Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I discovered something brutally honest about myself today: I have a great capacity, underthe right circumstances, to be a huge a…….

Normally, those circumstances include when I am absolutely convinced of the righteousness of my cause and the complete wrongness of the other side. It almost completely removes my ability to see how what I can do, say, or write can affect others. I can be hurtful under the guise of honesty and I push my agenda onto people, again convinced of the righteousness of my cause.

I may have irrevocably damaged a relationship today. I may have hurt and disappointed someone that I care about. And even worse, I did it in Jesus' name.

I told this person that I thought actions he was taking were not as Christ-like as I felt they should be. Saying by implication, "Why aren't you as much like Jesus as I am?"

I've done some stupid stuff in my life and honestly, this doesn't really crack the top ten. But today, it hurts like h... to know that I've spiritually wounded someone, a friend, someone I've looked up to in the past, and still do. But someone I disagree with on some issues.

However, I decided that because I knew so much better than him, it was ok to question his actions and motivations. I decided that the way of the Pharisee was better than the way of Jesus.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

I'm setting up this up for a discussion of issues brought up in Lee Camp's class that I taught today. Specifically, what are a Christian's obligations to the poor. But please don't feel limited by that. Bring up anything else you want to from the class discussion or even ideas sparked by it.

Friday, November 05, 2004

I’m going to take a break from reading theology for a week or so. In the last six months, I’ve read more books on Christian theology than I think I have ever. If I tried to remember them, it would be too many for me to think about. Probably eight or nine (A New Kind of Christian, The Story We Find Ourselves In, Blue Like Jazz, A Generous Orthodoxy, Mere Discipleship, Adventures in Missing the Point, Stories of Emergence,and The Original Jesus, so eight [I’d link to them, but you can probably go to Amazon yourself).

One of the main reasons for doing this is that I can feel the reading starting to become a hobby. When reading becomes a hobby for me, I stop thinking about what I’m reading and I almost get to a point where I turn page just to turn them. I’m not really reading and absorbing the material itself. I find myself having to “reread” things that I had read before. Almost like when I was in high school and being forced to read. I fell into the same issue in high school when I was really into Christian music. I found a subculture that I could slip into and delved in. I listened to Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Petra, and a variety of other artists, some of whom are still around and some who were Christian macarenas (anyone heard of Rhythm House?)

I think the other issue is that I can forget why I’m reading what I’m reading. I get so caught up in the minutiae that I forget that the purpose of this is to develop a deeper level of spirituality. I don’t want to read them because they’re the cool thing for Christians to be reading right now. I want to read them because they offer something to me. But I find myself slipping into reading just to read, reading because others are.

I’ve decided that I’m going to read Scripture. For the week, in those times when I would pick up one of the books, I’m going to read from Scripture. Where you ask? I’m going to the Prophets and the Gospels. In thinking about who Jesus was, I realize how strongly he was affected by the Prophets in his life. He really resonated with their calls for justice and the Day of the Lord, so I think it would help me to gain his vision. I don’t know if I’ll read more or less than I would have before, but I’m interested to see if my perspective will change as a result.
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