Tuesday, December 28, 2004

How big is the Kingdom of Jesus?

If it is true that the atoning blood of the Christ has been shed abroad--for the sins of the whole world--then how big is the Kingdom of God? What does it encompass? If it is everyone and everything--every bit of created matter--then the "unbeliever" (and many "believers") is someone who just doesn't know about the reign of the Kingdom of God yet; even though the Kingdom is very much in effect around them, albeit mostly invisible. And that means that everyone is free to truly live. Even if living in sin. Because we all live with and in sin. But when we find out that Jesus is the true and presently reigning King and we embrace that--he will begin to show us why and how he has created the order of the Universe. And we will naturally begin to want to live by his created way--the way of the Kingdom. This is "holiness". It is not a set of laws; the world has seen that way already. The new world order of Jesus is freedom. Freedom to realize, understand and then proclaim him as the King; and to investigate his way, which in turn will cause emulation to spring from us.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

purpose

Many people have been locked into a type of stunted spiritual formation due to a misunderstanding of the Spirit of God and how he speaks to humanity. I want to have solid cause and purpose for action...I desire to act with a deliberateness that I have not had before. No longer do I want to merely act because I believe it is the right thing to do...I desire to act because the right thing is in me and I have become the right thing at my core. I am also wrestling with why and where are the causes for the focus of our "good" actions. It almost seems circular to continue to forget our own well-being in order to help those that are having problems similar to our own. But this must be the main goal of Christianity...of our faith...to bring about sweeping social change. If we were to focus on our own need the power of change may or may not be limited to our own backyard...never having the potency to reach even our own neighbors. Yet if we forget ourselves and make our neighbor the focus then we shall begin to reach our neighborhoods and in turn the world. This is why the worldwide "vision" of Christ must never be overlooked or we run the risk of losing heart when we simply help our neighbors. "Where there is no vision the people perish"...and this is true of the hearts of Christians when we forget what our true goal is...broad and sweeping social reform. We are not just nice people making a dinner for our neighbors randomly...we may as well be part of a local club. No, we are revolutionaries. We are engaged in a social revolt; our aim is the captivity of the world, which in turn is freedom. Where others wish to captivate for gain and enslavement, we wish to captivate for release, for we are bringing the kingdom of opposites to bear on the world. And isn't that good news? We could all rejoice at the "opposition" or the turning to opposite of the world and its enslavements.

watching police officers in a coffee shop

Two police officers were sitting accross from me in my favorite coffe shop the other day. I wrote this in my journal as I thought about them and their role in Society.

Just like police officers who spend their lives on the borderland of danger and death, we as Christians (at least the ones who aren't already there) should go and be there for the changing of Society in the name and deep power of Jesus. It's not as if a police officer thinks everyday that he will die. He (or She) is just willing to risk his life for the Common Good, and he clings to the belief that the Good will prevail, both in Society and in his protection. How much more should the Christian have the same aim, knowing that the Common Good is the man Jesus.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Christ as Neural Network

I read this the other day and it reminded me of a post that I have been meaning to write.

(From Mike Bishop at the Vineyard Community blog)
"We always think of leadership as the 'head' or 'heart' in Paul's body metaphor. But what if we thought of it as something vital, yet unseen. Say, the liver for instance. I like that."

I was watching my 5 month-old son grasp at something and I began to think about the ways in which his motor skills have drastically improved in the last few months and how that may relate to the Church. My son's motor skills are improving everyday as his neural paths strengthen and make new connections. The muscles, tissues and nerves in his body are wired back to the brain and the brain is making new connections within itself and connecting back to the body. This is in turn responsible for the development of finer ability to grasp objects ect... Maybe this is a picture of the "Emerging Church". The Internet and the things that it has spawned such as the blogging phenomenon give further and quicker place for more density of connectedness throughout the Church. As we make more and more "connections" in Christ and through things like the Internet, we are connecting the body by being first connected into the head (brain) and then routed back through a complex set of social (neural networks ie. Internet) connections into the body itself (church). This is allowing the Church to begin to "grasp" things never before grasped. The Church is increasingly able to interface or grab hold of the culture and its surroundings right now at this time and at this place in history on levels never before available due to our ability to be connected with one another (motor skills). Could this be partly what the writer of Hebrews was talking about when declaring that we should move on from elementary things?

