Wednesday, August 22, 2007

my previous title was a lie - thoughts on random behavior

[I hesitate to post this essay (?) on this blog. Most of the people who read my myspace blog know my church background and thus know where I'm coming from a little bit more. I think it is clear enough...]

I'm not so sure if I'm keen on the [church?] argument stating "I don't care if I look stupid, God thinks I'm cool" or "I don't care how this looks, God told me to do it."

Let me tell you why.

First, if God were to call me to do something that was ridiculous in nature, I would want to think about whether or not it is drawing people in or creating an erratic image for followers of Christ. In a sense, I want to live by the verse stating "I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some." Whatever I do, I want it to be relatable to the people I'm surrounded by. I don't want to get too critical so I guess I'm not saying that God does not call us to do odd things now and then; I just don't like the attitude that we can get of priding ourselves in doing things eccentric in nature.

Second, this is easily used as a cover for our own weirdness. Every time we might get ridiculed for anything, we simply see it as our own personal martyrdom brought on by the local heathen. I don't want to criticize our idiosyncrasies, for that is what makes us individuals, but I don't think we should be blaming our Lord and Savior on our more atypical tendencies. Well… perhaps God can be accredited for creating us unique (with our "atypical tendencies") but I don't think he made our own peculiar behaviors requirements of the Christian faith. Basically, I think Christians get noted for their odd-looking practice of their faith, and then automatically think the critic is "anti-Christian"… which I don't think is the case all the time.

Third, (and this may just be my second point rephrased (I'm not sure…)) this argument has the potential to create a lazy attitude. If we're doing things that we are pre-ordaining by God, we're infallible. Regardless of how well we prepare, act, or whatever we are doing, we set ourselves above critique. Personally, I still think we should be acting out of a sense of excellence (excellence being our highest potential – don't peg me as a perfectionist who looks down on anything short of brilliant).

Let me give a brief example. In high school, I had this image of someone walking down the hallways of school, praying out loud (really loudly), and doing the whole hand on the head thing to cause the whole slain in the spirit thing (I was fresh off of a few trips to [Pentecostal] Brownsville). I just thought if at some point in my high school career I get to this point, I will officially be a super-Christian remembered by students to come (you know, like Jacob Gaines or one of those legends that go down in BCC youth group lore). Now I'm not saying that wouldn't have been a good thing if that happened. I just don't know if it is what God really calls us to. I see a high moral character (something lacking in high school – at least when I was there), a caring/accepting attitude, or a defending of the weak as a stronger statement for the kingdom of God then a big show is.

Alright, I think that's it. If you read all of that and it made sense I believe that is a miracle in itself (it's ten til 3am and the ideas floating around in my head probably aren't all that clear). If my thoughts enlightened, confused, offended or challenged you (or had any other type of effect on you), please comment. Also, I realize I'm immature and have irrational thoughts. Everything that I just said could probably be rebutted with a simple phrase and be proven totally wrong... and that's alright.


Christina said...

So you may think I am a little stalkerish and that is okay if you do, I might be, but I was reading your blog after linking through Jacob's and I really enjoy this post. I love the questions, must we be certifiably insane to have it right?

Okay well, have fun in Ecuador!

- Christina Sanders

Anonymous said...

This post reminds us that there is a fine of line of balance and obedience to the Lord. Thank you for your candid honesty!

Many Blessings!
Keep sharing.
-Tammy stryker