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Ya know every time I think about the crimes we commit against either our creator or each other, I realize that they are usually steeped in the sin of pride.

When you speak against others, gossip about them, cause problems for others, treat people disgracefully – you fill in the blank – all you’re doing is allowing your pride to get the best of you. “I can say what I want to say” – “I’ll do what I want to do” – “They treated me bad, so I’m gonna treat them bad.”

I find that the most humiliating command in scripture is when Jesus says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  This is a command that reduces our pride and whittles it away to nothing. To treat others as you want to be treated means that regardless of how OTHERS treat YOU, YOU must still treat THEM how YOU want to be treated. This command takes the YOU out of everything. It takes offense out of everything, it takes anger and frustration and retaliation and revenge out of every action we commit toward others. B/c to fulfill this law it requires us to lessen ourselves in order that we might do good to others.

I once heard someone say that if you get easily offended, it’s just another form of selfishness. I would amend that to be pride as well. When people get easily offended they usually talk about THEMSELVES a lot. I’ve been hurt & offended by people a lot in my life, but ya know what, I realized that it’s not about me. There are bigger issues that are going on in the world than what so-n-so said about me – and I find that people that are like this usually care more about material possessions and the things of this world than they do about the things of God, b/c their focus is on earthly things and not of things not of this world. THEY are the central focus of their lives – not God, and certainly not others (unless they are the target of their attacks in order to make up for a lack of self-confidence and self-image that they have).

We say the exact same things when we sin against our God. We think that we know more and know better than He does. Isn’t that the basis of the sin in the Garden? Eve was deceived into believing that God didn’t tell them the whole story, that they could have more and do more than what God allowed them – that they could choose their own way instead of what God had already layed out for them. Their story, is our story. We do the same things, not necessarily with forbidding fruit, but with our speech, our actions, and our ways.

So examine yourself. See if what I say is not truth. Pride is the downfall to sin, and it is the thorn in the side of the Church and will suck the life out of us unless we are willing to say with John the Baptist…”I must decrease, that He might increase.”

I figure people have better things to do then to read about what I do each day, so I have tried to make my blog more about things I think about on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. Of course, some people and their blogs seem to have inspirational thoughts every day of the week and twice on Sunday when they like to post on Facebook how great their church service was (which I sometimes wonder what they mean by that – seriously, watch the Facebook status’ pile up that say the same thing)…I’m not one of those people. So my thoughts come on a whim at times.

I’m not downing those blogs, it’s just that I’m not that way. If I don’t have something to say then I don’t bother saying anything at all. I find it makes me appear less foolish b/c then I just let other people say all the foolish things and I just chime in when I have an inspirational thought. So now I’m lumped in one of those groups of people that get on a soap box and just ramble on and completely miss the point of what really started this blog to say to begin with.

I’m reading a book called, “Prey” by Michael Crichton. One of the best authors of all time I think! When I read Jurassic Park I reverted back to my childhood when I first saw the movie in the theater and freaked out b/c I thought dinosaurs had been brought back to life and that a velacaraptor was going to eat me in my bed while I slept.

This book is about the advancement of nanotechology, biotechnology, and computer technology. What I love about Crichton (R.I.P.), is that he researches a topic, then mixes real facts with a fictional story – so as you read it you’re thinking, “Wow…this is possible! Why hasn’t anybody really brought dinosaurs back to life yet!?”  “Prey” is about a cloud of nanoparticles – micro-robots – that escape a laboratory. This cloud is self-sustaining and self-reproducing – it’s intelligent and is preying on us! Pretty sweet book.

But in his introduction Crichton makes some true statements about the advancement of technology and this is what the point of this blog is about:

We think we know what we are doing. We have always thought so. We never seem to acknowledge that we have been wrong in the past, and so might be wrong in the future. Instead, each generation writes off earlier errors as the result of bad thinking by less able minds – and then confidently embarks on fresh errors of its own.”

Now, Crichton is referring to our advancement of technology and our “not always able to handle it” attitudes. I would have you reread that statement and apply it to life and faith. As a young pastor, as a young bible college student, I think this statement applies greatly. I have grown up in a generation that critiques and criticizes older generations of people b/c we don’t agree with their methods and thoughts. And yet…we embark on fresh errors of our own.

I am confident that the day will come when my son and grandson’s generation will arise and call my generation stupid and irrelevant. I hope, I HOPE, that my generation will realize that we have to change to be relevant to a changing world at every stage of our development as church leaders – but I can’t promise anything.

When I was a student pastor in OK I realized that even YOUNG PEOPLE are traditional – they’re just traditional about different things. The camp they go to, the type of service they want, even the type of music they expect…seemingly just as traditional as an older generation – but traditional about different things. I’m not saying that being traditional is wrong, listen to this quote that was posted on the bulletin board at Stones Folly Catholic School:

Tradition is the faith of those now dead. Traditionalism is the dead faith of those still living.”

Pretty incredible statement. I have one more for you:

The god an atheist does not believe in is usually not the God of the Bible. Unfortunately, the god of the believer is also often not the God of the Bible.”

That was stated by Gerald L. Schroeder in his book , “The Science of God.”

What’s the point? My point is this: How is your view of God NOW, in comparison with how you viewed Him as a child? How do you really view God? In his book, “Searching For God Knows What” Don Miller (great author!) mentions the idea that in the Old Testament, when people encountered God – they fell on their faces and were literally afraid of DEATH! The first words out of even the ANGELS’ mouths were, “Fear not!”

Where is the “fear” of God? Are we afraid of sinning against Him? Do we still believe that “it is a dangerous thing to fall into the hands of an angry God”? Yes God is full of grace and mercy, but have we made God into some kind of pansy that doesn’t give a crap how we live, move and have our being? And when you mention the fact that God is a warrior who comes with a sword in his hand and carrying out his wrath at times…people think you’re not being Christ-like (meek and mild).

What I’m trying to say is that we must always be willing to change. Our doctrines, our belief systems, our view of life, love, faith and yes, even God. I haven’t read “The Shack” yet, but I’ve listened to a LOT of people talk about it. I love the fact that God is an old-black-woman. I love seeing peoples’ faces as they talk about it – whether they like it or not. Personally, I love the idea that God appears to a man in a form that he does not expect.

Why? B/c it forces us to realize that God is not what we expect Him to be! THAT’S MY POINT! Not a revolutionary idea, but sometimes I think we forget it. We forget how incredibly amazing, huge, transcendant and completely seperate and “OTHER THAN US” God really is. That God just kind of…exists. Early Hebrew Rabbis described God as being “the very essence of existance.” Wow!

Think about that the next time you pray. Think about that the next time you yell at your kids. Think about that the next time you sing a silly song at church. Think about that the time you choose “Prey” over the Bible. Think about that the next time you ask God “Why?” Think about it the next time…_____________________…you fill in the blank.

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