Monday, December 06, 2004

Absolute Truth as a Path

Anything which attempts to reduce Jesus to abstractions is the Anti-Christ. To reduce Jesus to anything other than a real, living person with whom we can and must interact is to say that he has not come in the flesh. A personality forces inter-action. When a person approaches and begins conversation they must either be acknowledged through interaction or else ignored. And it is the ignoring that implies no acknowledgement. This is the same as denying a person's existence. A person must be interacted with to exist as a subject, otherwise they are an object and not a person; they become objective and not subjective. Jesus is the only path to life. Yes, he is life itself. However, in our age of abstractions and "objectivity" we actively seek to engage him as an object, which is why so many have trouble understanding him as "absolute truth". He is the absolute truth, but as a personality; which means that he is more of a path than an object. It is a path to get to know someone. We would never believe that we could absolutely know anyone that we interact with except that our knowledge of them grows through interaction. It is this way with Jesus. We must walk the path of inter-action, which is engagement. Therefore any so-called "knowledge" that does not result in action is actually another path. We must be on the path of action in order to truly know Jesus and to begin to know truth absolutely.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

My son's first fever

Over the past 48 hours my 5 month old son has suffered with his first fever....we knew this day would come, and we knew that we would freak out. Last night he began to breathe rapidly in spurts with periods of apnea. My wife and I were unable to sleep a wink. Around 5 in the morning we decided to take him to the emergency room. The point of this post is this.....what is up the whole medical community thing? It is as if the hospital system itself has metastasized and is vying for every place of authority in the community. We walked in and they checked all of my sons vitals and pronounced that he appeared healthy and that he probably just had a virus or something but that they would like to perform a chest x-ray and a blood panel before he left. Well, as life would have it he began to breathe fine while we were there and the doctor had this sort of Clint Eastwood make my day type of look on his face while he exclaimed that he was breathing normal. So, we decided that we wanted to go home and I proceeded to tell the nurse that we did not want to do the tests; to which he replied "well this isn't a prison...so you are free to leave...but it is against our better judgment so you have to sign these papers...". And so we signed the papers all the while the nursing staff stared on in horror at the "child abusers". It turns out that he was totally fine and that he didn't need those tests, but shouldn't it be something that is offered as a choice instead of a communist governmentesque mandate? Anyway, I think that this is a type of "Hypermodernity" which has arisen to fill some of the vacuum left in society by the modern fallout among civilians. It is as if the medical community has dug in their loafers and decided that all the more their brand of truth...which becomes a type of religion...is the most plausible absolute and that any threat to that system is treated to stares of the type that scream "I would call the police on you if I could". It feels almost like a type of persecution if you disagree with a doctor in today's society, even though most postmodern types would never fully trust such a total scientific person.
Could it be that the Church is in some way seen as this "Hypermodern" entity by regular people in society, creating in them the same response inside that I had to the hospital's "medical metanarrative"? I pray that we may begin to look deeply into our own hearts, each one of us and begin to address any and all areas that we are guilty of espousing an "absolute truth" system without having ever loved. Let us all begin to love our neighbors (the ones right next to us and the metaphorical "neighbor") and in turn change the climate of our communities.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Colossians Remixed

Recently I have been visiting the Draft Theology (http://www.drafttheology.com) blog and have read the posts on a book titled Colossians Remixed by Brian J. Walsh & Sylvia C. Keesmaat. I am most certainly going to purchase this book and have downloaded the first chapter for a spin. (http://www.gospelcom.net/ivpress/title/exc/2738-1.pdf) What I have read so far has prompted me to scribble a few journal notes during the day.....

Globalization is aimed directly and specifically at the human passions. It has correctly identified all of the hottest points of human superficial conciousness and has as its chief aim a desire to kill the spirit and exalt the flesh as the new center of life; as if this were possible after all. Instead of enslavement as its ideological vision, a new Kind of man, a virtual cyborg whose passions are its soul and whose mind
is computer like and body technofab. But this is the outward vision. All the while the great CEO of the air, that ancient Dragon knows that this is the Ultimate destruction of man.

Subversive Love

I am launching this site to examine some "subversive" themes, specifically dealing with how we (the Church) might begin to "break up from underneath" our culture and the status-quo of normalcy within our communities. Many times I have found myself wishing to move to a new and more exciting place in order to "do" ministry. But I am beginning to believe that the most effective ministry is right where I live, among the people that make up my particular community. I hope to dig into some of the issues that surround subverting the local community and culture and in turn the world, and engender some meaninful discussion.