Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fiction in the Light of God

It is noted that a Christian man, once he has and has been embraced and confirmed in the Holy Spirit, cannot dream of a secular life. Even fiction, the realm of the imagination without the bounds of physics, reality, and super-reality, becomes invaded by this Greater Truth. For me, I cannot dream nor create great epics spanning universes, realities, cultures, and humanities without inserting a God which wouldn't allow for such fantasies. This is not to say that God is prohibiting me from dreaming these fictions – much in the same way that the misconception of Christianity's being a limiting ideal, this thought is simply a misconception, requiring another perception of the same issue.

As a Christian, God makes me cheerful. Nothing makes me more ecstatic than making Him proud. Unfortunately, it is this love for Him that poisons my fiction. I cannot write a humanist piece without a God that follows His example. Furthermore, there's no radical fiction I can formulate about Him, because He already created it. I feel at times when I attempt to create fiction, I come to three blockages:

God: I need to insert Him into all my pieces. I feel awful writing secular pieces, because I have a God who gives me the ability to write it. If you had a wealthy benefactor who gives you every second of your life, everything you own, everything you are, wouldn't you mention an archetype of Him in your pieces? There's a book series out, starting with Dragon Spell, which contains a character who follows God's archetype. He is a Jesus character who is all-powerful, yet unboastful in his power. The first book ends with his victory, and the book tries to set up a sequel. Yet as soon as his character entered the story, I knew the story was doomed. How can there be suspense when there's a God character? I never read the other books, because I knew the God archetype had to be nullified in order to create suspense, and that though made a bad feeling in my gut. God's omniscience and omnipotence instantly ruins a suspenseful dialogue.

“But Blancs,” you may say, “The gospels were a horror story before Christ resurrected!” Yes, they were. But then He was raised to life. There's no suspense in that story now because the end of the story is known before you understand the build up. Any story with God, now, ruins itself on the entrance of Him, because we all expect Him to be victorious instantly. I could kill God, but then that would be slapping my benefactor in the face. I’m not bout to insult my God like that.

Pride: my fictions have me as the protagonist, because I know myself, and I can easily explain my character. The problem with this is when I make myself exalted, thus pre-empting God in my imagination. It's a problem I’ve had in life, and it's transferring to my fiction.

God vs. Secularism: God's love is an amazing story. Writing about anything less seems anticlimactic.

I’d do everything in my power to rephrase this, but I see no other conclusion: my love relationship with God is poisoning my imagination. I cannot think of anything but Him. I want to, I have so many amazing stories dreamt in my youth, though I cannot recreate those in lieu of the Glory I recognize now. My poetry is excelling, though I am still excited for my old fictions. The Lost Lord of Cutre'ton, an old fiction of mine, is considered my greatest work in my eyes.

I pray for a reconciliation with my God, so that I may write these fictions to His glory.  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Why Keep the Law?

In recent weeks, I have become quite irritated with Reddit. Many people, time and time again, scholarly and non-scholarly, have questioned Grace in the light of, “Why aren't we following the laws in the Bible?” To this, I give them the rough account of the gospel. I then say, “But the laws are still good for us to follow,” to which they scoff, and then either denounce me for being double-minded or express confusion at what is perceived to be a lack of understanding on the subject.

I have complete assurance on the subject. Whereas I may be a man who I subject to change, the Bible is not, nor is the God who wrote it. The subject of the Old Law is well-spelled out. Let me dust off my Bible...

6 Jesus told him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

This still leaves ambiguity in the air; how does one come to Jesus?

17 Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

Okay, so we can rule out “through the law”, because nary fifty words later, Jesus destroys that thought:

20 “For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

This is where one would start biting their nails. At this point, people lost their Law. Several points elsewhere in the gospel, Jesus personally denounces the scribes and Pharisees. But that's just it: The Old Law had failed. That's the most uncomfortable sentence I’ve typed in a very long time. I like my laws; American law keeps me somewhat safe. International laws keep us safer. I look back in the Old Law, where it calls homosexuality a sin worthy of stoning, and this statement seems not to reconcile itself with wisdom, justice, and love.

