James Meehan - How Should Christians Respond to Sha'Carri Richardson's Suspension?
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Vince Parker: Well, welcome to Culture Makers World. Today we are talking the NBA finals.
James Meehan: Come on.
Vince Parker: How to make new friends.
James Meehan: Okay.
Vince Parker: And what happened to Sha'Carri Richardson.
James Meehan: Oh, let's go.
Vince Parker: James, how you doing?
James Meehan: I am doing wonderful. I've missed you.
Vince Parker: I've missed you too. You missed me so much that you switched brand new locations on me.
James Meehan: Yep.
Vince Parker: Did you? You didn't tell me we were moving.
James Meehan: Yeah, they didn't tell me.
Vince Parker: I just had to figure it out on my own.
James Meehan: What my favorite part about this place is that the lighting is a little bit different.
Vince Parker: It is nice.
James Meehan: And so when I wore these jeans last time, they looked so white that I literally had to cut holes in the jeans because I didn't want to be people think I was wearing white pants. I'm not that kind of guy. And if you are that kind of guy, nothing wrong, no shade, no hate. I think it's great for you. Just not for me. All right ask a question. Save me Vince!
Vince Parker: Here's a question for you. How do you make new friends?
James Meehan: Ah man, the best way to make a friend is to be a friend.
Vince Parker: Okay. That's, that's good. Could you expand please?
James Meehan: I mean I could.
Vince Parker: But please do.
James Meehan: Yeah, I think this is such a great question. I remember both my freshman year of high school and my senior year of high school. I went to a brand new school where I didn't know anybody. Now, my freshman year of high school, I took a bad approach. Senior year took a better approach. So let's start with the bad way to do it. My freshman year of high school the way I made a bunch of friends was I got into a fight at lunch and just beat the snot out of a kid.
Vince Parker: Like a prison mentality? Like you watch way too many movies?
James Meehan: Listen bro. I was angry. Okay? I had a lot of issues. I didn't know Jesus. And so on that lunch, this guy is saying some stuff about my sister that's not appropriate. So I told him "Hey, if you say something else about my sister imma punch you in the face". And so, you know what he did?
Vince Parker: He said something about your sister.
James Meehan: And then you know what I did?
Vince Parker: You punched him in the face.
James Meehan: Listen, listen, listen. And so I'm like the new kid at school. I get into a fight in the lunch room where everybody sees it. And after that, a bunch of people want to be my friend because like, oh man, this guy's cool. He's tough. And so I made a bunch of friends, but they weren't great friends. And I was a terrible person. So that is a bad one way to make friends. Like it made friends, but not the right kind of friends.
Vince Parker: Okay.
James Meehan: Now my senior year of high school went to a new school, had to meet a bunch of new people because it was in a new state where I didn't know anybody. And so what I did is I decided, you know what, I'm going to go, like try out for one of the teams. So I joined the football team, even though I'm terrible at football. But through that process, I got to meet some great people that loved Jesus, were a great influence on me. We started hanging out at football practice, which then as I started to ask them questions and get to know them afterwards, we started hanging out outside of that. Then from there I decided, you know what? I'm not very good at football. I think I could wrestle. So let me wrestle. And I started wrestling and I've made some great friends. And so honestly, what it was was it was finding shared experiences with other people that I could be a part of. Now, I think that that was helpful for me in school because I wasn't a part of a church. But now I think one of the best things that you can do to make friends cause to be a part of a great church. If you live near one of our official locations, we've got switch in real life that happens on Wednesday nights throughout the school year. Or if you live somewhere else where you're not around people, or maybe you can't yet leave your house because of the restrictions in your community. Switch online is a fantastic place where you can find friends from around the world that are hoping to grow closer to God and make other great friends as well.
Vince Parker: That's good. What I love about that James is, it's about creating shared experiences.
James Meehan: Come on.
Vince Parker: The right shared experiences because those will lead to healthy friends.
James Meehan: Come on.
Vince Parker: But if you do unhealthy things, you will get unhealthy friends.
James Meehan: Okay.
Vince Parker: So that's that's good, James. I like that. Okay, there's a lot to unpack on this next one. NBA finals.
James Meehan: Yes.
Vince Parker: Okay, you got the Milwaukee bucks. You got the Phoenix suns.
James Meehan: Okay.
