Evil Unseen

“I’m an educated man in the 21st century. Of course I don’t believe in God.”

These are the words of a well-known sports commentator and analyst in California whose podcast I was listening to awhile back when I heard that statement. It stunned me for a minute, but that’s becoming more of the rule than the exception in society today.

My first year of college, I was in a Humanities class with several other Christian freshmen. We started studying world religions, and when we got to the section on Judeo-Christianity, the professor and the material started attacking God, the Bible, Judaism, and Christianity. Pretty relentlessly, I may add. These attacks and other “higher educational thought and theory” led to a falling-away from the faith for a few of these students that had previously hung onto their faith in the midst of adversity.

In their song, “Evil Unseen,” Becoming the Archetype proclaims,

“Compromise your faith and doom your generation. The cancer of mind-worship will leave your spirit to decay.”

Being back in the field of college education, I realize again how important it is to grow in your faith as you grow in earthly knowledge, and mostly how the two are connected. As Christians, we need to grow and develop our minds, but alongside our faith. For us, the two are not separate entities, and they need to mature together. Grow in education, so you can reasonably discuss issues with the world, but also grow in your faith, so that you can stand firm when “higher theory and thought” try to use intellect to tear you down.


A Cluttered Home

I stepped inside a beautiful house the other day, half dark blue siding and half brick, yard well-taken care of (as well as it can be in Denver in winter), with a basketball hoop in the driveway, in front of a three-car garage. There was a covered patio in front of the house, with a grill and patio furniture, and through the windows you could see long drapes. It could have been a picture out of a magazine, or a finished project on HGTV.

The inside of the house, however, was thrashed.

I’m talking thrashed like, it wouldn’t surprise me if I saw this house on Hoarders at some point in the future. The near future. It looked like the carpet hadn’t been vacuumed in months, boxes were piled high in every room, and some in the hallways, toys were strewn all over, pictures and posters were cluttered together on every wall in no particular fashion or order. Dis-as-ter.

It made me sincerely grateful for a wife that loves a clean, orderly, and well-decorated house.

And it’s funny to me how often people, and especially I myself, do the same thing with our lives. On the outside, we can look picture-perfect. But on the inside, we’re cluttered, messy, and have some serious spring-cleaning to attend to. Like hoarders, we’re afraid or ashamed to let people see what’s on the inside of our home, what we’re like really. Because they’ll probably be taken back, maybe a little offended, and most likely grossed out by the smell.

But when we can be real with others, that’s when the healing begins to happen, the spring-cleaning starts, renovations get underway, old furniture gets replaced, new carpet gets installed, and you find that being real is much easier, more relaxing, and smells a whole lot better than a cluttered, locked-up home.

The Medium is the Message

Gandhi is quoted as saying,

I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

Recently, for work, I went to a recording studio just outside of  Denver. Upon arrival, we realized it was a recording studio for yoga and meditation music and ambiance, as well as audio/video recorded lessons on getting in touch with your inner peace and striving for nirvana. A statue of Buddha smiled chubbily at me in almost every room I walked into.

The one thing that stood out to me more than anything in that studio, though, were the employees. Every single one of them was calm, cool, and collected, and each friendlier than the next. It could be that they’re just really friendly to guests, or maybe it has something to do with the dispensary down the road (although I doubt it.) The employees did make the whole “inner peace” thing sound and look pretty effective and appealing.

In his book, Flickering Pixels, Shane Hipps writes that the medium is the message. Whatever you’re trying to say, it’s how you say it that really conveys the message.

I really can’t believe I’m referencing this, but if you’ve seen the Mormon episode of South Park, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The Mormon family doesn’t win over their neighbors’ hearts and minds with their Joseph Smith nonsense, but instead with hospitality, caring, and love.

You’ve probably heard someone at some point reject Christianity because of Christians, whether they live double lives, or are self-righteous, Pharisaical, whatever. And you, like me, have either heard or given the response, “Don’t pay attention to Christians. We’re messed up just like everyone else. Instead, just pay attention to Jesus and read the Bible.”

What a cop-out.

As the Church, we are to be Jesus to the world, not to just point the world to a page number and pat ourselves on the back for memorizing book-chapter-verse.

The medium is the message. How did you portray Jesus to the world today?


I Know It’s My Job, But…

It amazes me when employees tell their bosses what they won’t do.

I’ll give you an example.

The other day at work, I had to run to one of our job sites at the hospital to do some pre-housekeeping housekeeping. All this means is I took a vacuum with me and ran it over the whole job. Once. I didn’t have to scrub anything off the carpet. I didn’t have to tear down any protective plastic off the walls. I had to run a vacuum. And it’s not that I’m upset that I had to go do this. I took my sweet time and enjoyed a job that wasn’t the one I’ve been on for the last few weeks. But what amazed me was how I ended up running a vacuum in the first place.

Apparently, housekeeping had come to check out the job and told their boss(es) that they weren’t going to clean it because it was too messy. I’ll let that sink in for a minute. They weren’t going to do their job because it would have meant doing their job. It wasn’t a hard job. It involved vacuuming. I’ve always been under the impression that the vacuum was the housekeepers weapon-of-choice. I digress.

The whole thing got me thinking about what would happen if I decided to tell my boss that I wasn’t going to do my job for whatever reason. It would probably go something like this:

Me: Yeah… I’m not gonna put in this insulation.
Boss: What?
Me: You heard me.
Boss: And why not?
Me: It’s itchy.
Boss: You’re fired.

Who gets away with telling their boss what they will and won’t do?!

What would the scenario look like if you told YOUR boss you weren’t going to do your job?