Addicted to Ink

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Authenticity, Truth

I've had an awesome week in New York this week. Especially yesterday, our touristy day (with the exception of stepping in human feces in the subway. DIS-GUST-ING!)
We saw Fiddler on the Roof, which was absolutely amazing. All of the actors were amazing, but Harvey Fierstein? Amazing. Perfect. Phenomenal.

But today....

Lately, the big question swirling in my brain is "What is a Christian?" I meet so many people who are at so many places spiritually (that's true for all of us). My conservative friends would define "Christian" so much differently than my liberal friends. I have such good friends on both sides of the fence- (I learned today that it's because of my DISC personality type -- I'm SI! I'm learning a lot about myself lately...) that sometimes it leaves me wondering who is right... . It's kind of funny (ironic funny) because on one side, the most extreme right there's so much legalism, judgement, and disgust (all in Christian love, of course!) and on the most extreme other side, there is, well, recklessness, bitterness, and judgement for the other side for judging them. I recognize and affirm the fact that there is absolute truth but what is most True is God's command to love. To love Him, really love Him. And to love others. Wherever they're at.

And getting back to today...the other day, Deb was telling me about a preacher in Kiev who has the most humongous church and how amazing it's doing. She'd heard him speak at a conference, and he was talking about how we Christians don't even access the incredible power we have.

Shino (the vp at nyak) introduced this tiny woman who gave the best sermon I've ever heard. It was based on 2 Chronicles 32 (the whole chapter), a text I've NEVER paid attention to before. And after it, I felt God tell me that I have lost confidence in His power. Ouch. But it's true. I needed to hear it. I needed to confess it. I needed to repent of it. Old-fashioned words, but truth.

Maybe it's because of my hubristic post the other day, but I feel this deep need to pray not just "thanks-for-the-food-please-heal-my-friend and now-i-lay-me-down-to-sleep" prayers, but honest-to-goodness affecting-change-kind of prayers.

Guess I better learn how.


Blogger Heather said...

Ah, love and truth. Two very confusing words. So many meanings in society today, and so many meanings that are misconstrued. I loved (no pun intended) your thoughts on this idea. I agree that the greatest truth every spoken was "To love your neighbor." This means loving regardless of how vile, dirty, poor, annoying, upsetting, and morally bankrupt a person is. It's hard for Christians, specifically for those who grew up in Christian homes, to take the blinders from their eyes. We were told from childhood to "avoid all temptation and evil" and yet we are commanded to share the Word and Truth and Love with others. Well, if Jesus had avoided "all" temptation, his ability to relate to us would be null and void. He didn't avoid temptation - he conquered it. He purposefully spent time with those many considered to be the most sinful people on the planet. We, if we are to imitate Christ, must do likewise.

Now, I do not mean to say that we must partake in things that we consider to be sinful. If pornography is your temptation, then avoid it. If drugs is your downfall, avoid them. Likewise, if, let's say, drinking alcohol is a downfall for an unbeliever who is trying to conquer this problem, even if you don't find it to be a problem for yourself, avoid it for his sake to keep from "leading him into temptation," so-to-speak.

On the other hand, many of our preconceived notions of right and wrong were drilled into our brains by "people" (pastors, youth leaders, national speakers) who were more intent upon an agenda than the Bible. In order to keep us "safe" from the world, we had to avoid it. Keep everything out and you'll be fine. Except when you start keeping everything out, you can't let anything in, including love.

Jesus came to obliterate the need to "do" things as an atonement for sin. Our sins, and the sins of our neighbors, were all paid for long ago. We don't have to "do" anything but seek Jesus and love others. That means seeking Jesus while being out in the "world."

This concept more than any other has taken a long time for me to grasp. I thought that by avoiding all temptation, I would live a more full life in Christ. I have discovered it to be the opposite. The more I'm with non-believers, the more I understand God's grace, forgiveness and love. God's eyes sees the hurting soul - not the foul language, piercings, tattoos, drug-addictions,drunkeness, etc. I have learned to see people the same way. You cannot show God's unbiased love by being biased yourself. Cling to this principle, and read the Word yourself, and I believe that "truth" will reveal itself.

12:56 PM  

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