Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ramblings at 3am the day before Easter

I've wanted to write something for several days, but haven't been able to find a good topic, or a good chunk of time to devote to writing about said undetermined topic. I've wanted to write something mysterious and thought provoking. At one point I even was going to write a fictional short story and call it good. I enjoy fiction, and I enjoy coming up with plots.
But none of those seemed to cut it for me. Why? I'm really not sure.
Call it writer's block I suppose. Some sort of inability to think in any kind of organized manner about writing.

And now it's 3am on the day before Easter, and for some reason I'm sitting here typing. I think I may just need to dish some thoughts out. Feel free to try and sort through them; also feel free to do something more interesting. I'm sure you have a better way to spend your time.
No? Okee dokee then, good luck.

So I saw Clash of the Titans tonight, and I have to admit, I had pretty high expectations going in to it. I hoped for some kind of mixture between 300 and Avatar I guess. To put it bluntly: the movie sucked. Predictable plot, static characters, and really bad Greek mythology (somebody should have given the writer's a high school textbook on mythology.) After looking on Rotten Tomatoes, it appears as though this movie was a pretty good remake of the original. I guess I won't be seeing the original.
Earlier tonight my family had a Seder dinner at my house. A Seder dinner is essentially a traditional Jewish Passover meal. The night consisted of lots of B.C. tradition, with much recognition of the A.D. implications of such tradition. The food was excellent, and even more so the fellowship. Talking about our recent time in Israel, and how so much tradition is built in to the Jewish culture and religion made the evening come alive.

I have to ask this question, because it's been bothering me ever since my return from Israel this time around:
do people really believe that because the Jews don't believe in Jesus that they are all damned to Hell?
This doesn't sit right with me. The Jews, who worship THE God of the Bible, without whom Christianity would never exist, are Damned to Hell because they don't see Jesus as their messiah. Am I missing something here? Yeah, go for it, throw scripture at me. I've been to Israel, and I've seen the Jews bring in Shabat at the Western Wall. I've seen them bob to the Torah, and I've heard their songs before meals. They have a passion that I can't fathom and a Love for God born out of more pain and sorrow as a people then I can imagine.
In fact, the whole notion that somehow Protestant Christians have everything "figured out" is hard for me to imagine. I don't get most passages in the Bible when I read them for the first time. There is background and history that I may never know to Exodus and to Ephesians. I don't get a lot. Maybe it's because I'm young; fair enough. Do you think Billy Graham would say he knows everything there is to know about the Bible or about God?
I feel like I'm largely surrounded by arrogant believers who are closer to Pharisees then they are to Jesus. Even things like the "sinners prayer" are curious to me. I understand that the intentions behind the sinners prayer are pure and good: a non-believer entering into the Kingdom of God through prayer is definitely not a bad thing. But what if someone doesn't say the prayer, and goes before God? Obviously it's up to Him to judge that person's heart, most would say. I would agree. But what about Mormons? What about Buddhists? What about Jews for that matter? Isn't it also up to God to judge their hearts, and not up to us? That's why I love the line in the Shack where Mack asks Papa if all roads lead to Him. Papa replies no, but that He will meet people on any road. I've heard so many people reject that because they claim it is simply a restatement of "all roads lead to Heaven." I don't think that's the point behind it at all. I think the writer was communicating that Papa will meet us where we're at in life. He'll love on us regardless of stature, placement, grades, relationship status, employment, or state of living.
And yeah, I know, the Shack isn't the Bible. Neither is the Screwtape Letters, so please chill out.

I tried to watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on Instant Watch Netflix the other night. I fell asleep half way through with the computer on my lap. I've heard it's a great movie, so I'll have to try watching it again some time.

The iPad comes out tomorrow, and that's pretty cool. I really want one, but at the same time could care less. I really don't have any money right now, so getting one is completely a pipe dream. Plus, I'm going to West Point in like three months and will be at Basic Training all Summer. Also, the 2nd gen iPad will probably be loads cooler. All the same, I really want one. Yep, consumerism at it's finest.

I've enjoyed the last couple rainy days, but I have to be honest: I didn't really enjoy the rain today. I went to Barnes & Noble (one of my favorite places to read and study) and that was cool. What wasn't cool was when I went outside in the pouring rain only to realize I had locked my keys in my car. My dad picked me up, but my car is still at B&N. Guess I'll have to figure out how to break into it tomorrow.

