Saturday, May 22, 2010

You Are Holy Because I Am Holy

Holy. Me. Really? My mind keeps drifting to this idea of holiness and what it really means for us. I think many of us have endured a form of "reductionist" Christianity that has reduced the gospel down to manageable ideas and soundbites. It has also reduced the way of Christ down to sin management at best. My heart tells me there has to be more. However I know where my mind goes and I know to what and to whom my heart feels pulled and I am left challenged by my own unholiness.

After looking at this word and how it is used I think I am sure of this. Holiness is God's work. Alone. It is what He does in and through us. What makes us Holy is not our own piety or our own ability to "do good." It is because God has consecrated us for His purpose. Whether it is a place or a time or a special day or a person -- it is the consecrating of that thing or being for use by God that makes it holy.

And so we are holy because He is holy. We are made, called and sent for a purpose.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Simplicity versus Simplistic

A facebook interaction with a friend recently has stirred these thoughts and I am not really sure I have a good way to articulate what I am thinking. Ah, this is why I blog. I get to order ideas and thoughts on paper, well on a screen if we are going to be technical.

This began with the idea on her wall that Faith is not Intellectual Suicide. I thought long and hard about that idea and was trying not to comment because I knew it would develop into a longer conversation. But, in spite of my best attempts at self regulation, I commented. I said something like, "it may not be, but it sure feels like it sometimes when you see how the church and Christians tend to offer simplistic answers to complexity." Her response was that simplification of truth was the challenge. I responded back that at some level I think I see her point....HOWEVER...

Simplistic answers like: God, Jesus, Bible and Church just don't cut it anymore. Pray, Repent, Obey don't either. They are all still true, valuable answers -- we just have to measure how we use them. In a culture that no longer values the "I have all the answers" mentality that Christianity has prided itself on, we have to change our ways. It is now more attractive to have good questions, hard questions, ones that require a struggle.

And so, when considering these two "S" words -- we can agree that God is truth and that is simple, but it is everything that follows that statement that is nuanced, tensioned, and gritty that we need to be challenged with. If we simplify down to simplistic we are no longer representing God in the way He chose to reveal Himself to humanity.