Sunday, November 19, 2006

You gotta watch what you're doing

You gotta watch what you're doing, didn't you know
You gotta watch where you're going, didn't you know
-- (chorus) Watch What You're Doing, Larry Norman
This doesn't really fit into the context of the song above but as I was thinking about the following, the chorus kept coming into my head.

I started this blog because I had thoughts running through my head and needed a way to get it out onto a media that I could see it, organize it and, even be criticized (constructively I hope) on it.

Throughout this year, I have started re-examining many things about my beliefs. No, not about my chosen beliefs about Christ but more about my beliefs within that context.

To explain a little, let's dial the way-back machine to where and how I grew up. I grew up in Iowa in a small town. The challenge for those in that small town, especially in that time, there were not a large choice in churches. My parents were members of the non-denominational church.

If you remember, I mentioned here that I related to a culture where the realization of God's grace happened a generation ago and I had been taught the taboos of the Christian faith which, both protected me but also would serve to guide me to that grace also.

The problem with this is that the taboos don't necessarily line up with what the Bible says. What does that do to the faith of those around you that you have spiritual input with.

Here is an example. At the time I was growing up, dancing was frowned upon in the church, in fact, it was considered taboo.

Then, when reading the Bible, you read 2 Samuel 6:17-23, the story about David dancing before the Ark of God (in his underwear no less). Now as a kid, you have several possible responses to that:
  1. I am going to ignore this because the adults (or those around longer if you are an adult) know best. An approach I would call the turtle approach to life. Where this approach fails is that when you are approached by someone who has "better" guidelines, you follow them without looking at Scripture.
  2. I am going to ignore both those around me and God because obviously they are "full of it". An approach that best fits with the rabbit view, running away from anything that may be a challenge.
  3. I am going to figure out what Scripture says about this and ignore unscriptural taboos. This is the hardest stance to take because ultimately, it means standing alone until the next person like you comes along. You get judged (and possibly rejected) by both sides above. This is the approach I have chosen to take many times, especially lately.
Now, how does that relate to my life? My son goes to Cornerstone Christian Academy. It is quite a good school both academically and spiritually. They, like most institutions, have rules for various reason.

Like most compliant kids, Kyle takes many of the rules at face value. I see this as a danger and ask him to question everything. The High School principle, on the other hand, teaches a class that encourages the kids to do exactly that!

I really appreciate advice given by one of my college Teachers Assistants. "Be skeptical about everything, cynical about nothing."

1 comment:

Carol Ann said...

Hey Joel -
My whole adult life has been a process of sorting out the "rules and taboos" given to me growing up vs. the interpretation of God's word by the Holy Spirit (with others on the same pursuit) to discover what is man imposed vs. God's provision to me to protect me and provide a pathway to a richer fuller life with Him...if that makes any sense. Bottom line, I relate greatly to the journey you are on.

I know the rules/taboos served a purpose for me when I wasn't mature enough to sort everything out, but the discovery of God's truth as an adult has been extremely rewarding.