God spoke to Moses, who then went back to his people and, amongst other things, says those exact words. Yet a few thousand years later, Grace shows us that all sins are equal (one sin in your lifetime is worthy of damnation; I have sinned much more than that). The Lost Son an the son who stayed with his father all that time were shown the same amount of love by the Prodigal Father.

I think I have an answer (from this point on, I am speculating. I cannot say that I have any authority to say what God intends, as I am not a scholar and only opinionate on God after much thought), which takes us to the beginning. God started with two people (I will tackle evolutionary theory later. For the sake of Biblical accuracy, I will assert two people), who He gave one rule to. For crying out loud, God walked in the garden. He had a relationship with Adam and Eve.

Then the first two fell. Sin wasn't even a word yet, and yet we humans did it. God stayed with His Creation, though, through the flood. God knew that humans weren't ready for Grace, but He needed this to prove to future generations. The flood came and went, and we fast forward a bit to Moses. Moses stayed on the mountain for forty or so days, and I think this is what happened between Moses and God up there (Note: This is only comedic. I know it didn't happen like this, but I’m just showing how humans weren't ready for Grace):

God: <Grace>
Moses: huh?
God: <Shows Moses how Grace works>
Moses: huh?
God: <Fills Moses' head with Grace>
Moses: Wait, wait... what do we do in <this case>?
God: <Still showing Moses the glory of Grace>
Moses: Let me grab a pen, I’ll need to write some rules down. I’m not gonna remember this “Grace” thing
God: <Ten Commandments>

Moses goes down, sees the idol worship, breaks the tablets over his knee, stomps back up to the mountain top.

Moses: Yeah... We're gonna need more rules.
God: <Slaps hand on head in frustration, tells Moses exactly what a human needs to do to be saved>
Moses: Okay... Got that... Talk a little slower, please... Got that... how many lambs? Okay... What about this kind of person? Okay...

Then Moses went down and God took some Prozac, and listened to Moses giving the law to the people. He knew full well that the laws weren't going to work, but human weren't ready for Grace. They would, however, be ready for Laws, which would build humans up to a sophistication enough to understand why grace was better. Furthermore, why the laws failed. Jesus came at the exact right time; the scribes and pharisees were unrighteously pious, and the people were becoming paralyzed trying to get to Heaven. The relationship God had with His people had all but died. Furthermore, thanks to the stability of the Roman Empire (amongst other factors with I think God alone has a license to understanding), humans were ready for Grace.

Grace is like the theory of relativity, or even something simpler, like gravity, or magnetism. These theories were only recently understood, because we have only recently reached the level of sophistication to understand them. God couldn't give us grace, because we haven't mastered other aspects of life. You need to understand the structure of the atom before unraveling the mysteries thereof. In a much different sense, computers weren't even thought of back in Jesus' time. Now, I’m typing on a computer while it is scanning itself for specific malicious programs, playing music, and checking several times a second for Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit updates. We are much more sophisticated in the sense that we have built on our past.

Much like ourselves now, we needed to see that the Old Ways weren't working as well as the New Way back when Jesus came. We can now no longer say “why not just tell us Grace from the beginning”, or “Why not just gives us laws and be done with this 'interpreting scripture' thing?” for God did that. And He proved the Old Law failed. For, laws let us find ways to circumvent them. Grace is impassable. It is no longer about rules, it is about the intent of following them.

So, why still follow these rules? I don't recommend following the Old Law, as those laws were written to a culture over two-thousand years past. They're still somewhat applicable, but I would suggest ascribing to the laws of the current land. I would take that instead of anarchism, any day. Also, Jesus did come to fulfill the purpose of the Law (making yourself worthy in God's eye), so if you follow Jesus' teachings, then no law should go against you. 

