Thursday, December 18, 2008

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

col.3:2-3

Sunday, December 7, 2008

"you are more evil than you have ever feared, and more loved than you have ever hoped."

- Mark Driscoll

Friday, December 5, 2008

today/tomorrow is the last day of classes this semester

I am up all night writing papers. This is my break.

pacifists should be more likely to believe in hell and judgment than just war people. people who think that it's ok to kill, but also believe in hell, shouldn't be in the business of sending people there. also, it's much easier to be a pacifist if you believe in ultimate justice, because if you are killed unjustly while peacemaking, then you get justice afterwards.

tonight at the store, a man wearing one of those reverend collars was asking me a question about products, and quickly made a point of mentioning his life partner. I got the impression he was fishing for a reaction to a gay clergyman. Anyway, I think I probably kept a straight face.

i think God has told me to employ missional profanity.

love and good manners are not the same thing. i know some very well-mannered people who don't truly give a crap, and people who deeply care but are rough around the edges. i say this because i think yacht people at eastern confuse love with manners, and so when they try to say things "lovingly," they are really just trying to be well-mannered, and frequently end up skirting the issue. i hate feeling pressured to adopt a certain tone of voice or a certain "acceptable" vernacular to be considered "loving." that isn't about love, it's about manners and social conformity, which only serve as masks.

this is the best working definition of "love" that i can come up with right now:

love = deep, authentic concern and action for the good of another, to the point of total self-sacrifice if necessary

today, prof. marshall was talking about how "this present evil age" is like a headache...and Jesus is like advil that we should take. i got really, really pissed off, because Jesus is not a fucking pain reliever. i have love for my uncle in Christ, prof. marshall, and one day he will stand before Jesus and give account for teaching rooms full of Christian-y kids heretical moral american religidolatry bullshit and leading them astray.

is that unloving? i mean i haven't slept in 24 hours, but i still think that, according to my above definition of love, i was so pissed off because i love God, the students, and prof. marshall.

anyway, i am almost done my work!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Finger of God

I watched this yesterday. Take the time and check it out, there are some crazy things and undisputably amazing things.






















still working on my beliefs about miracles. still trying to walk in humble obedience and be a child.

my favorite part is where they talk about baptizing new Iraqi Christians in Saddam's swimming pool.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

If I preached today, I would say this:

If Jesus is Lord of my life, he must be Lord of my wallet.

I hope there is a great future for the Bride of Christ repenting of our self-indulgence and living that out.

This is a letter to America, from God:

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.

- James 5:1-6

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Enlightening

I'm studying the Enlightenment, and what all those thinkers keep saying is really pissing me off. It's hard to keep reading. Here is one example, among many, of what they say:

"Our hopes for the future condition of the human race can be subsumed under three important heads: the abolition of inequality between nations, the progress of equality within each nation, and the true perfection of mankind...

The time will therefore come when the sun will shine only on free man who know no other master but their reason..."

- Antoine Nicolas de Condorcet, Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind

These statements seem so absurd to me, and the fact that they shifted the course of nations is really painful to consider. If there is one thing Lord Reason has told me, it's that humans are not reasonable.

1. The proper use of Reason requires a goal. But in every conceivable situation in which one can use Reason, people disagree on the goal. So what seems reasonable to you will seem foolish to me.
2. Can our own reason really be our "master"? All of our lives, we are influenced and taught by our experiences and surroundings. This plus our philosophical convictions (or lack thereof) make us all rather biased.
3. Psychologists have applied Reason to the human mind, and found it to be Unreasonable. They call this irrationality "Defense Mechanisms," because "All the Ways That We Lie to Ourselves So We Can Continue Feeling Good About Things" doesn't sell. The natural goal of the human mind is to be Comfortable, not Honest.

Besides that, it could be argued that it is precisely our ability to reason that allows us the freedom to be unreasonable. Deer don't reflect or ponder; they simply obey instinct, and as a result, their behavior is extremely predictable and logical. In a sense, they and all of nature are part of this cohesive rationality. It's stimulus, response. Natural selection is nothing if not the cold logic of survival imprinting itself upon a creature's essence. Humans are an exception: higher mental functions allow us to break free from this and do irrational things (i.e. depression/suicide).

But the real crux of my problem is, if Reason is Lord, then Jesus is not. But Reason gives us no reason to be good. Jesus says "Be perfect, as I am perfect," whether you agree with him or not. Reason says, "Do what seems logical to you," which is a major problem, because what seems logical to humans is often very destructive.

In short, I'm sitting here 8 years after the bloodiest century of human history, angry at Enlightenment thinkers for believing humanity to be innately good.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Jeremiah

"The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord,

'I remember the devotion of your youth,
your love as a bride,
how you followed me in the wilderness...

'For long ago I broke your yoke
and burst your bonds;
But you said, "I will not serve."
yes, on every high hill
and under every green tree
you bowed down like a whore...

'If a man divorces his wife
and she goes from him
and becomes another man's wife,
will he return to her?
Would not that land be polluted?
You have played the whore with many lovers;
and would you return to me? declares the Lord.'

- Jeremiah 2:2, 20-22; 3:1


I've never been cheated on. At least, if I have, I didn't know about it. But I think the pain would be pretty unbearable, if you genuinely gave someone your everything and they threw it away like that.

And here's God, claiming to be feeling that kind of pain, about his people. That blows my mind. Isn't the God of the Old Testament all about judgment and destruction? Frequently, but that becomes much more understandable if you put yourself in the shoes of a betrayed lover. Anyone who has been the victim of cheating will tell you they feel like doing some judgment and destruction. The issue is personal.

And that's the thing with sin, right? We tend to think of sins the way we think of crimes; they go against some standard, therefore they are "wrong" or "bad." But God's laws aren't the same as the government's laws; God's laws emerge from God's heart, from his very character. God is good. God is love. God is purity, truth, wholeness, joy, and peace. So when we violate love, or purity, or peace, we aren't just violating some arbitrary law God set up; we are violating God's very self. Sin actually hurts God's feelings. Isn't that nuts?

When I think of how much it hurts one human to be cheated on once by one human, with a human relationship, and human-sized love, the scope of God's pain becomes just incomprehensible. It's utterly beyond my understanding.

In 2 Corinthians 5:19, it says that "God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them." Seeing sin as cheating on God sheds new light on that reconcilation. It's not just that God forgives us like a judge pardons crimes; it's also that God forgives us like a betrayed lover. Picture Jesus on the cross, bearing the full weight not just of our crime and condemnation, but also the total emotional agony of all our whoredoms.

I just want to experience my sin the same way God experiences it: as pain. Because right now, I largely don't. I'm up on all the high hills, under all the green trees, whoring myself out and, in the moment, not even caring how my spouse feels about it. And yet, I come home every night and he embraces me as his own.

...Hallelu...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

what kind of death?

"The death of Christ was the supreme revelation of love...If Jesus had died a natural death, posterity would still treasure his teaching, coupled with the commentary of his life, as the most beautiful exposition of love. But its effectiveness was greatly increased by his death. Death has a strange power over the human imagination and memory...If a significant death is added to a brave and self-sacrificing life, the effect is great. A righteous man might well pray for this as the last great blessing of his life, that his death might interpret the higher meaning of his life and weld all his labors into one by the flame of suffering."

- Walter Rauschenbusch, from "A Theology for the Social Gospel"

Thursday, May 29, 2008

i have a blog

i used to use livejournal, but then stopped e-blogging. maybe i'll start again.

who can say???