Skip to main content

Have you domesticated God?

I'm slowly reading Flickering Pixels by Shane Hipps. All about how technology shapes our faith. 

Ever since the days of Oregon Trail & typing class in 6th grade, technology has slowly become an extension of who I am. I'm fascinated to read Shane's take on how its forming us as people.

This comes from a section on how the invention of the printing press shapes how we think and speak. 

The exaltation of reason is the great legacy of the print age...Emotions are seen as pesky little distractions that get in the way of good reasoning. So we try to suppress emotions.

Perhaps the most damaging effect of suppressing the heart is that it deadens desire. That deep longing for life, love, and God fades. Instead, we come to expect less from life. We acquire the bland taste of a domesticated God who resides somewhere in our head. 

Knowing God comes through direct experience. This experience blooms in a wide-open heart where desire burns fiercely and freely. In this way, desire is the path to experiencing God. Desire in all its forms. Even our dark desires, the ones we're most fearful and ashamed of, the ones we call sin. Even those desires are merely disfigured drives searching for the divine in counterfeit form. If we pay attention to them, own them, and push beneath them by peeling back layer upon layer of desire, we eventually find our Original Desire - the deepest longing that leads us home.

Comments

Most Read

Why Some Experienced Clergy (and Lay People) Have a Hard Time When Younger Clergy Take Renewal Leave

This is a guest post from my very own dad! He's a United Methodist pastor serving in Bend, Oregon. I enjoy chatting church leadership with my dad and it's fascinating to see how our generational differences bring different perspectives to our calling as pastor. We need each generation to walk with each other as we figure it out in this new world. We've been reflecting lately as I finished up a renewal leave and he prepares to retire this June. 
By David Beckett
I fall into the category of experienced clergy which is a polite way of saying I am old. I’ve been pastoring for nearly 40 years. When I was a young pastor my role models were mostly white males who presented an image of success that equated with dedication, overwork, and sacrifice. My first senior pastor talked about the 20 hr/wk he invested in sermon preparation. And he expected his staff to work beyond their stated hours. During those three years of full time seminary and a large youth group I put in up to 80 hr/…

Why pastors need collaboration, not competition

There's competition in every industry. Some get promoted over others. Some work incredibly hard but their gifts go unnoticed. Others do good work and people assume they're fine but underneath, they feel like they could never be honest about how hard life is in this season. People spend more energy figuring out how they measure up in a work culture instead of doing the actual work.

Competition itself implies there are two sides.

I remember field days at my elementary school in Alaska. The half-frozen spring ground was covered with clumps of dirty gray snow. Jackets were thrown on the ground as the fourth graders tried to beat the fifth graders at tug of war. Rope burns were shrugged off as sweat dripped down our young faces. We were determined to beat those fifth graders. Our pride was on the line.

Whether you're a fourth grader or an ad manager at a fancy marketing agency or a senator trying out for attorney general, competition runs deep in our DNA.

We want to be the bes…

99 sheep

Reading Matthew 18:10-14 on this cloudy Anchorage summer morning. Parable of the Lost Sheep. A guy owns 100 sheep. They belong to him. These sheep are loyal and depend on their owner for everything. But then one wanders away. I wonder if this sheep wandered on purpose or accident?

The guy leaves the 99 sheep grazing on the hillside to look for the sheep who got lost. One word in verse 13 jumped out to me. "Andifhe finds [the sheep]...he is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 that did no wander off." IF he finds it. This guy who owns the sheep probably knows the hillside very well and knows his sheep's behavioral patterns. But he may not find this lost sheep. 

When someone wanders off, it's up to them if they want to get found. 

When it comes to our connection to God, some of us may wander on accident. Or on purpose. 

We wait for someone to rescue us. Bring us back. Make it okay. But we have to turn towards the one rescuing us. God will leave the other 99 sheep…