Ignorance

It would be quite ignorant for me to suggest I have not been ignorant about many things in my life. Gosh, where to start?! First off, I thought I was the main focus of a reality TV show for a long time and conducted my interviews with myself in the mirror. I thought I could become a professional baseball player with only practicing an hour or two every week. I thought I didn’t need to know how to construct a sentence or paragraph in order to write a good paper. The idea essays needed an introduction to set up the body of a paper and a conclusion that lead to some kind of point others could understand seemed stupid to me. The place where I was most ignorant however was in my faith. For the longest time I thought it was perfectly reasonable to think all non-Christians would not make it to heaven. Not only would they not make it to heaven but they would suffer. They would suffer for eternity in fire and brimstone with a lot of crying and gnashing of teeth. I was taught the world was completely lost and full of sin. I was warned against becoming too good of friends with non-Christians and I was tricked into thinking if I did not give my time and money to the Church I was not supporting God.

As a Christian I was ignorant for a long time. As soon as I began to open my eyes and look at different views my church began to close it’s doors to me. I was slowly pushed out of leadership and relationships I had held for a long time. I made the mistake of being honest with my Church leaders about my changing views. I began to ask questions and argue points with leadership. They were not ready. I had conversations with leadership that were cut off mid point because of “time” issues, but were never picked up again. I suddenly felt I was intentionally ignored. I was given the polite “hello” at the beginning of Church or youth group, but never asked the big questions like, “How are you (honestly) doing?” or “What has God been talking to you about lately?”.

The more I looked outside the Church the less interesting the box of Christianity seemed to be. The places I looked at outside seemed to be willing to ask the big questions and fight with differing opinions. The more I looked outside the Church the more I needed to come face to face with my own ignorance. I needed to face the fact I had built up judgment of the rest of the world without ever looking into that which I was judging. It’s hard to stand on the belief all non-Christians will spend eternity in hell when you open your eyes and see so many non-Christians being more Christlike then your Christian friends. It’s hard to deny Woman’s stance in leadership when you see how effective they have been in those roles outside the Church. It is hard to deny things like Gay rights when we see so many homosexual relationships with as strong a love bond and commitment to one another as heterosexual relationships.

Ignorance is a beautiful thing really. It makes life easier. I see so many Christians these days who seem so confident in their beliefs. They are convinced they are doing God’s work by denying the godliness in those who don’t believe in their God. They feel righteously appointed to deny relationships they have not taken the time to understand. And they feel the blanket of security in only listening to the groups they have formed, groups who have had a whole life time of being taught not to question the word of God as interpreted through their leadership. Prayer is used as an excuse to not work at changing the world or oneself.

I am tired of the Church teaching ignorance. I am tired of it manipulating its followers into seeing differing view points as sin worthy of a eternity in hell. If you want to know and understand the world you must be willing to open yourself up to it. You must be willing to consider them as no less deceived as you might be. Yes you can point to the Bible and suggest it supports your view points. However, that is the same thing the Roman Catholics did during the crusades. It’s the same thing we Americans did when denying the rights of woman and blacks, and subjecting hundreds of thousands to slavery. It’s the same thing the Nazis did when committing genocide against the Jews. The “truth” has been manipulated by man throughout history in order to justify what one group wanted to do to another group. To suggest anyone or any religion has a monopoly on truth is the essence of ignorance.

If you are not willing to consider truth can be found in the Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist’s faith why should you expect them to consider truth can be found in ours? The search for truth will never end. It is much easier for us as Christians to go with the crowd, suggest the Bible is infallible, think our denomination is the right denomination, and assume the world is full of corruption not worth God’s eternal love or our time. I see so many of my friends taking this rout. It deeply saddens me. Ignorance leads to destruction and suffering. In the end we will all suffer because of it. If we don’t choose to embrace what is good in each one of us, what is love in each one of us, what is truth in each one of us, then we are missing out on seeing God.

