Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ariadne Leads Him to the Dawn


I am Ariadne, and I will help you find your way out.

hold tight to the unraveled edge of the string and I will pull you
I will wind that highway of twine into a bright red ball
I will reel you in

In all of this that we construct, I will be to you an outstretched hand

as you hurdle over barriers and walls that I create
as you seek the prize within the turns and corners of the labyrinth

I am Ariadne, I am the architect and I will beckon you and draw you back
with markers and signs I will lead you
you who bears the heavy load of truth and reality on your shoulders
I will guide you to see around and through the lies of time
I will show you the crafty traps of memory and the twisting depths of days
I will give you the key and show you the door
I will break you from this jailhouse of linear pacing and bring you to the way

And you will know the red ribbon of freedom

Friday, May 13, 2011

Play Nice, Niceans. (Awful Joke)

So. The Council of Nicea. After a friend made some comments about how the Bible is unreliable because of the fact that fallible men compiled it, I did some research. Which was fun because I like research and also I'm a nerd. And here is the results, copied from an email I sent.

Apparently, we (the Church) have been duped -- there seems to be no evidence that the proceedings at the Council of Nicea included the deciding which books would make up the canon of the Bible. From the accounts we have, it seems like the main topic of discussion at the Council was the relationship between God the Father and Jesus, which was in response to a cultish uprising led by a man named Arius who believed that Jesus was not God. There's a bit of an outline here:

They came up with the "Nicene Creed" that we now know about, which outlines that the Father and Son are the same being in two forms. Not a new belief, but they codified it so that the new congregations springing up all over would be unified in this (most important) point of doctrine. There is a list of other canons that were discussed by the bishops in attendance, such as church disciplinary matters (including the notion that at this time, there was no one church who was appointed as "head" above the others). The heretical Arius got the boot, along with his followers.

So, the idea that the books of the Bible were decided upon at the council simply are untrue. This source outlines possible sources for the myth:, along with some useful commentary on the actual events by some of the bishops who were there. This source: gives a handy overview of the fables many in the Church believe about Nicea, and gives rebuttals for them. The inset box entitled "The Real History of the Bible" is useful. Basically outlines the fact that the Bible as we know it has stayed relatively unchanged since the time of the writing of the NT. In the second century, there were other additions, and 2 Peter, James, and Hebrews have been called into question -- but I think it's important to keep in mind that "called into question" does not mean necessarily that these were false teachings/scriptures. Just because someone questions something doesn't automatically mean that the consensus of all early Christians was that it was heretical. I think often we fall into the trap of the "fallacy of tradition", in which we believe that because X is old, X must be true or better. True, the early Christians were closer in chronology to Jesus and the New Testament writers. However, this does not mean that every thought they had was correct or to be accepted on par with what the NT teaches. I understand that humans are fallible, and thus we can expect some error in works written by humans. However: I also think that if God, in choosing the Bible as the main vehicle through which He communicates to His people (He communicates to us through many things, I know, and I don't mean to constrain God to words on a piece of paper, but in the Bible His words are clearly stated), God, in His sovereignty, would see to it that the canon of the Bible is exactly what He wanted it to be. It's about this Bible the prophet Isaiah records God saying "the grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever" (Isaiah 40:8), and to which Paul refers to when he says "all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16), and it is "living and active" (Hebrews 4:12). I don't believe that God would allow the folly of men to override his means of communicating to us.

Oh, one last thing -- I found the reference I was thinking about where Peter refers to Paul's letters as Scripture -- it's 2 Peter 3:16 - "He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction." so there's pretty good support in there for Paul's letters being authoritative words from God. And a bit of a warning, too.

Ummmm, sorry for this huge post. I hope you were all able to make it this far. If you did, congratulations!

Love and cannons (HA! Like canons, but different! I'm hilarious!),

Monday, May 2, 2011

Remove from Me My Heart of Stone


We lost two important people in a matter of days. David Wilkerson, author of "The Cross and the Switchblade" and regarded as one of the forerunners of street ministry as well as the founder of Teen Challenge died in a tragic car accident. His sermon prompting Christians to anguish in prayer for the things that hurt God's heart totally wrecked me this weekend. Then, today, news of the assassination of Osama bin Laden is spreading, prompting responders online, even Christians, to respond by heaping more hate on an already hate-filled situation. What does wishing bin Laden a great time in Hell do for us? What does it accomplish, to as one person on Facebook wished, proclaim "I want to watch him be killed"? It hardens our hearts, makes us bitter and lulls us into thinking it's okay for us to live in the Grace of God that saved us from sin and then turn around and laugh that a man died, possibly while still rejecting the claims of Christ. Is this not a disgusting, twisted sense of self-righteousness that spews forth this kind of judgment? Is it not God who decides who goes to Hell? Am I not, in the deepest, ugliest recesses of my heart just like him? How can we believe in a God that says in Ezekiel 18:32 that He does not take pleasure in the death of anyone -- wicked or not -- and then rub our hands together, relishing the warm feeling of revenge, when someone evil is murdered?

Today, I am sorrowing for the death of another human being who's fate rests in God alone, not my opining or conjecture on where he might be right now. I am also sorrowing for the Church who is so seduced by the world that we feel it's okay to celebrate the death of another person, no matter how bad, no matter how sinful and the extent of the horrible and wrong things he did. We declare "an eye for an eye", spitting in the face of a Jesus who died for us all. I recognize the urge in my own heart to say "Good!" and feel justified that one who instigated the killing of so many has now been killed. And I reject that urge to sorrow with the Lord over the death of a man that HE made, a man who God knew from the womb and a man whom God never gave up on.

The death of a saint in Christ and a world-renowned terrorist -- both are pushing me towards anguish and towards a heart more attuned to Him today. May it be the same for you.