The Christian Soul: Acceptance

I have to let you in on a little secret: This whole series on Christian Spirituality is personal to me. I suppose any topic written is personal to its author in some way. But this one is especially so. When I talk of “you” and “us” and “we” in these discussions, I am speaking to myself as much as anyone else. The “you” inside me is listening to what I have to say.

And so last week when I introduced the question concerning what motivates us, I was thinking about what happened to me long ago. I was thinking about being told by some individuals I was not okay before God, and that the only way I could be okay before God was by doing everything the Bible said — which meant doing everything they said. It was that simple, really. Continue reading “The Christian Soul: Acceptance”

The Christian Soul: Love

I run risk at this point in our series on Christian Spirituality of repeating myself. But since it is the New Year — and I have also interrupted our discussion with my most recent piece on divorce — allow me to recap.

The year 2017 (as far as our discussion is concerned) was about tearing down. We closed out 2017 laying waste to the notion of Christian obligation. Before that, we had laid waste to the notion of Christian freedom (that is, that Jesus died that we might do as we please). Continue reading “The Christian Soul: Love”

The Christian Soul: Peace

The cold has been creeping into the early mornings hours where I live these past few days as we inch our way toward Christmas. Which is always a small miracle in Southern California. As I step outside and breathe the crisp air betraying just a hint of the ocean, I am struck by the beauty of it all.

On mornings like this I am reminded why I write. Not just write, but write the way I do: At times with near scientific precision on matters that, to be honest, belong to the domain of awe and wonder, not scientific inquiry.

But I do so because there was a time when I could not find beauty in anything. A soul distracted and encumbered cannot perceive, let alone appreciate, the beauty around it. Continue reading “The Christian Soul: Peace”

The Christian Soul: Perfection

Have you ever wondered why God did not make us perfect the moment we received Jesus? I have.

There was a time in my life when I would have given anything to be perfect. Or at least, less imperfect. I wanted to be a radical follower of Jesus, one who was open and bold about my faith in God, one willing to pay any price for the sake of the Kingdom, just as Jesus had. I not only wanted to be; I needed to be. For in my way of thinking, to be perfect was to be perfectly accepted. Continue reading “The Christian Soul: Perfection”

The Christian Soul: Interlude

In our previous discussion on Christian spirituality, we took up the topic of obedience, and then proceeded to demolish any semblance of freedom we might be entitled to under the guise of “our freedom in Christ.” It was rather unfair of me, actually.

So before we launch into our discussion today, I would like to state plainly that I am all for freedom and like most have a part of me that fears its loss. That part of me imagines a life whereby I am denied every choice till I am left with nothing but the worst version of myself.

But there is a fear greater, and it is a life lived without purpose and destiny. We must be honest: Freedom has its limits. I am sure my friend Citizen Tom would agree that the purpose of freedom is not freedom itself, but what freedom is able to achieve. The country in which I live is based on the ideal of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But even in that single phrase, we find liberty (that is, freedom) does not make a good solitary traveler: It must have companions. Freedom follows life, and it yields to pursuit. Continue reading “The Christian Soul: Interlude”