Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I'll Just Say...

Yesterday was full of good things:

...Foremost, was leading a 20-minute jazz warm-up (based on Rikki Lugo's warm-up routine) for the Maranatha advanced dance auditions. I enjoyed myself (and worked up quite a sweat) and today, my muscles are making their complaints known. I, however, am happy about it.

...In the middle, was having dinner with my parents, BB, and Joseph.

...And at the end, was being, once again, blown away by the brilliance of The Boy Next Door.

Writing is going to take place elsewhere, too:

The church group, I'm attending on Sunday nights is called Exodus. Last Sunday during announcements, Ben and Casey informed us that Exodus has decided to host a blog. A clipboard was circulated throughout the room in the hopes of accumulating at least 7 names of individuals interested in writing for the blog. Their vision is to have a rotation of writers who share their thoughts, struggles, questions, experiences, etc. in blog entry format for Exodus to read. When the clipboard found itself in my hands, I passed it right along.

I read something once that said, "People who blog are people who take themselves seriously." And that startled me. A depiction of bloggers as presumptuous, overly-confident, and even pompous. Oh no. And I have not soon forgotten it.

To blog for one's own expression or to keep friends and family updated with one's life is one thing. To blog for the sole purpose of telling others what God is doing in your life, is entirely something else. It seems show-offish and thus, hypocritical.

Well, I went home and the idea was on my mind and I sensed a reason for it. Okay, fine. But what would I write about? I don't even feel very spiritual most of the time. My faith and relationship with Him is full of stagnant periods, fear, confusion, and ... I forget so much and all the time. But I have a hunch that this is precisely why I am going to write for Exodus.

If you can't be candid, what else is there left but to be false? I'm not going to pretend to hear God's voice everyday when it's my turn to write and I'm not going feel pressured to come up with wonderful spiritual experiences to report with grandeur and I'm not going to preach messages and Scripture. I'm just going to write. Same as here, but in a group and hopefully I'll learn something.


The Polaroid instant film is on its way. So get ready. I SO am.


thejuniorpartner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thejuniorpartner said...

I'll be the first to say that every person who calls themselves a Christian is a hypocrite. It's our very nature. Perhaps we as a culture should be less worried about being a hypocrite and more concerned with finding ways to see God working in our lives. I'll quote C.S. Lewis here

"What is the good of pretending to be what you are not?...the pretense leads up to the real thing. When you are not feeling particularly friendly but you know you ought to be, the best you can do, very often, is to put on a friendly manner and behave as if you were a nicer person than you actually are. And in a few minutes, as we have all noticed, you will be really feeling friendlier than you were. Very often the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it already."

There's more to it than all that, but I just wanted to point out that you are the perfect Christian, not because you doubt your faith and fail God, but because you are trusting in a perfect God. We can do no more than trust and try our best, the rest must be up to Christ. Then the only responsibility is to seek Him more :)

seijitsu said...

I'm confused by the previous person's comment: to be and to call oneself a Christian is not being a hypocrite. To call oneself a Christian while thinking one does good things by one's own power is being a hypocrite. Or to call oneself a Christian while expecting Christians to succeed at refraining from sin, and looking down on those who fall again, is being a hypocrite. The very meaning of being a Christian is being a follower of Christ, and that innately means acknowledging that oneself was and still is in complete need of His power and grace. To say "I'm a Christian" is saying "I've messed up and I keep messing up and I believe the only One who can save me from that is Christ, and I do my best to follow His teachings by God's grace." That's honesty.
People who call themselves Christian but mean something other than following Christ are just misusing the term. The previous poster might be thinking of such people. However, the true meaning of a term is not defined by the misuse of it by people who are not of that term's group. For example, Oriental is a term some people use. But who has the right to determine who can be called Oriental, versus Asian, versus not generalizing at all since that overlooks vast ethnic differences between Pakistani and Korean and Thai? People who are not in any of these groups that the word intends to depict aren't really the ones who know what the word means, because the don't know what being Asian entails. Likewise, people who don't intend to follow Christ aren't the ones who know what following Christ (being a Christian) means. Their idea of the word shouldn't be a revised definition enforced on those who do want to follow Christ (in which case Christ followers would need to rename themselves something else). Don't get me wrong - of course if, as a Christ follower, you want to call yourself "follower of Jesus" or something to set yourself apart from others, you can - but doing so is not necessitated. The word Christian still holds its meaning of Christ followers, even if not everyone knows that off the bat. Maybe someday in the future it won't have that meaning but right now it does. And I kind of doubt the meaning will be lost since the Church is mostly spreading in non-Western countries where people mean they are Christ-followers when they say they are Christian. The ratio of Westerners with Christian cultural heritage will probably continue to dwindle in comparison to them.

But I agree with that previous poster about the wisdom in Lewis' quote.

Kimmie, you said you read something that said, "People who blog are people who take themselves seriously." I think a lot of people blog just as something to do, they don't even try to write anything meaningful. So I think whoever said that was overlooking a ton of teenage bloggers out there who don't intend to write anything important. I agree with you that there's a difference between a blog chronicling your experiences and a blog aimed to exhort others, but they can be both done in the same blog if done intentionally. The blogger just needs to keep in mind that the purpose of the blog is to chronicle what God has done, how God has convicted you, how Christians have impacted you - through telling our stories we witness to actions God is doing in the world, and that itself is a major encouragement. I know I usually am more moved and inspired and challenged when I hear the honest, confided testimony of someone I know (whether it's a report of something God taught them or something they're confessing they need more accountability for) than I do from hearing a pastor/leader preaching. So just make sure your blog is the former, not trying to be a platform for preaching.