Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Apples, Snakes, & Western Civilization

i don't believe it was an apple that Eve ate, or a snake that convinced her to do it. i don't believe the story is just man made, or that God is a liar for telling it. i do believe that God is bigger than Western Civilization and finds our history books to be about as dry as Chips Ahoy cookies on a gas station shelf.

i do believe that each of us is meant to discover him or herself as an Adam or an Eve. We are to recognize ourselves eating the forbidden fruit and hiding in the bushes. When we commit some absurdly selfish act, and begin to feel distant from God and others, we realize our own nakedness, as the Emperor once did. When we begin to feel distant from God on account of it, we understand that it is not him hiding from us, but us hiding from him. When we finally get the courage to come out of the bushes, it is not because we have discovered God's forgiveness, but because our own memory has had sufficient time to lapse and consider it "in the past" and fool itself into thinking this is the "new me" and that was the "old me", and we believe God and others will accept the "new me" and agree that the "old me" was ignorant and say "it's all in the past."

Truth is, God knew the real us the whole time, and was just waiting for us to come out of the bushes and put on the new clothes he was holding out to us.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Chasing Rabbits

no doubt i sometimes wonder if reimagining Christianity is even useful. i suppose i really think it is more of a "rediscovering" than a "reimagining". That is, i believe Christianity to have been hijacked by a modernist agenda with an aim to capitalize on absolute knowledge and separate the gray into black and white.

So what we are left with is a bunch of answers to all the questions we ever imagined, and we called this faith and surety. [question the answers]

What we leave behind is all that is useful and practical for life and living together as a community (relationships).

Has Christianity been rediscovered? Are the latest movements bringing back what was lacking and sifting out what was added and embedded?

Why did Alice follow the Rabbit? She didn't know what he was about or where he was going. Did she in the end discover that it was better to wake up where she originally began, or did she begin again with a new perspective?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Altar Calls & Cocaine Nose Jobs

My wife and i were listening to a song by Jewel today (can't remember the name of it), where she is comparing advertisements for tooth whitening remedies with Christian tactics for selling Jesus...

"They say you're only half alive, until you give extra whitening a try..."

Jesus had some strange tactics of his own. When a large crowd began following him, he turned around and said, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple."

Then he told some stories to illustrate the ridiculousness of making a major decision without really considering the implications of it and whether you can carry it out.

Jesus' campaign tactics were radically different than either our politicians or Churches.

i wonder what Jesus would have to say about those emotional altar calls that ask you to lay it all down on the line after one really entertaining and dramatic message. After seeing some of these tactics used on recovering drug users, i realized it was a short term remedy for cocaine nose jobs.

We can no longer trick people into becoming followers of Christ. A little prayer at the Sunday morning altar isn't the end goal. In fact, i wonder if we ought try to persuade people to wait a little longer before they make a decision, hoping that they understand it is truly a call to enter into a completely different way of life.

Christ ought to be someone that is easy to walk away from. Not because he is irrelevant, but because the demands are outlandish. The mandate to love the unlovable, to seek the good of others before oneself, to fight against social injustice, to dispossess all that belongs to us, as though it is no more ours than our neighbors, to seek first a kingdom (way of life) that our culture has taught us to be diametrically opposed to.

It makes me wonder...have i thought it through?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Too Bad not to Watch

Thanks to Kerrissa for this discovery

Monday, March 05, 2007

Wandering Thoughts

Christians are no different than any other group or individual--we're on a quest, we're seekers. It is dangerous conceit to believe that we can ever be one with the spirit of God, that the quest for God has an end point, that you can have "success." Actually, it should come as no surprise that the Christian faith is more of a quest than a destination, for Jesus himself was a wanderer, the most famous peripatetic pilgrim ever to strap on a pair of sandals.
Tony Jones: The Sacred Way

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Revolution: Part IV

Jesus was a revolutionary. Much like Che, he saw the injustice in the world, both physical and spiritual poverty. His reaction was to heal on both levels. He cured the sick, caused the lame to walk and the blind to see, and spoke into the hearts and lives of people to bring wholeness.

Like Che, Jesus started his own revolutionary organization, called the Church. Yet unlike Che, the revolution was not to advance through aggression. It was to advance through witness and what he called "kingdom" activity. When Jesus teaches us about the kingdom of God, he teaches about loving one's enemy, caring for the hurt, desolate, and all who are incapable of meeting their own needs. He taught us to look past those cultural values that create castes, sects, and status so that we might see one another as equals, or even ourselves as servants to those in need.

Jesus' revolution is meant to be carried out by the Church, which is made up of all people who consider themselves followers of Jesus. Where the "Way" is actually lived out, there is a witness and there comes healing. Relationships are restored and kingdom values transform lives.