Thanks for stopping by today! I hope that your new year is full of smooth sailing and clear skies, but we all know what that really means on a Monday.
So. Hopefully your coffee is strong and your willpower is stronger.
Since I stepped into it a little bit last week, I’ve been thinking a whole lot about the ways that modern Christians have created this hodgepodge of scripture, old fashioned colloquialisms, modern morality, random other religious belief systems, and a healthy sprinkle of I-don’t-even-know-where-that-idea-came-from and call it ‘spirituality’.
As in ‘I’m not religious like other folks, but I love Jesus and I’m very spiritual’.
And the threads of truth get lost in that tangled, knotted belief system. Sacred promises and solemn dictates fade away until you can’t tell what’s true and what’s embellished.
Am I being hyperbolic?
Maybe. That’s what I do around here, after all. It’s a whole lot of words.
But consider my good friend, a fellow millennial who was raised in church, cutting teeth on church pews and devoting his life to ministry. This is someone who has been around to hear the echoes of heavenly choirs, y’all, which is why I was absolutely floored when he texted me to ask ‘where in the Bible is the verse about being too heavenly minded to be any earthly good?’
I was even more stunned when I found out he was serious, which was regrettably just after I fired off a funny-at-the-time meme and a handful of laughing out loud emojis.
Yeah, not backing out of that gracefully.
More than ever before, we live in a cacophony of sensory overload. We’re bombarded with images, sounds, sights, articles, memes, opinions, tweets, posts, podcasts, reddit threads… Information is everywhere, and much of it is misleading. So, so much. It’s exhausting to wade through it all to get to the thread of actual truth buried under all the chaos.
So we don’t. We go with what feels vaguely correct, even if we don’t have a chapter and verse reference, because it sounds about right, based on a shadowy memory of something we heard once before.
Believe me when I say that ‘we’ is not exclusive, y’all. I’m counting myself guilty, too, but I want to do a better job at due diligence when it comes to my beliefs. It’s important that I’m confident in truth, not just a loose interpretation of it.
Here’s an example of what I mean when I talk about modern Christianity and its superfluous euphemisms:
Total hodge-podge Christianity, y’all.
It starts out with a vaguely Christian phrase; ‘count your blessings’. If you’re googling ‘count your blessings scripture’ right now, let me stop you right there. This is actually the title of a hymn, not a passage of scripture. But there are numerous references to the blessings of God, like, for example, this verse in Psalms: The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD (Ps. 33:5). So it doesn’t immediately set off alarms.
Then we move on to ‘practice kindness’. Ok, can’t argue with that. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)
Let go of what I can’t control? This is sort of correct. More specifically, the Bible teaches us to actively give control to God through prayer and thanksgiving, placing our faith in His strength: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)
Listen to my heart.
And we oop right here, y’all.
I’ve said this around the blog before, but the human heart is a terrible compass. We’re irrational, explosive, emotional, and illogical by nature. We take everything personally. We jump to conclusions. The Bible says this; the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9).
We aren’t meant to trust our own emotions, because we’re designed to seek out His plan for our lives.
By the way, I feel like I need to make this really clear; I’m not bagging on this artist’s work. Artistic ability is a gift and should absolutely be exercised and supported. This piece just happened to serve perfectly as an example of, well, what not to believe.
Next time, join me as I rip apart Grandma’s cross stitching.
Just kidding. Have a wonderful week!