Empty Seats

I watched a documentary today called Bully. It was a sincere look at bullying in America. The film concentrates on the immediate victims of bullying. Some of the cases the documentary concentrates on are with families who have already lost their child to bullying. We see how hard it is for a family to understand what their child is going through, we see how ineffective the school system is in stopping bullying, and we see how the bully isn’t any one person as much as it is a general movement of indifference for one’s neighbor. The movie devastated me emotionally. What caused the devastation was not the harsh acts shown and talked about through out the film. We heard and saw plenty of examples of cruel things being done to kids who only seemed to want to get along with their peers. What devastated me was the silence. The inability for the parents to be personal with their children, the lack of presence the school system gave in working to stop bullying, and the lack of friends stepping up for the victim when he was getting pushed to the ground.

I was never Mr. Popular in my school. My mother chose to home school me until 8th grade and when I finally went public I was greeted with a fair amount of neglect and indifference. No I was never physically shoved in the locker, hit or pushed in any way. However I was told at times to find another seat because someone didn’t want to sit next to me, given notes commenting on how stupid I looked, and not given the time of day by many of my teachers. I was an awkward boy who wasn’t very physical, couldn’t read or write well, and had the social ability of a rodent. However, though I struggled I never felt inferior. I never felt like I deserved to be picked on or wasn’t as valuable as the person next to me. I always felt like there was a meaning to my life, that even though I failed in many of the areas my peers succeeded in I was an influence in this world and if I harnessed my strengths I could do wondrous things.

I had self confidence as a kid because I had people around me who gave a damn. When I went to school in 8th grade a friend from my childhood sat with me at lunch and introduced me to his friends. He was one of the most popular kids in school yet loved to come to my house and hang out. There was my 8th grade math and science teacher Mr. York who spent the extra time getting me organized, going to my meetings, and encouraging me in my strengths even though they were not always found in the subjects he taught. I also had my mother. My mother was always honest with me. She was willing to talk about personal things even though it sometimes meant for her to address personal demons in her past and she trusted in who I was and pushed me in my dreams. Because of these people and my faith I was able to go from middle school to high school, and from high school to college with a self worth that only became stronger.

Towards the end of the Bully documentary Kelby, one of the bully victims and a lesbian, talked about going to school for the first time again in the fall. She said she thought it might be different this year and views might have changed. She went to school and when she sat down in her class room all the kids around her got up and found different seats. Right then I could clearly understand why so many bully victims end their lives. They find themselves humiliated and hurt. But the pain does not come from the bruises or the humiliation. The pain comes from the empty seats. It comes from looking to the left and the right and seeing no one to shed a tear with or to extend a helping hand.

I wonder what I would have done if I was in the same classroom as Kelby. Sadly there is a good chance when I was in high school I would have felt bad for her but looked away and excused the situation by telling myself, “That’s life”. However, I am writing this blog because I am stronger now. I am tired of looking at abuse and being okay with it. Albert Einstein once said, “The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing”. I am who I am because people looked at my loneliness and befriended me. People saw my low self esteem and gave me a sense of worth. They saw me in my pain and helped carry my burden. If you don’t do anything who will? It is time to do something. It is time to be that light that gives way for a better tomorrow. It is time to sit in the empty seats.

Leap of Faith

I remember a few years ago having a vision. I was standing on a high cliff on the top of a mountain and a voice whispering in the wind seemed to be telling me to jump. Logic was disagreeing with the voice. Logic told me if I jumped I would fall into the abyss and never be heard from again. Logic told me I shouldn’t be anywhere near the cliff, let alone considering to jump. However, part of me felt like jumping and seeing exactly what might happen. Part of me knew I would not be free unless I jumped. For some illogical reason I felt like if I jumped I just might fly.

This vision came at a time when I was leaving organized church. I had already deserted a few key doctrines held by the church, such as woman not being able to hold a position of leadership and the belief in eternal damnation where all who were not Christian were destined to go. I felt like I had already jumped. I was in the process of falling into the abyss and wondering when God was going to come and give me flight.

