Archive for September, 2010

Outlawed Tunes

September 10, 2010

So the school year starts with a fresh set of classes, these much more spiritually inclined than the last.

Today in Theology of the Church, Dr. Lavender said something that I have had on my mind all day. “Is what we are doing in our everyday lives evidence of kingdom living?” The phrase “kingdom of God” refers to God’s justice in the world and had a great deal of political weight to the first century audience that heard it.

I’ve always had a short temper; this by itself is dangerous enough, but when coupled with an overdeveloped sense of justice, I can be downright mouthy sometimes. I often say things such as, “He needs to be punched in the face.” I know this isn’t very Christ-like, and I struggle with trying to come to grips with my want for justice / revenge and how God’s mercy works, because in my thought process, shouldn’t justice be swift against chaos and disorder?

By all rights, God should have long burned this world to the ground, but He chooses instead to allow us to go our own ways and make our own choices. It is true that some people’s choices directly affect the people around them, and some decisions even have dire, malicious consequences, so why does God allow us to just do whatever we please, whether good or bad? In one of the many books I am reading for classes this year, this topic is brought up.

“Why could a good God put the creatures he had created for relationship, his own image-bearers, at risk? Because he is love. Love, by definition, must be free. A forced love is no love at all. If there were no alternative to following and loving God, then our responding love would not be authentic, and Christian spirituality is all about authentic loving relationship with God.”

God lets us because He loves us. I have often pondered on the purpose of our relationship with God and what it means for this world; I believe it is to emulate Christ’s behavior, to help push this world back to the way it was meant to be. We are called to be patient, embrace peace and mercy and to love as Jesus loves, and while sometimes it isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world to do, it is the right thing to do.

What Dr. Lavender meant by his statement was not, “Destroy the forces of evil.” But, “Are you a reflection of God’s love through Jesus?” “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”