Vince Parker: Now, first of all.
James Meehan: Sun's out guns out.
Vince Parker: Okay. So is that your pick?
James Meehan: No. If it ain't the bucks, they probably sucks.
Vince Parker: Okay. Okay. James likes to rhyme. He's a, he's a inspiring rapper so that's good. The Bucks haven't been in the NBA finals in 47 years.
James Meehan: Come on, dude. Yes. And here's the thing.
Vince Parker: So the great freak Giannis.
James Meehan: Antetokounmpo, that's my guy.
Vince Parker: They got Nwora, he was injured. You know he wasn't injured the whole time but the last couple of games, he was injured. They made it, you know, they made it pass the Hawks. And then you have the Phoenix suns, which have Chris Paul and he makes any team on is better. And they haven't been to final in 10 years.
James Meehan: Sure.
Vince Parker: And this is Chris Paul's first time ever in the NBA finals.
James Meehan: Interesting. I didn't even know that part.
Vince Parker: Yeah. Every year he would get better, but he just kept saying "Hey, I got to get there. There's still something". So I'm excited to use the congratulations, Chris Paul, who, if you know, I'm just send this to him. I'm rooting for, I'm rooting for the Suns.
— Yeah, yeah and I'm rooting for the Bucks because here's the deal, 47 years since they've been to the finals, just like the Israelites wandered 40 years in the wilderness.
— Oh man!
— Before God delivered them to the promise land. It's gonna be grand. Come on, give him a hand.
— Wow. That's good. Okay.
— I think I'm done with that I'm out of rhymes.
— Tell us who you are rooting for in the NBA finals
— Come on, comment down below.
— Okay. Next up, Olympics. We kind of talked about it's coming up real quick.
— Yup. Sha'Carri Richardson.
— Qualifies super fast. She was like the fastest person in college. Like one of the fastest freshmen ever. She tested positive for smoking marijuana.
— And so she got suspended for 30 days.
— Okay? Now the community around athletes surrounding us are kind of, I don't want to use the word uproar, but they're kind of like "Hey, this has no additional purposes. This is legal in some states".
— My question to you is, how does one deal with when the rules are different than what you may disagree with? They may be over here, but the governing body that she's a part of says "Hey, this is banned". And so it's 30 days. How does one navigate those waters?
— Yeah. It is really tough because of the fact that depending on where you live, there are different regulations.
— Now for somebody who is an aspiring Olympic athlete. Who's qualified for the Olympics. I do think that the same level of attention to detail and seriousness that goes towards all of her training should probably also go towards understanding the regulations of this, you know, regulating body that oversees the Olympics and American athletes going to it. And so I think that's the thing that's tough. Where, yeah like when you break the rules, there are going to be consequences. And I think that that's the unfortunate reality that it can be really frustrating when somebody feels like, well, I just didn't know that those were the rules. Right, I think that's one of the most frustrating things imaginable is getting in trouble for breaking a rule you didn't know existed. Right. I remember I used to get so angry when stuff like that would happen. I think that's why it's important for us in those instances to ask the question, okay, when that happens to me, because that's probably gonna happen to all of us at some point in our lives, how will I respond? Will I choose to respond by, you know, getting really angry and upset and blaming everybody else? Or will I take ownership? Will I learn from it and get better moving forward? And I think that's the thing that I really appreciate about a lot of people is in situations like this, they realize, you know what? That sucks. That's frustrating. I don't agree with it. But instead of just wasting a bunch of energy fighting it, I'm going to learn from it and move forward.
— And that's been her approach from everything I'm seeing is she's, she's owned it and lived up to it. So.
— And what's great is because she hasn't had like tried to fight that battle herself.
— Other people have spoken up for her. And I think what that does is that showed you that there are other people that are willing to have your back. If you're willing to do the work, to do what matters and just stay focused on what's most important.
— Real quick, James movies are back. They never actually left, you know they were on streaming services. But now around most of the US, I know we have a larger audience in the US, but theaters are opening up and big time movies are back in theaters. Okay. So we're not necessarily a movie review section, but to our watchers I have to let people know.
— Black Widow, theaters, July ninth.
— July ninth, when is that?
— That's like, I don't know, four days, maybe.
— Cause today's the sixth. Three days? Yeah, yeah.
— Three days?