The actual jumping part was not hard for me. I didn’t know where I would go if I jumped but I knew I wanted no part of where I was at. I hated how we as the church seemed to think “faith” was just about making it to a building every Sunday morning and going to one or two small groups during the week. I hated the double standards of the church, how they preached for us to help the needy and love our neighbors yet had hardly any ministries supporting those areas. We were told to rebel against abortion but did nothing to help those babies who were being born under abusive situations. We were told to rebel against homosexuals and their lifestyles without ever trying to understand who those people were. The idea we were supposed to give our offering to support our pastors salaries also bugged me. Being told this money was going to God seemed to be slightly misleading. Very little of the money seemed to be making any difference what so ever. The organized Church was just supporting the constant routine of coming on Sundays and a few nights during the week to talk and agree with a bunch of like minded people.

So there I was falling into the abyss, finally liberated from all the double standards and hypocrisy of the Church. When was God going to catch me and give me flight? When was I going to finally be free? I had been waiting, and falling, for quite a while before I finally realized, my God would not tell me to jump if he did not already think I could fly. It was up to me to choose to rise up and fly above the mountains. Then I realized, the hard part was not the jumping or “letting go”. What was difficult was the “being free” part, aka– flying.

Letting go of doctrines and organized Church has opened up many things for me. I feel free now as if I can look into any religion and talk to any type of race or class and find good fruit in them. However, the hard part is being able to choose to take advantage of this new freedom. I personally find “flying” to be quite difficult. Maybe it is because I am scared of heights and rather have something solid below my feet so I don’t need to rely so heavily on God. Letting go of doctrines and structured religions forces one to need to rely on God more. If you stop relying on God you will just fall into the abyss. Flying away from where you have felt safe and going to new places with different philosophies and views is scary. During my flights I have seen some of the pain and suffering my ignorance has created. I have seen how blindly holding onto one view can deeply effect other peoples views.

We will not get anywhere unless we choose to let go and start relying on God. Being open is the only way we are really able to be free. However, it is important we do not be rebellious of one established view only to fall into another.  We also should make sure we are not jumping off a structured view only to fall into the abyss. Where ever there is life there is also Jesus. True freedom is only achieved when you are able to fly and see life in all the places it reigns. God never wanted us to get stuck in one point of view. God is infinite and we will always be learning more about Him. I have not yet come across a person who does not have some kind of knowledge on who God is.

If you want nothing to do with this world then jump and go into the abyss. If you want to feel safe and comfortable stay on solid ground and don’t jump. If you want true freedom and to make a difference then choose to jump and fly above the mountains. You will need to see things that might hurt and offend you. You will need to rely on a God who might feel all but absent at times. But things will not change unless we stop nailing each other down and choose to search out the one True God; who can be found in every person and religion and who is whispering for you to take the leap of faith and rely completely on Him.

(This post is part of a Synhcroblog I am doing. I apologize for being so late on this post, I was supposed to have it done about 4 or 5 days ago. Anyway, better late then never and here are the links to the other synchroblogs)

The One Who Rules

I have this wood carving above the head of my bed. It was given to me on my 13th birthday. In bold font there is the word Leadership. Below the word Leadership is a phrase in smaller letters, “If you command wisely, you will be obeyed cheerfully”. And to the side in even smaller letters is a verse from the Bible, it comes from Luke 22:26, “The greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves”.

I have read this Luke 22 verse many times through out the years. It is the part out of the whole wood carving that impacts me the most. Why would Jesus say such a thing? We have seen many rulers in our history show their power through the fear and aw they have created in their followers, yet very few rulers have we seen be like servants to their people. It certainly does not seem we Christians see God in that way.

What I hear from most Christians about God is how powerful He is. I hear how aw inspired and fearful of God’s holiness we should be. God actually is described as a ruler who shows his power and holiness through His magnificent acts of destroying temples, parting seas, and creating plagues. The idea of a eternal Hell is used to lift God’s holiness up. We are expressed an God who can not bear to be in the presence of sin. We are shown a God, by most Christians, who will torment us for all eternity if we do not bow down and serve Him.

