Thursday, December 14, 2006

a theology of drinking .1

(and other minor thoughts)

I think that it’s a strange world that we live in. I fear even writing something down – perhaps scared that a trend might compel someone to see it as new. Let’s be honest – this is not new – nothing is – we are merely called back to something that has been said, thought, explained, expounded, proclaimed, forgotten, crushed, laughed at even. Truth be told – we have bad hearing and deficient sight in regard to these things. The truth that is told, that we are called back to, is not misunderstood as much as misused, perverted and altogether ignored. Since when has ignorance been considered revolutionary? Getting it is not a qualifier of value, it is a representation of our desperation and how far behind we are even those in the desert. To put it down on paper does not signify my desire to speak anything beyond what was said – I feel drawn, compelled even, to explain such things as I have been beaten with, that once again, truth may be told in hope that through obedience on my end I might be seen as just that by Him, as just that alone, obedient. That said, I pray and hope (in that order) that this is neither too simple as to draw you away, nor to wordy as to represent pride rather than clear and careful thought.

What I think is that thinking has got us into a world of hurt. Our mouth precedes from the heart, and our heart is so full of itself it can’t help but blurt out. I can’t be sure how that really plays out in all situations, but truly there isn’t much that we can deny in this. I guess there is a few of us that could mount up enough pride disguised as courage to deny we’ve slipped up in this way.

I just read the other day a good heart rebuke from a young guy who believed that liberty flaunted is not liberty thought highly of. But we think this is fine – we have turned legalism into rebellion against anything that might be thought to be in the vaguest way attached to the former. We struggle to exercise restraint, and rejoice in those who stretch it in ways that would hardly be seen as Godly. Turning the world on it’s head, throwing back at it it’s own game (the very game we talk about as damaging the “very core of the nation”). Language and terms we wouldn’t use within the range of children is commonplace. Drink becomes not a practice of enjoyment as much as another entry into the high school dance hierarchy. If the rules are not played to, then you will be left on the side – ah the weaker brother. At this rate, those called aside to something are slighted, even the Nazarene’s – Samson himself – are seen as weaker. Elijah is left in the desert, maligned as a man would is not able to dress and speak the part, and Paul is only seen as being powerful in letter – but his presence is rather insubstantial, and left to his own table, picking at the food before him. So, back to the thinking.

I dare say that maybe we’ve postulated a bit too much about the scriptures at hand. We blinked when they say consider others as more important than self, to wash the feet of the brethren (even Judas), to forsake the meat (or drink) sacrificed to idols for the “weaker” brethren. We find that we become the weaker brother, unable to control our passions, our tongues, our thirst, our very bodies – preferring to gather the riches of the liberties of this world, the very works of His hands, rather then to submit ourselves once again to the cross. We talk about that one thing in such grand terms, but I fear in my very soul that I can’t even think of it without the failing of everything I see and do within my own soul. I see the sole purpose on the mind of Jesus as to die, to redeem, to be resurrected, and to complete the work written. And not for self, even then. It was not for God Himself incarnate to call the shots on that one – and He knew how it would all go down. The sole thought was one of purpose, a purpose written on His heart as the will of the Father. Theology is defined in this one thing – Scripture itself finds it very fulfillment in this work. It is as simple and as complicated as that.

I suppose that in truth, this again isn’t new to any of us. The old lesson is right there on paper, slow and un-weighty. It seems fine for talking about, postulating within – but the push comes to shove, and in desperation we hatch a plan – a solution to this quandary of sin – to the quiet hatred we have for the very things we are called to. Our mission becomes the end goal, not the obedience that straps us into a framework that is slow, steady, and backbreaking. We need mission statements because the words that we so vigorously defend are not really enough are they?

Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, and mind
Love your neighbor as yourself

If we believe this, then what must be hatched? What must we do to be saved? For others to be saved?


Blogger Alan Micah said...

Beautifully written. It seems there is a fine line between making the mission a destination, which we should humbly understand will never be reached, and making the mission the actually journey. This then redefines the destination as nothing more than a simple, humble, wiling obedience to the mission at hand.

8:51 PM  

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