Monday, November 19, 2012


I am somewhat pained today, as I have lost something which has been with me for as long as I can remember. I've always found joy in this world. I've always found love. I've always seen God, heard Him and enjoyed His presence.

Ever since my recent stance of abstinence from pornography (which I pray daily to Him to give me the strength to prolong), I've been weak. An eight hour sleep leaves me restless, and today's by far the worst. I woke up aching, went to class aching, and now I am tired. Yesterday I was on the parking team at Passion city (love those guys), and my tiredness graciously softened while I was there.

I had hoped that strength would continue with me. It frightens me that this addiction was my strength for so long, and now I am weak without it. It worries me that I put so much of my life into this addiction, without realizing it. It panics me that even now, today, as I open the Bible, I cannot see the truth in it, only words. My eyes gloss over the beautiful lyrics of this immortal song, its glorious joy translating to apathy in my head.

Similarly, my poetry has suffered. It disgusts me to think that my inspiration came from God, while my strength came from pornography, for I know that is not the case. I think this is something like a heroin addiction, where a natural chemical your body needs is replaced by the drug, and if you take away the unnatural chemical, your body either dies or goes through a horrific recovery. Thankfully, this is a calmer recovery.

I’ll need your prayers that my poetic inspiration returns. I don't want for a quicker or lighter recovery, for I deserve much worse for the damage I have wrought on myself. I do ask for the inspiration - the songs of God - to return to me and ignite my passion again, for those are not my own. I can only humbly ask for the Almighty to deem me worthy to borrow His words. If people can see that God chooses this man who was so enslaved by pornography, pride and lust to the point that his recovery physically and mentally harms him... if God can choose a chief of sinners such as myself to bring the world His Song, then people who have been hurt much more than I can see that there's a place in His Heaven for them.

For, Jesus did not come to His Creation for the saved, He came for the sinners.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I’ve got a personal post for today. For the past seven months, I have written half of this post, then scrapped it in shame. I would write it again, only to despise the way I wrote it. The subject is one that has plagued me for years, since I was much too young to know the damage it would do. The world glorifies it, and I was pulled in by its allure. I am a porn addict.

 There is not much else to say, besides that I am quite embarrassed by the fact. Time and time again I have attempted to change it. I could not ask forgiveness from God, for I knew I would just commit the sin again – greedily and pridefully so – and I am much too grounded in honor to ask forgiveness for a sin I will repeat. I have had many, many deviances in real life based on this basest of degradations, and I have yet to ask for forgiveness for the lives I have wrecked. This is because, for the longest time, I knew for a fact – a cold, solid fact – that, given the chance, I would wreck someone else's life, for those minutes of prideful satisfaction. This kind of degradation has been my life for my entire teenage life.

Almost a month ago, I took a change. I came to terms with my inability to change my life alone, and found a painful way to overcome the addiction. There is accountability software – the fact that the only source that feeds my addiction comes from the internet makes it very easy to stifle. I have been free of the addiction for a little over two weeks now, and it is still a painful thing to endure.

A word on the nature of addiction: I rejected that I was addicted, for I could stop myself after only committing the sin for a small time. Addiction works with Satan. It is a coping mechanism for troubles, usurping the Godly Throne of admitting your mistakes and taking the blame and problems. It is a roost for the ones who come to it first looking for escape. After that first time, Addiction calls them back, saying always “one more time”. Then, addiction becomes the friend the likes of which you'll never need an enemy, nor see any. Any time you come under confrontation, Addiction calms you and detaches you.

You never see the desensitization to the world you live in, no. Addiction makes sure of that. You are never brought to awareness of the degradation in your life, under Addiction's spell. You simply don't observe it, for as soon as you think on the subject, Addiction simply turns you to it again. And you sin.

