Monday, April 16, 2007

Unweaving the riddle - the Creed song

Greetings readers (there are some!)

Someone sent me a message wondering at why I'd have a Creed song as something I identify with, in particular Weathered. Scott Stapp, the former lead singer of this band and now a solo artist came from a Christian home and has recovered his faith. He has struggled with alcohol abuse, a messy divorce and being in the public eye. Creed were often bagged for their Christian lyrics and Scott's very public fall from grace.

My story isn't the same. I became a Christian at Uni, would consider myself as an Evangelical, which means something different depending on whom you speak to. If I lived in the US I would probably not vote Republican and I only used to vaguely subscribe to a literal 6-day creation.

Anyhow, why identify with the lyrics "No I can't accept the life that's mine"? Well, who can? I often think of Paul's words in Romans about not being able to do the good I want to do, but instead doing the bad - the difficulty of actually living an authentic life. I preached on Sunday on Lamentations 4.1-12 and Romans 1.18-32 that sin is living an inauthentic life that blasphemes the image of God in us and dehumanises us. If only I (and anyone else) could be consistently authentic in life.

In a minute of honesty, I find "I'm rusted and weathered; Barely holding together; I'm covered with skin that peels and it just won't heal" is the picture of sensing the difficulty of holding life together.

However, like many of the Psalms, after contemplating finding a way of "Sometimes I feel like giving up" in the the ultimate face of death (very Ecclesiastes like) "Ashes to ashes and dust to dust", there is the bridge

"Take all this pride
And leave it behind
Because one day it ends
One day we die
Believe what you will
That is your right
But I choose to win
So I choose to fight
To fight"

To fight is to return to the task of fighting the good fight with all your might - pride will be left behind in death. "Believe what you like" points me to the fact that although many choose to reject the Christian message, I continue in this belief - and it is according to this faith that I try to keep myself together and attempt to live an authentic life.


Anonymous said...

The Christian journey does require this faith you talk about but there isn't much hope of salvation and freedom or liberation of the captive in the Creed lyric. As an evangelical do you believe and experience the comfort of the holy spirit? Your earlier blog mentions the spirit as being the spirit of the Church, is it not the divine presence of God and of his son within each believer? The church often fails to provide comfort but the spirit for those who believe the spirit to be active at an individual level, makes way for the healing, and gives a complete healing that never peels away. Have you experienced the healing of the Holy Spirit in your life?

Anonymous said...

You speak also of the challenge of living an authentic life, and can anyone accept their life? I would say yes, to accept our life we accept both the good and the bad. We learn to accept our failings and we learn to accept our blessings, to embrace in a sense what we are given, that is the call of deep communion with God. Hildegard of Bingen reminds us that the Holy Spirit is the absolver of all our wrongs, the fire within and the healer of souls. Even for Peter though he denied his Lord 3 times and was in the pit of despair yet Jesus the compassionate and the holy spirit the compassionate helped him forge ahead in his call to follow. Without the spirit we fall into utter ruin, with the spirit we are restored to our maker and to our world.

As a Naturalist (an interesting combination with evangelical) what is your reasoning on limiting yourself to one child? Is that an ideological position? From a procreation of the species position wouldn't you want to replicate both male and female toward the survival of the species? Theologically where do you sit here? Is it a choice that the husband makes or does he give that to the wife or a combination?, ie how does your wife feel about that decision and is that a choice you also give her permission to make? ie the whole issue earlier of how women choose to present themselves - the women who choose to make the nude calendar, is that any different from the men who choose similarly for perhaps similar reasons, to express their sexuality and affirm the joy of being human.