Tuesday, January 03, 2006

In the Next Room

lately i've been discouraged. not a very nice way of starting a new year, but sometimes i want to stare out the back window of a car, and watch the road disappear behind me... listen to a cd and single out the invisible voice of a backup vocalist and recognize the beauty of harmony... try every scenario of a puzzle, avoiding the solution merely to discover every possible way to come to the wrong answer... i want to roll down a hill, but it's winter... i'm eager to say i've lived life, but i have not lived it yet... i want to have children, but but the math requires a piece of chalk and a chalkboard... if only life were that simple. why are God's ways not our ways? why does He require of us what does not come naturally?

why do i care to not smell like a perspiring human? what makes profanity offensive? why must i mourn the death of a loved one?

sometimes my best medicine is my dog. she loves her walks, and getting fed at 6:00. for my dog, life is simple. she would not recognize my deep, inner turmoil, or the complexity of my life, but she recognizes my face when i walk in the door. she knows the smell on my pant leg if i've been around another dog. she instinctively knows when dinner time is. how do i love such an ignorant, selfish animal? morally, my dog is corrupt. she is not considerate, empathetic, hospitable, or virtuous in any way.

i continually come into contact with people who want answers to questions. they want advice. they want to be told what to do. they want someone to understand them.
My dog, Annie

if i told my dog that the bag where her food is kept lies in the next room, gave her a leash and a scoop to take with her on her walks, showed her where her dog shampoo is, and then left for a 2 month vacation, i would come home to a dead dog. my dog has not developed opposable thumbs to open the door to her food, or developed a sense of human tolerance to walk herself without coming into contact with other dogs and violating someone's property rights, or able to determine when she smells too much like a dog and needs a bath. i would then be faced with animal cruelty charges.

often i feel like the answers i give to people's questions are unsatisfying. the advice i give is irrelevant. i fail to empathise with them. i feel like a dog who knows where the food is, but i can't open the door.

i fear a new movement in christianity is on the rise: relevance without godliness. christians trying to relate to everyone's problems, but failing to give God's divinity justice. agreeing that christians have bad taste in music. that we look foolish when we worship. that striving for holiness looks like arrogance. if we see someone confused about direction for their life, we tell them to pray more. if we meet someone with an addiction, we tell them to quit. if we find someone struggling financially, we tell them to tithe.

christians have a habit of saying uncool things. ever have a conversation with someone, and bring up God, and watch them as they get this glazed look over their eyes? i get discouraged. immediately what comes to mind is that they've heard it before. they've tried it and it doesn't work. it's like i can see where they're coming from, build up to a climax where i'm going to offer some deep, philosophical solution, and i bring up God. a beautiful letdown.

i think we need to re-establish what godliness means. godliness means humility. what does it look like? is it something that is desirable? 2 Peter 1:3-8 talks about making one's calling and election sure. adding to your faith. a systematic breakdown on how to become an effective, productive christian. it is some of the best advice i have received. we talk about christianity like it's a breeze through life on a white, puffy cloud, without a care in the world. we tell people about the hole in their heart that is immediately filled with the acceptance of Christ. yet we see 80% of born-again believers fall away from God. we see children raised in christian homes going off to college and leaving church behind. do we keep these statistics in the dark? are we embarrassed by what the records show? somehow Christ's "unfailing love" has failed a lot of people. either that, or they never found it in the first place. i tend to believe the latter.

sadly, people have heard where the kibble lies. they've even heard about the master who opens the door. how do they get His attention?


  1. awesome blog!!!!! It really makes you think...

  2. ¿?¿Mï§†ë® Ë¿?¿1/05/2006 6:00 am

    i love hearing what is on your mind...
    and i love your dog even tho i itch afterwards [^_^]

  3. It's interesting to read all this because it is what I'm facing here in Katimavik. There is a guy who is always broke and angry but spends his money all on alcohol and cigarettes-if I tell him to stop he refuses. There are so many more examples like this but what I'm getting at is when I try to talk it simply seems that whatever I say is not relevent. As a result I have allowed myself to start to think in the manner you are describing with the new wave of Christianity. Recently (The past few days) I have gotten back on track and realized the only way to live and survive here is to live quietly. Yes I can still have opinions but if I keep quiet more and even though it hurts it helps. I'm finally at my next place so I can go to church again which I know will help greatly but I do want you to know that there are others in the same boat as you. I'm sick of not being relevent but I refuse to contort the Word of God to fit someone's wants or opinions. As Relient K puts it, opinions are immunity to being told you're wrong.

  4. It is an interesting read, I have just one thing though, Christianity...well ok, the belief that Christians hold, and the Bible ARE relevant today. It seems like some people are thinking that it's not relevant and that we have to interpret it until we're blue in the face and mix opinions and bend the truth to make it relevant but something that amazes me about the Bible is that without all that, without the bending and warping and such, it remains relevant to the time we are in. It's not a matter of relevance in my "opinion" it's a matter of the heart, always has been always will be...relevance distracts us and can even cause us to have fear in sharing the Gospel to others...in my opinion the mind is affected and what is so clearly truth and love and life to those wishing to share the Gospel with others comes out as boring and "irrelevant" to those that are worldly...it's because of a sickness that we are all born into (allegorically)... we're all born into spiritual death and as such our minds are diseased and our hearts are badly scared and sick...for many satan can hold an influence on their minds and such and for those he can't I think he distracts them with ideas of relevance and other things. But now I'm just getting preachy and whatever, hey I may be wrong but it's something to think about...

  5. Hey Aaron,
    Nice little blog. Keep on writting man!

  6. Anonymous: thank you for your response, i agree with it whole-heartedly. absolute-truth is relevant. it has to be, it applies to everyone. the Bible is as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago. i concur. but unless you've majored in Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew, and have done extensive study on Jewish traditions, Jewish culture, and early church doctrine, all you're left with is interpretation of scripture. i mean, i've seen people use the Bible to defend adverse opinions on many issues. i believe the 66 books of the Bible to be inerrant, but that is nothing more than my own opinion. having said that, is drinking a sin? polygamy? homelessness? stem-cell research? rock music? smoking? illicit drugs? the Bible has little, if any reference to a number of social issues in today's world. when the apostles preached, it is evident (by what they said) that they customized their gospel message to their target audience. they did not warp it, or cut things out, but they recognized their listeners' views of Jesus. they studied up on their understanding of who God was. if you talk to a Mormon about God's only son Jesus who was born into the world to save the us from our sins, they will agree with you. but they are not saved. this is both sad, and puzzling.

    just out of curiosity, do i know you from somewhere? have we met before?