What is Sacrifice?

So during the teaching portion of Church today, the pastor said, “You have to give some up to follow Christ, but to choose not to follow Him you are giving up much more.” Now I’d like to change that to “You have to give some up to follow Christ, you have to give up everything not to.” Obviously I am a Christian. So I’m about to get really Christian in this post, so I hope you enjoy it. (Bear in mind, I am free writing, so I did not go back and re-think or edit anything).

Anyways, I was thinking about this saying, and it got me thinking about some other things. First my thought it what do you have to give up to follow Christ. And I would be willing to argue that you have to give up a substantial amount – all your aspirations and desires. Now this isn’t to say it is wrong to have aspirations and desires, but I think they should only be derived out of a desire for living for Christ. This meaning that even if I have aspirations to live a good moral life, or even do good deeds to other people, without it being for Christ it is still selfish. Now I think people should live good lives and do good to others – don’t get me wrong. What I am saying is, there is a difference when you are doing it to appease your guilt or obligation to humanity versus doing it as a act of service to the Creator of the world. Now I know what you are thinking, “isn’t that still an obligation?” Well, yes, yes it is. On the contrary though, I think an obligation to the One who created me is better to an obligation to others who were created by this Creator as well. All that to say, you have to give up what you desire to follow Christ – you should only desire Christ (this in turn leads to more, etc.).

The second thought I obviously have is, “what am I giving up to not follow Christ?” My answer is simple like before – “everything.” Why do I say this? It is because of my theology obviously. I believe in original sin and the fall, and I believe that humans from birth are enslaved to sin and selfish impulses. Remember, these impulses can manifest themselves into “good deeds” by having obligatory feelings towards yourself or others (idolatry against the Creator). Obviously, these impulses are not always (and mostly are not altruistic acts of obligation), they are usually acts of greed, selfishness, and pride. These words sound strong, so let me decipher what I think they disguise themselves as: money, comfortableness, false security, fleeting fun, apathy, etc.. I digress, being a slave to fleshly impulses – the things I just mentioned. Choosing not to follow Christ means a life chasing after meaninglessness, so you are giving up everything (aka meaning and purpose). I also think it means giving up eternity with God after death. In its simplest form, this is why I think we have to give up everything to not follow Christ – we have to give up everything that truly matters in the scope of eternity.

So, this have been my short free-writing rant. To sum it up, to follow Christ you have to give up some (everything that you desire now), but to not follow Christ you have to give up everything (all that really matters throughout all eternity). I hope you find some stuff in there you can agree with and some you can argue with. Let me know both, cause even after I am finishing writing this I am not sure if I agree with every word I said (or at least the way I worded it).

Back to blogging and New Beginnings

So it has been a very long while since I have actually posted here… Basically, I made the excuse that it was finals week. Then I wanted to rest. Then I just kind of kept putting it off…

Picture of sparks and flames

Sparks And Flames by Bobby Mikul

Anyways, I am back and hopefully will be more active now. I have decided to change up my format a little bit so that I will have the freedom to write more. I think one of the reasons I stopped posting is because I was trying to be consistent with my formatting and what not, so it made it much more work than fun. I want this blog to be more where I can just rant. So I have decided that my new blog posts will not have any real set consistencies except for a few categorical ones… Basically I am just going to try to give myself the freedom to write as much or as little as I want. Before I was always waiting until I had something to write a page amounts worth. The problem is when I had something I was too tired to write, by the time I wasn’t tired I had forgotten about it.

So, to catch you up on my life, I actually have much to talk about. This also relates to how I am going to change the way I run my blog. First off, I am engaged!

Andy and Megan showing off their new engagement.

Me and my beautiful Fiancé!

