11:48pm

I am sitting in my basement, listening to Sigur Ros’ ( ) , contemplating my life. The meaningless gibberish bounces off my face and back at the glowing screen, leaving me in a trance-like state. The music is docile, the mood is calm, and I am questioning existence. It was another one of those days at work. Every customer cheerfully adding a “merry Christmas” to the end of their pre-recorded goodbye message. I stand there and reciprocate while wondering, “when did we become so smug?” I realize that its one of those nights, that these feelings may hold no real standing. I realize that judgments are shooting out of me like pez from a broken automatic dispenser. But, is there some nugget of truth, be it deeply coated in bitterness and existential bullshit. I hear another customer complaining about people saying, “happy holidays.” So what? It’s the holidays, should they not be happy? Why is it that christian culture has to turn everything into some subversive plot to destroy religion? I prefer happy holidays. It flows off the tongue better. It encompasses the entire season, instead of one day. My thoughts wander. A lady is on the phone, talking to someone about the king James version. I hear her talk about a third party that endorses it as the best bible. That third party is an idiot. I wonder how such deeply rooted ignorance can manifest itself so proudly. I realize that my own pride is flaring at this point. I cough and almost throw up. If I threw up I could go home. I want to go home, but I know that is not why I am here. Children appear through the door. The one thing that makes this more bearable. They are so innocent, not trying to impress or convince anyone of anything, other than that Prince Caspian is the best movie ever. I play into their game. I allow this young boy named Noah, good name by the way, to explain to me the different characters and plots. I dare not ruin his fun by telling him how off the movie was from the book. I am not that kind of guy. Or am I? Sitting here in my intellectual superiority laughing silently at the KJV fanatic and the MacArthur fan. Have I become what I despise? Am I nothing more than that which I hate? A customer leaves as I mutter “Merry Christmas” to them. Why do we even say that? Where am I? Who am I? My whole life is deconstructed before my eyes and I sit, powerless to the overwhelming power of idea. Is it the Devil, tearing me away? Or God, enlightening me? Humanity gives God credit for what he never meant, and blames the devil for its own actions. Perhaps we are the creators of our own inventions. Perhaps we are the builders of our own buildings. Back to my reality. What makes a human special? We dress up and cover ourselves. Build fancy buildings and machines to do our work. When does life start? I am stuck in an endless cycle of doors, never finding the one that takes me to fresh air.

They weren’t cows inside. They were waiting to be, but they forgot.

Have we forgot who we are? Dear God, let us see sky again.

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The Low Down

My life has changed drastically recently. Many things are happening and will continue to happen which will drastically change the way I live. It all started when My wife and I decided to step into God’s will and leave our Church home and pursue starting something different. On December 15th, Allison and I had our last church service at Light House Church. It was odd. Not to be to self-focused, but I was a bit confused when there was no real going away anything. Not that I feel like I deserve or need a party or a long goodbye, it was just strange. I only write this because I was not the only one who felt that our departure seemed to be lackluster. Perhaps it was because a week before our departure, I had a less than pleasant encounter with the senior pastor, or perhaps it’s because in the end we were not that important. Most likely it is because no one took on the responsibility and the ball was dropped. I feel a bit bad because Allison, Cassie and I were all ball catchers. When something was about to fall apart because no one took responsibility, we were the ones to pick it up. I worry the most about the worship team. My time with it ended quite abruptly and my voice was not counted at all in the decisions for the future. It bothers me because I feel that the worship team was really moving in a good direction and that direction needed to be addressed before I left. God will provide, I just worry.

My last night of youth group was far more difficult for me. I have poured so much energy and passion into the youth group. The kids there had become very much a part of my life. It was extremely difficult to leave them.

In other news, today Allison and I closed on our new house. We move in on January 3rd. Anyone who can help us move will get pizza. Back to church stuff.

