Thursday, November 24, 2005

Zizek, Millinerd, The Cubicle Reverend, And a Dream

When Millinerd invited me to go to a lecture given by the social critic Slavoj Zizek I was more than curious to see what his reaction in comparison to mine. Though we are a product of the same youth group and our lives have paralleled in many respects there are two major differences. In our perspective as Christians we share a passion for art as an expression of faith. His focus has been visual art which looks at the big picture first then draws you in to the details. My discipline poetry which uses details to draw you to a bigger picture. He devoted a lot of time to academia which gave him access to many great minds and works. I, on the other hand, have attempted college on multiple occasions (no person should have more than one associates degree), but have spent a majority of my time in the working world. I try to use my free time to study the things I have a passion for making me a journeyman at best. Millinerd did not disappoint on his big picture analysis. I’m not going to lie, I had no clue what Zizek talking about for the most part. Fortunately Millinerd was there to explain it to me afterwards. There were two things I did understand which Zizek called the two big shocks relating to faith.

People are shocked when you say you believe in Jesus, and really do believe in Jesus.

When the new pope was named Zizek said many of his Colleagues were surprised how he believed what he said he believed. Ever have someone surprised that you area a Christian? I found out from a friend of mine that many mutual acquaintances we share were surprised to hear I was a Christian. Their reasoning being that I wasn’t in their face about it and acted inoffensively. This concerns me a bit. Am I doing something right by not acting in a stereotypical fashion? Or am doing something wrong like hiding my light under a bushel? How do people know I am a Christian? Thanks to Christian T-shirts companies I can wear my faith literally on my sleeve. Or I can take a cue from a highschooler who said that everyone in her youth group was going to carry their bibles around them at school so there’d be no doubt they are a Christian. God bless their naïve passion!!! Outside of the visual cues what shows the world we are a Christian? If we were to take the word of God seriously it’s because of our love. Not the typical love of hugs and kisses and making boo boos feel better, but a radical love that manifests itself in us through a real touch of God in our own lives. A love that is so natural and honest people will be able to see the love of God as a reality.

Shock For A Religious Person That It Really Works

These are the miracles we try to explain away. The prayers answered we attribute to coincidence. How sad is it when God does an incredible work in our lives and we either ignore it or explain it away. I was shocked at how easily I forget that when I pray God does hear and God does respond. I had been praying about the financial troubles I had been having for a while. Recently, my fortune had subtly been changing for the better. I began to attribute it to recent success. I completely missed the fact God has been hearing my prayers all along and answering them. What a novel concept. What I believe really does work. My faith is real and my prayers get heard. Wrestling with fear all this time I was talking to the wind. In fact, God has heard everything! When I told my pastor about Zizek’s believers can be shocked what they believe really works my pastor replied, “I hope it’d be a shock of joy.” Amen to that.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:36 AM


Blogger Carmel said...

I posted a comment here before, maybe it didnt work.
Anyway I basically said that I enjoyed that perception. It's amazing how shocked we Christians can be at our own faiths, and we shock others too, hopefully joyful shocks as the pastor said :D

6:48 PM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

Amen to that. I never read the book, but I remember CS Lewis had a great title Suprised By Joy. Lately, I've had quite a few suprises myself.

7:35 PM  
Blogger millinerd said...

I'm glad you picked up on those two points of his. They were puzzling because they seemed to be out of place with his "official" stance as an atheist, an inconsistency that makes me wonder how long in fact he'll remain one.

8:54 PM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

The only reason why I picked up on them is because they were the only things I understood. I think I'll stick with poetry. I find it far easier to pick apart Neruda than to understand social philosophy.

9:03 PM  

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