Dreamers of the Day

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible." -T.E. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"

Monday, January 02, 2006

How Death Affects The Christian Life

...Death is evident in all life. This is not a hidden secret, but is a truth found in all living things. It is the dog who responds viciously to the punishment of the owner that portrays the knowledge of such truth as well as the mother who shields her baby from the cold, hard, truth of reality. The Christian and the carnal man arrive at the same point in space in time. How does one deal with the dignity of man and his abilities, yet live with the depravity of knowing he will end? The carnal man is fragmented in his answer by stating that it is life that is the reason for living. The lyrics of the very popular song Name by the Goo Goo Dolls exemplify this: “Don’t it make you sad to know that life, is more than who you are?” Meaning: this life does not determine your meaning and it cannot be reached corporeally. Thus, the carnal man will strive for everything he can touch, feel, taste and see. He avoids death at all costs until it is inevitably at his doorstep and he cannot avoid it. He is afraid of death because it is the end of himself.

The Christian is told by Jesus that he is to fear not because He has overcome the world. The Christian is told that death—to the flesh—is the beginning of himself. The Christian does not hold the fact of the time and place of his own death, but the knowledge that death is evident. So the superiority does not come with facts in space in time, but in the belief of the Being that is in control of the death. Yet the Christian still fights and runs from this truth as does the carnal man. The Christian still is fearful of his own death because of the uncertainty of the situation. Furthermore, the Christian is fearful or does not know how to handle the subject of death because he has allowed himself to be deceived by the world he lives in that he is immortal. Through the complexity of life in modern culture, the Christian has filled his time with responsibilities of this world. His Spiritual life is filled with the disciplines of the faith, the constant “doing” of tasks that he seldom stops. He is like the carnal man in this subject of death in that he responds to the uncertainty of the subject by filling his life with certainty.

This is the downfall of the Christian. He spends his time filling it with the search for answers to questions that are temporal and ephemeral, but can be answered. Yet the questions he cannot answer he does not ponder because those reveal his own depravity and limitations. The Christian runs from sin as the Bible teaches only to realize he is simply running externally from sin and not internally. He cannot allow the flesh inside of him to die because he himself has not dealt with the topic of death himself. Once the Christian can live with the notion that he will end and not forget who he is, is when he can begin to live in Christ. It was Jesus who did not run to His disciplines and doctrine to rescue Him while on the cross, but accepted His fate by trusting His father. Jesus lived with the reality of His fate and in this He truly lived.

50 Comments:

At 5:39 AM, Blogger Jen said...

Good thoughts...
Though this does bring up the question…did Jesus fear his own death? He asked that the cup be taken from him, but did this mean he was afraid or just didn't want to go through with it or what? If he wasn't afraid, why did he ask that the cup be removed from him? Questions, questions...I'm starting to sound like you. ;)

 
At 8:28 AM, Blogger Creth said...

ha... yeah... we just need to have another one of those "talks" ...which I've yet to speak with you about your paper... we'll have to do that soon

 
At 8:55 AM, Blogger Jason Mayes said...

Yeah I was reading my paper again last night and WOW...let's just say there was an entire section where I needed to combine sentences because they were short sentences...Jen to answer your questions, I would have to ask the question; "What is fear?"

 
At 10:57 AM, Blogger Creth said...

Jen... you should have been sitting on our end of the table Saturday night

 
At 12:39 PM, Blogger Jen said...

Ok first of all I hate when people answer questions with another questions. :) But Jesus did that, so it must make it ok. :) Getting to the heart of the matter are we? Yes Creth it reminded me of the conversation you and Micah were having that I popped in on.

What is fear? Aside from the fear of God, fear to me can mean being anxious about the unknown, it means being afraid of the unknown or afraid of something dangerous which could be a person, a place, a feeling etc. I guess my question is this...is fear in ANY form a sin? Yes anything used in the wrong way can be a sin, but is there a place for fear (again aside from the fear of God)? Am I making sense? I think I’m about as clear as mud sometimes….ahhhhhhhhhhh. But that’s just being me....being Jen. ;)

 
At 6:11 AM, Blogger Jen said...

FYI-Adam and Christina now have myspace....its under my links.

 
At 7:24 AM, Blogger Creth said...

haha, I'm going to love Adam, aren't I?

I'm also thinking about "fear"... trying to think more than I had before

 
At 8:36 AM, Blogger Micah & Brad said...

Yes, did we ever really finish that conversation? I think I had to go pack.

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger Jason Mayes said...

