This is just a short observation today. I'm contemplating how we try to resolve the conflicts, not only between people with differing views, but within ourselves. I live my life trying to walk the line between "protectionism" (or legalism) on one side and "license" on the other. Living in the freedom of Christ while knowing that "all things are permissible, but not all things are profitable" for me, or my family. And, of course, I don't really think "all things" are permissible. Interesting dilemma.
Some days I throw myself into the freedoms..sure that the exposure to books, music, films, ideas, and TV shows are harmless and perhaps even beneficial as I strive to understand the culture we live in. On other days there is the "dragging-down" from ideas and images, and it feels like complicity with behaviors and attitudes I feel are unhealthy (and, honestly, wrong). It feels like rationalization.
Like the prayer loop that is an excuse to share gossip, the freedoms to interact with culture and ideas can become, for me, an excuse to neglect myself and avoid self-discipline. It can be a way to avoid the demands of faith on my life.
I still have a self-protective barrier up, to some degree, when it comes to engaging ideas. I know that. I don't always like it, but I still feel it is necessary for one simple reason. I don't know how to evaluate all the information that comes my way. I still believe there really are ideas full of light and truth, and ideas full of rationalizations for avoiding light and truth.
I'd love to think on this further and to develop some of the nebulous thoughts floating around in my head. I don't like what I've written because it doesn't say what I want. I've written and deleted more than I've left, all while fielding questions from various children and watching the clock so I won't be late. My presence is demanded in the life of my house and family...so must go.
I'll leave with this thought- in the past four or five years I've seen new ways to look at life and faith and am better for it. But while I have changed in my approach to many things, fundamentally I am the same. My desire is to be found "in Christ." Evaluations of my "options" in life come down to this: Does it further my goal?