The Scrimshaw Journal #2- Right-side up…
The word “Fall” comes to mind. A while back I tuned in late to a conversation that was going on around me in which this was the subject. From what I managed to gather, the discussion had been on how modern science is reconciled in the Bible. Specifically, in how old the Earth appears to be, and how old the Bible implies that it is. This touched many topics of the Genesis if I recall correctly, including speculation on how long the Earth was in existence before the creation of Man, or even if Moses’ account was entirely accurate, as it strongly resembles Egyptian accounts of creation, etc. However, someone then voiced the idea that maybe in the process of the Fall the rules of physics changed, that somehow within a seemingly minuscule act of disobedience the operation of the entirety of the universe hiccuped, and thus creation was rocked into its current condition. (Which apparently sent the more level-headed listeners reeling about how ridiculous a claim that was). …Now, I love hearing speculation about this kind of stuff, but I don’t like taking a pedestal on it, because… in the simplest terms: I don’t know. I don’t know the complete, irrefutable timeline of the rock that is Planet Earth, and so I gather what I can from speculation, hold everything against the truth of God’s Word, and leave the rest up to Jesus to show me as he sees fit. But I digress… we were talking about physics. Regardless of whether or not it’s true, the idea was now there. Could a moral action really change so much? Is the Law of God really so far-reaching? Even to carve some canyons and shuffle some plates? To me, whether or not it COULD is no question. To me, the effects of the Fall rocked much more than just the landscape.
The word “Contract” comes to mind. Adam, here’s this, now don’t do this. Agreed? Simple as it may have seemed, the Contract of Creation was a binding document to be shared between the heart of God and Man. To regard the condition of the planet, and the condition of the human soul as completely separate, independent entities seems to me a gross misunderstanding of the Contract. When a contract is violated, anything and everything written into that contract is considered null and void. The rules have to change, retribution has to take place, losses have to be accounted for and reimbursed, if there is no longer a respect for a line item, then there’s no respect for the entirety of the document. I think Adam was probably more focused on the line item of “don’t do this” then he was of the whole of the Contract when he took the fruit. The effects, as we have seen, were disastrous. Our one act of defiance resulted in the pain, toil, disaster, guilt, shame, poverty, hunger, murder, loneliness, depression,anxiety, distress, fear, abandonment and basic depravity of countless billions of souls and bodies. Shaking a mountain pales in comparison to the feat of shaking the relationship between Man and his Creator, of shaking the destinies of each member of the human race, of shaking the object of the world’s affections.
The word “Rut” comes to mind. Like when you throw a bowling ball straight into the gutter. You just sit there and watch it move further down the ditch. Everybody knows where that ball’s going. Sure, maybe with a lot of momentum and spin the ball could pop back out, and that’s what keeps you hoping, but those occasions are so rare that deep down you know there’s nothing you can do to pull it out now. It’s on its way, and the rest is out of your control. This is my painfully cliche analogy for how I’ve been feeling lately… My college experience has taught me that if there’s one thing college kids have done, it’s figure out how the world really works. …er, I mean, it’s one thing they THINK they’ve done. And that goes for just about everyone I’ve noticed, including me. I mean, it’s not like you can really help it, you see the world through the lens of your own existence, what else do you have to look through? Now, that lens may be an accurate depiction of truth, but it may not be. Who’s to say, really? You want to try to tell me your lens is more accurate than mine? Go ahead, I can’t argue with you. But in our culture truth seems to be the summation of the collective majority, a relative truth. And so if everyone on Planet Earth says that 2 and 2 make 5, then that’s what it makes. (Hang with me here, because here’s my point). What if everyone on Planet Earth instead decides to say that sex (just as an example)is a free-for-all. Do what you want. Well, we as a culture aren’t quite there yet, but we’re close. Suddenly that becomes truth. When everything is relative to the opinions of the age then nothing is concrete. Nothing is binding. THIS is the world we live in. The Contract that was violated has now been long forgotten and passed off as a joke, and humanity now looks to our own devices for what was once promised us in writing. We’re the pitiful aftermath of a break-up that leaves us thirsty for the love of our God, but blind to the cheap imitations of that love. We affix ourselves to things that don’t satisfy. The Bible paints a portrait of a Jack-Ass in heat. I always think “rut”; that people are so painfully aware of our depraved condition, and yet still believe that the answers lie in a truth from within. How do you pull a mess this big out of the gutter?
The word “Jesus” comes to mind. I feel like I’ve touched on a lot of thoughts in this note that I didn’t appropriately examine or thoroughly explain, and I apologize for that. Here’s the point: luckily for us there’s a new contract. One written with the pierced hands of God on a bloody tree. And though the choice of stationary seems strange, it’s a fitting one. It’s a contract that’s binding, definite, truth. Of course the world hates this, and of course that makes our job a heck of a lot harder in that we have to lean on the power of the Holy Spirit to show people rather than our own abilities. My concern is simply that too many Christ followers have spent too much time in the rut. It’s easy to buy into the relative. It takes no courage to stand with the majority, and it takes no bravery to voice convictions that win you friends. A lot of times we feel like we’re upside down. I feel like I’m fighting against the way things are supposed to be. Why not just let the ball roll through the gutter? That’s the course it’s on, so surely that’s the course that it’s supposed to take. We have to remember that it’s not God’s truth that’s awkward to the Contract of Creation. That it’s this world that’s upside-down, and that Jesus’ love is the only hope of turning it right-side up. Be bold! Be strong! Remember that our hope is in believing that the way things are is not how they were supposed to be. Our hope is in a world turned right-side up.