— Come on, bro. I'm very pumped for it.
— Do I need more?
— Okay. All right. You see, James is very pumped for it.
— I'm excited.
— Mister come on!
— Come on!
— Is really pumped for it.
— Okay. I'm really excited it's gonna be great! Come on somebody.
— The other day, well, about a week ago I watched a different movie.
— Called F9 Fast Saga, Fast and the Furious part nine. You know, once car movie now action movie.
— And I have to say this.
— What's interesting to me is in the same way that they changed movie genres. Where it used to be like a racing series. Now it's just action out the wazoo. They also change the way they name every single movie.
— They have no rhyme or reason.
— There is no consistency. It's just.
— You think the next one is going to be called F10.
— But it's probably not.
— It's not gonna be.
— It's not. I just need to say this to our viewers. It's the most over the top movie I've ever seen. Every Avenger movies I've ever seen is more believable than F9.
— Oh yeah for sure. That does not surprise me whatsoever.
— It's action packed.
— Is it worth it to go see it?
— Yeah. If you just pretend you're watching a Marvel movie, you're like, that could happen. But Hey, what's some of your favorite movies that you're looking forward to seeing this summer? Let us know. We'd love to know. Just put it in the comments below. James, here we go.
— Okay. Are these questions from the viewers?
— From the viewers.
— Come on keep asking your questions. We love to answer them. Make sure to type them down below in the comment section. Is that what they call it?
— Is it the comments section or the chat section? People will chat in the comment section. Yeah. Blah, blah, blah.
— Yeah, we'll keep that in.
— Here we go. Questions.
— Asked this. What do you do when a friend asks you out, but you don't want to date them? You're not interested in them then like that.
— Fantastic question.
— How do you respond to that?
— It's easy you just do what Jesus would do. Say "look, I'm taken, I'm dating the church". Because the church is the body of Christ. Jesus is. Yup.
— Okay. That sounds like an amazing Jesus Juke. Maybe there's another response to that.
— The rest of the world would say.
— Ah, shots fired. Feedback received, feedback applied. I think it's important to do the best you can to honor the person asking the question while also telling them the truth.
— Right? Like this person made themselves vulnerable to you by expressing their affection for you. And so you don't want to just like stomp all over their feelings. You want to do the best you can to maintain a healthy friendship while also telling them what you really feel, because it's not helpful for them if you don't tell them what you're actually feeling. It's also not helpful for them if you lie and say yes to go out with them, if you don't actually want to be in a relationship with them. Like neither of those are helpful. What I would say is do the thing that Jesus modeled, bring grace and truth into the conversation and you'll have a grace for the individual, but tell them truth with your response. And so a way you might respond to this person saying "Hey, I really appreciate you being willing to share your feelings for me. The truth is I really value our friendship and I don't see us having a relationship like beyond that. And I really want to honor your friendship". And right now, for me in this season, I'm maybe not dating anybody. I'm focused on becoming who God's made me to be. And I'm not planning on starting to date until later in the future. Or maybe you are dating people right now. And you're a, middle-schooler, stop doing that. Middle-schoolers shouldn't date. I feel strongly about that. Some of your middle schoolers dating each other on TikTok, that doesn't even make sense.
— Right? I once heard, if you can't pick someone up yourself in a car.
— Like physically. If you're not strong enough to lift them up.
— Okay, that's taking it to the next level. If you're not physically strong enough to lift up the person then can't take him on a date.
— That's good.
— Okay, that's.
— But, but, but for real though, I think truth and grace. Honor the person asking the question, tell them how you really feel and let them know that you value the friendship. That's what you want to have. And because of that, you don't see there being a romantic relationship because that's not what you're feeling towards them. And it might be awkward. It might be uncomfortable. But I think that's going to be the best thing long-term for both of you.
— Molly says, "can you listen to non-Christian music"?
— Can you? Yes. Should you? That's the question.
— Should you?
— So here's the deal. I think it's a matter of what you choose to let in to you. And what's the response that you have out of that. There's oftentimes that people will listen to music for the beat, the you know, not even necessarily the lyrics, the words. And they say, people often hear a song 10 times before they actually resonate with the lyrics of the song.
— Interesting, yeah.