The image the Western Church has created for God confuses me to be honest. I do not understand how curtain qualities of God fit with our idea of the powerful holy God who can not bear the sight of sin. For example, how does God’s everlasting love fit into the idea of His powerful and holy wrath? Can a God be loving to us all if he sends most of us to a eternal punishment with no chance of escaping? Incredibly most Christians say yes. However, none have been able to explain to me how something like an eternal punishment is loving, they just claim it is.

I wish Christians understood the message they were spreading in regards to God’s holy wrath. I wish Christians understood how the message of God’s eternal punishment counters their message of God’s eternal love. Saying God loves us even though he will send most of us to a eternal punishment, is like saying a father is still loving to his son even if he throws him into the fire to be tormented forever. Any father who punishes his son in the way we believe God will punish non-Christians after they die, would be immediately locked away and called insane. Why does our criteria to what is wrong and right change when God comes into the mix?

I believe, like any dictator, God has the power to do anything he wants. Even though I would not consider God to be loving or just for throwing us into an eternal hell, He can do it if He wants to. He is God you know. I mean, why not? Why should we expect God not be any different then the many other kings and dictators that have come into this world and ruled with an iron fist?

The reason why I consider my God to be different is because I saw His example expressed on this earth in the form of a carpenter named Jesus.

Think about this for a second. Why would our almighty Ruler’s son come to this earth in the form of a carpenter and not a king? Why was it God’s son who told us to forgive our neighbors, take care of the sick, and love our enemies? Why did Jesus go among the people and perform many miracles?  Why did Jesus, the son of our Holy and Powerful God, wash his disciples feet? And, why was it Jesus who was sacrificed on the cross and not us?

The greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.

Why do I freely choose to love Jesus? Because he first loved me. Why do I freely choose to serve Jesus? Because he first served me. Jesus was the representation of his Father God. He did not come here to condemn the world but to save it. Jesus expressed to us clearly the true power of his Father and it was not shown through temples falling down, seas parting, or plagues spreading, but rather through humility. God is our greatest servant. His commandments and His punishments are in service to us. God commands us so that we may be fulfilled. God punishes us so that we may see His love clearly.

The reason why this Luke 22 verse effects me so greatly is because it represents the heart of Jesus’ message. The verse represents the core of who I should be as a leader. My parents gave me the wood carving because they believed Leadership was a strength and calling in my life. It is amazing how humbling the idea of leadership has become for me. I pray that every step I make is in service to the people I lead. I pray I can be the kind of servant my God is towards me.

I can not express how thankful I am that the one who rules over all creation is the one who is creation’s greatest servant.

Christianty’s Blind Eye

I remember going to a friends house about two years ago. It was just a time where we were going to sit down, relax, and play the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game that had just come out. It had been a while sense I had played video games. However, I had played an old version of Call of Duty in the past and was up for this new challenge. We played multiplayer mode. All of us were in a deserted town and our mission was to find and kill each other. It is not like I hadn’t done similar things like this before. I remember playing the game Donkey Kong 64 where we all were monkeys running around trying to knock each other out by shooting bananas at each other. I also was a huge fan of Super Smash Brothers, where you play as classic Nintendo video game characters and try to knock each other off the screen.

Unlike prier games however, when I began to play Call of Duty that night I was unusually taken back when I was shot for the first time. It was by a sniper. I got hit right through the head and I very accurately fell to the ground with blood pouring out of my characters head. “Yikes!!!”, I said to myself, “video games have gotten more realistic“.

I came back as my character a few seconds later. I was bound and determined not to get shot this time. I was determined to in fact hunt down and take out someone else. I remember hiding in a multistory building and scoping out one of my friends. I shot him strait through the head. He fell to the ground lifeless and just like my character a few minutes before blood was spilling out from his head. I felt stimulated. Even excited. I in fact felt happy that I had just KILLED A MAN… that is….a virtual replica of a man. After spending some time thinking about it later that night, the high I got from making my first kill frightened me.

