Friday, June 19, 2015

Charleston: The Result of The Attack on Christianity

Already we are hearing sentiments that the attack in Charleston, South Carolina was not motivated by racism but was an attack on Christianity.  Sadly, there is a very real and threatening attack on the Christian way of life but it is not coming from outside sources.....the attack on Christianity is coming from within, it is a subtle attack that erodes at the foundation of everything for which Christ stood.  I'm embarrassed to say that it is an attack that even I myself at times have participated in, the attack of apathy. 

To deny that we still have a real and true issue with racism in our country is an attack on Christianity.  To make a murderous rampage about gun control vs gun rights is an attack on Christianity.  For Christians to fight harder and more vocally about political agendas and social stances rather than earnestly seeking to build and foster true and meaningful relationships with others is an attack on Christianity.  To place a higher priority on converting people rather than loving people is an attack on Christianity. 

For me one of the most troublesome aspects of this latest massacre in Charleston is the youthful age of he attacker. This was not an old man who lived in an old era of racism in this nation's past.  No this was a young man who was born more than a century after slavery and a generation after the civil rights era.  He was clean slate born at a time when we should be well past these issues, yet on that clean slate in this "enlightened" era the marks of racial hatred were made, so much so that he grew to hate complete strangers enough to murder them for no other reason than the color of their skin.  If we want to acknowledge an attack on Christianity then we need look no farther than this young man.  He embodies the attack in that his life of hatred was sculpted on our watch, under our noses.  While we were fighting to keep our guns, prevent certain people from being able to marry, and arguing over doctrine, a life of hate was growing in the midst of our so called religion of love.      

There will be those who will say, this wasn't about the gun but the person holding the gun, if that's you then fine, I'll give you that argument, but if that's the case then let's start addressing the issue, stop worrying so much about keeping the gun and let's start trying to reach hearts and lives.   People are literally dying because of hate and the failure to recognize that is the real attack on Christianity.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Caitlyn Jenner Is Every Single One of Us

Bruce Jenner is dead....

This saddens me a bit as I enjoyed Track and Field in both high school and college and I even competed in a couple of Decathlons...not well mind you...but I did them.  So naturally Bruce Jenner, the legend that he was in the sport, was an iconic symbol of everything I was striving for at that time in my life.

There has already been and will continue to be a lot of attention devoted to the emergence of Caitlyn Jenner and like it or not, Caitlyn represents every human on Earth.  Not to get all Bible-ish on everyone, but isn't this the exact story of Eden?  Let's go back and take a second look at the ancient tale.  It begins with God creating a creature in "His" image, that creature being mankind.  Mankind enjoys being mankind for awhile but then an opportunity is presented by a crafty serpent that if mankind wants to, they can actually become gods.  Once this is presented, mankind become eager to shed their humanity and adorn themselves with the shroud of the divine.......only problem didn't work.

I am convinced that at least part of the story of Genesis is not so much about the "sin" as much as it was about the intent.  They intended to become something other than what they were.  They were already "like God" in that they were made in God's image, but they rejected that image in an attempt to become what they wished they were......Gods.  When it failed, they did not simply return to being human, no, now that they were aware that there could be more, they became ashamed of their humanity, hiding in the bushes and covering their bodies with fig leaves....the same bodies about which they had previously felt no shame........the same bodies that were made in the image of God.  What must it say to God for us to have been made in His image and then for us to reject that image and cover it up??  I would imagine it would be pretty discouraging to say the least.

And that folks is were we stand to this very day.  We are the only species on Earth that covers its body out of shame.  In fact, its actually ILLEGAL not to have your body covered up in certain circumstances in most parts of the world.  ILLEGAL to simply be human.   But that's just the beginning, we cover our hearts significantly more than our bodies.  We hide our feelings and manipulate one another like crazy.  To be real, to be authentic, to be human is really foreign to all of us.  We are all constantly rejecting ourselves, covering our bodies and changing our appearances.  The fashion and cosmetic industries make billions every year treating our insecurities.  I don't like the way I AM so I'll become something I wish I was.  Then we want people to accept us for who and what we are when we are often the first person to reject ourselves.  So before we dump on Caitlyn Jenner or praise her, remember either way, she's just like all of us, she rejected who she was and pursued what she wished she was...maybe on a bigger scale than most, but its the same game we all play.

I find it interesting the only thing Jesus every flipped out about was hypocrisy, in short, being something other than what you really are.  He mentioned that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we must become like little children, who fittingly are the most authentic people in the world.

I also find it interesting that when God identified Himself in the Old Testament it was simply "I AM" a statement of complete and total acceptance of who He was and is.  We humans on the other hand, even while created in His image, can't really say that.  Most of us reject I AM in favor of I WISH....