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Scrupulosity & Progress
Don't think about a chicken.
I’m reading a really wonderful book right now: “Body” by Christ John Otto. I highly recommend the whole book. This is a book about God, the Most Relational Being, who has this really intense desire to share a meal with us.
In Exodus 24 we get one of the most important “eating and drinking with God” scenes in the Bible. Moses, and seventy of the elders of Israel go up on the mountain and they see God face to face. And it says that God did not lay a hand on them, and that they ate and drank with God on the mountain. God right there in the Old Testament, wanted a relationship. Return to me. This is one side of repentance. The turning. And yes, it is turning away from sin and separation from God. But more importantly, It is turning towards Someone. … It’s about relationship. It’s about an invitation. And yes, it is about sin. But not about the rotten things we have done, but about our separation from God. Everything else is a symptom of the separation. It is always about God. When we get fixated on our sin, it becomes about us. ... [The reality of the New Testament] is not about you and your sin. It's not about self-examination, or penitance. It's about Thanksgiving, and it's about grace. It's about accepting and receiving. It's about holding our your hands and letting someone else feed you.
I really needed that reminder right now. Avoiding sin, can be like that chicken game.
The way out is to think about something else. Better yet, to do something else. Negation-based definition goes nowhere.
We must be for something, not merely against.
I suppose that’s what I meant in my last series of posts about Luddites - in our use of technology, we have to be FOR something - not just “against modern industrial technology”. And to simply say “go back to <year>” doesn’t work - we have no time travel machines. If we did, we should really just say “go back to Eden”.
Tough luck on that one.
Recognize the good of a past (or, in fact, new) state, and how it can be worked into the material reality of the present. “Integrate the sharp-single edge of a chisel into the programattic precision of a CNC mill; make a CNC chisel!” This is always how God works. Even what is old - He does in a new way.
“Behold, I make all things new.”