Sunday, September 11, 2016

Living in a Mad World: The Entire Spectrum of Life & Jesus

I woke up this morning, and God was good.  When I lay down to sleep, God will be good.  And when I wake up again tomorrow, God will be so good.  God remains holy, true, and good.  He never changes. 

The Lord Jesus has really changed my life.  It's been several years now.  It's amazing to look back and see how God has gathered the pieces of my broken life and formed it into something new.  It's simply astounding.  It's quite interesting.  Addiction had me by the throat, it really did.  It's amazing how dead I used to be.  I really was dead to the core, living in a state of perpetual frustration and irritating dissatisfaction.  

Nothing ever worked in my life.  Whether it was a job, or an idea or a relationship or a friendship, it always melted like sand in my hands.  That can be particularly devastating over a period of years, don't you think?  

We young folks have been through a real hell.  Especially in the last twenty or so years.  We've been screwed over from every direction imaginable, mainly from our deadbeat parents and grandparents who screwed up the world, spent away the future, and now attempt to con us into their doomed false worldview.  

Plus they charge us 1000% of what they paid for college (it's true) to teach us their half-baked hippie worldview that sucks, and is clearly systemically contradictory.  Many of us, myself included we're caught by that con, the college con: That we needed this degree, and we did, but we didn't realize they'd jacked up the price.  When my parents graduated college they had a few thousand of debt that they paid off in a few years.  No one told me it wasn't normal that I would end up with over $25,000 of debt that will take me 10+ years to pay off. Many are much worse off though, with a hundred thousand dollar degrees in philosophy or feminism, and they're working as chefs or at the local coffee shop.  "Should I leave room for cream?"  

That's just one example of how we young people face an uphill battle.  Another is drug addiction.  Many, many young people I talk to about addiction tell me they got started by going to the doctor, receiving pain pills, and they got hooked on them.  Meth and heroin, on the rise as well.  Children fed ritalin and amphetamines for being too excitable.  Moral foundations of the society, rescinding quickly.  And the public education system, well, it's a disaster area.  The churches, the hope and salvation of a society, seemingly half asleep, manned by people who don't seem to really believe what they preach.  And everyone is trying to sell you something, usually junk, made poorly that will fall apart in a year or two.  Thousands of advertisements.  The televisions in every living room screaming at us day and night.  It's pretty crazy.  I often think it's amazing anyone makes it out without being totally mind raped and soul savaged to utter decimation.  But the odds have always been against us haven't they? 

The moral arc of the universe bends toward tyranny.  It's true.  Time and again the world comes to the brink.  Think of Hitler, think of Stalin's genocide.  Think of the Napoleonic wars.  Think of the global economy today.  Time and again the universe seems to conspire toward evil, in massive ways, World Wars, genocidal regimes, world poverty, diseases, and of course the tyranny of the experts, mounting trillion dollar debt and political correctness today.  

We're in our bubble in America, with our rose colored glasses on.  But the snow-globe is starting to crack along the edges.  We're starting to notice that false reality dripping through the cracks.  We're starting to look up and see the truth about life.  We're seeing that God is real; and we're on an eternal path, not a temporal one.  

We live in a world of meth, lies, feel the bern, hurricane Hermine, Hillary's emails, child sacrifice, radical Islamic terrorism, political correctness, your a racist, your a sexist, everyone is a bigot, cops murdered, socialism on college campuses, Nigel Farage brexit, Donald Trumpism, heart disease, diabetes, new technologies, medical advancements, punctuated equilibrium, Alinsky radicals, conservative Constitutionalists, missing emails, NSA mass surveillance, evangelism outlawed in Russia, and the persecuted church crumbling in the middle east.  Just to name a few things!  And we thought we knew it all, didn't we?  Fascinating, quite interesting.  It's interesting what one discovers one does not know.  

I was once a secular blue liberal, 100% sure I was right and they were the devil.  But when it came down to it... I had no idea why I was a liberal.  Because... save the whales?  I don't know.  Because save the environment?  Because of that one Disney cartoon with the miniature guy trying to save the rain forest?  Maybe it was because my 4th grade elementary school teacher told me Democrats were better than Republicans.  And secular because, well, I was raised Catholic and it seemed really dumb and fake.  And exceedingly boring!  We all heard about those priests molesting boys on the news too. 

Yet despite all the politics, struggles, persecutions, abortions, pedophilia, social justice warriors, and dead movie stars, God almighty remains in charge of the universe.  God remains sovereign.  Steven Crowder a political satirist commented recently that when he goes to pray at night he thinks of people like Amy Schumer and thinks Lord... really?  

Free will you see.  God set rules like that, free will, the ability for humans to make free decisions.  It was a dangerous decision don't you think? Maybe so!  One can criticize a pretty sunset but how can they criticize the eyes they see it with? Never the less, here we are making our choices, then blaming God when things go south. 

I watch things roll on day by day in this world, in the media world, in the computer inter-webs, the news, and think to myself; this is really mad isn't it?  It truly is quite mad, not to mention exceedingly exciting.

Sometimes I can't sleep at night.  I set the word of God playing, and listen as my mind flies through the memories and thoughts of the past few weeks.  And life is simply astounding.  At times it can be quite mundane, dull, and hopeless.  But other times it's really quite beautiful and amazing.  This is the human condition, front and center.  This is the spiritual struggle of man kind, everyday, playing out before us.  

