Friday, October 27, 2006

Idols, Sex, and Evil

I can't believe it's almost Halloween. Didn't we just celebrate Easter? I know it must be close to All Hallows Eve, because I'm hearing a lot of Christians spout the evils of this holiday. I know, Halloween started as a pagan day to worship satan and sacrifice humans. I know that American culture is fascinated with the macabre. I know that Christians aren't suppose to glorify witches and vampires. But do we Christians really need to spend so much time telling other Christians how evil something is that we already know is really, really evil? I mean, think about it... Have you ever heard Bob and Tom in the morning talk seriously about how awful society is for reveling in one night of unabashed horror? I would truly be shocked to hear Oprah share her feelings of how truly evil this day of the year is and how it started and how so illinformed we are and... For some reason, Christians talk to other Christians about this stuff.

I have been reading the book "Seismic Shifts" by Rev. Kevin Harney. The book covers a bunch of stuff that will help Christians make little changes that make big differences in their lives. He uses the image of a fault-line moving just a few inches causing an earthquake that makes an impact for miles in every direction.

In chapter 10, I read a series of Bible verses from 1 Corinthians 10:6-13 that completely blew me away! Here's what I read; 6)Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7)Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry."
8)We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9)We should not test the Lord, as some of them did and were killed by snakes. 10)And do not grumble, as some of them did and were killed by the destroying angel.

11)These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12)So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! 13)No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Check it out - Paul uses Old Testament examples to help Christians see what evil is. Verses 6, 7, & 8 deal with idolatry and sexual imorality. Those things are clearly evil and no one, Christian or not, would argue that those things should be done by Christians. But look at verses 9 & 10. These verses deal with complaining and grumbling. Complaining is stating out loud that you disagree with the current situation you have no control over (if you had control you would change the situation to better suit your disposition, wouldn't you?). Grumbling, on the other hand is under the radar, in the shadows, in secret murmuring. You know, the meeting after the meeting in the parking-lot or the under their breath comment just loud enough for the immediate area to hear or the "Don't you think that was a stupid decision the boss/pastor made..." discussion around the water cooler at the office or the drinking fountain at church. What did Paul have in mind when he put grumbling and complaining in the same passage with idolatry and sexual immorality? Well, he is equating those things to evil, the same evil as idolatry and sexual immorality! WOW!

Let me make this point clear. If we see a golden idol in the front lobby of our churches we would throw the thing out and burn it on the spot it landed. If we see some kind of sexual immorality taking place in the front lobby of our churches we would kick the perpetrators out and pray that they would turn to Jesus and repent and be saved. But what about the grumbling and complaining that takes place in the front lobby of our churches??!!?? If idolatry and immoral sex is evil and we would do something about those things with out much thought if any, shouldn't we do something about complaining and grumbling, too?

Yes, there are certainly aspects of Halloween that are evil and Christians shouldn't rejoice in them, but why do we spend so much time explaining that kind of evil to Christians who already know that it's obviously evil instead of what the Apostle Paul calls evil?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What can be done?!?!?

The "Low Ink" light has been blinking on my desktop printer for over a week. I don't particularly like it blinking and blinking and blinking. Maybe if I wait long enough it will just stop blinking. If it doesn't stop blinking soon, maybe someone else will make it stop blinking. I can't print anything because the light is blinking. I have to send everything I want to print out to the network printer in the other office or send stuff by e-mail to my home computer printer because the light is blinking. Oh, yeah, the light that is blinking is in the shape of an exclamation point! Why would a manufacturer of a printer put a light that is in the shape of an exclamation point, that continues to blink, in such a place that I see it every time I look at the printer which just happens to sit right next to the computer monitor I use everyday for hours on end everyday?

I really need to talk to somebody about that blinking light. I really need to talk to someone about how frustrated that little blinking exclamation point shaped light is making me. I really need somebody to come over to my office and see for themselves how the light keeps blinking and blinking. I really need to find somebody who is going to tell me that everything is OK and that they understand what I'm feeling and that they are going to pray for the blinking light.

Does anyone out there have any idea of what I'm going through? Does anyone out there have any words of wisdom or advice that can help me deal with this blinking exclamation shaped light? I would welcome anything you have to offer about this situation.