What do you do when you tell God to put something up and you don't want to?
Do you listen to his voice? Or do you not put it up for fear that people might be offended or take it the wrong way?
It's a choice. I'm choosing to listen.
*takes a deep breath*
Here we go.
People--when does what we live and believe.... become a religion?
I've said before--I love theology and learning about God, but now I want to know God.
Do we believe that we have a corner on the market? That our faith, the way we do things is better than other people's?
No seriously think about it.
I know it seeped into my thinking. It just crept in, slowly permeated my thoughts. People that thought differently than me or my church--simply didn't understand.
Ok, here's a question that I don't want to ask but I feel like I have to so here it goes.
If someone were living today, was brilliant, and made amazing theological discoveries...yet killed people who didn't agree with him...would you follow him? What if he wrote amazing books would you read them?
Would you consider yourself a Calvinist? *wince* Go do some research, it's slightly disturbing....I think John Calvin is a good example of someone who knew alot about God--yet missed God's heart.
I'm going to be honest here--forget Calvinism, forget Armenianism, forget Catholics, forget Baptists, forget Sovereign Grace, forget New Frontiers, honestly people. Forget it all. Dump the baggage and let it go.
Let's find our identities in Christ and Christ alone.
I don't follow C.J Mahaney, John Piper, Francis Chan, Brian Colmery, Josh Harris, John McArther, John Calvin, R.C. Sproul, Jerry Bridges, and the list goes on.
I follow Jesus.
I'm committed to loving him and loving everyone around me. And if that's not a radical life I don't know what is.
Forget homeschooling, public schooling, private schooling. Can we just stop arguing about stuff? Can we shed the chains and shackles that we've placed on ourselves and try to place on others? And can we remember it is for freedom we've been set free?
Can we commit our lives to following a God that doesn't always make sense? Who doesn't always do the thinks we know he could, who doesn't always say the things we wish he would, and who doesn't think the thoughts that we think he should.
Yeah...and you know what maybe I'm completely off...maybe I'm not seeing things clearly right now. Maybe I'm not...
And if you don't think I am thinking the right things and you think I'm completely--please please please let me know. I'm open to talking to anyone.
Anyways there you go everyone.
Maybe I'm losing my mind. lol Who knows. =P
"Pretty amazing, isn't it?" Daniel said.
"All these rooms, all this art, all this opulence...and for what?"
There was no missing the sadness in his voice. "I mean, honestly, did any of this stuff draw people one inch closer to God?"
Tyler turned the camera on his father. "What do you mean?"
"I mean all of this...these statues and alters and gold and paintings. This isn't what God is about."
"Go on," Tyler encouraged. He watched his father rub his forehead, struggling to find the words.
"Think of it, Ty. You got this Giovanetti fellow creating all these gorgeous paintings, make everything nice and pretty for the religious aristocracy, while about the same time, just a few hundred yards from here, out in the streets, people are dropping like flies from the black plague."
"Religion at its finest," Tyler said.
He zoomed tighter on his father's face. "Couldn't you say the same thing about your own church?"
Daniel frowned. "What do you mean?"
"How's this any different from your cushy theater seats or your big-screen projectors or your plush carpeting?"
"I'm not sure I follow."
But he did follow; Tyler could see it through the viewfinder.
"Religion is religion, Dad. It doesn't matter how you disguise it. It's all about guys in charge wanting to stay in charge. Get your little God machine built, stay as comfortable as possible, keep it running as long as possible."
"Son, I don't think that's entirely--"
"I'm afraid he has a point," Nayra agreed. Tyler turned to bring her into a close-up. "Christianity is full of people killing and torturing others so they can stay in power. You heard what Jean Mark said in teh car about the poor people who simply wanted to own a Bible. And what about the Inquisition or the Crusades or the--"
"Whoa, wait a minute," Tyler said, zooming out to include both of them in his shot. "What makes Islam any better that Christianity? What about the millions of Muslims have killed, the people they're killing today? What about the wackos who bombed the embassies, who destroyed the World Trade Center, who are blowing up themselves up in suicide--"
"That is a fringe minority."
"Is it? What about the million you wiped out in Turkey, or the Christians you wiped out during the Middle Ages, or--"
"We were defending truth."
"Whose truth? Seems to me, God is big enough to protect his own truth, don't you think?"
"Certainly," Daniel agreed, "but we have a responsibility to the people--"
"The people?" Tyler almost laughed. "Religion doesn't care about people. Protestants, Catholics, Muslims--it's all the same. All religion cars about is being right and being in charge."
The Face of God.