So, now I am officially starting my preparation for Mosaic. It is our approach to christian community, which will take place in our new house. We are currently planning three things: a book club, Sunday service and dinner, and a monthly sandwich making day. On Sundays our doors to our house will be open from noon to midnight, for any and all people to come in and warm up, enjoy the company of the people there and truly be a part of community. We will have a community dinner that will segue into the worship service. We will implement all sorts of different avantgarde methods of worship from more modern music to ancient liturgy and some silence to break it all up. Our teaching will be very discussion focused and will involve some sort of discussion engine; short teaching, movie, music, and then we will spend most of the time, like at the youth group I was involved in, will be spent with discussion. We will then continue to hang out until its midnight.

It has to start somewhere.

It has to start sometime.

What better place than here, what better time than now.

ALL HELL CANT STOP US NOW.

Rage Against the Machine lyrics that we have taken very much to heart. We have also been coming up with slogans. One I particularly liked was “turn that shit up.” which is another reference to Rage.

Mosaic. turn that shit up.

Down in Flames

I felt that this song really hit me as to what is going on within this crazy mind of mine. A friend of mine named Vickie wrote a rebuttal to my post about Nine Inch Nails which you can read at one of those links over here –>

Just click the one that says woman after gods heart and go to the post titled “The Church.”  No spam comments now, all you faithful readers. (laughs at my own unpopularity) It got me thinking about how when you criticize something, everyone always thinks you are defacing it, or completely giving up on it. Like she wrote in the post that:

“A friend of mine has made a couple of post on his blog about how horrible the church is in America and it makes me sad.”
I don’t believe that was my point in writing this. So with that and the nature of this late hour I end my blabbering and let Relient K’s classic ol’ school lyrics (slightly modified) speak for me:

Let me pause to clarify
’cause I’m sure you’re asking, “Why?”.
I stand before you and proudly claim
to belong to what this blog complains.

I’m part of the problem, I confess.
But I gotta get this off my chest.

Let’s extinguish the anguish
for which we’re to blame,
and save the world
from going down in flames.

a quick thought on twilight: Vampires are stealing our job

I just read a post from someone I don’t know and this person was talking about the latest phenomenon, Twilight. For those who don’t know (like there is anyone out there that doesn’t) it’s about vampires and in the book the vampires are these irresistible beings. It has become a bestseller hit. The most fascinating thing is the overwhelming amount of people who are in love with or want to be the main character Edward. My thought is this, what on earth have we done that people are more drawn to wanting to be vampires instead of followers and students of Christ. I mean, if this truth is supposed to be like honey on our lips, then shouldn’t this be irresistible? unless we have somehow made it seem less than what it is.

I want to here your thoughts.

How did vampires steal our job?

How do we get it back?

How did the truth of God become less irresistible?

post-script: I am almost done with the first book in the series. I am not against the book. It is pretty good.

I hate waiting…plus NIN

I am currently sitting in class at the horrible MCC (I am only going here because its cheap.) waiting for my teacher who did not account for snow. She is normally 10 to 15 minutes late and as I was driving I thought to myself, “Hmmm, I wonder if our teacher will be even later today.” I walk into the class and look to see a message stating that our teacher will not be here until 10:30. Now, in normal, real colleges this would mean that class was canceled, but not at MCC. No, we get to sit here for the next half hour and wait for her to get here. It doesn’t help that I was planning on leaving early to get to the second half of our home inspection for our new house. I am trying not to be frustrated. So, instead of sitting here, doing nothing, I decided that I would write about something that intrigued me the other day.

The other night I was driving back home after dropping off my friend Kyle at his house. I had grabbed a bunch of CD’s i hadn’t listened to in a few years to listen to during the drive, one of which was Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral. Now, if you know Nine Inch Nails, you know that they have a tendency to be raw, angry, and vulgar. I have not listened to this album in quite a long time, but I remembered that there was one song that had a particularly negative view on God. This song, quaintly titled “Heresy” used to bother me quite a bit. I normally would just skip over it and move on. But, because I had forgot the lyrics and hadn’t listened to the album in a while I decided to ignore my “inner youth group student” and listen to the song. As I listened to it I started to find really deep meaning behind it. It was no longer just an anti-Christianity song, but rather a deeper look at society and the role that religion plays in it. I saw a critique that I agreed with on many levels. Now, I am by no means christianizing Nine Inch Nails. I do not intend to warp the meaning of this song in order to fit Jesus into it somehow. I hate it when people do that. However, I do believe that there is a lot of meaning we can draw from this song. Here are the Lyrics:

