Thursday, December 29, 2005

In Definition of: Christian Faith

Faithknowledge, intellect, trust, interaction >> the holy trinity of faith. 1. True faith involves knowledge of the life and times, the content, and the implications of the story of Jesus as taught in the Bible; 2. True faith involves the mind-numbing-hard-to-do intellectual acceptance of the truth about Jesus; 3. True faith involves a personal reliance and trust in Jesus and His gospel; 4. True faith involves interaction with elements of the mysterious and blatantly obvious attributes of Creator God; 5. Each of these four parts of the holy trinity of faith are necessary for our restored relationship with God; we must first learn about Jesus, then accept the truth without letting our hearts turn to stone, then, move to a personal trust in Him, and finally, live a life that interacts with Him. How’s that for didactic? And yes, I know that four does not equal trinity…but I like it.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

In Definition of: the Will of God

the Will of God not nearly so hard as you might think. 1. What did Jesus say? He said to love God and to love people…those are the boundaries. This is the fence that surrounds everything that you do with your life; if what you do with your life falls within these boundaries you are within God’s will; 2. So then let’s ask another question: what makes you come alive? What makes you passionate? What do you love? The world doesn’t need people who are doing something because the world needs it, rather, the world needs people who have come alive in what they do. Soooo…if you have come alive in what you do and it falls into the boundaries of love God and love people…you are passionately living in the will of God; 3. Sitting around waiting for some sky-fairy’s will to fall into your lap just isn’t going to happen…so get up off your fat bum-bum and do something with your life > and love it!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

In Definition of: the Church

the Church – a beautiful collective of Jesus followers. 1. It is a deep seeded all-inclusive community of faith in Jesus, thanks in salvation, and movement in justice; 2. We are the church, you are the church, I am the church; 3. Believe it or not, everyone is welcome – that weirdo nut-job who knows the secrets of the universe but is locked away in a padded room is welcome, and so are you; 4. The church is not emerging, it’s not submerging, it’s not outdated, it’s not postmodern (or if it is then it’s not church), it’s not a building, it’s not a political platform, it’s not where all the happy shiny people are, and, we’re not about to go away. << I suppose that could be considered a threat…but it’s not.

Monday, December 19, 2005

In Definition of: Christianeze

Christianezekrǐst~ĕn/ëž – An alien language. 1. To the native of said language; a nonsensical and exclusive language that confuses most natives and creates tribal warfare; a language of superiority and secrecy to show who is in and who is out; 2. To the grudgingly invited outsider of said language; a nonsensical and exclusive language that confuses most natives and creates tribal warfare; a language of contempt and condemnation to show who is in and who is out; 3. In strict violation of the Geneva Anti-Christianeze accord punishable by irrelevance and loss of credibility.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sexy Autonomy

I am sure that you have all heard the popular and incredibly chic phrase, “I am simply an autonomous complex structure of biology expressing my own thoughts, my own desires, and my own freedoms. I am an individual; free to do what I want, when I want, and how I want. Please do not enter the personal twenty-one inch stratosphere bubble of me….because it’s mine.” Oh…you haven’t heard this incredibly popular phrase before? Well, maybe that is because I just spent the sum total of all my intellectual powers crafting what is sure to become a popular and incredibly chic phrase. Or not. It is a sexy idea though isn’t it? In actuality, the vast majority of us subscribe to this idea that individuality is the most important attribute that any human can posses. The great traditions of philosophy, world religion, and humanism, have jumped in bed together, made out, and produced the most individualistic (read here: lonely) culture that mankind has ever seen. Your mom, your future spouse, your mailman, the cashier at the checkout (or the cashier you check out), your neighbor, your leaders, your professors, and that weird nut-job you see most days in the mirror have all felt the impact of the lonely and individualistic culture of now.

For years, anthropologists, linguists, and archeologists have wondered in awe at the supposed simultaneous development of great empires and civilizations around the planet that rose up, matured, got sick, died, and left artifacts and ancient clues to the nature of these peoples. Most interestingly is the fact that there is theory based on new* archeological findings that place ancient tools and ideas (such as language) in geographical places that they should not be. The implication? Ancient peoples migrated, traveled, and shared ideas across cultural lines that ultimently led to the evolution, development, growth, and sometimes destruction of the respective civilizations. In our typical self-centered fashion, we eagerly and egotistically consider our generation to be the first in the age of globalization, the universal people, and the global village. Fact is that people groups, since the beginning of civilizations, have always inspired other people groups around the world – we are just now aware of it. But really….who cares.

Well I do. In fact, all of us have been impacted by the thoughts, actions, values, and ideologies of other people. There is no one who can say they exist without outside influence. Yet, the thought remains that individualism is the highest of all human attributes. Why? Because we are as selfish as a daycare full of two year olds, as greedy as overfed boxing day shoppers, and as prideful as any gangster rapper on any given radio station. We just like ourselves so much.

Individualism thrives on the belief that the primary importance of the individual is the "virtues of self-reliance" and personal independence. The virtues of self hey? Interesting. That sounds a lot like saying, “the cooler part of hell” or “coffee is good even when it is burnt.” Where did we ever get this idea that being the individual was good? I know it wasn’t from God’s word the Bible or from the Holy Spirit teaching us. I do know that the Bible has a lot to say about selfish ambitions, pride, and greed though.

Ok – how is that for an incomplete thought – anyone want to add to this or finish it? Seriously.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Smoke and Mirrors

Have you ever felt like you lived behind some kind of curtain – desperately hoping that a little bit of smoke and mirrors would convince people that you are bigger, better, smarter, more passionate, more spiritual, or more real then you really are? Truth be told, I often times feel like I’m dancing in and out of a house filled with smoke, mirrors, and curtains only allowing a select few to see me without the smoke and mirrors while happily dancing with all the other smoke and mirror dancers.

When it comes to spirituality, so many people believe that anything is possible if they just work hard enough or long enough. Are duty and discipline the keys to salvation or to God? No. How many people think like this? It’s important to get better, move ahead, and ultimately arrive – work hard for God and you’ll get the desires of your heart. Obedience, after all, leads to blessing. God really values people who take Christianity seriously…the people who leap tall buildings in a single bound and are willing to run themselves ragged for the kingdom!! High five to these spiritual super-hero’s! I hope you don’t jump out of a phone booth one day with your cape tucked into your underwear! Ha! Really, this all seems a little suspect to me…..a little more like smoke and mirrors and a lot less about Jesus Christ.

I’m looking forward to a time and place when people move from the smoke and mirrors hero attitude to a day when we recognize that we are simply people who are screwed up, messed up, and incapable of saving ourselves. I’m looking forward to a day of stunning honesty and authenticity; the day that we begin to live. Why? Well, maybe we would actually start to understand grace.

God, thank-you for grace, your unmerited favor towards me, even though I get tired and cynical. Your grace sustains me and reminds me of your great love…I’m sorry for the smoke and mirrors.