1) So I fixed Google Analytics on my blogger page this week. What can I say, I like to stalk you people who stalk my blog and don’t leave comments;) I think the new layout helped with the HTML code problem I was having. So I hope you enjoy the new layout (I will continue to tweak it I think, although I’m sad to say goodbye to Oscar’s Happy Yeti in a Cave). And hopefully this will motivate me to be a more faithful blogger. Sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged in blogging when I don’t think people are really reading. Comments and Google Analytics keeps me motivated to more consistently blog, so here’s to more of that…:)
2) Status was muy interesante tonight. Kate spoke this week–the one who’s been basically coercing me into/keeping me accountable for finishing The Brothers Karamazov;) She spoke on issues I have definitely not heard from a pulpit or a stage auditorium or even a rebellious emerging church book before. Probably the only forum I’ve heard dare broach this topic is an occasional facebook note from one of my peers.
Basically, Kate took the opportunity to re-imagine the monologue that led to the martyrdom of Stephen, as chronicled in Acts 6 and 7. Stephen speaks the history of the Israelite nation back to the Jews, a tale well-worn but perhaps gone stale from dry, rote recitation and familiarity. She boldly re-imagined the conversation for American Christians in the 21st century, challenging us to consider what cultural blinders we have on today that prevent us from truly having our “faith expressed in love.” The topics were not easy and I do not envy her in bringing forth that conversation in so public an arena. Yet, these things must be discussed: the stigma attached to gay marriage and abortion within conservative evangelical circles.
In the recent election, Florida voters recently voted to recognize marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman, upholding a “traditional” view of marriage. Politics is a strange animal, because the passionate opinions and often intensely personal ideals fueling the political machine completely eradicate any relational element from the process. In confirming Amendment Two, Floridian voters had the luxury of imposing morality on a certain demographic without any relationship occurring. This is something I have been pondering ever since I listened to Cole’s oof podcast on Libertarianism and Socialism. He pointed out that the reason socialism doesn’t work is that it takes a very benevolent, altruistic concept–redistributing wealth among the poor–almost mirroring the Christian ideals –and divorces it from the relational element, the very thing Christ came–as a Man no less–to restore. Socialism quite closely approaches the nature of the kingdom of God, then completely abandons it by the lack of freedom and free will attached to it.
In the same way, this recent amendment that was passed was based on a good intention to endorse a concept that does approach the kingdom of God–reconciling a lifestyle with an ideal–but in legislating this concept, it completely alienates the one against whom the law was intended. All within a non-relational context. By eliminating relationship from the process, the motivation propelling the amendment nullifies the very thing it set out to restore–a relationship.
It’s one thing to check off a morality police box. It’s quite a different thing to have a loving relationship with someone within that lifestyle.
Ever since I read Philip Yancey’s The Jesus I Never Knew, I have been wrestling with the concept of what Jesus truly dealt with when He was tempted in the desert: He rejected the temptation to fall back on His divinity as a means to escape suffering. That in itself is a concept that could take years for one soul to truly work through. But Jesus also rejected political power, an idea which the American church at large MUST deal with, if we are truly going to follow Christ and be His bride, the way the early church in Acts was. They rescued babies from the rocks; they didn’t hold picket signs outside the temple of Artemis. They fed and clothed the sick; they didn’t walk by and say “That’s terrible” and then sit back in apathy. Neither blind apathy nor intolerant legalism have no place within the kingdom of God.
These are ideas I continue to wrestle with, because they intersect with decisions I make about how I align my life with the kingdom of Christ…. Needless to say, I am glad Kate brought up these issues. I really appreciate how it wasn’t necessarily this mind-blowing conversation, but a real, engaging, thoughtful opportunity to deal with some hard truths about the church and ourselves, while leaving room for the Spirit to move an act out in our conversations and processing. It’s easy to talk theology about how things ought to be. It’s a very different concept to live out a life and make decisions based on truth that’s been internalized in this manner…
3) Dexter commentary: Only 2 episodes left! I probably have much more to say on this past episode, but I WILL throw this one conjecture out there. Up until tonight, I had fully assumed Dexter would, as I like to say “Dexter” Miguel, or finish him off with the usual rubber gloves, apron, plastically decked out venue with a blade of his choice. This, after all, is the typical fashion in which the writers have brilliantly chosen to dispose of the two characters thus far who have been able to see and embrace Dexter as he is.
But now I’m seriously wondering how poetic it would be if Miguel were sentenced by the flawed legal system he had come to despise, if that corrupt legal machine were actually to get the better of him and for once, administer justice to the one who so clearly invites and taunts it. A huge part of me is hoping that LaGuerta figures out Miguel is the murderer and nails him fair and square, the old-fashioned way with indisputable evidence in a court of law. This would be the perfect end for a man who used justice as a platform for his own base, sinister desires.