Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Sometimes it is about cleaning house.... getting rid of the things that clutter our existance. Sometimes it is about eliminating the excess and cutting out those things we love to love too much. Sometimes it is about simplifying the focus of our heart. Sometimes it is about discipline and sometimes freedom. Sometimes it just is. It is all of these things at one time or another. It has become one of my favorite seasons of the year. It is a time when I feel the most raw, the most basic, the most pure. It refreshes me and gives me strength. How odd that the abstaining from things that enrich life serves to bring us into a more full life.
The foolishness of God, I suppose.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I like punk rock. Still. I am 30 years old and have been a part of this culture for more than half of my life. It has brought me a lot of grief over the years and has provided a lot of fuel for some of my more negative actions in life, but I still find myself intimately identified with many of the key, foundational principles that punk rock has taught me. My values, while evolved and matured, still reflect the counter cultural basis that punk rock screams out.
Take for instance the freedom of expression that is inherent in the culture. Diversity and uniqueness is celebrated and encouraged. While there are cookie cutter punks, the culture itself is made up of numerous subcultures and factions that all make up one collective whole. There are your anarchists, socialists, right wingers, hyper liberals, artists, musicians, straight edgers, drunk punks, skins, gutter punks, skatepunks, pop punks,vegan punks etc..... All of them fit into under the umbrella of the "scene." There is room for them all. Growing up in the Texas Panhandle really reinforced this concept to me. Everyone hung out together because we had nothing else, no one else. We might be into different things, however we were all outcasts to a certain degree and found community in our own unique freedoms of expression.... even if we identified ourselves and punk rock or something else. It was all subculture.
This one aspect, and there are many others beside this one, has probably been one of the most important lessons I have taken from the scene. Not because of how I See me, but because of how it has helped me see others. I can appreciate and value the uniqueness of others more fully because I was nurtured in a culture that placed value upon this trait. I think that this has made me able to be more fully Christian. I don't come from a sheltered culture where "different" is to be feared and therefore can be free to see people radically different from me as they are. Unique, individual, created in the image of God and full of value. Fear does not allow us to see people this way. Fear makes us defensive and often hostile.
In addition, the concept of community has been strengthened through the punk rock scene. We were not all the same, but all found common enough ground to be somewhat unified. Sure, there was more than enough drama, but somehow we all retained a sense of community that has lasted over a decade. It is the secular expression of "one body made up of many different and specific parts" No cookie cutter people. No common political view. Just a commonality that supersedes the one.
My wife and I get this. We love it. We wish the Church could be a little more punk rock.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Not knowledge in general, only the desire to always know.... always figure it out.... always have the answer. This is the fundamentalist's strength and weakness.
I am just amazed right now bt the immensity and transcendence of God. A being beyond knowledge and understanding. A God that is infinitely larger than our most grand aspirations of understanding. What a great thing it is to be in communion, in relationship with the Creator of all things. What a maddening thing to try and put this into a formula. He is completely incapable of fitting into any box or system we creat to understand His ways.
God is not rational. God is not logical. He functions in these forms when the purpose suits Him, but He is not bound to them. He is the creator of logic and rationalism, but how can a creator be bound by the created? Can we then create a formula to predict the actions of such a thing as this? Can we say He "always does this" or "always does that?" Weather forcasters in the Panhandle of Texas have better odds of being spot on than we who would aspire to fit our God into a pattern of behavior.
Things are not always literal, nor are they always allegorical, but the Word of God contains both. Harmoniously. Is our concept of God big enough to handle that? Or do we aspire to make the illogical logical? The irrational rational? The Spirit within compels us towards truth, a divine truth not based on our finite understanding. This mystical truth revealed through Christ is the current that underlies all truth in the Word.
Does the fundamentalist understand this? It does not seem so. Their never ending search to explain everything seems to keep them bound in theology based on a false sense of security in their own knowledge. God bless em' and Lord help us.
We may not understand. We will not understand. But we will recognize and believe if we are free.