Monday, September 6, 2010

::theology by Michael Stipe

Sometimes this happens: I seriously dislike someone, and then they say something that tickles my fancy, and I warm up a bit.

It happened several years ago, when a dude I severely disliked was talking about God, and he said, 'You know, God isn't all love, luck, and lollipops."


When describing the character of God and/or Jesus Christ, it's very dishonest to present Him as "warm and fuzzy."
He's not.

I am convinced that there are Christians who believe that our goal is to embody the chorus of REM's "Shiny Happy People."

A true encounter with God is not comfortable, nor is it supposed to be.

When I read the Bible and observe how Jesus interacted with people, even His disciples, He certainly was not Sunny and Nice all the time.
He provoked them, He challenged them, and I suspect He sometimes hurt their feelings.
He was confrontational.
He asked difficult, painful questions.
He probed people to their deepest recesses.

I love the scene in C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, when the children have heard of Aslan - the great, powerful lion of Narnia (the story's Christ figure).
One of the children, Susan, inquires about Aslan to Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, long-time residents of Narnia.

"Is he—quite safe?" asked Susan." I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”


He is NOT safe.
But He is good.
And He's the King.

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