We played for a few more hours and I got killed more then I was able to kill. Oddly enough we were listening to Christian music while playing. The more I played the more I felt turn. There was part of me that was really enjoying the “high” I got when finding and shooting my fellow friends. There was also a feeling deep down inside me that was saying, “this is not right”.

I can not say that I stopped playing violent video games after that night. I remember going back to the same friends house a few weeks later and playing Call of Duty and the video game Halo, which also involved a multiplayer mode where we tried to kill each other. I realized that I was not getting any fruit out of playing these video games but rather I was becoming numb towards violence in general. It wasn’t like most war movies I watched. I was not an observer, I could not make the judgment to whether I was okay or not with the killing I was seeing. There was no good reason to why we were killing each other and when we died we did not stay dead and face the consequence of what killing really does. A few seconds after being killed we would be revived and then set out to kill someone else. Also, I couldn’t help but feel the graphics of these games I was playing were adding to my “high” in a very bad way. The killings were physically very realistic, especially on the Call of Duty game. My character would react completely differently depending on how I was shot. If it was by a sniper the impact was clear and precise blood shooting out of the entrance wound and my character lifelessly falling to the ground. However, being shot with a shotgun would send my character flying, blood spattering everywhere.

After a few years of thinking about it I have come to the conclusion that violent video games are some of the worst things we can expose ourselves to. I have also found violent video games have become the drug that is somehow excepted by most of western Christianity.

I have often heard Christians complain about how lost this world is. About how the world needs to stop participating in things like drugs and pornography. However, mindless video games and violence is usually conveniently missed. It is the area where Christianity seems to have turned a blind eye.

It is hard for me to justify playing games in general now a days. They can be very addicting and time consuming. Most games I see people play do not involve much thought. Most video games actually seem to function the same way masturbating or drugs function. For most video gamers it is all about getting to the next “high“, we are never satisfied for very long it is all about getting to the next level. Graphics for video games seem to be working the same way. Just getting knocked out by bananas is not good enough anymore, we need the game to be more real and more stimulating.

Video game companies are working relentlessly at making the gaming experience more realistic. We now need to shoot someone and have the virtual person react just like a real person would react. Detail is everything. A virtual grenade needs to have the same impact a real grenade has. The more real the game feels the more worth we can give it. This is why games are giving us background stories these days. In some of the Call of Duty games for example we are given a past for our characters. We are role playing an imaginary character with kids and a wife back home. The war we are fighting is now patriotic. We now have an excuse to get a high off of killing someone because we are doing it for our imaginary loved ones back home.

We no longer need to go and interact with the real world. The virtual world is real enough. However, unlike real life we are allowed to feel more empowered with video games. Instead of feeling like everyone else, we can become the alpha. We can become a secret agent or a powerful warrior skilled in the art of killing.  And, the best part is the virtual world is void of consequence. We can make fun of and demean someone without worrying about that character knowing who we really are. We can beat someone and even murder him without being arrested or reprimanded in any way.

The problem is that when we pretend to kill each other for entertainment we begin to become numb to the real effects of violence. Just like any other drug video games can be and often are used as a wall to block us from seeing this world and even God clearly. And, just like drugs, video games are usually completely selfish-consuming things. When we become completely self-centered we are never satisfied. The reason why we need to beat the next level or move on to the next video game is because we are never really satisfied with our “high“.

Christianity must be willing to look at all evil, not just the evil we feel we are isolated from. As pleasing as a game like Call of Duty can be it does nothing to further ones faith in God. There is a suffering going on in this world which we have all but blocked out completely through this numbing drug we find in most video games. God wants us to interact with this world not escape to a fantasy land in order to avoid it. He wants us to be stopping the violence going on in this world, not be celebrating it.

