Saturday, October 22


A while back, a huge Christian marketing novelty enabled evangelicals all over the world to be Jesus. It gave power to all who wore it. Plus, it automatically made you a 'cool' christian. Oh, and it was supposed to make you do something...besides just wear it. It was a bracelet, and it had "WWJD" on it...

What ever happend to actually acting on what the WWJD acronym meant? I don't recall that I ever knew anybody who asked WWJD? in a situation, and then actually did it. I know I didn't. Imagine you're living a great life. (I don't need to describe the things that make it great...its really not that hard to imagine.) What would Jesus do? Please don't tell me 'he would be a good steward and use wisely the things he's been blessed with.'

Lets be serious. Since when did Jesus even have a nice little home? When did he have a good paying job? When in Jesus' life was he comfortably well off? When did Jesus even show concern for his own skin? He didn't; he died...and lived three days later.

But seriously, What WOULD Jesus Do? Moreover, Who Would Jesus BE?

Monday, October 10


After a couple conversations concerning this and similar issues, I thought I would share this essay I wrote for an ethics class this past summer:

I see a very serious issue facing society and even moreso, mankind. It is the issue of the institution of the family. It is actually one of a conglomeration of issues that are yielded by the weakening of a fundamental human supposition. This is the belief that man and woman are two distinctive types of human beings with intrinsic values that make each unique. While I feel that the human in its wholeness as a divine creation with intrinsic value is being emasculated, the weakening of the distinction between man and woman is an issue that has created many other issues, especially issues with the family. What is worse is that in a cyclical fashion, the failure of a family continues the trend by raising children without identities or a knowledge of who they are as people in the human family. Boys and girls who do not recognize the need to become, respectively, men and women in society will only continue the destructive course. The repercussions of this in society are countless: homosexuality, same-sex marriage, divorce, parentless families, abortion, prostitution, polygamous relationships, and essentially crime in general. This is all because of children who have never grown up in a functional family. The institution of the family must be kept lest society fall into a freefall of immorality where ethics is only situational and subjective.

            It all starts with the basic human archetype. One doesn’t even have to believe in a deity to realize that man and woman are not alike in nature. There are qualities that each has that are unique and useful in conjunction with each other. Man is masculine and woman is feminine. Adding the spiritual component, we realize that man and woman are also intrinsically different from all other aspects of the earth. They have the capability to produce and experience abstract thoughts and ideas that no other creature can. This is where we get the institution of marriage, the uniting together of the two types of mankind. What society is doing is seeking to eliminate the distinction between man and woman, and thus the once obvious tradition of marriage. There are no longer roles that each sex is granted, and thus marriage is not needed to sustain life. I must say, that while most of my irritation in this issue would want to be aimed at homosexuality and same-sex marriage because it is such a controversial issue, it is actually less of a cause of the issues with family than it is an effect. The problem lies in the irresponsibility of men and women in society to pass the gender distinction on to the next generation. Instead, society has resulted to acceptance rather than guidance.

            It has become very common for a child to be raised in a home with only one parent, which is often the mother. While a daughter without a father produces very serious issues in the daughter herself, a son raised without a father can and most undoubtedly will result in problems within society. I have heard more than once that the biggest population in prison is black males, and well over the majority of them grew up without a father. Most fatherless males grow up with misconstrued notions of what it means to be a man and what true masculinity is. Some may grow up in anger, aggression, and violence; or others as spinelessness and passive, continuing to remain boys despite a change in physical traits. The results are everywhere but in line with true masculinity. Worse yet, some enter adulthood with these problems despite growing up with a father. Of course, this is just the continuance of the cycle.

Men and women are not doing their duties as human beings, and society has seen consequences of this come out from the dark. As society accepts the merging of the genders, more ethical dilemmas will arise, only giving way to more subjectivism and acceptance of all people. As Christ followers, maintaining a Christian ethic, we are called to love, but to also seek justice. Love is not love if it lets others continue in the dark, and justice is not justice if it accepts the broken state of God’s creation. The solution is not easy. We cannot easily re-shift the broken paradigm of the family, but we can begin to listen to the turmoil it is causing and act accordingly out of love. We must insist on the ethic of family by exemplifying it in our lives; and we must seek love and justice by reaching out to the results of broken families.

Saturday, October 1

Don't Die

In the current generation, there appears to be a disconnect between success and the traditional means by which one gets there. In fact, it is quite possible that success has been redefined in itself, which is another problem entirely. However so, I find it hard to image a valid view of success so scewed that it may create the problem I intend to describe. It seems that success has been generally defined consistently (if only in principle) over the years. What I want to get at and what perturbs me the most is the scewed understanding of how this universally assented view of success is achieved. How is it that college students think that the mere fact that they are in an institution of higher learning automatically tickets them for a road of success, allowing for fun and games in the form of irresponsibility and lack of discipline in all other spectrums of their life. Heck, even academics follow this trend of apathy in many students.

