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 Re:

Quote:
Why do many Christians view their employment as a kind of necessary evil, and a distraction from their more important calling?



Wow... thats bigger than you think! I know several guys at church that are like that. Now granted, maybe God has called them into full time ministry, but also maybe their full time ministry IS their employment.

I know mine is.

And there is always that one guy who encourages everyone to "put your hand to the plow" and quit your job and go into full time ministry. And if you dont, well, you're just not that serious about the Lord.

Kinda like street preachers. I have a deep abiding love for street preachers... but most of think that EVERYONE is called to street preach. No, not everyone is. (thats why not everyone was preaching in the streets in the Bible!)

God has given different callings to different people. What Christians need to do is stop looking at everyone else and pay attention to their own calling.

Krispy

 2012/2/28 12:35
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
thats bigger than you think



I think it is. I hope my questions didn't seem silly. Nor were they supposed to be condenming. In many ways I was just relating to everyone, including myself.

The point I was trying to make is that human beings tend to need reassurance in one form or another. If not from God, then certainly from one other people. Why do we think God gave us the ability to express ourselves even with language, rather then to simply live and feed ourselves like animals?

Well, obviously we want to reach out and make connections with other people, and ultimately the Lord. And when this affirmation is not reciprocated, we can be tempted think who we are and what we are doing is worthless. Even if what we are doing is what God wants us to do, we still often seek the affirmation of others we respect. In Christian circles this very human affirmation is sometimes only reserved for those who are doing overtly" Christian" activities.

When only "Christian" ministries are validated, you might just find a Christian man who feels that working for a salary, or a wife who is raising a family, that they never quite bring joy to God.

In this way, the artist, the salary worker, and the homemaker can be, and often are, in the same boat...left wondering quietly if somehow they have missed God's will for their lives.

MC


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Mike Compton

 2012/2/28 22:44Profile
Areadymind
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Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean

 Re:

Compton, Krispy, and others involved. I think you guys would enjoy reading "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn. He shows how much our revulsion toward natural human expression is more a result of what he calls "Christoplatonism." Which is a Greek philosophy that sort of attached itself to Christianity a number of years ago.

He will affirm many of your concerns. I tend to agree with him a great deal.

Whether you eat or drink...do it all to the glory of God. God takes pleasure in our enjoying his good gifts.

This book is a much needed calibration of many false notions we hold as Christians. Though he does speculate in the book, he always makes you aware that he is speculating, and does not take dogmatic positions on things the Bible only glances at.


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2012/2/28 23:01Profile
carters
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Joined: 2011/5/24
Posts: 138
Australia

 Re:

well this is sort of related to the question "arts"...

I cannot recall where it was that i read this but failry recently in my study of the early church I read about a man, in that era, who became a Christian, his vocation was in acting (whatever they called it on those days) and apparently he wrote or his elders wrote to the leaders of the church/early church fathers about whether it was "right" to continue in this vocation as a Christian. The leaders of the church made the decision, no.

Interesting and food for thought.


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Mrs Carter

 2012/2/29 2:18Profile
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Hi carters,

The early letters on the theater are interesting!

I remember reading the particular letter you reference. As I recall, this actor had repented of being on stage, but was trying to find a way to make a living without being on stage by giving acting lessons. The judgement against him continuing in his profession, was because the theater was notorious for "giving instructions in fornication."

It is also worth noting that the leader who wrote the letter did not just forbid the man from making a living as an actor, but offerered to give him a place to live and provide food for him if he could not find a new career.

I also would like to reiterate that I do not feel the fine arts can be held to a different standard then the mechanical arts, publishing arts, or industrial arts, or any other design field. As an act of creativity and ingenuity, there is really no moral or spiritual difference between painting, composing, sculpting, and say, writing software code for a mobile application, designing a toaster using CAD software, or drawing blueprints for a house.

MC


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Mike Compton

 2012/2/29 4:52Profile









 Re:

After reading carters post I was thinking there must have been a reason behind the church fathers decisions other than just no... thanx for expounding on that, Mike. Thank the Lord for actors like the folks down in Albany GA that are putting out movies like Facing the Giants, Courageous, etc. Finally, QUALITY Christian movies (albeit a bit fad-ish)

Quote:
It is also worth noting that the leader who wrote the letter did not just forbid the man from making a living as an actor, but offerered to give him a place to live and provide food for him if he could not find a new career.



