Random thought

mind-body-spirit.jpgWell, I might have skipped a post today if Nsangoma had showed up to back up his bluster. But since he hasn’t, yesterday’s post looks like it will be quickly winding down, and I’d feel bad if there wasn’t something new here today for people who take time to visit. So, just a random thought about spirituality, emotion and rationality.

And that thought it that we cannot be complete without all three.

Emotion is part of who we are, from anger to tears to love. To wallow in any of them is bad, but to deny them is, I think, worse. Nothing saddens me so much than to see a person of faith who eschews showing emotion or who starts to think that love or guilt are the only ones that should define us.

Rationality is part of being human and part of our ability to express our divine spark. Our intellect is a gift from God and it sets us apart from every other creature on this planet. We shouldn’t forget how to think, and how to question those who lead us, both within and outside religious circles. Don’t trade in critical thinking for faith; let them strengthen each other.

And finally, spirituality. I’ve touched on the spiritual vs. religious thing already once, and given the nature of this blog, it should be no mystery to anyone that I think the fate of your eternal soul depends on that spirituality being the embrace of the Holy Spirit, through faith in Jesus the Christ and love toward God the Father. That being said, I can’t make you believe in that path, only hope that you will consider taking it (if you haven’t already). But I respect the faith choices of every person. Regardless of whether I believe that choice is right for your soul, I respect your free will, and I respect that you are trying to express your spiritual side. And I feel sadness for those who dwell only in the worlds of the rational and/or emotional and forget to reach for the divine.

Because like it or not, we are beings with spirits…souls…and to think otherwise and to assume we are just genetic accidents of random, thoughtless creation…well, that seems to be the emptiest and saddest thing in the world.

10 thoughts on “Random thought

  1. Big Man

    I corrected that problem with blogroll. And I figured you were a white dude, but I promise not to hold that against you when I read what you write.


    How do you reconcile using foul language with your faith? As you can see from my blog, I’ve been known to drop a few curse words, but I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that I’m failing to live up to my Christian ideals. It doesn’t help that my parents constantly chastise me for cursing the few times they read the blog.

    I was just wondering, as a conversation piece, what your thoughts on it were?

  2. Deacon Blue

    (yeah, I didn’t figure my whiteness was all that hidden…just didn’t want anyone to think I was trying to pass myself off as a black man, what with all the heavy rotation of afrocentric blogs in my blogroll…well, heavy rotation for a white guy, at least 😉 )

    You know, that language thing is something I’ve been wrestling with ever since I started this blog, and as you can see, there are posts where I don’t use the bad words and some where it seems to come in pretty heavy. I guess I feel sometimes that on some level, I’m failing to be all that I can be word-wise when in fact I could simply get the point across with some intricate wordplay and throw all my years of writing into the mix…without peppering things with the salty lingo. And then I start to doubt myself, but…

    …this blog is serving a weird niche…it’s a strange path I’ve been put on here, and while I don’t think God has given me some kind of carte blanche to just be a trash-talker, I think this is an area where I’ve been put to try to bridge carnal folks and spiritual folks.

    On the one hand, I want born-again Christians to come here, and keep me honest about the Word, and even help shore me up by letting me know when I’ve done something really right…and maybe learn something themselves or teach me something new

    On the other hand, I think the bigger purpose for this blog (and something I tried to hit home in my very first post and in my profile) is to reach out (a) to people who are dead in their faith (either churchgoers who aren’t born again or Christians who are too distracted by the world to delve into their faith and/or spread the gospel) and (b) to people who aren’t saved/born-again/follower of Christ/etc. at all and don’t see any reason to be. In this bizarro approach, I am trying to be a teacher and an evangelist to those who often don’t want to hear stuff about religion…particularly when Jesus is involved.

    To that end, I didn’t want to be too academic in my approach…or even too “clean.” I do have dirty hands, and to some extent, my use of foul language is an indicator of that, even in posts where I don’t mention my own sinful nature explicitly. It is a reminder of my own carnal ways and the fact I’m not perfect by a long shot. I know that one of the biggest turn-offs of non-Christians when it comes to Christian sites and blogs is: “Why the hell would I want to go there?” They don’t want to be lectured, and the few that do frequent such places are, I think, in many cases there to pick fights.

