Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Games With God

Hello friends, it's been a long time since I've written much of anything on this blog. Lots of good and bad things have happened. As it may have been clear earlier, I decided almost 10 months ago to begin a year of vows, most of which just involved typical abstinence (no alcohol, no girls, no smoking) and a fast every Tuesday. I recently decided to end the vows, however, for fear that they were doing more harm than good.

At the outset of the vows, I was trying to keep myself on a straight path by avoiding things that I had seen which cause problems in my life. Thus, I decided to make decisions that would destroy my party life altogether. This was not a bad decision, but I failed to see the root of the problem. The problem will never be that I drink alcohol, or that I have something to smoke, or that I am attracted to women. The problem is that I don't see God as being real enough in my life.

Over years of heavy involvement in churches, I am starting to see vows, rules, and expectations as being very limiting and very dangerous. This weekend I suddenly realized that while I was trying to fend off the "dangers of this world" with my vows, I had failed to conquer the sin in my heart. I realized that the human heart wants to know God, but we want to know God on our own terms. We want to play games. We want to follow rules. We would rather assume these games, these pointless little games, that we think will earn points with Him.

I found myself tallying up points when I did something unselfish, fed a homeless person, restrained my tongue, witnessed to someone, went to church, encouraged a friend, etc.

My actions were plenty good, but my heart somehow was not. I was earning points for myself instead of living this way simply to be obedient. I somehow gained the notion that I could earn something good by living good.

I decided to shed it all off recently. I need to discover what faith really means at this point. God is real. God isn't just this game we're playing. He's not tallying up scores. He's a friend, a savior, a lover, a defender, a father, a brother, and a holy, righteous God who has made it clear time and time again that His desire is to dwell among us. His existence is infinitely more solid than everything that we've ever considered to be reality. How does He feel when instead of actually communicating with Him, we just try and tally points up? How do you think He feels about these silly rules that we try to follow to fit in to Christian culture, when what He really desires is closeness with us and true obedience to His will?

Give it some thought; this is open for discussion.

1 comment:

D.J. Lower / KKairos said...

It's easy to get caught up in rules and playing for points instead of living for Christ, but we must be sure we avoid saying that rules are to any degree inherently inimical to a personal relationsihp with Christ. This is false because rules are part of Christianity. If it were not so, He would have told us, but He told us He would fulfil the Law, not abolish it. The rules aren't all the same, and as a whole, they now demand more of us in heart, soul, mind and strength. I thank Our Lord for indicating two commandments we can focus on to help from point-counting. Helpfully, they comprise a call to love of God and neighbor.

I'm not saying that this notion I abhor is something you have yet implied. It is important that we remember that Jesus, as well as friend, savior, love, defender, brother, and God, Jesus is Lord.

Glad to see you posting again, Austin!

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