Friday, July 24, 2009

QotW + Cartoons

I apologize for the delay in posting. I've had a lot going on....falling off a 10ft ladder will do that to you! But I did want to post some things that have grabbed my attention in the past week or 2:

1st off, 2 cartoons from artist David Hayward:

Also a quote from Yann Martel (author of Life of Pi), on his faith journey while writing the bestselling novel as found in a recent article in Relevant Magazine:
What's nice about faith is-- once you have it-- it feeds itself; from life, from books, from everything. In a sense, it's a constant dialog.
I like this quote because it really captures the living essence of faith to me. How many people (and I have been guilty of this as well) get settled into one theology or one specific way of looking at God. Like the cartoons above, we only limit ourselves when we forget to place our faith in constant dialog (CONVERSATION) with other thoughts and ideas. And remember a conversation/dialog means listening as much as it does talking. That means taking in others thoughts and giving them the respect they deserve!

Finally a portion of lyrics from the band, Kings of Leon, in their song, Cold Desert:
i never ever cried when i was feeling down
ive always been scared of the sound
jesus don't love me no-one ever carried my load
im too young to feel this old
These lyrics hit me because of many conversations I've had in the last couple of weeks. I have heard several people say something similar to these lyrics, I have read a conversation from Andrew Marin, who works within the GLBT community in Chicago, recount a similar experience. What's sad, is that these comments only come when someone has been severly hurt or has received a great amount of injustice from someone or a group carrying the name of Christ. Think about all of the people groups (not just the GLBT community, although they have a lot of reason to feel this way) that can say this because of a Christian's or Christianity's action or inaction that hurts an individual or people group. Think about how many Christians are responding to the hispanic immigrants in America (legal or not). Certainly many of our words and actions can cause someone to say these things. We've made Jesus' burden far more heavy than he himself claims it to be!

I have to ask myself, who's load am I trying to carry? Who's load are you trying to make lighter? What theology is keeping you from God and others? Who/what are you having dialog with that broadens and enhances your faith? I think there's a lot here to ponder in these few words and pictures.

Leave your thoughts!


  1. A 10 foot ladder?! Yikes. I hope you're alright.

    Those cartoons are very interesting. Am I right in thinking that - according to these cartoons - if I could just break loose from my theology I would be able to reach God and love my fellow man? And since the gospel is a theological message which seeks to convey certain theological truths and asks people to embrace a particular theological perspective of God and man, wouldn't one implication of this cartoon be that sharing the gospel actually keeps people from God and from loving others?

    Just wondering...

  2. Hey Justin.
    Thanks for your concern. I came away with only a sprained shoulder, so I am very lucky.

    I agree these cartoons are interesting. That's usually my criteria for posting something I've found:) As for your interpretation of the cartoons, I guess I would have to say that it is just that, interpretive. I honestly do not know the original intent of the artist, but the best art is open to interpretation.

    To speak to your point, I would say that you bring up a ver interesting and perhaps viable point. I would say that there are many people that would agree with that in the sense that you use the word "particular". I think some would say that making one embrace ONE particular view of God (the view of the person who is presenting that view) could keep people from God/others(relatinship). For instance, I will use an example from Andrew Marin, who actually considers himself a "conservitive evangelical" (his self-appointed label simply for perspective). He would say that, from the conversations he's has in GLBT community, the particular perspective often presented that God condems homosexuals to hell does indeed put a block between a person and God as well as a GLBT person and other Christians. (I sugest his book, a fantastic read! I'll put it in my sidebar of books I'm reading).

    I think that we can sometimes present a view of God that is more narrow than God actually is. I love the word perspective because we all view God from different perspectives depending on many things (experiences, culture, family, etc..). This is why I like the Martel quote. The more "perspectives" I am introduced to theologically, the more rich and beautiful God and neighbor become in my growing perspective. Thus the easier and more natural it becomes to love both God and neighbor. But that's my personal approach. I have never met a theology or philosophy that I haven't let challenge me. Does this mean that I accept every new view that I come across? No. But i learn to respect the person because in better understanding their views, you get some keen insight into that person's life. Thus the "constant dialog of faith". Once I am in dialog with an individual, I can't help but connect to them in some way, agree theologically or not. I consider this an act of loving neighbor that transcends simple tolerance! I accept that person where they are and try to understand where they are and from where their ideas were born or instilled. Acceptance and compassion are how I approach these ideas/theolgies/philosophies.

    Now here is where part of my interpretation of the cartoons come into play. If I am so dead-set in my own theology or dogmas that I have no room for honest and real dialog with new ideas, perhaps even to the point where I doubt and even change my own theologies (which has happened in the course of my spiritual journey, thelogical education, and relationships I have formed), then yes, I would see that theology (whatever the topic may be at the time) as keeping me away from God and truth and Biblical community. So I guess that's where it speaks to me; a consitant reminder that I 1) don't know it all, and 2) that it takes a lot of humility and sacrifice on my part to put away my "certianty" in order to allow God to teach me something new and in order to become closer to all of God's children with whom I come into contact.

    But that's just me. I can't speak to how it does or does not speak to others. But I would be interested in hearing other's point of view!

    Thanks for responding!