Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Watered Down

I normally don't write things that I don'’t think will at least be somewhat amusing. I also try to keep my posts short and sweet, but this may follow neither trait.

Something that has bothered me for some time is the watering down or diluting of Jesus, and Christianity simply for our own comfort and in that missing what God really wants from us. I'’m sorry if anything that I say may be offensive to you but...…well I just apologize.

Jesus is very clear about the guidelines that He puts in our lives. He has put them there not for our oppression but for our good. There IS a right and wrong. I am not about to tackle the whole gamete of what is right or wrong. If you want a fast test, take an OBJECTIVE look at your life and see what the fruit of your actions are. If your life is a pile of crap, or you are always mad at other people, or if you think that everyone around you is stupid. Maybe it'’s time for a real change. If you are an arrogant person, or a know-it-all, ask someone around you. Then you will get a real answer. That said, I believe that the number one thing that we are commanded to do by our faith is to love other people as we do ourselves. Putting others in front of ourselves, as Christ did time after time. But that does not mean that you can never say "“that is wrong you shouldn't do that"” to someone that you have a relationship with. The reality is that there are things that Christ has called us as Christians not to do. I know the cool way to make fun of someone who thinks like that is to call them a fundamentalist. But that doesn't relieve you of your responsibility. We don'’t need to be walking around judging people that is not what I am saying at all. But the idea of "“how can you say what I am doing is not right?" Well it'’s simple, because it'’s in the word of God. I get so sick of people saying your OK I'’m OK, and "“well that'’s OK for you". And that somehow in all of that there is some sort of Christianity. BULLCRAP.

The reality is that our society is totally set up for us to attain as much pleasure as WE possibly can before we kick it. We are completely self-centered. We are more concerned about being better than everyone around us than loving others. That'’s why parents don'’t put their children'’s needs before their own and straiten out their priorities so that they can lay down their life for someone else. Or spouses, first concerning themselves with their own needs and desires over their mate. The idea that we are owed something for nothing, that we should have what we want right now. There is no reason to refrain from instant gratification. If it feels good to me and isn'’t hurting someone else (directly) then I can do it. The reality is that no one wants to be told what to do or that what they are doing is wrong. But the thing is that sometimes it is wrong. And so in this Christianity suffers and becomes diluted so that no one is left out or feeling condemned. God does not want us to be condemned, that'’s why he has given us grace. But not the freedom to do whatever you want and say it'’s OK He loves me. Your abusing the gift He gave you. What I am saying is to stop making excuses for area's in your life that you just really don't want to change. Just admit that you don't want what God wants.

We have all probably read or heard of the book "Blue like Jazz", well here is my problem with that book. It is 95% true. He mainly tells us to get out there and love people don'’t worry about how they smell or dress or talk, and that is 100% right we shouldn'’t worry about those things, or hold back the love of Jesus because of them. But just because God has charged us with that kind of love for others, doesn'’t mean that He is not concerned with how we are living our lives. The reality is that there are things in all our lives that will kill us if we don'’t turn and face them. But pretending that it'’s OK or that from some weird angle it'’s OK to keep going, just doesn'’t line up with the word. I believe that you should only correct with love not from a pompous attitude or anger. But if you are the person who every time someone says you shouldn'’t be doing that, you freak out or have 5 reasons why they don'’t understand. You my friend need to hit your knees. God has given us grace. And there is no one person more deserving than another. Just because you do a bunch of things right and only a couple wrong, doesn't mean that Jesus doesn'’t still have to cover you in his sacrifice every day, so that you can commune with the most high God.

I guess the thing I want you to get if anything from all this ramble, is to love other people like Christ does. To not concern yourself with little things that make no difference for the kingdom. Don't be lured into meaningless "“Christian conversation"” that is fruitless in your life. If you are not constantly asking God, "“Lord what do You want to do in and through my life"”? Then you are missing what God wants and has for you. Plain and Simple. It is not about you, it is about Him. Think about how much of your day is consumed with the thought of how to take care of and please yourself. I'’m not saying that you should kill yourself in service. You have to love yourself, but others too. And I'm not talking about just your spouse or kids. I mean the people you don'’t like, the one'’s who irritate you. The ones who piss you off in traffic, and at work. God wants to keep you in constant growth and change. But many Christians have robbed themselves of this by creating the ability to talk and go in circles. But if your not changing and changing others, you are missing it. God has a great plan for each of our lives, but it takes constant death to ourselves. You will fail all the time, but the journey will be far more rewarding than ignoring it.

