30 July 2006 

Give to Caesar what is Caesars.

Read this article from the New York Times. This is what I'm talking about. People outside this "emerging church" movement won't don't get this. But this guy is saying what he should be saying. The pulpit is no place for politics, and some evangelicals are starting to stand up for that. In Christ's ministry on earth, he never once brought up politics or government except for when we was asked directly about it. Jesus, indeed, Christianity, which if you want to break it down simply means the devoted followers of Jesus, is not about conquering the world through culture or politics or any other means. It's not about forcing the world to accept our moral standards, we can't even accept our moral standards, its not about eliminating sin, its about Jesus, first, last, and forever. If anything, anything overshadows that then it is blocking the work of the gospel and it is evil!

"Mr. Boyd said he never intended his sermons to be taken as merely a critique of the Republican Party or the religious right. He refuses to share his party affiliation, or whether he has one, for that reason. He said there were Christians on both the left and the right who had turned politics and patriotism into “idolatry.”


“I am sorry to tell you,” he continued, “that America is not the light of the world and the hope of the world. The light of the world and the hope of the world is Jesus Christ.”

Double that!

Mr. Boyd lambasted the “hypocrisy and pettiness” of Christians who focus on “sexual issues” like homosexuality, abortion or Janet Jackson’s breast-revealing performance at the Super Bowl halftime show. He said Christians these days were constantly outraged about sex and perceived violations of their rights to display their faith in public.

“Those are the two buttons to push if you want to get Christians to act,” he said. “And those are the two buttons Jesus never pushed.”

This is such a profound point. Christians react so negatively to anything they percieve as an attack on their faith because they think they have have some sort of right over others because they are Christians when in fact they should react exactly the opposite. Paul writes "but in humility, consider others better than yourselves." Jesus said, "the world has hated me, so to will it hate you." And he didn't say to lament that or resent it, he said that we are blessed for our persecution for being like Him. How then do you think he reacts, the man who bore the greatest injustice of all time in humility and love, when we are unwilling to humbler ourselves to the point of not being offended when people don't agree. He promised it would happen.

This is what I mean in my recent posts about "conservatism" and "liberalism." That these words are becoming too ingrained in religion when they should have nothing to do with the other. I agree with Pastor Boyd. I think abortion is wrong, and I think homosexuality is not God's ideal, but neither is anything in this world. It's not God's ideal that there should be any sin, and when we try to legislate morality we are missing the point of the gospel. If the gospel were about making a world where no one sinned, we would all be hopelessly damned. Praise God that we have a gospel that doesn't care if we are sinners, it tells us we are, God does not demand morality, he doesn't command you to vote Republican or crusade against abortion, only that you know Him and the work He did saving you on the cross and that you accept a gift you could not earn, forgiveness.

29 July 2006 


Twitterpated... you remember Bambi? That was a good word, I'm glad I read it tonight, and it made me think on somethings a bit. Twitterpation is nice, but oh so hard to come by. And... you know, you act like an idiot for a while, but for a while it is okay, cause there's this person and next to them everything else pales. I don't know how I feel about that as a picture of love, cause love is more gritty, but still, its a nice idea. I've been there, maybe still am :-).

I saw Lady in the Water tonight. It was good, it has recieved bad reviews, and I can see why, but I have to say to those people, what do you expect from your movies. As entertainment the movie shined. Shamalyan is wonderful autor. I love the ambience and nuiance in his movies. I can wholeheartedly recommend Lady in the Water to anyone, but leave your preconceptions at the door. Believe it when it calls itself a bedtime story, go in like a child, and accept what the story gives you. There's meaning to be found underneathe I suppose, but just watching it is oh so fun... I just wish he didn't feel like he had to put in all the tense *jumpy* moments. It's not really a thriller and when he does that he's just playing to all those people who want him to remake The Sixth Sense over and over again. As a filmmaker he has much more to offer than that, and if people would look past what they expect his films to be, they would appreciate that.

Tomorrow is my last day of work at the giftshop. I am somewhat saddened to see it go, it was a nice job, enjoyable even, but the week off for finals will be nice, even if I will be broke. So, the moral of this story is, see Lady in the Water, forget your expectations, and send me money. I love you, gnight.

27 July 2006 

Quick! Before you Age!

At the insistence of Chad's latest entry I feel inclinded to write 23 separate thoughts that may or may not be entertaining.

1. My five year class reunion is happening this Saturday in a beer tent in my hometown's summer festival. I will not be going and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

2. The advertising industry is all at once infuriating and wonderful. I really enjoy especially funny or clever ads, but for each of those there are 5 nondescript ones and 10 that insult my intelligence. Especially henious recently are the helio "don't call it a phone" ads. If what I see on tv is any indication, it ought to be really easy for anyone with a shred of intelligence to find a job in advertising.

3. Recently I see theological themes in everything I watch. Of course, I'm the things I'm watching aren't especially subtle in their messages: Kingdom of Heaven, Superman Returns, and Firefly... but still, God is everywhere.

4. People who have their significant other close at hand are spoiled.

5. Reading frequently and for fun is one of the most satisfying and time consuming activities you can engage in. Between my religious reading of the Wheel of Time series and history class this summer I estimate I've read over 3000 pages in the six weeks since I returned from Cedar Campus. Yowza!

6. Yesterday I made two half-hour long walks in the rain and I actually enjoyed them both. Rain is only inconvenient if you let it be.

7. I've been engaging in a lot of politically thinking recently. Not along party or candidate lines, but along theoretical lines and whether I really am conservative. I think that I am not.

8. If I were more idealistic I would be a socialist, but unfortunately I can't muster that much confidence in people.

9. John McCain is the perfect man to be the next president, after that... if not him, then I think I'm moving to England.