Over Christmas break I got engaged. This is one new component I am going to add to my blog. I am going to have a category all about my engagement, and hopefully into my marriage and forever. This will be fun because it will track my way of thinking and the changes in my life that I see specifically relevant because of my new soon-to-be married life. So if you want to read how I proposed and more about all that jazz, I will post that soon and place the link right here! Moreover, I am doing an internship now! I am interning in youth ministry at the Church I go to here in Oshkosh. So that will be a big change in my life and add a lot of excitement hopefully. This also is slightly related to my new category I am going to start writing about my theological ramblings. Sadly, since I am doing this internship, more is changing in my life. I will be stepping down from leadership in my InterVarsity chapter on my campus. The chapter is awesome! I just won’t have enough time to do both. In addition to all of those changes, this is my last semester (as long as I don’t fail any classes)! Meaning I will graduate soon and I will need a real job!

It’s like I am becoming a real adult all at once… I feel like I should pretend to be more mature or something along that matter.

Picture of glasses laying on an open Bible

Book And Glasses by Darren Lewis

Hopefully I will have a lot to blog about now, so I can keep this going. I will continue to ramble about random stuff here, I will start blogging about my engagement-marriage experience, and I will start to specifically blog about my theological/philosophical thoughts.Who knows, maybe I will even post more jokes in my joke section? All in all, that’s pretty much all the major changes in my life. Here’s to a happy new year and a revitalized blog!

P.S.
I swear,  I will start proof reading these when I get less lazy!

Flat tires and Dogma

Picture from Wikipedia

So today I made it to work miraculously after spending over an hour trying to change flat tire to a spare tire. After getting a flat tire, I assumed that I would be able to quickly change to my spare. But little did I know that the tire on there was being held on by a thousand demons – or something like that, I just assumed. Anyways, it was quiet an adventure, but I made it, walking into work 1 minute before my shift started. It’s a good thing that I planned to have some “ped” time for making it to work; hooray for planning! The reason I was so far away from work in the first place was because I was helping out at a youth outing with the youth group I help out at.

So this weekend the youth group I help out at is having a weekend conference. It has been very fun and rewarding so far, and I don’t think that is going to change. The weekend has been great to be able to see middle school and high school students have a fantastic time hanging out and chillin with each other. More importantly, it has been cool to see the students critically think about their lives. The conference theme is all about culture. It has been really awesome to see the students take it on themselves to think critically through questions about what they think about the culture and where they fit into it.

Famous Christian Anarchist - Leo Tolstoy

I enjoy seeing other people think through different theories, instead of just accepting what they are told. I am not big on pushing Dogma on others and forcing them to believe what I believe. I am the furthermost thing away from being a relativist though; I strongly think that there is a Truth and not multiple truths. The reason I believe it is wrong to want others just to think what I think is that that would be extremely arrogant. I do not claim to be the smartest person in the world, so I only offer what I have found out already and what I believe to be true. Don’t get me wrong, I am not easily tossed back and forth by different thoughts, I just don’t claim to be the all knowing God. The famous Christian anarchist, Leo Tolstoy, once said, “Dogmas – on which all men do not agree, which are of no use to anyone, which ruin men – are what the hierarchy has been giving out as faith” (Church and State).  I find this to be an interesting statement. Though I do not know if I entirely agree, I do think this Tolstoy’s statement holds some sort of truth. First, I think Dogmas are not inherently evil, I think they are valuable for an individual to have. I do not think that gives humans the right to kill or hate other humans in the name of dogma though. Moreover, I do think dogmas can harm people. I think like Tolstoy said, dogmas “ruin men,” can be very true. I think this is most true in the situations in which people allow dogma to block out logic or reason. Because though I believe there is real truth out there, people may not always have it right, so for a person to assume that he/she cannot be wrong, would harm that person by keeping them from truth. I think this rings true with how Tolstoy explains it as being given out as faith too, too often I think people assume what they know has to be correct and have all faith in something that they themselves came to the conclusion of. To put complete faith in your own idea is to claim that you are God because you are saying your idea cannot be wrong. All in all, this is just a brief statement about what I think about this topic. It was very quickly written too. That being said, I think it is worth further investigation and thought, so I will think it through more, and please leave comments on what your opinions are of dogma. Also, I really enjoy this topic, if you think I should do some blogs dedicated to talking about Church and about the State, leave comments and let me know.