on poets and theologians, of which I am neither
September 22, 2014, 5:45 am
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I’m trying to think of the reason I do this. Why write on this insignificant corner of the Internet? Sometimes it’s to get something off my chest. Other times it’s because I feel compelled to speak up. More often than not, it’s because I want to be a writer and don’t know how, so this is the only outlet I know of that’s available to me. Mostly, it’s to feel alive.

I feel like my writing & thought process is caught between a mix of poet and theologian, but I fail more often than not on both fronts. I don’t have enough energy to back up my theology consistently. It would require too many internet arguments, and I already waste too much time there. My poetic ability consists of ‘roses are red’, so I try to construct sentences that are meaningful and beautiful…but often they just feel like a jumble of words that could never adequately express what I’m truly feeling. So I keep writing, feeling stuck in this nether world of half assed poetry with a mix of half assed biblical interpretation. I know what I know and I know what I want to say. I’m just not sure how to get that out.

I feel like a fraud. What if my writing is trying to present an image of myself I can’t possibly measure up to? (hint: it is…)

The truth is I know who I want to be. A child of God, content in the love and grace that comes with that. I want to be well read and passionate, fighting for issues that matter to me and that are close to the heart of Jesus. But the truth is, I’m about as far from content in my relationship with God as I’ve ever been, and my passionate self extends about as far as football scores these days. I know who I want to be, I just don’t know how to be.

When I think about racial injustice in Ferguson, Missouri, or at home here in Canada towards Aboriginals, my blood boils. When someone uses the word ‘fag,’ or another evangelical packages ignorance and hatred as the love of Christ to my LGBT brothers and sisters, my passion to fight injustice is stirred. What feels like a prophetic anger rises up in me. When I hear about the beauty and goodness of God, I 100% believe it’s real. But I don’t know what to do with that. Or if I do, I’m too easily distracted. I’m not sure how to live my passion and belief out consistently. I can write about it and share articles on Twitter or write all the blog posts in the world…but I’m so tired of feeling like that’s all there is. Is that all there is? Twitter arguments and blog posts? I know there’s more. There has to be.

I feel like I’ve been sucked into a vacuous vortex of distraction. YouTube videos of random weirdness and sports highlights pull me deeper into a dark nothingness, void of meaning or substance. So when a Ferguson comes up or the Holy Spirit makes it clear that I need to act on sin in my own life, I get mad and determined to act for a time…then sink deeper into the distractions, minimizing the call to more.

So why do I do this? Why do I write randomly about nothing and everything at the same time? Why don’t I just give up? I just need to be reminded of who I am; who I want to be. I need to say out loud the things I know in my head to be true that I struggle to believe each day.

God does love me. I don’t have to do more to make God love me. My mistakes don’t determine Gods love for me. There is more to this life. There is hope for a better world. God wants me to play a role in that plan.

I’m a phony trying to be more than I’m capable of being on my own. Writing reminds me that there’s more going on than the empty, consumer rat race we’re all caught up in. That’s reason enough.

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burning the qur’an and other nonsense
September 13, 2010, 7:02 pm
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this story has been making the news rounds lately. a pastor in florida thinks islam is of the devil and wants to burn their holy book to make a statement about religious extremism…anyone see the hypocrisy in that statement?

one extreme act to combat another extreme act, and we just keep going round and round in this vicious cycle of ‘he hit me so i’m going to hit him’. oh religion…i love Jesus, and i want to love religion. i wish religion was synonymous with Jesus, but people like terry jones make it very difficult to see it that way. shane claiborne, a role model for me, wrote intelligently here about humility, and giving terry jones credit for backing down. i like the idea behind what he says, i just struggle with actually taking my heart there. people are saying that it’s his right and his freedom allows him to desecrate something holy to millions of people. it might be his right, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t being a dink. i wish i took my holy book as seriously as those who follow the qur’an. in high school when i was doing drugs all the time, i ran out of rolling papers for my weed. i ripped a page out of my bible and used it. i remember a close friend asking me if i was sure that was a good idea. i didn’t care at the time, but now i am looking back and realizing that i really don’t have enough respect for this book i follow. the Bible. it’s been used for great things in the name of Jesus and horrible things in the name of religion. some might say i’m just splitting hairs with that statement, but that’s how i feel. Jesus is amazing, humans are stupid sometimes. the movie “GREENBERG” has this great line where one guy says to another, “youth is wasted on the young.” the guy sitting next to him says, “i’d go further. life is wasted on people.” i lol’ed at that one. i don’t really believe it. i love people. they just drive me insane. i drive myself insane with my own stupidity. i often wonder if God wants to take back that statement in Genesis 1 about seeing adam and saying that what he created was very good. i mean, he’s God, so probably not. but seriously, look at us. the Bible. a book filled with life that doesn’t give pat answers. if you use it as an answer book, that’s when religion and humanity take hold and ruin it. the Bible. i read a story about brother yun, a man who lived in China when christianity was a thing of the past in his time. there were no bibles to be found. living under mao, to follow Christ led to imprisonment and often worse. but brother yun wanted a bible desperately, and so he prayed and prayed. he fasted and wept and couldn’t go a moment without desiring his bible. when he finally got one, he spent each moment he could with it. loving it. living it. it’s a cool story. anyway, i have 7 bibles on my shelf. for some reason i struggle to pick one of them up once a day. i am SO busy. doesn’t God know that? i wish i would have been offended by the thought of burning a page of my bible when i was younger. i wish i had the passion of brother Yun for my bible, at least for 1 of the 7. at least it makes me look spiritual, right? when i really think about it, i do love my bible. the problem isn’t that the bible isn’t calling me or speaking to me. it does every time i pick it up. the problem is me. my attitude. my heart. my chaos. my culture that i created and have bought into. when our holy books and religions are used as weapons to destroy and hurt people, that is when we have corrupted and co-opted the story of Jesus and turned it into something hateful. burning qur’an to show them the error of their ways…really effective strategy. it’s like slapping a baby to get them to quit crying. i am not advocating slapping babies, in case anyone misinterpreted that. using your bible to justify war and bigotry. when will we grow up? i bet if christians everywhere saw their bible the way brother Yun did, things would look a little different. our bibles wouldn’t be collecting dust on our shelves. people that try to twist the narrative of rescue and redemption from the pages of scripture and turn it into a message of domination and oppression wouldn’t have a voice if we all really listened, prayed and lived the words of scripture. i am guilty as all of you, so please don’t take this as an attack. i’m attacking myself.

i think shane claiborne is on to something with his article. because i really want to sit here and rip a new one for people like terry jones and the many like him. but in doing that, i am no better than them. ‘love your neighbor’ means to love followers of islam, which means we should not burn their holy book. but it also means that we have to love people like terry jones. and i struggle with that. the idea inspires me. living it scares me. but i guess if i took my Bible as seriously as i should, maybe it would be easier to love not just the oppressed, but the oppressor. and that is where i’m at today. the bible will speak to us in all sorts of ways. the Bible can be co-opted to say things that it never said. to mean things it never meant. anyone can grab a verse here or there and justify anything. but the Bible was never meant to be co-opted. it was meant to tell a story. the story of God’s love for his people. i want to start telling that story rather than making it fit the story i want to tell. wish me luck.