Sitting around a table with three other upperclassfolk, aspects and byproducts of this issue were discussed. On a side note, it seems to me that lack of intuitive and personal disciple causes lots of other problems outside of the undergraduate realm. Anyways, I think we discovered that a well rounded person who can both benefit himself and his community is someone who is disciplined and responsible for his life. This WILL achieve success. I dont care who you are.

In my opinion, this ideal greatly manifests itself in small convictions such as going to bed at an appropriate time and waking up early and ready to attend to other disciplines such as devotion or study or reading or exercise. Thus, the first basis of a well rounded and disciplined life is sufficient and quality sleep. Another point is developing an organized and thought-through list of priorities upon which you attend to each day or maybe each week. Studying comes to mind, and not just the night before a test, but diligently during the entire school year. What else sets one up for success any greater than preparing for it before it knocks on your door? Good grades are the fruit of hard-labor. Bad grades are the fruit of laziness and an undisciplined life. Why would one even want to go to college to get bad grades? It boggles my mind. It also brings up the discipline of decision through quality discernment. Choosing fruitful labor over unfruitful pleasure can be tough, especially for those who have low standards and have a perverted list of priorities. I'm kindof judgemental, aren't I? Its TRUE. This is turning into a rant, and I need to follow my own advice and hit the bed, but I hope to post more on this issue as it leads to deeper and crucial issues. I'll give you a foretaste: obesity/lack of overall good health.

Proverbs 21:25 - "The sluggard's craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work."

Don't die.

Thursday, September 15

Another quote out of "Sublime Thoughts" from a guy named R.S. Storrs, whom I've never heard of, albeit he contributes some good insight:

"It certainly cannot be affirmed that we in America, any more than persons or peoples elsewhere, have reached as yet the ideal state, of private liberty combined with a perfect public order, or of culture complete, and a supreme character. The political world, as well as the religious, since Christ was on earth, looks forward, not backward, for its millennium."

Monday, September 5

Wonderful Tension

I'm currently reading "The Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claiborne and "Surprised by Hope" by N.T. Wright together. I wasn't quite sure why, but I thought they might supplement each other pretty well. It turns out after a couple chapters, I'm finding how much they really are beginning to not only supplement each other, but really change my life. Things are connecting a bit and I'm experiencing a pleasant internal discourse as some of my questions are being answered and others are surfacing. But at the same time, I'm caught in the middle of a tension. Its a cataclysmic sort of personal tension that I'm wrestling with, but its beautiful! I'm in a battle and it invigorates me; it makes me feel real...alive.

The topic or catorgory of thought is that of how we, or rather, I as a Christian am supposed to live; how I am supposed to use my finite life on this earth. I just can't accept the normal human paradigm of life. You grow up, go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, go to church, retire, and then die. I grew up in church, had the Word given to me in more ways and times that I can count, and was told what to do and what not to do. But really, how in the world can one read the Bible and continue to live the generic life that all humans live without being drastically impacted by the implications of Jesus' words, not to mention those of the other authors?

N.T. Wright starts his book off by asking a few pertinent questions about the ultimate Christian hope, and some of which question the age-old traditional thoughts and pressumptions of most people in church today. Was Jesus' body really resurrected? Is there a heaven outside of this realm in which our disembodied souls will go to spend eternity? What affect does the implications of the ultimate hope of eternity have on our lives right now? Questions like these have rolled across my mind for the past couple years, but never have surfaced because of all the muck of growing up in the 'normative' christian culture in which I was spoon-fed popular doctrine. A surplus of knowledge and a shortage of experience has commissioned me everywhere but towards the true reality of the Gospel.

Saturday, August 27


My grandfather passed down a book to me after he died called "Sublime Thoughts". Its a book of wisdom organized by topics, and although its old as he was, it really has some good stuff in it. Heres a quote by H.W. Beecher that I really liked:

"We speak of the crucifixion of our passions. In one sense, so far as a sinful indulgence of them is concerned, they are to be crucified and slain; but in no other sense are they to be slain. We are to use them so that there will be no need of crucifying them. For there is not one primary desire or appetite in the human system that was put there to be taken out again. Everything that is in a man was put in him for no other reason than because it was necessary to the symmetry of the whole; and the attempt to crucify any or our normal, lawful desires, is an attempt to mutilate God's perfect work. We have a right to every one of our appetites and passions; and that, not for suppression, but for use, so that we use them in subordination to the higher moral sentiments and affections."

Let me make a disclamer that Henry Beecher didn't live a perfect life by any means, but he did speak some words worth hearing.