Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I sometimes wish I'd taken the blue pill

If you haven’t seen the movie The Matrix, you won’t recognize the reference. At one point in the movie, Keanu Reeves is offered a choice: take a red pill and come to see the reality of life in the Matrix or take a blue pill and go back to peaceful ignorance. Reeves takes the red pill, of course, or there wouldn’t have been much of a movie. One of the other characters later says to him: “I know what you're thinking, 'cause right now I'm thinking the same thing. Actually, I've been thinking it ever since I got here: Why oh why didn't I take the BLUE pill?”

As I look at my life, I sometimes wish that I could have taken the blue pill. There was a time when I knew everything, especially when it came to religion. The main thing that I knew was who to get the answers from. If there was something that I was unsure about, I could find someone at church to tell me what to believe. We had an exclusive lock on the truth, an exclusive lock on salvation. People that didn’t agree with us were either ignorant or rebellious. Anyone who honestly studied the Bible would come to exactly the same conclusions we had arrived at.

Somewhere along the way, I swallowed the red pill. I learned that there was a difference between studying the Bible and studying what someone said about the Bible. I learned that many of the views that I saw so clearly in the Bible could only be seen there if you started out with those views. I also learned that the Bible is living and active and refuses to be dominated by man; the Word of God must master us; we will never master it.

I sometimes look longingly at life under the effects of the blue pill. A friend encountered a preacher, a 35-year-old scholar, who had written a book on biblical interpretation. My friend asked the man if there was any chance that he was wrong about anything in that book. The confident author replied: “No.” He had come to an understanding on everything, and his mission in life was to help other people come to that understanding. Part of me envies that. Part of me thinks that evangelism would be easier under those circumstances. It’s cut and dried, black and white. You’re in my circle or you’re out. You agree with me or you’re wrong. Unfortunately, I no longer see the world that way.

The whole premise of the Kitchen of Half-Baked Thoughts is that I don’t have all the answers. The more I study, the more questions I get, so I share them with my intelligent friends, hoping for insights. I don’t really want to go back to a blue pill life, but I sometimes long for its simplicity. Yet I know that I’m better off digging and searching, looking for God’s truth, listening for God’s voice, being willing to put aside previous beliefs in favor of eternal truths. It’s definitely the harder life, but there’s no going back.


Falantedios said...

Oh, Tim...

Thank GOD for you and this message. This is exactly the encouragement I needed. As you can tell from Gp-Talk, Ben and I have gotten ourselves into a mess again trying to encourage some other brethren there to try the red pill.

How do you deal with the heartbreak that comes from men using the blue pill to justify divisiveness and cruel judgement, while the powers and principalities of this world continue to crush the helpless ones that Christ sent US to rescue, no matter who, no matter where?

I'm SO TIRED of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic while people are freezing to death because we won't let them in the stupid boat because they don't want to get in for the right reasons!

They're dying, and they want life! Maybe if everyone who knows the Bible truth about baptism started LIVING resurrection lives, we wouldn't have to have even one more debate about it!

But, then I remember that it is those very powers and principalities within our own ecclesial structure that have crushed so many of our brothers and sisters to the point where they believe the blue pill is the only Godly choice, and my heart breaks. It is so much easier to fight them... it is so much harder to remember to love them.

Peacemaker is one of the hardest kingdom jobs. It, as much as anything else, got Jesus nailed up.

Dallas Willard writes, "Just look at the list of the 'written off,' of the 'sat upon, spat upon, ratted on.' ... The merciful are always despised by those who know how to 'take care of business.' ...The peacemakers are here too. ('Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.') They make the list because outside te kingdom they are, as it is often said, 'called everything but a child of God.' That is because they are always in the middle. Ask the policeman called in to smooth out a domestic dispute. There is no situation more dangerous. Neither side trusts you. Because they know that you are looking at both sides, you can't possibly be on their side.
But under God's rule there is recognition that in bringing good to people who are in the wrong (as both sides usually are) you show the divine family resemblance, 'because God himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked' (Luke 6:35 REB). The peacemaker deals precisely with the ungrateful and the wicked, as anyone who has tried it well knows.

Father, grant us the love and courage and mercy and likeness of Christ that will allow us to make peace with all those who love Your coming.

in HIS love,

PS - Usually I can comment on your Mac site, but tonight it just wouldn't do anything when I clicked 'add comment'. So here I am.

Minkydo said...

Great post. This comment really fits me

"The more I study, the more questions I get..."