Posts Tagged relationship
I want to be a Whole Christian.
I want to love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength, and be part of a worshipping community with others who do.
I want to love my brothers and sisters the way Christ loves me,
my neighbor as myself,
and my enemies.
Especially my enemies. For I have discovered that I only see the log in my own eye after I find grace for the speck in someone else’s.
Christianity has been practically defined by our divisions and labels since at least Acts 6, if not Mark 9. I myself have enjoyed many such labels over the years. Protestant. Fundamentalist. Conservative. Evangelical. Reformed. Orthodox. Charismatic. Postmodern. Missional.
I continue to honor and cherish those traditions, even as I critique them. But I no longer want to be defined by them. Especially since they are largely defined by what (and who) they are not.
I want to embrace all of Christianity. Not just the Catholics, liberals, and traditionalists who disagree with me on doctrine and practice. But everybody and everything that has been part of Christian tradition — the good, the bad, and the ugly. The heretics and the persecutors. Torquemada and televangelists. Crusaders and Conquistadors. Pedophile priests and southern slaveholders.
I don’t agree with them. I have serious doubts about whether I’ll see some of them in heaven. But I am content to let Jesus sort the wheat from the tares at the end of the age.
Because all of them are my people. Their sins are my sins. Their failures are my failures.
For only by embracing their failure can I hope to transcend it; instead of repeat it.
This is a song I wrote back in 1996 in my post-college, pre-Apple days in Pasadena, California. It was for a girl I knew — heck, it fit pretty much all the girls I hung out with and/or was interested in during that decade.
I also sang it during a “Christian Connection” (online dating site) cruise back in 1999, just before I met Sandhya. By God’s grace I got to perform for the ship talent show. I said I was part of a Christian singles group with 80 women and 15 men — and I was having a *great* time! (as was reported almost daily on the ship’s TV :-).
“But being single wasn’t always fun and games — and that’s why I wrote this song.”
Read the rest of this entry »
I’m in the process of cleaning up my “personal” site on DrErnie.com, and as part of that I’m moving some of my earlier writings to this site.
To start with, I present “Unforgiven”, a more-or-less accurate transcript of the first time God really dealt with me about anger…
A testimony in three persons
The stage appears empty except for a single chair, center, facing right. A man sits on it backwards, facing left, hugging the back of the chair. His expression is grim. A single spotlight shines down on him. Another man walk out from right, and stands looking at him from the semi-darkness. The first man speaks, but remains facing left.
In Which We Forgive Those Who Don’t Deserve It, Because We Don’t Either
Anger is unique among the seven deadly sins in that, in general, anger isn’t even a sin (cf. Ephesians 4:26). At one level, it is simply an emotional reaction to having our boundaries crossed. And at the highest level, anger is actually a virtue, since it is a significant part of God’s character — i.e., the “name” to which we are being conformed!
At the same time, anger is also the name of one of the most violent and dangerous sins. We can define sinful anger as a self-righteous passion for punishing those who offend us. This is why anger is so empowering and so deadly: it magnifies the sins of others to the point where we ignore our own.
Because anger is so devastating, we need to combat it with both meekness — the ability to restrain our passions in submission to God’s rule — and peacemaking, which seeks restoration and reconciliation instead of revenge.
Of course, that is easier said then done…
As mentioned earlier, I’ve been looking to write a new song to express what I’m learning about God’s fatherhood. However, I couldn’t figure out where to start. Then, last week while visiting San Francisco with my brother’s family — we stayed at the Radisson Inn on Fisherman’s Wharf — I woke up at midnight. I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I started thinking (fruitlessly) about this song. I finally complained to God about the block, when He basically said, “ask me.” So, I got up and went into the bathroom, and this is what I felt God had to say to me:
I am God
I am the source of all you seek
I will hold you when you’re weak
I have died to give you life
I will take you as my wife
Share your pain
Heal your sins
Be your God
[Read More] for the complete song. The rest I can perhaps claim to have written, but the chorus (however imperfectly recorded) was given to me.