his website (with a lightning-fast “translate” button for English speakers):

What I want to highlight now is something he posted in cigarboxnation a couple of years ago.

While nobody’s 100 percent certain who actually built The First electric guitar, often Les Paul and Rickenbacker come up when you do the research. So I find the following amazingly interesting (I created the tiny url link, it’s safe):

Quite possibly the world’s first electric guitar:

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

New Electric Diddley Bow Slide Guitar Build

BassStringDiddleySliderSo in that I needed a diddley bow (one stringer) and had an old piece of quite warped wood lying around BOWEDneckForDiddleyBow

-and a cool box just sent (thanks Jack and Jean!) from longtime friends in Florida, and a fresh pickup… why not BUILD one?

This time I laid the bar-type pickup alongside the neck under the top near where the neck meets the body, put a bass string on ‘er and tuned it to C.

I sanded, then stained the neck with hot coffee grounds just to match the box a bit more.

Hadn’t built a git for quite some time and decided as I’m getting close to finishing my tracking on the next recording project, the song needed a fresh one as opposed to using any of my many other diddleys.

Also used one of my bud Shane Speal’s amazing slides to work that string 🙂

And now to work out.

She was fun to make and is a joy to play.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

GK Appearance Schedule- March 2019 Update

Wendi’s knee replacement rehab is going so very well, so proud of my amazing girl- thanks for prayers all!

So I will begin to do more shows this month, and here’s the update. A LOT of gigs booked right through October but as usual we’ll publicize them about one month ahead of time right through the year.

You can check here bottom right for links to my various other WordPress blog sites, Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as GrrrRecords.Com (in the Shows section there) for updates as well.

The recording sessions are going amazing, nearly done with all my parts, then on to various guests doing their work. First of two books is in the editing stage. Doing a great deal more song writing as well.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn


MON. 11 Cook County Jail, Chicago

MON. 18 Cook County Jail, Chicago

FRI. 23 Dixon (IL) Correctional Center w. Todd Anthony Joos and The Revelators

MON. 25 Cook County Jail, Chicago