Thoughts on fear:

There seems to be a strong correlation between fear and knowledge. If you know less, you typically fear more. The young child who is frightened by a loud noise, the antelope that is startled by a surprise attack or the groom who is to be married each reflect this. The greater the amount of knowledge of something, the lesser that something is truly feared. The unknown is usually feared, not the object. Say I am scared of heights. It is not the height that necessarily scares me, but the fact that I don’t know will happen to me if I fall. The fear is in the knowledge, not the object. The same goes for monster’s, gremlins and the like…

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger Jen said...

Hmmm....I'm still chuckling over the part where you say "groom who is to be married" I honestly don’t know if I agree totally with you. I always thought children were more fearless than adults. They reach out and touch the stove b/c they don’t fear and haven’t obtained the knowledge that it will burn them. Once they have the knowledge, THEN they fear b/c they know what will happen. I think your point can be true but I guess I am more of the opinion of less knowledge equals less fear. A child to me is very trusting and fearless, they go to complete strangers (for the most part) without even thinking b/c they don’t have the knowledge that strangers can do terrible things. It’s later in life when parents actually teach their kids to not trust strangers, that they are suddenly aware of this “bad” world and thus the fear comes. Having more knowledge can sometimes hurt you. You can then effectively reason away why you shouldn’t jump off a cliff (height, % of people who die doing it etc) b/c you know what will happen or think you know what will happen. If you don’t have knowledge that jumping off a cliff can be hurtful, what is there to fear? Now I am not making an argument that you should never obtain knowledge. (though you know me and my extensive DESIRE for more knowledge ;) ) I do agree with your point that some things we fear, if we truly “get to know them” or “learn about them” we wonder what we feared in the first place. I think its both. I guess the most recent example of a child is Lucy from Narnia and how she had the least knowledge out of the four but was the least afraid to go into Narnia and meet all these strange people. The others, who had more knowledge, were the ones who were afraid and always had reasons or “knowledge” of why they shouldn’t do this or that.

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger Jen said...

how 'bout a couple paragraphs Jen?

 
At 10:12 AM, Blogger Creth said...

I agree with Jen when she says "it is both"

 
At 10:41 AM, Blogger Jason Mayes said...

I would agree that the adult fears more because he knows more. What does he know more of?

 
At 10:56 AM, Blogger christian said...

Oh, Jason. You are a funny little Chinese man in my mind. You should grow a fu manchu moustache.

Good thoughts, folks. I'll have to weigh in at another time. One more email and then back to work :(

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger Creth said...

his "eyes have been opened"

he is no longer innocent

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger Creth said...

which... to use the term "innocent"

of course implies guilt, which deserves punishment

and if sin is the root of "most" fear, wouldn't punishment be "a" driving force behind fear?

 
At 11:56 AM, Blogger Jason Mayes said...

I would venture to say the reason the adult is more fearful is because he has a greater revelation of his depravity than the infant. The reason why he is fearful of the stove top burner is not the burner itself, but the pain that it will cause that if continued, will destroy him. Basically, I think it is the same fear as the infant, but with greater revelation. The adult knows that he can end; the infant knows of no such thing but both are afraid of the same fact, just in different ways.

 
At 12:01 PM, Blogger Creth said...

why do we "end?"

 
At 12:04 PM, Blogger Creth said...

sin introduced death into the world, we would have no fear of destruction without the judgement of guilt

sin has depraved us

 
At 12:04 PM, Blogger Jason Mayes said...

Because we begin...

 
At 12:10 PM, Blogger Jen said...

Ok, so you guys out of my league. Answering questions with questions....ahhhhh

I need simple and practical.

I'll just watch and learn....

Carry on...

 
At 12:12 PM, Blogger Creth said...

because we begin, to mean that we exist and because of original sin, we all have sinned- this is your statement?

 
At 12:15 PM, Blogger Creth said...

this might be a rabbit trail...

dare I say that Adam was created purely without fear, and also (of course) without a knowledge of good and evil

 
At 12:18 PM, Blogger Jason Mayes said...

It could be a rabbit trail and I have no idea where this is going, but I think it is a good place.

The reply “because it begins” is referring to time, not eternity. Time has no place in eternity.

Adam was created without the knowledge of good and evil simply because he could not hold the weight of such responsibility because he was man, not God.

 
At 12:26 PM, Blogger Creth said...

I need my copy of Screwtape...

Lewis has a great quote with which he says that as a spirit we live in eternity, but as an animal we live in time, time is that of which we touch eternity

 
At 12:31 PM, Blogger Creth said...

did not Adam receive this knowledge (the fall)?

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger Creth said...

(by-the-way, Jen, I wish you'd join us... I think you've got something to add)

 
At 12:55 PM, Blogger Jason Mayes said...

