Thursday, May 24, 2007

another day, another dollar.

As I strolled in late to work this morning, toting a Jimmy John's gourmet sub, I couldn't help but wonder what exciting challenges were awaiting me when I logged into my workstation.

I found none so I promptly loaded some Shane and Shane songs into Winamp to begin a leisurely day of surfing the webz and eating sandwiches.

Shane and Shane have a new song called Embracing Accusations that they've been doing live, and will be on their next studio album. It's due out in August, so there isn't a good quality recording, but this video has been good enough to get a good listen in. It is a really excellent song.

Apparently Shane wrote it when he was feeling bombarded with the message that he just wasn't good enough. He was reading Galatians 3:10.

10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law."

It is easy to be discouraged by this message. We are not good enough to do it alone. For most of the people I know that aren't Christians, this is the problem. Our works just can't cut it.

If you keep reading though...Galatians 3:13.

13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us--for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"--

We don't have to be good enough! Hallelujah.

If you only get the first half of the message of Christianity,
the part where we can't do it ourselves,

the part that some people think is the ONLY part!

That part is depressing. That part is only half of the truth though. Don't get me wrong, it is an important part. A hard piece to the puzzle. But if I'd have only ever heard that part, I wouldn't want anything to do with God either.

C.S. Lewis wrote about (I think it was in the Screwtape Letters) how the devil is not a creator. He didn't make sin, or make murder, or invent gossip, or concoct a serum of lies. He's not good enough. He's not that clever.

What the devil does is take one of God's creations and twists them. He takes what is good and perverts it. The reason that this is so effective is because God built in our wants and desires for the GOOD things he creates. So when the devil takes a good thing and twists it, it appeals to our natural, and GOOD, desires.

The abuse that follows, naturally, is the problem.

What I find really interesting about this song (yes I am getting somewhere!) is that the devil is using the WORD against us! What an unlikely candidate for temptation. I am less surprised when the devil tempts me with sex or alcohol or delicious food. What a good little strategy he has come up with here. Highlight the pieces that tells us we aren't good enough, oh and skip the next couple verses, those make it clear that you don't have to be.

Well guess what, you forgot the best part buddy.

We are redeemed.


He is right. And that's just fine by me.


Here are the lyrics of the song:

Father of lies, coming to steal kill and destroy
All my hopes of being good enough
I hear him saying, “cursed are the ones who can’t abide”

He’s right, halleluia, he’s right
The devil is preaching the song of the redeemed
That I am cursed and gone astray
I cannot gain salvation
Embracing accusation

Could the father of lies be telling the truth of
God to me tonight?
That if the penalty of sin is death, then death is mine
I hear him saying, “cursed are the ones who can’t abide”

The devil’s singing over me an age old song
That I am cursed and gone astray
Singing the first verse so conveniently over me
He’s forgotten the refrain.
Jesus Saves!

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