10. I want to live in England when I am married. Or some other English speaking foreign nation. Just me and my wife and lots of people with funny accents. Life couldn't be better.

11. Sometimes my friends call me at 6 in the morning, and I answer.

12. I've decided to buy a pipe and become a pipe guy. Lot's of people frown on smoking, but obviously, they have never smoked a pipe. Though I feel odd smoking it where others can see.

13. World of Warcraft is an amazing immersive experience. In terms of storytelling and lore creation, it is really something to be admired, on a par with the tales of Middle Earth or Oz, more so than Oz in fact.

14. It irks me that videogames are not considered worthwhile contributions to the realm of human creativity. Why is wasting 20 hours reading a book considered better for you than 20 hours absorbed in a masterfully crafted game world. In my opinion they are comparable experiences.

15. Is Al Gore going to try to run for President again? I liked him in 2000 but despite his image change I think he's just fanning the flames these days.

16. You cannot legislate morality. Why should I vote for President based on whether or not they support abortion or gay marriage when their job is to take care of things like education and infrastructure.

17. Does anyone really think that republicans are actually more moral than democrats? A republican is pro-life because their part demands it, it reflects nothing on the morality of the person as a whole.

18. I really do not believe that President Bush is as religious as people make him out to be, I love the fact that his offhand comments were caught by that mic at the G8 summit. I like that our president swears in front of other world leaders, and I also hope it shows something of his character to those who think him a Christian role model. Guffaw!

19. Attention mindless liberals: You cannot impeach a president because you do not like him, he has to actually break the law as defined by the legislative body you elected. Live with it, and maybe learn to think for yourselves.

20. It has been a long time since I've been swimming, and strangely, I miss it.

21. I enjoy the way that women conduct conversations more than men, that is to say, I generally enjoy talking with women more than men, cause women listen more.

22. GoodEats is my favorite television show. I really want it on DVD, someday I hope to cook everything that he does on that show. Someday.

23. Christians need to stop worrying and thinking about the rapture. I believe the bible is pretty clear on this. Expect it, but other than that... just live.

That was fun, thanks Chad!

16 July 2006 

Complexly Intricate and Tangled

I've written two posts now and deleted them. The jist of my thoughts are this: that we cannot understand this world, we are ignorant and weak passengers, whether we admit it or not. Those who claim the world is simple decieve themselves and are like a blind man on a treadmill, their world will forever remain small. Those who think it complex and shudder can either close themselves off to what they can understand, thereby missing the beauty of intricacy, or head out into the depths of confusion. I have lived much of my life like a man on a treadmill, moving, but not going anywhere. Leaving our small spaces requires understanding the world, and for that we were left a map, but as the world is complex, so too is the map. And if we want to understand it we must trust it and study it. Christianity is complex because the world is complex, and the world is complex because its creator is complex, just as those created in his image, you and I.

If any relationship in this world is going to succeed, it must first come to that. I am complex and you are complex, but in that complexity is simplicity. The Creator, God, Christ. It is only when we understand each other in terms of Christ that we can love, but that is the only simplicity we have. Life is complex, relationships with each other can be no different. If you want to be loved, if you want to be understood, if you want to be validated, go to Jesus, answers are there. I think the greatest gift that we were given in God's image is the ability to question, and the answers our greatest peace. Seek the Answer.

12 July 2006 

Change is coming.

I want this space to have a theme, if not of style, then of thought. I want it to be profound, and I want it to be simple. Excuse me while I work on these ideas please...

A quote:

"Eat less, chew more..."
-Eleanor Rosevelt

08 July 2006 

Here I Go

I am on my own now. For the first day in perhaps my entire life, I feel that my life is my own. Well, that's relative. But for the first time, I am alone. How dramatic I can be at times. But as my roommate Joey moved out this morning I found myself living alone for the first time. And my thoughts moved into the next few months, what that will look like, what it will feel like, what I will be doing. And I realized, that in a few short weeks, my life will not be bound to school. My life will not be bound to the family I grew up with, or even the college friends that I've made over the last five years. Where I go from here is open, and it is up to me. I was thinking what that will be like. Of all the people I know right now, its not likely that more than one of them will go with me. My life in a year will be filled with people I don't know yet. My friends in the coming year are likely people I haven't met yet. Where I will live and what I will do, are entirely open.

It's amazing in a sense. It's like having an epiphany. I'm an adult. Yipee! What will I do? It's scary, and exciting. I have been watching Lord of the Rings the last few days. And the journey of Frodo and Sam has really impressed upon me a sense of coming of age and the significance of that. Sam and Frodo leave all that they have known to spend a year on a great adventure, into the unknown with unknown people, and when they come back, they are no longer the same, changed, for better or worse. Grown-up, is what I would say. That's where I'm at, I'm setting off on that journey, heading to a place where my childhood is gone. Many feelings go with that. Many I don't want to address.

This week has been a week of looking back. A year ago this week was a very significant week in my life. It was the week that I told Mary how I felt about her, after fireworks on the fourth of July. It was the week that I left my role as a Cedar crew member to start one of the most formative months of my life in SLT. Thinking back to that now makes me realize how fast the years can go by, and makes me think of how short life is. Our years are but a briefly open window, and I am filled with the desire to do more with mine than I have so far. Waiting can be a part of life, but I think sometimes it robs us. What is important to us? They are worth waiting for yes... but not idly. And so, I go to wait, but not idly. This year is my adventure in a sense, to define myself, define my life, and to go after the desires God has breathed into the deepest part of my heart. I started that road today, and I will walk it further tomorrow, but my path is chosen, and perhaps that's where this feeling of freedom comes from. Chosing a path doesn't bind us, not if we've chosen well, it frees us to pursue that path with all God's given us, and to follow his will with a clear view, and a steady tread. Here I go.