At the present time I am still learning about this subject, but I think I may try to explain my thoughts:

Adam received knowledge of good and evil which is a metaphysical power. No other physical being contained such knowledge. Satan himself did and it destroyed him, but he was supernatural and lives in the metaphysical. The reason why this knowledge destroyed Adam is the same reason Jesus could be God and man at the same time. It is infinity in the finite. It destroyed Adam, but resurrected Jesus.

Wow, my head hurts, but it is a good hurt.

Fernage! You SHOULD join us!!

 
At 1:02 PM, Blogger Jen said...

Fernage? .....not after that. ;) I feel so....so...plantish but with a fungus?

No seriously, I am learning a lot....this is much more informative. My head hurts enough just reading it.

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger Creth said...

yeah... we're having technical difficulties at the office, our new phone system decided to keep us from being able to do... anything, we can't send or receive calls... headache

 
At 2:10 PM, Blogger Micah & Brad said...

so, can we go back to the beginning and someone write down what the real question is again? Are we still on whether Jesus was "afraid" to die?

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger Creth said...

Micah, I'll try to look at our prior conversation tomorrow and see if it fits...

 
At 7:16 AM, Blogger Micah & Brad said...

no, Creth, you don't need to do that. I was just curious as to where you all were headed with this discussion of fear.

 
At 8:10 AM, Blogger Creth said...

the phones JUST started working again...

I'm disliking SBC or AT&T right now

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger Creth said...

JASON!

I just had the most wonderful idea... and a terrible realization-

first, a pipe and the Ginger Man! (would you want to relax there before coffee tonight?)

second, I don't believe Jen had the pleasure of experiencing Ginger Man! for shame

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger Jen said...

So sad. Is that the pipe happen'in place to be? Though when I hear "ginger man" I think "gingerbread man" and then I think....

"Run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me,
I'm the gingerbread man."

 
At 10:23 AM, Blogger Creth said...

hahahahahaha, aaaaahh, hahahahaha

 
At 11:07 AM, Blogger Micah & Brad said...

Yes, Jen, same thought that I had...

 
At 1:28 PM, Blogger Micah & Brad said...

So, is anyone going to say what/who Ginger Man is, or is this right there with the Korbel story?

 
At 1:31 PM, Blogger Creth said...

the Ginger Man is a low-key bar in the Uptown area... it's very nice

 
At 2:20 PM, Blogger Micah & Brad said...

so, two seminary graduates are going to hang out at the local bar?

 
At 2:53 PM, Blogger Emily said...

Whoa Jason...I don't even know where to add my commentary pertaining to your post.

41 comments later, I think my 'commentary' is a mute point, huh?

Anyway...to set the record straight, Creth is not a seminary grad.

But....the pipe is their 'ministry'.

And, they have been known to smoke and dream and pontificate on...well...'a whole lot of real important stuff'

Anyway...it is sad that Jen never got to experience The Ginger Man.

(Maybe when she moves here…?)

 
At 9:02 PM, Blogger Micah & Brad said...

So, what exactly is Creth?

 
At 8:27 AM, Blogger Creth said...

hahahahaha

ohhh


HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHahahahahaha

Micah, I believe you're asking the wrong question. Be more specific about the information you are requesting

 
At 9:48 AM, Blogger Creth said...

read letter fifteen, I put it before eight and so it might be missed but it too discusses "time" (to use such a tiny and general term)

 
At 9:57 AM, Blogger Creth said...

because at the very present, the eternal being is awake in time

the past no longer exists and the future has never occurred

 
At 10:03 AM, Blogger Creth said...

true if an eternal being could not or did not exist in time, however we are "amphibians"...

now I believe that pure animals, that lack a spirit and therefor an eternal life, only exist in time

 
At 10:08 AM, Blogger Creth said...

I do not believe that animals have an eternal spirit so they cannot experience eternity, even at the end of time

but our eternal spirit is not simply awakened at the "end of time" that is our dilemna, we are confused and we struggle because our eternal spirit wants so badly to live in this time and yet our animal will stop at nothing to keep that from happening (this of course does not keep our eternal spirit from existing and being alive...)

 
At 9:00 AM, Blogger Creth said...

I am referring to an eternal spirit, though I believe an eternal spirit is as much eternity as the flesh is this earth

I would say that an eternal spirit cannot invade eternity, for that is the only place it is at home, and likewise that is the place it always is

(I apologize that these comments may come out as fragments in response to your comment... fragments can be difficult at best)

the past and future, I believe the past no longer exists and the future, at best, is a hope

however neither are real, they do not exist, only the present exists

 
At 8:46 AM, Blogger Creth said...

I'm commenting on this post because I didn't want to side track any conversations that might occur on your most recent post. I thought this was great, another quote from Screwtape-

"We want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow's end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the altar of the Future every real gift which is offered them in the Present."

 

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