Posts Tagged ‘piercings’

pointy.jpgSo, I’m preaching again on Sunday – I will be basically every second Sunday for the forseeable future – and I’m looking forward to having the chance to make people uncomfortable and angry.  I say this in the most loving and encouraging way.  I’m not looking forward to preaching because I want to make people angry, but I’m looking forward to preaching this message and I’m pretty sure that some people will likely wind up angry by the end of it.  Christians generally don’t like being confronted with the fact that they may not have everything right.  On a sidenote, for those of you who haven’t read the “Things White People Like” blog, I’ve been thinking it would be funny to write a blog about “Things Christians Like/Don’t Like”.  If you think it’s a good idea, you’re welcome to steal it so long as I get some creative control.

I’m looking at the passage from Luke about the two guys on the Emaus road.  Traditionally most people have looked at this passage and preached about how Jesus wanted to give hope to people that were distraught over his death.  I don’t doubt that he did, but I don’t think that’s really the point of Jesus whole interaction with the two guys on the road.  I think if I preached that message it wouldn’t upset anybody, but I also wouldn’t be doing my job.  No I’m pretty sure the point of the whole interaction is there were two guys (probably more like them but these are the only two we hear about) who were so convinced of what the Messiah was supposed to be (a liberating leader who would resurrect the Israelite empire) that after Jesus death they just couldn’t really believe he was the Messiah anymore.  They walked down the road pooling their ignorance and re-enforcing their own wrong shared view point with eachother.  Eventually Jesus came up to them – they didn’t recognize him – and they told him too how they hoped that Jesus was the Messiah but now they weren’t so sure because he died.  At this point Jesus essnetially called them stupid people and told them how they understood nothing and showed them how wrong they were.  After they realized it, their eyes were opened and they finally recognized Jesus for who he was, litterally and figuratively.  They had been missing the point.

This makes me think a lot of questions.  It’s easy for us to look back at the Jews in the Old Testament and laugh as we see them make the same mistakes over and over again.  It’s easy for us to look at the disciples and people in the gospels and shake our heads in disdain as we see them miss the point of what Jesus was trying to teach them about how to serve God and about what the Messiah was really supposed to do.  How often do we stop to think about what we’ve got wrong though?  I guarantee you we don’t have it all right.  Just like the two guys on the Emmaus road, what things are we so convinced we have right that we blind ourselves to what is really right?  What things will Christians a hundred years from now look back at and wonder how we could have been so wrong?  Sometimes we get so comfortable with getting things wrapped up in tight little theological packages that we stop looking for what the truth really is.  Sometimes we get so comfortable discussing our beliefs with people that see things exactly the same way we do that we never grow or learn new things or discover where we’re wrong because we only re-enforce our own view points.  What kind of things are keeping us from seeing God and his plans as they truly are?  The two men on the Emaus road were so sure that they knew what the Messiah was supposed to be that they couldn’t see what he really was.  It was so bad that God purposely blinded them to Jesus identity on the road until they would come to the realization of who Jesus really was as the Messiah and as God.  It was only after they realized what they had wrong that God opened their eyes to realize that Jesus was right there in their midst.  So I wonder, what kind of things are blinding us to who God really is and what he really wants to do?  What kinds of beliefs or practices have we wrongly accepted as right that are keeping us from seeing God as he is and his work as it stands?  I think these are really important questions because I don’t want to be the guy or part of the people that Christians will look back on with disdain one hundred years from now.  Where are we missing the point?  I’d certainly like to miss the point if being kicked with a boot like the one in the picture, but when it comes to serving God, that’s a point I don’t want to miss.

If you’re wondering what we could possibly have wrong, just look at what kinds of things Christianity accepted for so long that we look back on with disdain now like the acceptance of slavery or the oppression of women.  We look back now and wonder how Christians could have been so out of touch with reality and God’s values, but at the time those Christians were convinced they were right.  Will our issues be how we allowed women to minister in the church?  How we handle the homosexual issue?  How 20th century evangelicals viewed alcohol consumption?  How we treat people with tatoos or piercings?  How we present the good news as “fire insurance” with no strings attached?  How the church seems to constantly want to prove science wrong?  What are the issues that are keeping us from seeing God and his truth as they truly are?

I’ll be the first to admit that I likely don’t have it all right.  I think that someone who thinks they have it all right likely has never been farther from having it all right.  I realize I likely don’t have it all right, but I want to have it more right all the time.  I want to really look at what God thinks on issues and what the truth really is so that we can truly be the people of God.  Sunday could be interesting, but I’m finding it even more interesting getting there.

metal.jpgFor those of you who are worried by the title; no I haven’t recently had any pins or rods inserted into my body for any serious injuries, and no I’m not talking about metal in me like the iron in my blood.  I saw what too much iron in your blood could lead to in X-Men 2 when Magneto sucked it right out of the guy.  That was kind of cool to see in a movie, but I certainly wouldn’t want to experience it myself.  And no, I’m not even talking about my inherent inexplicable love for the Metal Gear Solid video game series because I won’t fully be able to re-embrace that part of me until I get my new PS3.  No, the metal I’m speaking of here is of the heavy description.  I am re-embracing the harder side of my musical persona.

Now before you jump to any conclusions, this is not to say that I am rejecting the Damien Rice’s and Amos Lee’s of my music collection.  I still think they are some of the most talented musicians on the planet and they will always have a regular slot in my playlist, but recently I have had a reawakening of the darker side of me that loves hard music, especially metal.  I’ve been listening to my old Extol albums more, I bought a Revolver magazine last week to see what’s going on in the current scene (and to read the interview with Ryan Clark of Demon Hunter), I bought an As I Lay Dying t-shirt in Edmonton, and I’ve been having the recurring desire to pierce things and get tatoos.  No, I haven’t had anything done yet.  My church is pretty loving and open-minded, but I don’t think their quite ready for a painted and hole-punched pastor yet.  The church encourages pursuing the arts, but don’t encourage becoming art.  The church encourages holiness, but not hole-iness.

I say re-embracing the metal in me because I had my first real awakening about ten years ago when I first went to college.  Prior to this, my musical world consisted almost completely of country music and some gospel.  When I moved into dorm though an entirely new world was opened up to me and my musical desires have never been the same since.  I’ve grown to love the screams and harmonies of the guitars, the screams and harmonies of the vocals, and the overall passion and vibe that the music as a genre exudes.  Over the past couple years I haven’t listened to as much metal as I’ve discovered such accoustic and folk music greats as Damien Rice, Amos Lee, and Ryan Adams, but through it all there was still a piece of me that wanted something a little darker.  Something in my life was missing and I just recently discovered it was the fact that I had been missing out on the metal.  So with this great epiphany in mind, I have decided to re-embrace my metal.  Now I don’t expect Jenn to follow suit – she can’t re-embrace what she rejected to start with – but there is hope for Payton.  Of all the kinds of music I have introduced him to so far, he seems to like the metal.  It doesn’t scare him.  It doesn’t make him cry.  In fact he has even been known to smile while we rock out to Mortification together.  I won’t force anything on him, but I do think it would be a lot of fun if this is one thing that we could learn to enjoy together.

So before I nod off to sleep tonight I will encourage you to embrace your metal side.  If you haven’t found it before, take a look for it sometime.  You might even find out that you like it.