Spiritual Tension

In a town like Nashville you see a lot of "spiritual tension". I would define spiritual tension as seeing or experiencing things that one might not think to quite line up with the spiritual, Jesus follow life but are happening none the less.

For instance, I am sitting at a coffee shop right now and as I peer out the window in front of me I see a kid, probably my age or a few years younger reading his bible and smoking a Camel Light, or some other form of cigarette.

In my mind that is a bit of spiritual tension.

I remember seeing a TV show a while back showing a church planter who planted a church in a night club. So Monday through Saturday the venue was a place for young people to party and Sunday morning it was a place for young people to praise. There is a bit of spiritual tension there but personally I think that is totally rad. The real spiritual tension arose when I saw a video of this particular pastor preaching in the night club, holding his Bible in one hand and his Jack and Coke in the other.

In my mind that is a good bit of spiritual tension.

In Nashville I feel like I see things like this all the time. Things that confessing Christ followers are doing or are participating in that just seem a bit tension filled in my head.

But I’m wondering, how many of these things are only tension because of my conservative Christian upbringing? And how many of these things are tension filled because they are antithetical with a truly spiritual filled life?

And how many things do I not see as tension filled that absolutely are? Another great question, right!

Holiness :: Something I believe to be extremely important for the Christian life is, I believe much more about who we are then what we do. It’s about being rather than doing as Henri Nouwen said yesterday.

So does smoking a cigarette or have a Jack and Coke make you less holy as He is holy? Does working with homeless people, having a class of wine, going to church, buying expensive jeans, investing a lot of money in the stock market, being a missionary in Africa, living in a fancy house, buying expensive cars, working at a Church, serving in the military or protesting for peace make you more or less holy?

It’s really hard for my preconditioned head to think through this because I have knee jerk reactions to some of these things but when I sit back and really think through the issues and really think about what holiness really is and is not I’m not sure any of these things should define our holiness but I know they do.

hmmmm...  thinking...

Your thoughts?