Hey guys, I’m reading a cool book called Blue Like Jazz – Nonreligious Thoughts On Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller. He really is able to put into words things I’ve thought or experienced as well as things I’ve never even though of in that way. I thought I would add some excerpts and talk a bit about them. Donald’s stuff is in blue (aren’t I clever). Here are 3 PDF files: Chapter 1 of Blue Like Jazz, a press kit and a study guide. COOL! Click them to open the file.
I didn’t feel like I knew God, and yet He was making me experience this conviction (guilt over wrong done etc.) I felt that the least He could have done was to come down and introduce Himself and explain these feelings of conviction in person. If you don’t love somebody, it gets annoying when they tell you what to do or what to feel. When you love them you get pleasure form their pleasure, and it makes it easy to serve. I didn’t love God because I didn’t know Him. Still, I knew, because of my own feelings, there was something wrong with me, and I knew it wasn’t only me. I knew it was everybody. It was like a bacteria or a cancer or a trance. It wasn’t on the skin; it was in the soul. It showed up in loneliness, lust, anger, jealousy, and depression. It had people screwed up bad everywhere you went—at the store, at home, at church; it was ugly and deep. Lots of singers on the radio were singing about it, and cops had jobs because of it. It was as if we were broken, I thought, as if we were never supposed to feel these sticky emotions. It was as if we were cracked, couldn’t love right, couldn’t feel good things for very long without screwing it all up. We were like gasoline engines running on diesel. It is hard for us to admit we have a sin nature because we live in this system of checks and balances. If we get caught, we will be punished. But that doesn’t make us good people; it only makes us subdued. Just think about the Congress and Senate and even the President. The genius of the American system is not freedom; the genius of the American system is checks and balances. Nobody gets all the power. Everybody is watching everybody else. It is as if the founding fathers knew, intrinsically, that the soul of man, unwatched, is perverse. The goofy thing about Christian faith…is that you believe it and don’t believe at the same time. It isn’t unlike having an imaginary friend. I believe in Jesus; I believe he is the Son of God, but every time I sit down to explain this to somebody I feel like a palm reader, like somebody who works at a circus or a kid who is always making things up or somebody at a Star Trek convention who hasn’t figured out the show isn’t real.
Yep, It’s hard not to feel like a cult member when we talk about God and faith in general. Even though it is hard or uncomfortable, I believe it and care enough for you that I will look like a dork or a fanatic to share it with you. It’s almost like having the cure for cancer or something. I would be evil and wrong if you had cancer to not try and share it with you. I believe Jesus to be the cure for life’s problems.
The greatest trick of the devil…is not to get us into some sort of evil but rather have us wasting time. This is why the devil tries so hard to get Christians to be religious. If he can sink a man’s mind into habit, he will prevent his heart from engaging God.”
I recently heard a Pastor say that the devil doesn’t want a Christian to be rebellious but wants us to be religious. The people Jesus had a problem with weren’t the thief or the prostitute. It was with the religious people. and a warm fuzzy poem by C.S. Lewis All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you I never had a selfless thought since I was born I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through I want GOD, you, all friends to merely serve my turn Peace, reassurance, pleasure are the good I seek I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin I talk of love, a scholar’s parrot may talk Greek But self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.
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