I feel I can say with confidence, after many, many years of flying under Addiction's banners, that I have finally risen from the depths of Addiction. I’ve burned the banners an replaced them with God's. I thank the people responsible for helping me to this change (my parents especially), and I am ashamed I did not post this sooner.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Matthew 9:37-38

Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” Psalm 84:10
This is the scripture that Door Holders at Passion City Church use to explain their role. A Door Holder sees the glory inside, and chooses to hold the door open for others to experience it. This seems to be the mantra that PCC works by.

Today, I was with several Christian friends at a Steak n Shake, and we started talking about various churches. Passion City came up in conversation, and a very condemning thing was said about my home church: it doesn't really serve. It is a brand. It is the experience of worship. The church asks for my money, and for amazing things, and it deals with massive, weighty issues – but I attend the church, and I have not one time served the needy in the area.

Passion City is “for God, for People, for the City, for the World.” I feel the church as a whole narrows on the onerous “world” problems, while neglecting the people around it. Either that, or I haven't been queued into the monthly service events that PCC serves the community in. PCC has a periodic free dinner for their college-aged attendees – no! PCC has special gatherings for its collegiates – NO!

Passion City Church has such a large congregation of people that we only ask to come for one service a week. There are smaller events that aren't run directly by Passion that bear its name – fan-groups, if you will – but for the most part I feel that people attend this church because it is an unparalleled worship experience. Because they are not told of opportunities to serve there, they go home thinking there aren't any. Instead of asking them to find these opportunities on their own, why not find them?

I would rather go out with my Passion family to the tents of the wicked. I get the feeling this verse silently continues,

Though Your courts are open to all, and I will spend a thousand days in the tents of the wicked, and be the doorkeeper to them when they come to Your courts.”(Non Scriptura)

Passion City Church is a force for God in this world, and I want the best for it. To do this, I will direct more of my energies to helping the city around me, and telling them about Passion. While doing this, I will lobby for Passion to do the same. Matthew 9:37-38 depicts this beautifully:

Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Matthew 9:37-38

I will leave on this. This last passage is my aim in life. I wan to be that worker. If you know a way for this message to get to Louie or anyone working on Passion's staff, please send this to them. I do not want to send it myself, for I feel it would be an affront to the humble nature I strive to attain in this world of pride. I will stay late next Sunday, asking for an ear. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Grace Series Finale: God's Grace

I touched on the heights off human grace two posts ago, and I feel again the urge to extrapolate: how could forgiveness be the height of grace? Grace is an intensely complex thing. There is grace everyday (the mindset of grace) and the act of grace (one-time events), and many people find it difficult to find something as simple as forgiveness to be the height of something as complex as grace. Grace is something simple, actually – though, as it is incredibly difficult to grasp, people wish to cloud it with complexities, much like how a math textbook answers the simplest problems in its examples while the prompts are much, much more difficult. Grace is inherently a simple concept; no matter the complexities intrinsic to the problem, the solution always includes forgiveness.

A lifestyle of grace is one of constant forgiveness.

Here's why I believe this grace is in our lives. God Almighty (I will include God in this theory) created the world, because a spirit of love enjoys something to love. At the spark of humanity (whether you believe in evolution or creationism makes no difference to this), two humans emerged. They were both told not to eat from a tree, but did anyway. Pause.

Now, what would you have done, in such a circumstance? If you as a programmer ordered the first two beings in the world you created (that had their own souls) not to do X, yet they do it anyway, what would you do? God chose to allow this. Satan (who knows nothing of grace, only pride) was allowed by God to be in that garden. Two beings with no knowledge of the notion of good nor evil both chose evil. But God, being Love, decided to go on with it. He knew this would happen, and He would like it to. He would like people to come to Him of their own accord; to have people who choose Him over the lusts (or, Pride) in the world.

