i almost set my house on fire. and also gnosticism. and the oh hellos.


         Today, I was the epitome of whatever the opposite of an environmentalist is. I took Febreeze, Raid, Off, hairspray, and something called Black Flag with a picture of a dying insect on the can, and I went aerosol crazy on the webs of the two giant spiders that live above my garage. They’re tricky little things (and by little I mean massive things). One lives on each corner of the entry to the garage, and when I go in or out I do so covering my head and at a full sprint. I hate spiders. I hate them so much.

                For just one second I had this brilliant idea. It occurred to me, as I was spraying every aerosol and flammable chemical I could find on the webs, that there was an easier solution to this problem. I could light the webs on fire. Survive that demon spawn, that kind of thing. I actually got a lighter. It seemed like a foolproof plan.

                I’m an idiot, by the way. A complete idiot. The reason I decided not to was that I wasn’t sure whether or not burning something called Black Flag would create caustic smoke. It didn’t occur to me (it really didn’t) that I would be lighting something on fire that is attached to a mostly wooden structure that…oh yeah…I LIVE IN. I was like two seconds from lighting my house on fire, y’all. And they gave me a college diploma.

                I have a point.

                It’s like this: I hate KLove. I hate the way Christians will rally around mediocre music or movies or whatever because they mention Jesus. Like…It’s okay, singer of a mediocre caliber, that you are releasing songs with uninspired lyrics and musical styles that are five years old. It’s okay because you like Jesus so we will support you. It’s kind of the same philosophy that made Facing the Giants and Tim Tebow world famous. Millions of American Christians saying “Hey, look! Jesus people are doing things almost as cool as the rest of the world! Hooray!” And we end up with this whole knock-off Christian culture. Tshirts, music, television, books, movies, mints…all stamped with a Jesus fish and approved for the whole family to use. And it’s Gnosticism. It’s failing to realize that the world isn’t split into the sacred and the secular

                It’s also like this: I’m exhausted with the flip side of the coin. I spent several years shunning all things ‘Christian’. The first time I heard the Oh Hellos, I liked them until I realized they were singing about God. Then I condemned them as cheesy. For the longest time I wasn’t reading, listening to, watching, or interacting with anything that celebrated Jesus. That’s a lonely thing. And it’s hard to say that you love Jesus, and then act ashamed every time He comes up in conversation.

                My answer to the cheesiness of Christian culture was SET IT ALL ON FIRE! And that’s not anywhere near out of character for me, obviously. But here’s the thing: I live in this house. I need Jesus. I need community. I need the song “Second Child, Restless Child” every single morning.

                And so, I offer to you a back door. Which is what my garage needs, by the way. I’m going to try to remember that I need to celebrate loudly when Christians produce really excellent things. I need to revel in the fact that we serve a creative, brilliant, abundant God and to be excited about the awesome things that overflow from the hearts that He lives in. That’s so much more productive than letting Mardel inspired nihilism slowly destroy my excitement about Jesus.


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