Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Conversion Story

So, I had to write this up for my Theology class (It was due this morning) and I figured, "Why not publish it to the world at large?"

"Looking back, the last 14 years have been largely impacted by a single event. Had this event not happened or merely happened at a later date, I would be a very different person with unknowable different experiences. This event, of course, was my decision to accept Jesus as the payment for my sin and my lord.

The details, some 14 years old, are somewhat hazy, but I remember having grown up a pastor's kid at a decently-sized country church outside of Richmond, VA. I knew all the Sunday School stories and answers, but, increasingly, I was becoming aware that there was something more than  a picture Bible and itchy sweaters.

All of this culminated during the summer of '98. I remember going to our church's VBS, being excited because of the space theme and looking forward to Mrs. Pope's desserts. little was I to know that on that day, my teacher would hit the nail on the head. She was teaching on Jesus' Sacrifice & payment for our sins - the culmination of the week's lessons. To this day I do not know what moved me to mark the back of the card, but I have a fairly good guess it was the Holy Spirit.

A few days later, my dad, having been told by my teacher, sat me down and explained in detail what it meant to be a Christian. Not long after that, I remember praying through the ABC's of salvation in an earnest 8-year-old's prayer, acknowledging my sin, committing my life to Christ, and knowing full well what that meant."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Yes = No?

**Let me preface this with some context: I attend a university with a moderately strict code of conduct/hair & dress code. I am a member of student leadership (although not an RA) at said school.**

Some things irritate me. Some things puzzle me. Some things do both.

As prefaced, my school has a hair/dress code attached to its code of conduct. At my school, I see students, every day, in direct contravention to the codes (more the former than the latter - violators of the latter know better than to be seen). This irritates me. This angers me and yet, I feel nothing but pity for these fellow students.


Because I cannot trust them.

"Hold on, what?"

I cannot trust them. Let me explain. When prospective students enter my school and accept its offered acceptance, they are required to read and sign that they have read and will follow the codes (hair/dress and conduct). Additionally, the students are reminded of these codes in every syllabus of every class they will take.

"Okay, how does breaking hair code mean they are untrustworthy?"

When they signed acceptance of the codes, they gave their word that they would follow and abide by the codes. Their word was and is their bond.

Bond. That's an interesting concept. have you ever given someone your credit card, ID, watch, etc as collateral that you would honor your word and perform a specific task? As a waiter, I've held many people's driver's licenses as they went to go draw money from the bank to pay for the meal.

When someone's word is their bond, it means that they nave nothing riding on their promise that they will lose except their name/word/honor. The esteem to which one holds one's name/word/honor says a lot about a person. I for one, hold my honor, my word as a valuable commodity; after all, if I do not have my word, what have I that may be trusted?

In Matthew 5, Jesus talks about taking oaths. He advises that we not swear upon the earth, the sky or on God himself as we are de facto making these our bond, but rather, we should let our yes mean yes and our no, no. Basically, we should be holding our word as bond. We should not need to be making promises or oaths to reassure others that what we say we will do, we will do.

So, to you few students walking around out of code, you men with too-long hair, t-shirts with no jacket/sweater, earrings, and you women who wear overly revealing tops or too-short skirts, I apologize. I do not mean to judge. I do not mean to belittle, but I must inform you that I cannot trust you. Do you hold your word, your name to such little esteem that you do not even hold yourself to something as easy to follow as a hair/dress code?

That is what I see. If you do not value your own word, how can I trust it?