Dodging Discourgement From Christian Lemmings

27 11 2007

LemmingsOne of the video games that I found myself addicted to for a week or two in college was Lemmings.  Hundreds of these little green guys would march into an obstacle course laced with every kind of danger and it was the player’s job to save them from all simply walking off a cliff and somehow direct them to safety.

Nothing discourages me faster than watching the lives of Christian Lemmings (and in the midwest they are everywhere!).  A Christian Lemming is a Christian by default.  They never really decided to become a Christian but conservative Christianity is the air they breath and now they find they can’t feel be comfortable with anything else.  In many communities they are the model believers.  Never doubting a word that falls from the preachers lips as long as it is perfectly in line with what they’ve always known to be true.  If they were raised in a Muslim society they would be the model Muslims.  If they were born in a Mormon family Mormonism would be the obvious truth and non-believers would all be sadly deluded.

And this is why I find them so discouraging.  Their faith is so completely conditioned, their beliefs so unquestioningly unquestioned that its impossible to imagine their convictions as noble.  Their faith is a complete accident of their upbringing as much to their credit as a zebra its stripes.

I find I have nothing in common with Christian Lemmings.  Much deeper companionship can be found with non-believers seeking for truth than accidental Christians.  So what do you do when you find yourself in a relationship with one?  Help wake them up!   You must challenge their faith because its fake – a sham.  It would have crumbled during college from a single honest question from a cynical professor so their parents insisted on Christian college instead.

They are the biggest embarrassment to true Christianity.  Many genuine seekers have left the faith so disillusioned by Lemming behavior.  So now I try to never forget the distinction between Christian Disciples and Christian Lemmings.  The first is a true brother or sister even if we’ve never met and the latter is a person sleepwalking toward a distant cliff.

Bearing Other’s Burdens in The Body

19 11 2007

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Paul

One of the most dangerous elements of the American dream is the belief that every person can live in complete independence.  We hate being burdened with other people’s problems.  So we say a half-hearted “good luck” to those drowning from the effects of the fall and quietly thank God we’re not in their shoes.

But equally unbiblical is the idea that we can be a never-ending burden in the lives of others.  Paul writes just two verses later the seemingly contrary statement “each one should carry his own load.”

So which is it?  Both.  We are to bear one another burdens and, at the same time, train people how to carry their own load.  We must become comfortable with this reality in the Kingdom.  Be prepared to bear the burdens of others but never stop equipping people to carry the load the fall and the Lord has placed on their shoulders.

Remember, we have ALL the resources within the Kingdom to gain victory over the flesh, the world and the devil.  Our story is one of triumph in the face of overwhelming odds through the power of Christ within.

Waking up from the American Nightmare

5 11 2007

“Our lives must find their place in a greater story
or they will find their place in a lesser one.”
– H. Stephen Shoemaker

Everyone is story-formed. It’s only a question of which story. There are few things more powerful then the story we feel we’re living out. 95% of Americans live lives so predictable its like they are all being paid to perform the same script written for them by a sad combination of greedy advertising executives, gutless college professors and lifeless religious leaders.

There is an antidote. But you’ll have to wake up! Wake up from this crazy collective American nightmare. A nightmare so incurably besot with boredom we patronize a billion dollar splatter horror film industry. A nightmare so devoid of meaning we’ve named our latest generation after their emotional immaturity. A nightmare so shallow I’m forced to fish any real email messages out of a sea penile enhancement spam.

How do we escape this lesser story? The minute our eyes open the lullabies sooth us right back to sleep. In fact this whole article is making me sleepy and I’d rather be watching a cat lip sync to Britney Spears on YouTube. But in this brief lucid moment can I ask – what will happen when we all suddenly, collectively, wake up and discover what the REAL story is? That the story was not our story. That where reality is, we are not the central character of the story. What will that moment be like? I doubt there’s an emo saying that will quite capture it.

Sleep well…