He sewed his eyes shut because he is afraid to see
He tries to tell me what I put inside of me
He’s got the answers to ease my curiosity
He dreamed a God up and called it Christianity
God is dead and no one cares
If there is a hell I’ll see you there
He flexed his muscles to keep his flock of sheep in line
He made a virus that would kill off all the swine
His perfect kingdom of killing, suffering and pain
Demands devotion atrocities done in his name
God is dead and no one cares
If there is a hell I’ll see you there

Now, I will admit it is a rather harsh song. But I find that my interpretations of this song hold some meaning.

NOTE: If you do not believe that music should be interpreted because it is art, read no further. I DO NOT WANT SPAMMING FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE LIKE ” NO THAT’S NOT WHAT IT IS ABOUT.” I understand that he wrote it about his feelings with the AID’S epidemic, I just personally heard the lyrics and was moved.

The point in the song that really made me think about things was the chorus. It was not the “God is dead” part, but the no-one cares part. I saw it as a wake up. God is dead is a classic Nietzsche quote. I have always heard it said that it refers to the outdated ways of the Church and the removal of God from society, that the God that the church offers is no longer culturally relevant or needed by our world. In this way, God is dead. Now, we seem to see this in motion in our society. The church in America has not grown in a long time. Churches get bigger and hold baptisms, but in large church growth comes from people swapping churches instead of new people finding love in the church. The reason for this: I don’t feel that we, as a whole, offer it. Not to say that church should be an avenue of consumerized love, but rather that on a large scale, we have done a pretty good job of disgracing the image of God’s church. In this, I find that in many ways God is dead. We are destroying people’s images of God by not being his body. People read that God is love and then His body goes on a killing rampage in His name. You can read that God’s heart breaks for the sick and oppressed yet you see His body hording money into super-palace churches and condemning AIDS victims. We are destroying the image of God to our culture, to the people around us and making God look like a hypocrite and because of our actions God is dying in America.

But here comes the kicker. Not only is God dying, but no one cares. We keep doing exactly what we have been doing. You would think that something like God’s death in our society would compel us to change. You would think that the lack of new people walking into churches would inspire change. Yet we keep doing the same thing. Now, I am not here to advocate catering to culture, but I am going to say that we should cater to God’s will and I don’t believe turning away single moms and crack addicts is the way. See, the deep meaning in the song comes from the fact that we don’t care. We have created a borg like attitude that says “assimilate or go away” and it’s just not right and because we are not doing anything about it, it is killing God. We spend our time “flexing our muscles to keep the sheep in line” that we don’t realize that the sheep our dying. That we don’t realize that we too are sheep.

Then comes the last line: If there is a hell, i will see you there. I think a major part of this line is in reference to the hypocrisy of the holier than thou attitude. That we condemn some for their sin, yet allow others within the church keep up with it. There is a hypocrisy that in all reality, Trent has nailed down. I mean, if Westboro Baptist Church is right, then they are going to hell too. But, I found an even deeper meaning in this. That our lack of compassion for God’s true will and our lack of humility to realize that change is essential is dragging us down. We have become no better than the pharisees, sitting in their courts, praising their ways. Jesus never got angry at those who were in darkness. Why on earth would you expect someone in darkness to look like light? He got angry, and very angry at that, at the religious leaders. The “holy” ones. The ones who passed by the broken and hungry and left-out because they were too busy. It is our job, our purpose, our charge to be the body of Christ. To reach out to the broken and give them healing. To love the marginalized and realize that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and if we do not, then there maybe Trent is right in saying he might see you there.

Matthew 25:34-40