    To be a straight-talking (and even foul-talking) Christian blogger I think helps the accessibility factor to some degree. I try to watch it, and sometimes I may get carried away, but I also try to make sure I’m not sanitizing myself too much.

    It’s funny, because this “Deacon Blue” idea has been in my head for years…at least 8 years in fact. Reading columns in independent weekly papers like Dan Savage’s or even something with no foul language like Ask Cecil, I thought, “wouldn’t it be interesting if I one day had a syndicated column that every week allowed me to talk about stuff in a realistic and real-world way (sex being the big one) while speaking from a faith-based perspective?” And inspired by the song “Deacon Blues” I chopped off the “s” to focus on my deaconhood (and Christianity) while also highlighting that I would address sometimes “blue” topics.

    But despite being a published writer, I couldn’t figure any way to float such a column concept or to convince a publisher that it was worth a few books. But God just wouldn’t let the idea out of my head. As a Christian yourself, I’m sure you’re well acquainted with that way that God gets ideas into your head until you finally say, “Ok, I get it, I’ll do that. Sorry I was being so reluctant to do your will.” But still, I couldn’t figure a way to make it work.

    And then my wife started blogging a little (though she’s not very regular about it) recently, and it hit me about 3 or 4 months ago that THIS was the medium. Blogging was the perfect medium in which to be “Deacon Blue.”

    But now I had another quandary as I put this into prayer and started figuring out how I would approach things. Blogs work best when there are more posts in a week than not…ideally daily posts or close to it. But I can’t stretch sex and similar “blue topics” out like that. So it hit me that the “blue-ness” of my blog was to be my attitude and my language.

    I still keep this in prayer, and the Spirit has given me no reason to think I’m on the wrong track overall, though there are the occasional twinges and twangs that I might have gone overboard here and there.

    It’s a tricky balance. It doesn’t SEEM like it should be the right thing for a Christian blogger to do. But apparently this is where my weaknesses are made into God’s strength. Where my foolishness can perhaps be turned to promote his wisdom. For God often works through our faults to temper us into weapons in the battle against Satan and tools in the building of a new kingdom bridging Heaven and Earth.

    I don’t fool myself into thinking I’m important or that I’ve come up with the answer that everyone should follow or even that I always do it right. I’m just a cog in a very big set of wheels and gears, really.

    But for the moment, at least, it seems to be my path. A weird one, I’ll admit, but you know what they say about the Lord working in mysterious ways.

  3. krislinatin

    i, too, curse like a trucker, as my hubby likes to say.
    i do it in real life, mostly at home, but i know its trashy.
    i do not curse much on my blog.
    and i dont much if at all at church/in public.
    there is a verse that talks about cursing:
    1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

    3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be partners with them.

    Does this mean cursers don’t inherit the kingdom of God? I don’t know.
    Does this mean God does not like cursing?
    I think yes, He doesn’t. its not becoming of a person trying to emulate and/or glorify God.
    And as unfair as it sounds, being a deacon, one is being called to higher accountability to be godly. (I’m a deacons wife) becuz it sounds as if we should care what ‘men’ think of us, not God.
    But God knows all and hears all, would we cuss in front of Him when He
    sits in judgment of us in the last days?
    (I think our use of language will be in the pile of deeds done in the flesh that get burnt up at judgment time)
    I can’t remember if you said you cuss in real life? But doing things in hiding or in the dark (as opposed to out in the open, in front of anyone/anytime), is that a good thing?

    your occasional twinges and twangs might be sumthin more than just a feeling….
    I like what I have read so far, the latest post was good ‘baring my soul’ but the language did pop out at me.
    Please, take this as it is, just an opinion, and you know what they say about opinions?!? :)
    Have a great weekend!
    Kristina and fellow sister in Christ striving to live life in the joy and glory of Him

  4. Deacon Blue

    Many thanks for the opinions, actually, Kristina. Everybody may have them (just as everyone has one of those nether portals), but I value the ones you have here.