I have yet to see Alice in Wonderland, but I've heard it's spectacular. My sister and my dad really want to see it. Maybe we'll go tomorrow.

I'm currently reading Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner and it's really good. Non-fiction is, in general, harder for me to read then fiction. I enjoy stories, however, and MPT is doing a fantastic job of telling his. I'm also reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis for English class. Well, I didn't read it this week because of Spring Break :) . Also, I've been enjoying using Calibre to get news and RSS feeds on my B&N Nook e-book reader.

Music-wise I've been listening to Angels & Airwaves, Mae, DC*B, The Color Morale, and Family Force 5 lately. Also, my buddy Austin's band The Dude Abides just posted a new song on their myspace profile. I've listened to that once or twice.

It's 3:45am now and I should probably be heading to bed. If you read this far, I owe you a big high five :)

What have you been processing lately? Share your thoughts in the comments.



  1. well done, Colin ... I share your confidence in God being able to judge one's heart

  2. Colin - you covered a lot of ground in this post. Appreciate your heart for the Jew or others who have a genuine longing for God. I don't know how to answer your question. But I will say, if you are struggling with it, how much more does God struggle with the thought of any of his creation being separated - His desire is that none should perish but ALL would have the gift of life.

  3. I recently wrote a story about the end times for English. That was a lot of processing... so those kind of thoughts have been going through my head. I feel like the way i wrote it cannot even begin to compare to the way it will be, but the perfectionist in me wanted it to be all correct. I had to settle with some self-made assumptions. I still don't quite think it turned out how i would have like it, but my understanding of it is limited, so i doubt it would ever fully be what i would like it to be.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts :) I like to read them.

  4. Wow! I owe all of you a guys a high five! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Kristiana- very cool :) God's job must be pretty tough. (That should definitely be bumper sticker!)

    Mr. P- So true! Good word.

    Molly- Thanks for sharing your processing, I appreciate that. It sounds like you did do a lot of processing! That's a task I don't think I'd ever undertake, writing about the end times. Good on ya! I think if I were to try, it'd end up being a lame version of Left Behind. Probably with more swearing and humor, but less structure. lol.

  5. Thanks(: It was an assignment... so it had to fit in what i like to call a 'creative box'. Some things were limited. If you get bored sometime I'd love to have you read it and hear your thoughts on it. (:

  6. Hell is a hard subject. But I think the Word makes it clear, Jesus is the fulfillment of the Jewish religion and culture. For a Jew not to accept Christ... well, I'd say it's like a "Christian" who goes to church on Sundays and thinks that's what saves him.

    It's not our religion, it's our relationship.

    And if our relationship is not legit, He says at the end, "Depart from me, I don't know you." It's hard, but it's in there.

  7. Wow buddy, way to just throw up on the Internet :P

    Haha no, but seriously; I've always admired your willingness to be open, real and possibly vulnerable. Love you broseph :D

  8. Brandon,
    I agree my man. Hell is a hard subject, and probably never one any of us will agree on.
    I would ask you this, just to consider: what of the Jew that doesn't know about Jesus? I've personally talked to a religious Jewish man (though not Orthodox) who had never "studied the teachings of Jesus." He knew Jesus had been a Rabbi, but he had never studied his teachings, as Jesus wasn't the Rabbi this particular man studied under. Are you saying that, literally, this Jewish man's culture based on his religion was getting in the way of his salvation? That, if not for his mother and father growing him up on their traditional Jewish teachings, he might make it in to Heaven?
    That is where I have a hard time. It's not that this guy was rejecting Jesus, it's simply that he actually didn't know much about him. Is that worthy of an eternal sentence in damnation?

    I guess I'm lucky that God knows a whole lot more than me.

  9. Justin-
    I know, right? Sometimes it's good to purge oneself digitally and mentally at the same time.

    Thanks buddy :)

  10. Colin, the questions you pose are unanswerable, or if they are, they are extremely difficult to think about.

    I like what Tri says about "losing your salvation". Can you? "I don't know, but I wouldn't want to find out."

    I think the same thing applies here, for me. Would God have grace in that situation? I don't want them to find out. That's exactly why Christ has commissioned us to go forth and make disciples of all nations, so that all can make the choice, one way or the other.

    I would suggest that the more we debate on what we believe to be fair or unfair, the more time we lose to rescue dying starfish and toss them back into the sea.