God’s Magicians

Some of my greatest memories are of playing outside with my younger brother. All we had was a tree fort and some oddly shaped sticks. At least, that is all we physically had. The other thing we seemed to have plenty of was creativity. With this creativity we were able to access our imagination. With our imagination we were able to transform our sticks into great weapons and glamorous artifacts. We also were able to transform our back yard and fort into hidden cities, wild jungles, and beautiful kingdoms.

At first we did not know what to do with our imagination. We did not know what to do with these cool weapons and magnificent locations. Both of us found out anything was possible. We could run as fast as light, we could fly to other galaxies, and we could destroy armies with a shout or a swing of our sword. For a while having no limitations was fun. I liked being a warrior from a far away land who could defeat any foe and get out of any sticky situation. After a while however I found the games outside to be a little repetitive. I felt that even though I literally could do anything I wanted in the games we were playing something was missing. Maybe I was getting too old. Maybe it was time to stop playing outside and start thinking more about reality.

I would have given up playing outside pretty quickly actually if something didn’t happen one day that changed everything. I was playing outside with my brother and he shot some magical laser at me and somehow I got hurt. The imaginary laser hurt me. I don’t know how. Maybe I tripped and physically hurt myself when he shot it at me. Maybe I just wanted to see what it was like to actually get hit by a laser for a change. But for some reason this pain I felt, this consequence I experienced, intrigued me. I asked myself, what if when we played games and used our imagination we created rules? What if one of those rules was that you get hurt when you get hit? What if you couldn’t always run as fast as light? What if some of the characters we played couldn’t fly or change shape? These limitations I created actually made me think harder and use more of my imagination.

Soon after my brother and I began to work on character development. We began to have stories where we started one way and the adventure we went on changed us. We used our frustrations with each others’ creative styles for the benefit of our stories. Nothing went exactly our way, we needed to deal with each others’ opinions and egos. I needed to think even more on how my character would develop based on the story elements my brother brought to the table. My mother needed to deal with several fights. We would sometimes stay outside for an hour or so arguing about a curtain character or story point. Because of our stubbornness towards each other we needed to develop reasons to why a character would be doing a curtain thing or how a curtain story element would help develop the story as a whole.

The process of creating stories has excited and fulfilled me so much that I have never stopped. I continue to develop characters and explore new worlds. I am actually perusing a career as a storyteller. I am a writer and a filmmaker. My God has given me this amazing gift, it is called the imagination. The imagination is where creativity begins. Literally anything is possible with it. However, God did not want me and does not want you to ever stop developing the imagination. Creativity must never stop growing.

I found out at a very young age that the gift of creativity is not limited to the imagination. If we can imagine it we can create it. Our world needs to see the fruits of this great gift. At some point while playing outside with my little brother I realized that my imagination was not limited to the back yard. I realized that the characters I was developing and stories I was experiencing could effect and even help change the world I lived in.

In a sense I think of storytellers as magicians. We make the audience buy into things that are not physically real. However, no one will be able to convince me that characters such as Walt Disney’s Pinocchio, Steven Spielberg’s E. T., and Andrew Stanton’s Wall-E, aren’t alive. Artists like Walt, Steven, and Stanton were able to develop their imaginations to such a point that they created living breathing characters that both made us laugh and cry. For me these Magicians were able to change my life with their creations.

I believe that Christianity should be built on creativity. Creativity is what makes us unique. Creativity is God’s greatest miracle. Let us not waste it. We must learn to develop our creativity to the point that it begins to impact and transform people’s lives. When it comes to the imagination, anything is possible. What we need to do is figure out how to use it. When we figure out how to use our imagination, we will be the light that so many people are looking for.

(This post was part of a Synchroblog I am part of. Here are the other links. Enjoy!)

Where God Shows Up

The manifestation of God! That is what the subject is for the synchroblog this month. I must admit I volunteered to do this blog early on and then forgot completely about it. It was not until my mother reminded me a few days ago that I started thinking about what I was going to write.