— Because it's the beat that's catchy and you're just bobbing along like "oh, that's my jam". But you've actually have heard the lyrics 10 plus times. Right? And so if that song is singing about things that don't uplift God, or take you in a wrong direction, because it's like, "oh, let's party, or let's do wild and crazy things or let's mistreat a particular group of people or whatever". Next thing you know, just because you're listening to. Ah, there was a once a video I saw where someone was like, this song was like, boom, ah ah, boom, boom, boom, ah ah ah. And they just like, yeah, that's my jam. But then they just added like murder, murder, kill, ah ah. Murder, murder, murder, kill, ah ah. And they were still like, that's wait, hold up.
— I don't know if that's my jam anymore dude.
— But instill we do that with the things we listen to, you know? So we need to be careful. We might love the musicality of something, but what's it actually saying? And is it the things that it's actually saying, do we want to let that be a part of our everyday life? There are lots of songs out there that aren't Christian songs that talk about the struggles that we go through, right? Like the song Driver's License. I forget who sings it.
— Olivia Rodrigo, high school musical the musical the series.
— She has like nine top 10 songs, or like on the top 10 charts.
— Dang bro.
— Clearly she's talking about how she was dating someone. She was looking forward to getting her driver's license so they could go hang out together. She drives. But by the time they've broken up, he's dating someone else. That's a hurting pain. You know, I don't think there's anything wrong with listening to that.
— But there are other songs out there that talk about mistreating women or men, or they talk about partying too much or things like that. Then it goes, if you listen to that and it makes you walk down that path, then I would avoid listening to those songs. So, can you? Yes. Should you? Depends on the song and what's it about one.
— Well one of my favorite quotes is from a Greek philosopher, Damon of Athens, who once said "that if I could write the song of a generation, I wouldn't care who gets to write the laws". And he was communicating this reality that the music we listen to shapes us, that's why in most church services, there's a part of the service where we're singing songs to declare our worship for God. Because what we understand is that the songs we listen to and the songs that we sing, actually have an impact on who we are and who we become. And so I think it's, yes. That question, can you? Absolutely. Should you? Maybe sometimes as long as it's not turning you into a scumbag.
— Ooh, that's good. As long as you aren't gonna become a scumbag. Okay James next question. Faith Akia says this. "What advice would you give people who are struggling with addiction"?
— Yeah, that's a really big question. And so the first advice that I would say is number one, get help.
— Okay. Don't try to do it on your own. As human beings, none of us were meant to do life alone. We were all meant to be surrounded by other people and in a relationship with our heavenly father. And it is through that relationship with others, other people, and with God that you can get strength that you don't actually have on your own to overcome some of these really, really significant challenges. And depending on what kind of addiction it is, the kind of help you need might be professional medical help. Because the reality is is that for certain substances, whether drugs and alcohol, if you develop a strong enough addiction for some of these things, the withdrawal effects from coming off of it can be crippling. And this is why it's super important for us as followers of Jesus to yes, make it a spiritual thing, but also do the practical things to overcome these addictions and deal with them in a way that's healthy and that's life-giving. And so I would say, get help, get help from your heavenly father, get help from your spiritual community and also get help from like trained professionals who know how to work with people to overcome these addictions, whatever kind of addictions they might be.
— Let your family know, let your parents reach out to them, get the medical help, but prayer is a powerful thing. God can do all things can provide healing in all types of ways. But Hey, one last question, James here.
— Let's go.
— This is from jobbing Joseph. Is Christian hip hop good or not?
— That's a great question. What do you think?
— I love some Christian hip hop.
— What are like the best Christian hip hop artists?
— It's interesting Some of the best Christian hip hop artists will say they're Christians who do hip hop.
— Hmm. Come on.
— That being said, Lecrae is one of my favorite, Tripoli, a 1K phew. Andy Mineo is probably my top. I would say lots of great Christian hip hop artists out there. Go on Spotify type in Christian hip hop. Some of my favorite workout playlist are Christian hip hop playlists. They're just great. Great music, great beats with a great message.
— Ooh. Okay, come on.
— Great beats with a great message.
— Best of both worlds. I like that.
— Yeah, that's good. So thank you guys so much for watching Culture Makers. Like, share, comment, ask us your questions. We'd love to know. We're here for you. Love you guys. James anything else before we get out of here? All right, peace. We'll see you guys later.
— See ya.