Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Maginfying Glass God- The Attachment/Detachment Principle

This deserves an ominous musical introduction or something gnarly like the canon D in electric guitar. Metallic should be blaring and Ozzy Osborne should be walking down the red carpet escorting this…As you begin to see a silhouette of something coming towards you, your heart beats faster with anticipation, and you can smell the pheromones released by the boost in adrenaline flooding your body. What is this?

Dun Dun Dun…Spiritual discipline…What fills your mind as you hear this word?

Prayer, fasting, read your bible, rules, oppression, etc. Any of these come to mind? We had a discussion in class the other night about spiritual discipline and the one comment made that got my mind going, “The world is about attachment, but Christianity is about detachment.” This means that Christianity is about detaching from things as a spiritual discipline and the rest of the world religions or agnostic affiliations are about attaching disciplines, supplementing their lives instead of shedding weight. I have always had a unique, often times controversial way of considering everything from an opposite perspective than the majority. While the rest of the class agreed with this statement I sat there seeing things differently. American Christianity is a religion. There are those followers of Christ who still see it as a movement, but those numbers are few and those people are seen as insubordinate or extreme. Within the religion folks do see it as a detachment principle based environment. Take away the bad things of life and good things will happen. Don’t curse, don’t have sex before marriage, don’t gossip, don’t yada yada yada, do you get the picture? No wonder the average American doesn’t want anything to do with Jesus…they are told He takes everything away. No good music, no fun, no this, no that, don’t do that either… It pains me to see the picture those who do not know Jesus are given of Him. He is a prude, a bore, not someone many want to know.

So what would those say life is, when do they feel they are alive? Laughing, loving, dancing, going to a good concert, etc. If Jesus takes away things that they believe give them life, why would they want to know Jesus?

I say Jesus is not about detachment, but more about attachment. I say following Jesus requires you pick up more than you lie down. That does not mean following or knowing Him is as simple as large smiles and nice suites say it is on TV though. If you have a penny and you find a brick of gold, you always will pick up the gold over the penny, even though it is heavier, because it is more valuable. I think Jesus should be present and painted in this light more often.

The reason for all the do not’s in following Jesus are an effect of the do’s. Does this make sense? The reason we die to ourselves is not because Jesus is a demented guy or that God is like some angry kid with an ant and a magnifying glass on a sunny day, it’s because He offers true life, abundant life. So if this new abundant life is actually abundant, why is so much taken away, if we operate by the detachment principle? The way I see it is Jesus offers gold and we pick it up as we drop our pennies, so attaching ourselves to Him and His ways causes a natural effect of a new direction and no so much dropping or detaching. So rather than rules and an un-cool Jesus we see a really liberating Jesus who offers a better life full of attachments and new possibilities. The Ten commandments were rules of don’ts and do’s, they were detachment principles, but they were given to show them they couldn’t operate under detachment and Jesus Himself said that if we adopt two principles everything else will follow. If we adopted loving God and loving our neighbor all the other commandments hang on those. We can detach so much as to no longer sin? Can we detach so much to be good? No. We attach ourselves to Jesus and God and become new, more brilliant creations that operate on attachment, rather than detachment.

I pray this view of things is helpful and I pray that you attach yourself to Jesus and encourage others to live a lifestyle of attachment rather than detachment. May you see Jesus and present Him as a loving God full of abundant life to give and not a prude mean God wanting us to follow a set of rules.

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