    Lately, I’ve been trying to do a bit more of a mix of things…I don’t ever SET OUT to be foul-mouthed but rather try to let my language here be much what it would be in conversation around other adults. I let the context and the moment speak to me in that regard. And that language isn’t always salty even in daily life, but it’s far more likely to…and when I’m alone and my computer acts up on me, I get so much more filthy than I ever have here. 😉

    It may be that the Lord and I will mutually lead me out of all trash talk around these parts and then the only blue things about me will be my eyes and some of my topics (sex, etc.). But I’m not there yet. Maybe it’s weakness. Maybe I’m just justifying my behavior. But as with so many things in life, it takes time to turn myself around to a more Christ-like approach. I do it well in so many other ways, but my speech isn’t one of them…for better or worse.

    The “inheriting the kingdom of God” thing, well…I don’t fool myself into thinking that I am one of the great inheritors. I feel secure in my salvation, which is different than inheriting the kingdom of God. I won’t be one of the people who is going to get one of the proverbial crowns and get the best that heaven has to offer. Of course, that could change…my personality and deeds could get to a level where in addition to my salvation, which there is NO WAY I could ever earn on my own, I might also become an inheritor of the kingdom, which I believe is something that is based on the strength of our faith and our deeds.

    But considering just how much of my life I spent not under grace…and how much of it since being born again that I’ve wasted in NOT reaching people for Christ…well, I’m a pretty bad child of God overall. Not the worst…but far from the best. I’m still a child of God, and like the prodigal son I am going to be welcomed with love, but I’m not likely to be anywhere near the level of the people standing around the people who stand around the apostles in Heaven..much less any closer to the center of the action.

    God bless and godspeed Kristina…hope my language doesn’t get under your skin so much that I drive ya off. 😛

  5. krislinatin

    Well, like you, i have spend most of my years not being under grace and in the 10 or so years I have walked this narrow path, I have overcome a lot of things, alcohol, drugs, depression, nose spray even, all with Gods grace and mercy, but the swearing is definitely the hardest to overcome, that and “i wanna be in control” issue I still have, but…
    ANYway, when I was going thru my tag surfer i spotted your post and in reading it the language popped out at me, I’m not offended by it.
    Sidenote; its funny how non-christians will swear (my family, mostly) and then apologize to me. I usually tell them, don’t apologize to me, I’m not the one who is offended.
    anyway, again, i digress.
    i looked up inheriting the kingdom becuz i assumed we as believers all get to inherit it and after studying Daniel(i take Precept upon Precept classes), i found out we all fight for the kingdom with Christ in the last days.
    here is something i looked up:
    I love this study help online, some think the commentaries are from dead guys from antiquity and are not relevant anymore. I disagree, but then again, i’m of the reformed theology persuasion.
    Take a look, tell me whatcha think!
    bye, Kristina

  6. Chris

    Perhaps you are not really swearing. Ortberg makes brief argument (I think it’s in “If you want to walk on water, you’ve gotta get out of the boat” but don’t hold me to it) that the greek “skebula” that sensitive linguists/theologians render as “dung” in english, would be more accurately translated as “Shit”. Right there. Shit, smack-dab in the middle of the Pauline epistles. Whodda thunkit? This dovetails nicely with Eugene’s claim (in the intro to the “message”) that the bible was penned in the vernacular, The street speech of it’s culture. I’m not educated enough to know if this is valid, but it comforts me. I like to entertain the notion that Paul would say “asshole” just as readily as “nether portal”. Jesus modeled a perspective where some sins were relatively trivial… screwing over your parents, and victimizing the poor were not to be confused with working a little on your day off – which really wasn’t a sin at all.
    It’s possible that the majority opinion, held by the populace of mainstream religianity, is wrong – that Jesus considered other speech unwholesome, ideas, rather than vocabulary. Maybe the Church is a smaller group than most realize.

  7. Aro

    I can appreciate where the swearing comes from, and I for one am not offended by it for a couple of reasons: 1) I swear occasionally, so there ya go, and 2) Paul did say that he always attempted to become all things to all people so that he might bring some to Christ.

    I pray it’s fruitful for your readers :-)


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