Me and you, well, we're just a little blip on the radar.  Billions have come before us, lived and died, watching just the same demented theater play itself out.  And they've wondered.  And they've believed in Jesus.  Many have, many haven't.  

It's really quite astounding given the stakes.  Everything is at stake, everyday.  Every action we take, every thought we think is considered accountable before the creator of life, the universe, and the human race.  That's a reality many will fight tooth and nail to escape, dreaming up false worldviews aplenty.

I know that mentally, I know every action I take is being measured.  I'm fully aware of it.  But my goodness, when that sin is before my eyes and offering it's fleeting pleasure I find myself defeated.  I know that when I indulge in sin I put my very soul on the line.  But at that moment I cannot muster the recognition necessary to resist.  And time and again I find myself falling to a sin of the flesh.  Astounding, and disheartening.  But coming once again to the throne of grace, I find the grace that keeps me clean in this world.  And I rise to fight the battle again tomorrow. 

Despite the struggle, the temptations, the chaos in the world, God remains good.  Amazing.  God reaches out his hand all day long to an obstinate and despicable human race.  And yet we being so obstinate and despicable, we are also deemed 100% worthy of God's trouble to redeem this human race; adopted, glorified, sanctified and placed into leadership as parts of his eternal kingdom.  Amazing!  

Jesus Christ is Lord.  He is God come to save us.  I'm amazed by His character and His mission.  I'm astounded by the accounts of his life in the gospels.  It changes everything.  I'm most mystified by His present ministry in the world.  The amazing thing is that He is presently active and at work in the world.  His Spirit rides from coast to coast you see, like Gandalf the White riding upon Shadowfax in a mad rush to unite the kingdoms of Middle Earth against the invading armies of Mordor.  

The full spectrum is covered in the Christian worldview.  It's all there.  It goes all the way from nasty, awful people like Amy Schumer all the way to Jesus Christ the perfect, sinless, holy son of God.  And in between is the human race, and the angels, the demons, the entirety of human good and evil, from Mother Teresa to Adolf Hitler.  

It's a crazy ride.  It's a crazy rollercoaster ride on this planet.  The black death, feudal lords, ancient kingdoms, Roman conquests to cable television, electrical engineering, sanitizing dish soap, open heart surgery, and nuclear warheads air-burst over population centers.  It's a wild ride.  It's real.  It's scary.  It's fun.  It's joyous.  It's serene.  It's nutty.  It's stranger than fiction.  One person breaths smoke and molests children, another loves the poor, serves the lost, and gives their life to the service of Jesus.  The craziest part maybe is that it could be the same person who once molested children and smoked 3 packs a day that later in life serves the poor and follows Jesus with a whole redeemed heart.  

I must say the truth as a human imageo dei, made in the image of God yet exposed to the inverse effects of the fall man, the tendency to self-deify, self-interest, and self-exalt inevitably cause this effect: It is truly very hard to see Jesus.  It's a reality one has to fight for on a daily basis.  

But in walking that path everyday it makes more sense to me.  It's like coming slowly out of utter darkness.  At first the cross is the faintest light on the horizon.  Day by day, step by step that faint light grows brighter.  And eventually you can make out the cross shape, just barely.  Day by day, month by month and year by year the cross grows in light; grows closer.  Eventually one can see the savior there nailed to the rough boards, blood pouring from His open side.  One can make out the look on His face as he cries out in sorrow "Father forgive them they don't know what they're doing" as God the Father turns his presence away.  And I realize that Jesus is there on the cross, pouring out his blood for me.  I realize he has walked into the court room of my endless bad deeds, all the women I've hurt, all the broken relationships, all the sins that I've committed across my whole life, and Jesus looks at the judge and says, "Let this man go free, I will take the punishment for his sins."  Justice must be done, and Jesus takes the penalty for me.  Not only that, but upon dying for me, He resurrects from the dead and gives me His very Spirit, grafting it onto my broken soul, to transform me into His likeness over time.  And Jesus becomes my best friend, the one who will walk beside me all the days of my life, and lead me home to a perfected eternal reality where I will reign with him in glory forever.  I don't have to die anymore, or fail anymore, or fall to the schemes of the world anymore, Jesus gives me life.  He gives us life.  

"We are saved from the lawful penalty of sin (justification) are being saved from the power of sin in our present lives (sanctification) and will be saved from the judgment and presence of sin in the life to come (glorification)" -Julie Ann Barnhill

Through all of this we are more than conquerors through Him who has loved us.  Despite all the madness of the world, and the terrible people who mock us and our faith.  Despite the wars, the Hitlers, and even the new technologies and the fine delicacies of life Jesus Christ is exalted throughout human history.  The truth of Christianity may be hard to see, due to the lies we've believed and the false worldviews roaming about destroying the world, but the truth is, our Christian faith is the only worldview that adequately explains life, death, morality, human worth, consciousness, nuclear bombs, mass genocides, love, heroes, and charitable endeavors.  Jesus covers the entire spectrum of life. He is the truth come to us.  He lives, and He reigns. There are only two options for us and no middle ground: We can be one of his enemies or one of his heroes.

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