That is HUGE right there. Thats leadership, compassion and love wrapped up in one. I think more new Christians would walk in obedience sooner if more mature Christians would have their back like this man did.

Quote:
As an act of creativity and ingenuity, there is really no moral or spiritual difference between painting, composing, sculpting, and say, writing software code for a mobile application, designing a toaster using CAD software, or drawing blueprints for a house.



I've always thought so too... especially since I have used AutoCAD for years in my profession... to design and draw machinery, houses, schools, churches, etc. That is until the economy tanked.

Now I make a little more than half what I was before... and I am doing "document control". I hate document control, but I love the God who provided the job for me so my family can eat. He is a good God.

The job is feeding us while I write. Thats how I am looking at it.

Krispy



 2012/2/29 5:13
pilgrim777
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Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


 Re:

That's a great attitude, Krispy.

Good things come out of adversity if we let adversity drive us to God and not away from Him.

Pilgrim

 2012/2/29 8:23Profile
roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Quote:
I think the answer to these questions can help explain why Christians, and people in general, are afraid of self expression.




This discussion seems to be exposing a theological deficiency in evangelicalism: a difficulty in accepting God’s mercy and grace for ourselves in our entirety – our entire personhood. At the core, it is a level of unbelief. However, we don’t see that. Instead we baptize this shade of unbelief behind a thin veneer - our own version of ASCETICISM which denies us our freedom in Christ and imprisons us from who we really are. It splits us apart.

The tragedy is that we can never be fully alive – enjoying the abundant all-encompassing life Christ has given us as a gift. We become repulsed by our own personhood; and we are also repulsed by the self-expressions of others. So we condemn it as unspiritual. Truthful self- expression is too frightening – too exposing. And so we attempt to imprison each other in our own restrictive boxes. Then we can stave off the anxiety that may arise from any “uncontrollable” exposure of truthfulness. (Churches are notorious for such restrictiveness!)

Our contemporary forms of asceticism may very well feel spiritual, and they may “help” us to feel more deserving of God. Yet this is a distorted kind of self-denial. And it merely baptizes guilt, treating self-condemnation as a virtue: If I can loathe myself, I will never have to face myself – and love myself as God’s creation.

Perhaps this explains why even the suggestion that we must “love ourselves” is so repulsive in evangelicalism. We are quick to gloss over the third part of that great commandment: Love God, love your neighbor as yourself. And so our asceticism becomes a higher virtue than God’s commandment itself.

What I see Krispy doing through his writing is coming to terms with his own theology. He is using language creatively to respect and value himself – and all aspects of a life journey. Surely we can acknowledge such a project as a precious gift to himself. It is, after all a bold gesture - of be truly alive, fully human – allowing all the aspects of his being and experience to find expression.

Someone said: Many people die without having ever lived. What a tragedy! From that perspective, I think it would be most appropriate to celebrate with Krispy in his project.


Diane


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Diane

 2012/2/29 8:58Profile
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re: ir

Quote:
This discussion seems to be exposing a theological deficiency in evangelicalism: a difficulty in accepting God’s mercy and grace for ourselves in our entirety.



You and I see eye to eye on this matter, Diane:)

Deeply imbedded in the software code of our Evanglelical firmware, beneath all of the software programs of this theological issue or that social protest, is this nagging sense that we just don't bring the Lord any joy or pleasure. He has a cosmic policy of love, but personally speaking, he really doesn't like us.

And so we never quite shake this sense of insecurity, even as we are promoted in the ranks of our Christian communities. Like a house built around a tree stump that can't be removed we build our spiritual identity around this central premise that God is perpetually unhappy with us personally. Some express this by affecting the office of a prophet who is called to the ministry of legalistic critique of other people, while others feel a calling to proclaim a humanist manifesto and universalist compassion for the human condition. Others seek approval from lesser gods, devoting themselves to getting approval from spiritual leaders by playing the expected roles invented for them. They know to fit in, they must never mention they secretly hide a quiet despair that has no name. And still there are others who have left our camps, through a hardening of a heart that winces every time some Christian talks about the love of God.

In such a state of mind, it is no wonder "art" (said best with a French accent) rubs us the wrong way.

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2012/2/29 9:43Profile









 Re:

...just had to bring the French into this, didnt you.

lol

Krispy

 2012/2/29 10:48





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