The flood occurred because God wasn't going to wipe the world and start over. Humanity would have just fallen again. Thus, He simply cuts the parts that rejected Him, just like one would brush away eraser dust. For a spirit of Love, this is unbearable; it would have been immeasurably worse to remove the entire race. When the flood waters recede, the world becomes God's for the time that Noah and his family leave the ark. Soon after, sin enters the world again, and God allows it to.

The next untold millennia, God watches over the world, sending messenger after messenger. Some messengers fall short of God's will, whilst others adhere to it too much; either way, humanity is still depraved, unwilling to hear God's voice. God allows His word to be twisted, for humans have the divinely inspired choice to do so.

The people used to feel Him everywhere, until humans decided that they could only feel his presence in a tent. It wasn't too long after that they needed a temple. Then they needed a king. God complied, confused as to why they needed this when they had Him already.

He, a purely Good Spirit, sends sign after sign of His power, and yet humanity still fails Him. Just before the zero point of the calendar, He decides to send Himself into the world, to experience mortality and understand first-hand why humans go against Him.

By the way, God is a terrible sinner. He can't sin to save His life. We even stuck him to a tree and he didn't sin.

Oh, and God sent Himself to Earth, and we still killed him in thirty years flat. Humanity killed God on Earth in thirty years. Let that sink in.

Fast forward to today, and we're still pretty depraved. But we're here. God could not have sent a flood, but I’m pretty sure He didn't rule out meteor strikes or coronal ejections, volcanoes, or any other incredibly violent extinction event. This doesn't mean that God has a panic button he keeps with Him at all times; this spirit of Love would never kill off humanity, doing it once was bad enough. The panic button for Him is like having the nuclear arm key for the president implanted in his chest; you could use it, but only if you really wanted to feel the pain.

No, God is of Grace. He forgives not once, but several trillion times a day; every human commits hundreds of sins a day, and God still looks down at the end of the day loving the world that reeks of Sin. I find His Grace and Love, and indeed our pidgin attempts at them, are interlinked, indeed practically the same.
He gives forgiveness like a flood, hitting you as soon as you ask.
He loves you more than any human could ever achieve over a lifetime of serving and love.
He is the pinnacle of grace, love, and the High Road that humanity strives and fails every second to achieve.
He is the reason we can reject the uselessness of life, instead reaching for a small bit of that Love.
If He is not the image of Grace, I have no idea what is. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Passion City Church: For His Renown.

In life, one needs a community of like-minded people to commune, engage in activities, and share ideas with. When I went to Passion City Church, while wondering if I should go to their annual Passion conference, I came expecting a mega-church. I expected their volunteers to be saying hello because the volunteer sign-in sheet suggested they do so. I expected several small, tight-knit groups, walking in tandem yet oblivious to each other, walking to the sanctuary, where a classic moving worship experience could be had. I was expecting to get doped up on the spirit, alone in the crowd, and leave high on the spirit. I had no idea how far I was from the truth.

My first experience there showed me as mistaken. Each person I passed on the parking crew seemed so cheerful and upbringing, letting me know there was a spot inside. The building was a whitewashed rectangle with the words “515 Garson Drive” up front. The Touch Team inside made sure I was welcome, one person dedicating herself to finding me a chair as close to the stage as possible. On my way to the chair, three or four random people asked how I was. By the time I sat down, I met and remembered those four people's names. The gathering was intense, yet I felt we worshiped as one. The pastor preached on the book of John, chapter... three or seven, I believe. I left wondering whether I had imagined the connection, and I was just going there for the high. Later, I made the distinction perfectly clear to myself: it was not Passion City I was thrilled by, it was that I heard God stating His love for me in that building, every time I go to a gathering.

Last month, I decided to join the Passion movement, and bring glory to Christ through my actions. I am now on the parking crew. I am a Door Holder. I have seen the glory that Christ shows inside the building, and I hold the door open outside to let people who haven't seen the glory, see the glory and amazement inside. I have been repeatedly blessed in the short time I have participated, and am thrilled to have the chance to do this again today. More on this later, including the culture of Passion City.  

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