"Praise God, who has many names - but the Devil has, many more, so with the love that my mother gave me, I'm gonna drop the devil to his knees "
Our conceptions of God could very well be the great antagonist in the tragic comedy that is our lives.
The most effective thing the devil can do, is pretend he is God. Convince people that he is the divine. The devil is known in the drug den, the devil is known in whoretown, capatilist city and any other image that our Fallowellian Disneyland has created. But by this stage, the 'christians' of our time have for the most part crossed off those attractions. We are able, by-and-large to recognize and advert our eyes when the binge bus comes down the lane.
So ever the clever cat, the devil has had to change strategy. And man is he clever as hell. It's perfect, it's military genious, it's devistatingly effective and yet tragically most will never recognize it. By pretending to be God - we don't really have to have much behaviour modification to serve. Me and the Devil walking hand in hand - I think is how the song goes. And again, tragically there are many times in my life when this is devistatingly real.
We start by chasing God, and it becomes about a chase, it becomes about a figuring out, it becomes something oh so subtly different, so quickly that a minor adjustment in course leads to a major adjustment in destination. A deceptively parallel universe, that ultimately becomes a lense by which our world is viewed. And it has become so organic, so innate in our lives, that most Christians (myself included) are completely unaware of it's effectiveness in our lives.
Ok so this is all very nice - but what does it all mean? We all know the devil is clever - whoopee.
We are so easily wooed, that to a large degree, we cannot understand that much of our notions around 'following God', "understanding our relationship with him", "theologically correct reasoning" and much of the other elements in a Christian life - are distractions. We get so caught up in this idea that we can actually 'understand our relationship' and that God is a concept to be grasped - that we spend most of this life chasing this eternal drum (maybe that's what Dante meant). It's like somewhere in God speaking, and our listening, God writing (bible) and our reading - something was lost in translation. And the only thing I can peg it to is the devil. Because let's face it - he's a pretty easy target.
I know if you follow this line of thought through to it's natural conclusion we will end up lying in a ditch, bottle empty shouting awkward obsenities relating to a general 'what's the point' type of attitude. This line of thought can be played out in many realms, but I'll start by exploring how I first really realized it - Dave Matthews.
The blog post is running on now (and they always said to keep it punchy)- but I want to close with an example. Here is a guy, with little involvement in our Disneyland of Churches, who has been able to at times point with such clairvoyance the relationship between man and God, God and God, man and man - that it has stunned me that no 'christian' artist can mimic.
I picked him because his song happened to be on - but there are so many of these guys who just have moments of "getting it" in ways that leave me wishing at times to be them.
Anyways, this is not a blog post to rag on Christian Arts (that deserves it's own), it's to say that part of the effects of the clouded universe; part of the devil that Christians have not recognized, is the part that makes our God out to be lame sauce. And because, I believe, that that devil exists in the contemporary christian scene - those on the "outside" realm - while they struggle with other very real things - do not seem to be influenced to that same degree.
Oh, oh deep water, black and cold like the night. I stand with arms wide open, I've run a twisted line. I'm a stranger in the eyes of the Maker.
I'm not going to make Dave out to be the spiritual guru of our time. This sex obsessed guitarist has a long way to go before I'll start taking too many notes from his book. But he represents I would say, a clarity on a relationship that our tragic drum chasing has prevented us from seeing. Completely caught up in something we don't even know were caught up in, Dave, and many other "non-christians" are blessed to stand outside the ring.
My body is bent and broken, by long and dangerous sleep. I can work the fields of Abraham, and turn my head away. I'm not a stranger, in the hands of the Maker.
Rise, river rise, from your sleep.