Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cast Out

This is something I wanted to draw after thinking of one of my favorite vignettes from the Gospels.

26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” 29 For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.)30 Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss.32 Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.

34 When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 36 And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. 37 Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.

Luke 8:26-39

Other accounts from the Gospels flesh out different emphasis from this story but what strikes me the most prominently in this account is the authority by which Jesus commands the demons to come out of the man. It's been said that the specific death of these pigs, which were intended for food, did more for the people in this area (and us, by way of the story) than if they were eaten. Why? It shows, as a declaration, that Jesus has authority over the forces of darkness. Jesus also said, "In the world you will have tribulation (troubles). But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) He is able to free us from darkness because he has authority over it and has already overcome it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Slave to Spirits

Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy inGreek mythology. His name, thought to be a theonym in Linear B tablets as di-wo-nu-so shows that he may have been worshipped as early as c. 1500–1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks; other traces of the Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete.  -thanks Wikipedia!

I really doubt that Dionysus worship has fallen off the popular scene guys. Have you heard literally any songs for the club? Not any club, The Club, the one that everybody sings about...
Dionysus is still alive and kicking in our culture. And just like so many of our ancient vices that have stayed with us through the years, ultimately the worship of it will lead to ruin. We get so enamored with the imagery of fun and joy even though we see the flip side being so many lives totally jacked up by alcoholism. 
The apostle Paul, speaking to an audience in Corinth (a society that dealt with many of the same problems we do today) said, “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. Following Jesus has taken me from a life dominated by ritual madness and totally serving myself to a place where I can begin to echo the apostle saying, "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful...and I don't want to come under the dominating power of anything." 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Oh hi there!

*insert apology for never posting to blog*

Yup, I'm back. It's been a while for sure but not for lack of busyness. That's busy-ness, not to be confused with business. But that's not a bad thing. We (my lovely wife and I) have been reevaluating our priorities as of late and it's been a time of good growth. So, that's about as transparent or deep into my private life as I get on my blog. Meet me in real life and we'll talk deeper, how about that huh?

Anywho, on the way home from Trader Joe's one day, I was listening to the song Way of the Wolf by the band Dynasty. It's a song that comments on the biblical Devil, the way he works and spreads lies- his modus operandi. The part that really stuck was how the wolf doesn't just flat-out lie in an easy-to-distinguish way, he spreads a counterfeit truth that sounds good. I had heard the song so many times but it hadn't hit me the same way. I started to think of visual ways to represent the ideas in the song that would not only be fitting to the meaning but also kind of fit the look of the music scene it came from. Dynasty is a hardcore band hailing for Los Angeles *represent* and so their aesthetic is going to look a lot different from how I'd approach the same idea if it were going to be in a conservative magazine article...although I'd probably still push that my way a bit. ;)

I dressed the wolf up in a sheep's skin but even under that he wears the robes of the clergy. Throughout history, the name of Jesus has been used by people to commit horrible acts. These men and women fleeced (in some situations, still fleecing) their flocks in order to get a little dishonest gain while purposefully misinterpreting or even ignoring the Scripture that one would assume they professed. Laid on top of a blanket of Scripture from the bible that warns against false teachers coming into the brand new group of Christians, the wolf holds a chalice of blood. Lots of good folks died because of some bad people. If you call yourself a Christian, know the bible. It's what our faith is built on and God will correct our always-going-the-wrong-way hearts through it.