Broken-down Poetry: Relationships are always in flux


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Friday, October 22, 2010

Relationships are always in flux

I told Nate I've forgotten how to write prose--perhaps I have. I've been writing poetry a lot lately, mostly for class, and I've written a lot of news stories. I haven't had time to write creative prose. This blog may seem disjointed, probably because I'm out of practice, or because my thoughts are so disjointed.


What have I been thinking about lately? Sin.

I almost wrote a sin blog a few weeks ago, but I haven't found the time. Even now, even on fall break, I know I should write a lit. analysis or a four-page paper on Saladin instead of blogging--but I need to blog. I have to blog.

So. Sin.

I used to try to narrow all my petty sins back to a bigger, more internal sin. Usually I got it back to pride or selfishness. I think that's true.

What was Eve's sin? She took the fruit from the snake. How was that a sin? She disobeyed God. Why did she disobey God? She thought he was holding back something from her, something she needed. She was insecure. She was selfish.

What I hate about sin is how unavoidable it is. Christ says stuff like "things that cause people to sin are bound to come." You think you're clear of sin: things like lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, gossip? You get all haughty and proud. Good job: you just sinned.

I hate that God's standard for sin is so broad: "Whoever, then, knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." I should eat low fat yogurt instead of this chocolate chip cookie ... ah, what the hey. It's the weekend. Whoops, you just sinned.

I hate how sneaky sin is. Thrice (yes, the band Thrice) describes sin as a lion and a wolf. You try to keep the big sins out, but the little sins sneak in without noticing like a wolf in sheep's clothing. (Or, I think of Little Red Riding Hood.) Those little sins let the big sins in the door.

The wolf, he howls
The lion does roar
The wolf lets him in
The lion runs in through the door
The real fun begins
As they both rush upon you and
Rip open your flesh
The lion eats its fill and then
The wolf cleans up the mess

I hate how much God hates sin. George MacDonald said whatever comes between us and God must be destroyed with fire.


Here's my question, theologians, when you're stuck in sin, how do you get out? If you tell me that to be a Christian I must live a God-honoring, righteous, sin-less, "blameless" life, how do I stop sinning? Is it just my decision? Is it willpower? Is it God? Can the Holy Spirit stop me?

What if prayers aren't answered? What if the cycle of addiction never stops? What if I can't overcome, what if I let sin win, what if I have to give in, what if I'm tired of fighting, what if I no longer care?

You Calvinists say I'm fine.
You Armenians say I'm going to hell.

When will I remember that life is a series of troughs and peaks, summits and nadirs? When will I remember that my relationship with God, like all relationships, is in flux?

In Comm. Theory we talk about Relational Dialectics which states that truth: relationships are always in flux. There are times when everything seems to be perfect, this is called the "aesthetic moment." It never lasts. 

So my aesthetic moments with God are few and far between.

But we're okay.
(God, we're okay, right?)


At least there's hope.
Believe it or not: there is some.

"There's now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."


"But sin didn't, and doesn't, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it's sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that's the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end."


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