It is so easy to strut around as if I have all God’s light to myself. It is too easy to stop my ears to the gasps of others who glimpsed a side of God different to the one I see. Religion, so often, speaks to my desire for certainty. I am frail, timid, naked even and so I knit garments of fundamental belief, drink elixirs of hastily mixed verses and puff my chest out with self-congratulatory pride. Continue reading
We’ve become a little too nonchalant about Jesus. In our songs and conversations, we have reduced Him to a permissive accomplice, a smiling confidante in constant agreement with our every whim.
He is an eviscerated Christ, mutilated by our pride. It is our pride that’s behind it all. Why else would we define boundless love as unchallenging approval if we weren’t obsessed with puffing ourselves up? If, as our mantra says, Jesus fully understands and loves us, He then should challenge us to be and do better. That would involve a lot of tough conversations.
Of course, in Jesus, the Divine has been encapsulated into accessible humanity. Jesus comes to us at our level but we should always remember that He is stooping. His total humility cannot obscure His terrific condescension. He is like us but a whole lot more.
Revelation is meant to be taken seriously. That’s why John’s vision of Jesus was so striking as to make him fall flat on his face. As I heard Sigve Tonstad say, “Revelation is meaningful because understanding is possible.” Quivering fear stands in the way of understanding and so Jesus must bid John, “Don’t be afraid.”
Somebody ought to forward that memo to dour-faced evangelists bent on striking hearts with fear. Revelation is meant to inspire obedience springing from understanding. They need to learn humility too because their prophetic charts and proof texts can lead them to trust in their limited knowledge of the future instead of the Jesus who holds it.
We need to keep the balance between the “God out there” and the “God in my heart”. Both perspectives are true but both have pitfalls: fear and presumption. The line between fear and reverence is a frightfully thin one but we can and need to tremble before Jesus without fearing Him. This is only possible if we behold Him as He is revealed.
You just know you’re talking to a Seventh-day Adventist when “The State of the Dead” haunts your conversation. Yes, an exhaustive and, usually, exhausting list of deeds to be done and sins to be shunned between Friday sunset and Saturday sunset, comes a clear undisputed first on the list of SDA symptoms but “The State of the Dead” comes in a close second.
I have heard more than my fair share of graphic Continue reading
That a Laodicean Christian concerned by the sombre message of Revelation 3, would be told by an elder, “relax, it’s actually a coded message to a future church,” lies beyond my imagination’s reach. While I believe that much can, and should, be drawn from the book sent to the seven churches, I cannot wrest it from their hands and squeeze it into my backpack. It was written to them but the Holy Spirit preserved it for me. Reading Revelation is eavesdropping, it is peering over the Continue reading
We’ve locked God up in church and locked our brains out. That way, we can do whatever we like during the week and only surrender our freedom on Saturday. That is why it gets harder to thank God when life gets better – why thank somebody who stayed locked up in church and morning worship while I slaved away all week?
Of course, we are slack in doing church stuff Continue reading
God made a big mistake! He forgot to fix the universe so that it would keep rotating around us, thus, we get what we want sometimes but most of the time, the universe grows bored with us and runs off to spin around other things, leaving us with crushed hopes and failed plans. What sort of God does that to us? We have a right to get whatever we want. Of course, the universe ought to spin around us, our signatures are etched in the planets and our selfies are posted on the very stars after all! Fortunately, God has a weakness Continue reading
Save me dear God, from the covetousness that bids me turn from you and grasp your goodies. It is so frightfully easy to seek fulfilment in what I can taste and touch, to kneel before a god I can see, grasp and manipulate. In my blindness, I see only the gift and ignore the Giver, and flexing my arms I praise my strength as if I made that which I merely received. Forgive my foolishness and purge my pride!
Is it not foolishness to blur that glaring line between Continue reading