The God-Shaped Hole!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bad Christians

Warning: This post includes a few words that are not nice words.

I've been around a few bad Christians in my lifetime. They use all the Christian language, and yet being around them takes me away from God's love into a dark and stupid place.

These are two quotes from the anti-abuse, anti-misogynist website which equally apply to bad Christians, especially ones in positions of authority. Whether it's a teaching leader, a pastor, a deacon, or a choir director, these people got Christianity wrong.

To worship anything or anyone immediately sets the worshipper apart from the object of his worship. It objectifies the worshipped person(s) such that true emotional intimacy is not possible.

These bad Christians say that God is a person, they even say "Christianity is not a religion, it is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior." Odds are, they will use those exact words. Though it's true, they know it only as words. To them, God is an authority higher than the heavens... who could crush them with His Great and Awesome Little Toe.

God is a person. He thinks, He feels, and He does actions. He makes choices. He uses tools, He speaks wisdom, and He leads with charisma.

However, He uses it all for us.

He never makes a mistake. He has infinite power. He never lies. He is the Ultimate. This is what makes Him set apart. But He wants you to treat Him like a loving parent. He is one, after all, helping us to grow and mature as our parents should have done.

God is a person. When you figure out that statement, you will no longer have a static image of God, an outdated conception that relies on life's fears and doubts, as an idol in your heart.

In the book "The Gift of Fear," Gavin DeBecker defines "niceness" as a "strategy of social interaction" and not evidence of innate goodness. So what he is saying is that being "nice" merely means your behavior is not offensive but does not mean your motives are automatically pure or good. Being a "nice guy" has been discussed elsewhere so there is no need to go into great detail here, but the bottom line is that trying to "be nice" or to use one’s social charm to achieve one’s social or sexual objectives is just as manipulative as anything else. The details are different, but what is at the core is the same.

God is not manipulative; but too many of His people are. I know one who told me to smile while singing; after all, I should be happy in church. That sucked all the fun out of worship service. (That, of course, was not the only manipulation he put on me, but it's the only one I can easily remember.)

So love God, and don't trust humans that much; after all, they're not God, so they shouldn't act like it.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Freedom is Slavery

When someone is your master, your choices are their choices, and their choices are your choices. That is, you do what they choose for you to do, even if you don't understand it, and what you do reflects on them, especially if you disagree with them.

Satan made it seem that God's choices for us to fulfill were oppressive and took something away from our existence; moreover, he made it seem as though the choices he would have us do were simply ours.

However, Satan's choices and freedom to sin end with chaos, entropy, and heat-death. God's choices put in place a stable arena of freedom that is sustainable. It is this mixup that causes so much trouble for Adam's house, and for the God who only wants the best for them.

In being a slave to God, we are free in ways impossible under Satan's freedom, which binds us to Satan's fate: the fate of a traitor, exiled from the Kingdom of Light.