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).

Last Semester of Undergraduate Studies

This is my last semester at UWO as a Radio/TV/Film student… well, that I know of (I guess I could fail a class or something). Anyways, I figured it has been a while since I have blogged about nothing. Alot of things obviously are quickly progressing in my life, so I have more to talk about, like the fact that I’m getting married this summer, I’m doing an internship, and I’m graduating this Spring.

So far so good this semester, I don’t have too much homework as of yet. And I think even though I have a bit of senioritis (or however you’d spell that) towards certain things, overall I’m pretty motivated where it matters – my work. I have been really good at not procrastinating on like anything this semester – and I mean anything. I have been getting my readings done, my homework done, yeah… I’m a straight up baller when it comes to school. I think one variable that really aids to this fact is I really enjoy the topics of my classes this semester: Religion and Television, Advertising for TV/Radio, New Media Theory and Practice, and Women and Religion are all interesting classes. Then I have a couple more on top of that; I need to finish my Spanish, because my degree is a Bachelor of Arts. I love learning Spanish, but I am so bad at it! Also I am taking outgoing career prep for RTF (radio/TV/film) students. And last but not least, I am taking Comprehensive Study Skills!

The last semester of my college life (until grad school) and I am taking Study Skills! Nice. Obviously this is because I needed one more credit to graduate, but its alright cause the class is easy. And who knows, maybe it will be beneficial in Grad School (probably not, because its all common sense). But speaking of that, I really need to get working on applying to grad schools. If you didn’t know, I really want to get my PhD in Theology. I am a bit lax as of right now though, because my fiance has a semester left of school, so I am going to take a year off from school and just work. But I need to get working on deciding what school I want; right now I have it narrowed down to like five schools: Chicago Divinity, Vanderbilt, Fuller, Yale, and Princeton. I did have a professor recommend to me Harvard the other day, I don’t know if would be up my alley, but I figure I should look into it anyone – who knows, maybe I’ll love it. To be honest, I’m not too invested in Yale, Princeton, or Harvard right now. But I’m not sure, maybe after more research in the schools I’ll change my mind.

All in all, life is moving fast. We’ll see where I go. For now, I am just taking it one step at a time, trying to enjoy it while I’m here.

Anger Towards Bold Speech

So I was reading some scripture today and I came across a line that struck me with some thought. I think it is common for people nowadays to recognize that people get angry when someone speaks their mind boldly. But what about in past times? In Galatians 4:16, the apostle Paul writes, “So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (NASB). I have not looked into this point more to see why there was this feeling of hurt or whatever it may have been, but my first assumption after just reading over it once is that Paul was talking to the Church of Galatia and rebuking them on say ways they were living their life and they got angry at him for it.

Now whether you think what Paul was saying is true or not is beside the point, I thought a more relevant question to ask is if its right to correct people if you believe what they are doing is wrong. And in the same manner, if you truly believe what someone is doing is wrong or is hurting them self or others is it right not to correct them.

I’m going to try not to get on a rant about how our culture is all about tolerance and doesn’t know the meaning of tolerance. I am more trying to think through if I think it is ok to not correct someone if I believe I have the truth. That seems morally wrong to me. I think it is easy to say for an obvious extreme situation. Say someone believes it is right to sacrifice living children. I’m going to correct them very sternly. Then I start thinking of a little bit more of difficult questions. What if someone is addicted to drugs and is not harming anyone but him/herself. Is it right for me to tell them it is wrong to do drugs if that is how they find satisfaction? That I think is a little harder to answer. And the choice gets really difficult when it comes to disagreements on what is truth. Say I have a disagreement with someone about a theological subject, for example say I disagree with someone who thinks a Christian must speak in tongues to be a true believer. If we both have biblical evidence, but I strongly believe without a doubt I am right should I not try to correct them.

This last question is where it gets a little sticky, in my opinion. First, the first two examples off the top of my head I think I would try to correct the person, in a helpful way. I would not just yell at a drug addict, I’d try to explain how it is harmful and offer my help. For my last example though, I think I may refrain from trying to correct them. I’m not entirely sure though.  The New Testament seems to strongly discourage arguing, “ The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged” (2 Tim. 2:24 NASB), and “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10 NASB). There are more passages that talk about arguing, but I think out of these alone I can see that there should not be divisions.  At the same time though doctrine is very important, ”Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you” (1 Tim. 4:16 NASB). I think this shows that is very important to make known what you believe to be Truth, and to seek to better discover/understand Truth.

In a perfect world, I feel like it would be easy to say that no person should get mad when others disagree with his/her belief, at the same time constantly disagreeing to encourage intellectual growth among everyone. In my opinion, I think it is very wrong for people to be offended because someone disagrees with one of their opinions. In my example above about that theological disagreement, I think it would be wrong of me to not try to convince someone. But it would be equally as wrong for me not to expect them to try to convince me. I would need to be open to the idea that I could be the one who is wrong in the situation and am solely seeking to discover and further correct doctrine for both me and the other person. That is as close to a conclusion as I think I can get, but I hope anyone who reads this lets me know what you think. I did not mean this blog to be so specific to Christians. I would also ask people who are not Christian what your thoughts are about trying to encourage truth among everyone by correcting and being correcting in incorrect thinking.