A good friend of mine said the other day, "“What kind of fruit do you get from an apple tree?, Apples. What kind of fruit do you get from a disciple tree? Disciples. What kind of fruit do you get from a Christian tree? Christians." ” Just go ask God, what does He want to change in your life to make you more of who has called you to be for Him. If you ask Him, He will show you. If you choose not to do it. Don'’t worry, you won'’t be alone.


Diddy said...

Nice step out, Aaron. I'm proud of you, man. Good word. That's something we can all do better for sure . . . especially when it comes the people we "don't like." Conviction stings.

. . . but what the hell was that bit about the "Christian Tree?" Weird-o-rama.

Jeremy said...

If you choose not to do it, you won't be alone. Ouch.

Dude. Bring it man. That was awesome. I have been looking forward to reading this and was not disapointed.

Good word.


What the... said...

you ever see a dude or chick for that fact just get blind sided by a punch and never saw it com'n? well, i just got knocked the "beep" out.

love you brother!

padre said...

Amen ... that shaves close .. Thank God for His Mercy and His Grace

Sarah (friend of Parker's) said...

It's so refreshing to see someone sit down and write from their heart. Write directly what God is speaking to them. What we want for ourselves is always going to be a struggle, for everybody. God says "turn to me now, while there is time! Give me your hearts." And when we mess up he says, "I will give you back what you lost..." We try to do the right thing (or what we think is right), we mess up and God says try again and I will help you. We need him everyday. Thanks for the thoughts, friend!

Karyn said...

There is a lot this post had to offer, and trying to comment in a wee little box seems an impossible task. But I want you to know that there wasn't any part of what you wrote that didn't strike a chord with me, and I am greatful for your words and the very odd way I came to find them. I will probably reference this in the next couple of days, as long as you have no objections.
I'm glad you wrote it even though you felt it was, I don't know, risky? Different from what you usually do? Regardless, thank you. I admire you for not caving to the worry that you may offend someone.

Karyn said...

Sorry, I do this "double posting" thing way to often! I should just wait to hit publish until I'm sure I've written every thing I am thinking. But.....
Do you think God's grace and love get mixed up with acceptance of the unacceptable. "...should we sin so that grace can abound, may it never be", yet His love, unconditional, never means that we become complacent. Just that when we do He is there to embrace us regardless. I wish I could figure out how to say what I'm trying to, but it has to do, for me, with obedience to God first. I beleive if I really want to obey God that I will never have peace with repeated, unconfessed sin. Not to say there will not be battles, but that I am His, and there always comes a point for me, the fork in the road moment that determines how my walk plays out. Sometimes it's so simple it's complicated.
During the ordination ceramony of our Youth Pastor today the Pastor said "Wait until you have to reach out in love to someone you don't like, that's when you'll grow.".
I always hear Jesus saying to love, but I never see him condone. I probably am not making any sense and now feel like I should run screaming from the internet.

Oldhops said...

I have to say that you did lose me a little bit. I think that the main key is just keeping your eye's and heart fixed on Him. Through that relationship you will find yourself growing toward the calling in your life. But that takes a lot of humility, and self-sacrafice. Which is something that I think everyone struggles with.

Karyn said...

Only a little? You're good! Yes, it is about my relationship, and obeying what comes out of that. After my husband died in the 9/11 attacks I did not want to obey God anymore, and did some really stupid stuff. That humility you mentioned, oh ya! But you know what? I'm so greatful to Him for loving me through it all, even though, honestly, I still suffer the consequences of those stupid choices. I live out your point that God's guidelines are for our benefit.
Your post rocked, convicted and encouraged!

raynav said...

aaron, i've been reading your blog for months, but only now getting around to saying "hello, glad i found you." so there it is...

nice post, btw.

van.diesel said...