For a long while it’s bugged me that the apostle Thomas’ name has gone the way of a byword. “Don’t be a Doubting Thomas,” some wryly throw about. It’s like what has happened to Albert Einstein – for such an intelligent man, we only use his name as a sarcastic insult directed at “stupid” people. Today, I think Thomas is the apostle we should most aspire to be like. And I’ll tell you why. Continue reading “Let’s All Be Like Thomas”
In my last post, I talked a little bit about the merits of criticism and judgment. Reading comments that others have shared and just taking some time to meditate on this over the course of the day, I feel like I have a little more to talk about with this one.
Like I said before, I think that it’s a bit naive to say that there isn’t wrong in the world, in the same way that, feeling ill, it would be naive to say “I don’t have pneumonia” until one is bedridden and debilitated. Sometimes something is genuinely wrong, and it needs to be addressed. I think the crux of the matter of criticism lies in the motive.
One of the things I recognize about myself is that I have an easy time presenting God’s truth and a hard time presenting God’s grace. I get frustrated easily and angry. Of course, God’s truth and God’s grace are inseparable. You can’t have one without the other. So, in essence, I still don’t fully understand either.
There is a lot of hate in this world. There is a lot of hate in America, even from within the Christian Church. Sometimes that ‘even’ becomes ‘especially’. Mahatma Gandhi famously said “I don’t reject Christ. I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ.”
John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.'” – John 1:23
Our culture has an infatuation with the apocalypse. I have a lot of theories why, but I believe it comes down to fascination and fear of judgment. That, or the idea that after the apocalypse, somehow, God’s judgment is finished – that God is dead – and those left behind are free to make their own moral code free of God’s natural law, living in something of a metaphysical badlands that the world forgot. Perhaps it’s seen as an exciting frontier, or an amalgam of purgatory and hell where interesting stories happen, free of God’s infringement of any kind of rational order and justice.
His Engine is one of my favorite songs that I’ve written, but I’ve found that it is really speaking to a specific group of people – Christians who are neither of the world nor in it. While I firmly believe that, as a Christian, we’re called to step above the depravity and darkness of the world, problems arise when we try to distance and isolate ourselves from it entirely.
I don’t want to be a Christian in philosophy only; I want to make a visible difference in the lives of my fellow man, both directly by connecting with others in a meaningful way, and also indirectly by producing positive content that inspires others and by working in politics and journalism to further the cause of truth and justice.
Prayer and contemplation is essential, but change occurs through our actions.
Simply put, we are God’s engine.
If you are struggling with despair or confusion in this broken world we live in, and feel like there’s nothing you can do, I hope this song speaks to you. Thanks for listening!
Just want to do a quick plug for Big Dawg Music Mafia and their radio show this evening. I had the distinct pleasure of being interviewed on the program by Lisa Mei, and I must say that it was really a fantastic experience. A bunch of great folks at Big Dawg promoting great content from musicians who just happen to be conservatives and libertarians.
If you missed tonight’s show, you can listen to the podcast HERE.
A big thank you to everyone who tuned in to listen and support me and Big Dawg Music Mafia. God bless!
In this time of holiday cheer, gift giving and receiving, frantic shopping, family gatherings, warm meals and cold air and charity, our spirits are dampened by the darkness of the world we live in. Today, we mourn a tragedy. It’s starting to seem like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.
But there is.
Remember the true meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown. This world is not all there is. There is more than this darkness. There is hope. There is a Savior.
I think more people need to approach Christianity with the mindset of approaching a different culture. It feels like there is a belief that, because most people live in such close proximity to Christians, and Christianity has influenced so much of American culture, that there’s really not much different. But the reality is that modern culture and Christian culture are very different.
Many times I hear Christians referred to as being “weird” for being so joyful, positive, loving, and dedicated to spreading the word of Jesus, but I think that’s because they’re looking at a Christian through the lens of “normal American.” Of course, Christians are like these so-called “normal Americans” in some ways, but in other ways, they are very different.
