The Way of the Cross

Here’s the good news:
Jesus is alive and has made the way of the kingdom crystal-clear.

Here’s the bad news:
We have been sold a lie that the good news Jesus told was about believing certain things about him so that we may avoid hell and enter heaven.

In fact, that would be far, far too easy.  And what Jesus told us was not easy at all.  His message was so deeply offensive to our deepest desires that it takes a personal crucifixion for us to enter the kingdom of God.

I must die to my need for personal comfort and satisfaction.

I must die to my cravings for the good life.

I must die to my cries of injustice towards those who offend me, or who indirectly make life difficult for me.

I must die to the envy I feel towards those who are better looking, or who enjoy richer relationships, who are married and have families and good homes.

I must die to feeling insecure.

I must die to the need for others to feel sorry for me.

This cross I bear, that I must die to all conceit, ego, pride, and every shameful way.

Yet his promise is clear:

“My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Life without all the above is a life without the struggle of survival.  It is a life of utter dependence upon the goodness of God.

It is Psalm 23 lived out completely, for “The Lord is my shephard, I shall not want”.

The Good Shephard came, died, and rose again, with the promise of a new life.  He would create in me a life that is free from every burden.  To enjoy this life, I am to “die daily” to everything that represents the old life lived in desperation and despair.

Today Lord I cry to you.  Lift my burdens and ignite the fire of your life in me.  I take up my cross, yet without torment, for you already bore that for me.  Release me from shame, and lift my spirit high, so that I might walk in your shoes, and be a worthy servant of a Great King.


Evolving Thought

Change is constant.

My absence from writing stems from a lack of inspiration, especially given the variability of my thoughts and beliefs.

The most visible manifestation of this on the blog at the moment is the removal of the feed for the Evolutionary Christianity blog.  This morning I realized just how much I differ from the views of the blog’s author, Michael Dowd, that I could not have his words side-by-side with mine.  Dowd calls himself a ‘Christian Naturalist’.  In other words, scientific rationalism and materialism cloaked in Christian language.  Dowd seeks to affirm both the insights of science and the language of faith in a kind of marriage, as he puts it.

As much as I have gained immensely from the podcast series he produced where he interviewed a wide variety of people on the spectrum of evolution and Christianity, I simply can’t accept his conclusions.  For Dowd, death is the end of life.  There is no concept of life beyond death, life beyond this realm.  God is seen simply as the language of Reality, of life as it is.  Dowd’s presentation in Thank God for Evolution is to completely re-interpret all of scripture in light of Darwin.

Funnily enough, I believe God used Dowd to draw me back to faith in Christ.  I needed his thoughts to call my doubts back to seeking God, back to the need for fellowship in a good church.  That’s what makes God so profound and lovely; he will use anything to draw his lost sheep back into his pasture.

Instead of being driven by doubt, I have chosen to cast it aside in favour of faith.  Both doubt and faith are merely different orientations towards Mystery.  One looks at Mystery with scepticism and reduction; the other looks at Mystery in awe and wonder.