Between Creeds and Criticism
I have had a lot of time to reflect on evil over the years and from an early age. What comes to mind for me are the years of violence and abuse with all the personal and systemic helplessness that came with being a child, as well as periodic encounters with people over the years whether it involved bullying, sexism, gossip or other forms of control.
Of course, everyone's experience is different, and yet most of us are drawn to ask how we can live in such an evil world if a good God exists. My goal here is to offer some brief theological and personal reflections on how to put evil in its proper context as a Christian...
When it is difficult to pray because your anxiety is so high and your head is swimming, it is helpful knowing that God knows where you are and is present with you. A simple "help" sometimes suffices. God is not a God that requires many words and I think sometimes we feel pressured by others to practice our articulation skills at the wrong time. I believe that what God loves is a person whose heart is directed towards and open to him no matter what is happening to them, good or bad. An open heart will also constantly be asking and searching for what God desires from them in the situation: A kind word when harassed? A reassertion of one's own God-given value? A prayer for oneself and one's enemy? Silence?
In this episode, Nick and Allison discuss the wide-ranging topic of women in Luke/Acts, touching on various elements of the doctrine of God, the Holy Spirit and Pentecost, how we should read narrative, and commenting on the evangelical tendency to downplay narrative in the quest for 'propositional' truths.
Allison also makes Nick (makes, hah!) drink cheap red wine in honor of a certain someone. You can infer who this might be, but we ain't telling.
I've noticed a very similar trend in other conservative shows like Louder with Crowder (I have criticized Stephen Crowder here). There is a largely unsophisticated and, shall we say, uncritical edge to this sort of thinking. For instance, the assumption of male leadership in the home is entirely assumed, not argued for. Like I mentioned with Stephen Crowder, Jared, and Gerald, the hidden figure behind this sort of flawed reasoning is not Jesus, Paul, or Moses—it is Homer Simpson. What I mean is this: a culturally inert reading of Scripture that prioritizes the man over and above the woman, reflecting the attitudes and characteristics of one Homer Simpson.
It is also an amusing image, of Homer trying to read the Bible, but I digress.
“[Insert pretentious quote and/or Bible verse]”