(I say they because I am still far from truly grasping what it means to be a Christian)
It’s easier to accept other cultures in other parts of the world when we approach them expecting something very different. I think, if someone really wants to get a better understanding of Christianity, they should try looking at it through the lens one would look at a foreign culture, because by approaching Christianity, it is guaranteed you will find a lifestyle very different from your own.
In the book of Genesis, chapter 11, there is the story of the tower of Babel. The men of this story, united through the voice of one constant language, came together and resolved to build a tower that would reach the heavens. When God saw this, he struck them down and confused them, and made them speak all different languages so that they could not attempt to reach heaven through mortal means.
This curse of Babel is the ongoing curse of humanity. Time and time again, we believe that we as men can reach a kind of perfection (or heaven) on Earth. We believe that we can reach a Utopia, by controlling men and ruling over their hearts and minds to achieve a perfected human race, denying the broken nature of man as it was made by God, the infinite curse of our sentience, and believing that men can be “fixed” through enough engineering and social change. It is the belief that we are victims of our circumstances, that we are bred by society to be broken, but by nature are not broken, and that with proper education and rearing we can be bred to perfection.
This is the school of though that gives birth to socialism, communism, and a thousand schools of philosophy dedicated to finding the answer to life. All are based from good intentions – to make the world perfect, and to make everyone happy – but all are based from secularism, and the reason for their repeated failure is the denial of inner peace and the denial of a higher power in God.
Although it is never the conscious intention, those who seek to rectify the world through mortal means – to achieve heaven on earth through the labors of man – are driven by a desire for power. A power over evil, a power over man, a power over sin. Even if they begin with good intentions, they will either be corrupted by that power, or another will destroy them and take the power for themselves. The nations that have attempted to do this, Israel which denied God in the end, Rome, France, and England, all which used Him for the pursuit of land, wealth, and power, Germany, Russia, North Korea, The Middle East, all which strove for unity of mind and message, and purity of the people, were driven to great atrocity and sin, and the fate of eventual fall.
The United States is now building the Tower of Babel. We believe that the law of man is gospel, that byzantine laws and rules and regulations are chains that bind us. We focus on legislation and elections and politics as if they were grand spectacles of divinity, not merely decisions of the operation of a country but changes to the fabric of our reality. We’ve come to believe that the government is now God, and that the old God can be kept in churches, but not in the heart of the country. We believe that the government has the power to take away our choice, when nothing can do that, not even God. We have the choice to reject Him. We have seen one party defend God in anger and spite, and the other reject him entirely not once, but three times.
Our culture, too, has fallen. Where we once embraced family, love, community, and God. Now our culture is downstream from the puerile faucet that is our media, a mechanism of social change and influence disguised as mindless entertainment. Instead of being motivated by ourselves, by our own necessity, we’re motivated by a thousand clever advertisements telling us the things we need to buy, the things we need to eat, to use, to wear. We’ve become bogged down with rooms full of useless things that we whimsically believed we needed, simply because a stranger told us so. The country is on the verge of economic collapse because the culture of needless consumerism has replaced the culture of wisdom and frugality, and even our highest offices spend money as if it was meaningless. Advertisement now removes our need to think. If we are willing to blindly accept the latest fashions, the latest trends, the “cool” things to do that we blissfully imitate, then what else will we blindly accept?
America is faced with a choice. Is the answer government? Is it control, power, possessions, and eventual perfection? Or is it God? Can we be perfected, or are we inherently broken beyond repair? And if we are, is that a bad thing? Either way, I believe we will see great tumult before the end, because this is a battle over the soul of America. Will we return to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, not rights guaranteed by America or the government but rights guaranteed by God, or will we ensure that the pursuit of happiness is effortless, and both those who ask and those who don’t receive all they could ever want, in exchange for participating in the great experiment of man’s folly.
We cannot attain perfection. The pursuit of it is nothing new. The ideas presented are not revolutionary, they have been repeating on a loop since the book of Genesis. Observe them for what they are. Destined failures. We must choose who we seek to follow – the Creator, or those false idols who believe they can create something better.