Let’s talk about judgment.
It’s a dirty word these days, a dirty idea. To think, someone will dare tell me how I should do this or that, or that something I think is wrong?
Now extrapolate this concept to the idea of God, and people flip out.
But think about this: Society functions only because of judgment. We have laws and rules. We punish offenders who infringe on the law-abidings’ rights as a matter of course. We even have these people in black robes called “judges,” maybe you’ve heard of them?
And yet, the idea of a God that actually judges us is anathema to many. “It’s not fair!” “It’s mean!” and all of that.
I find this so ridiculous it hurts. It seems like the whinings a of an adolescent who doesn’t want to be held responsible for his actions.
A lot might be a fundamental misunderstanding of how judgment and salvation work. It’s not arbitrary, nor is it reliant on performing just the right actions while saying just the right words.
I think it’s also because the idea of forgiveness is so alien to us Moderns. We don’t even forgive each other—why on Earth would we forgive ourselves, or expect forgiveness from anyone else? Continue reading “Don’t Judge Me!”
You've all seen the movie. You all know the story.
Three hundred Spartan warriors making their last stand against the dreaded Persian army at the Gates of Thermopylae, the narrow pass that would be their grave. King Leonidas' defiance against the Persian King Xerxes. Unimaginable bravery against impossible odds.
(Leave off the fact that the whole thing was kind of silly because the rest of the Greek city-states weren't there on account of the Olympic Games).
The 300 knew they were going to die. But they knew that, if they could just hold off the Persians a little bit longer, they could buy their people enough time to amass a counterforce.
Bravery. Skill. Belief in something bigger. And the superior position.
But the Spartans were betrayed! A malcontent Spartan tipped the Persians off about a rear entrance through the pass. And so the Spartans died before they perhaps should have, though they did end up saving all of Greece, due to the machinations of one rogue Spartan.
In the 2006 movie 300, adapted from the comic book of the same name, Ephialtes is depicted as a deformed hunchback who was unable to sufficiently be a part of the phalanx and, insulted by Leonidas' refusal to let him prove his bravery, sold his own people out to the enemy.
In reality–and while the movie did get a lot right–this backstory to Ephialtes is innacurate. He might have just been a dick.
But do you know what the word Ephialtes means in Greek?
Ephialtes means "nightmare." Continue reading “Becoming a Nightmare: When Your Name Lives On”
I would love to not pay attention.
And yet, I feel compelled to do more than while away my time as the world goes on around me.
So I try to put what’s happening together, to paint a coherent picture, and I usually don’t like the results. And so I worry.
I worry about how we use history as a how-to guide and not a cautionary tale. No matter the lessons the record provides, we seem to return, like a dog to its vomit, to the worst of what humanity has to offer.
I worry about what kind of world I’ve brought my son into, what kind of inheritance he and his progeny will have–though I will be dead, I still worry about them.
I worry about eternity.
And I worry if there is any hope for us in the here and now. Continue reading “Can’t Shake It”