This is a tough subject. Often we think of the manifestation of God as being a sudden impact at a church service, usually during worship, where we feel weak in the knees and start talking in tongues. To be honest I always considered this weird and sometimes embarrassing. Sure it is fine to see my mother and father pray for God to come down and manifest himself on this earth. The unnerving part is when it actually happens. I remember seeing my mother wobbling back and forth while praying for someone. She was making some of the most awkward noises. She did a lot of, “Humin nah you lababwa tah tah tah tah” and “Puuusssshhhhh mmmmmmmmm yah nanah nah nah nah nah”. All I could do was roll my eyes and sort of act like I did not know her.

I am not trying to make fun of the manifestation of God. Nor am I trying to make fun of the act of speaking in tongues. Just for me, especially when I was younger, I did not understand it. I did not know why people got so consumed that they felt they needed to jibber a bunch of nonsense and go all twitchy on me. To this day I hardly ever feel like speaking in tongues or twitchy because of the presence of God.

One of the only times I ever feel enthralled, weak at the knees, or completely blown away both emotionally and physically, is after watching a exceptionally well crafted movie. But how can this have anything to do with the manifestation of God?

At first I did not think it had anything to do with God. I watched movies because I wanted to be entertained. Spiderman was thrilling because he could swing across buildings and beat up bad guys. I originally felt like I was gripped by film because that is what good film does, it grips you and takes you on a ride.

However, if you ask anyone of my friends, they will tell you that I am sort of obsessed with film. I am a student of film and have passions on making my own stories come to life on screen. Why so passionate you might ask? Well I think it is because film speaks to me in a way nothing else does. Good film moves me in profound ways. I began to realize that the impact that curtain films had on me, such as Dead Poets Society and Schindler’s List, had more to do with God then I originally thought.

God manifests himself to me through film. I have actually heard God speak through curtain movies. When watching Schindler’s List, God beckoned me to step up and do the kind of things I was seeing Schindler do in the movie. God actually showed up in the man Schindler. He made it clear that he can manifest through imperfection, that color and race didn’t matter to Him. God showed me that His love was and is for all. In fact the movie Schindler’s List spoke more to me then any sermon I had ever gone to.

The place God shows up the most for me is in the movies. I know this is hard to believe for some. Some might think that it is just an excuse to watch more film. I will admit that if my life only consisted of watching films it would be a very sad and unhealthy life. Even if God manifests himself to me through films, I can not just sit there getting high from film to film. It comes down to what the manifestation of God is for.

In my experience there is too many people seeking out God’s manifestation, then there are people who are trying to manifest to others. God is not a drug, He is not here to show up just so we can “Awe” at his beauty. God shows up to us so we can show Him to others. The manifestation of God, whether through a worship service or a movie, is meant to not only awe you but inspire you to act.

Before I ever knew it was Him, God was showing up in the movies. He has moved me in so many ways. He has brought me to tears through movies like Blood Diamond and Dead Poets Society. He has inspired me to act through movies like Braveheart and Schindler’s List.  The manifestation of God has opened my eyes. The question we should now all be asking ourselves is, what do we do when God shows up?

Mike Victorino – What To Do?

Beth Patterson – A Robust Universe Includes The Botched and Bungled

Jeff Goins – The Manifestation Of God

Jeremy Myers – Pagan Prophecies Of Christ

Mark Smith – Manifestation Of God

Minnow – When God Shows Up

Alan Knox – A Day I Saw Jesus

Ellen Haroutunian – Stories of Epiphany

Liz Dyer – God Breaking Through Moments

Kathy Escobar – orphans

Josh Morgan – The Manifestation Of God

Steve Hayes – Theophany: the manifestation of God

Sarah Bessey – In which Annie opens the door of her heart

Christine Sine – Eve of Epiphany – We Have Come, We Have Seen, Now We Must Follow

Tammy Carter – Paralysis In His Presence

Katherine Gunn – Who Is God

Peter Walker – Epiphany Outside Theophany (Outside Christianity)

Annie Bullock – God With Us