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feelings and Jesus

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{ Now playing: the 77s, "The Stellazine Prophecy (live)"; New Order, "The Perfect Kiss"; [a track of Pakistani techno];
Recent movies: Samurai Jack (premiere)*****; Luther*****; Kandahar****; Cloud of Witness (disc 2)***;
Recent books: II Samuel; Epistle to the Hebrews; Koch, The History of Prussia; Luther, Selected Psalms I; Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons;

A conversation today triggered a thought line.

A great deal is made, in theology and otherwise, about how one *feels* because of thus and such a doctrine. As though, really, what we were to be all about teaching was -- how to feel! How to feel correctly!


The 'Jesus is my best bud' ideology of charismatics, is, of course, a popular target for just this criticism. Not entirely unjustly.

But the important thing about Jesus isn't how he makes me feel, or how I feel about Jesus. Honestly, some days he makes me quite irate.

His dying perfection and transformation have entirely taken away from me the Sloth-induced fantasy of a sufficiently-moral life of declining mediocrity, covered by indulgent hand-wringing and sighs over my ultimately deadly disorders of the soul. Instead of festering in a gangrenous stew of my own hate and greed, I'm dead.

How I feel about this isn't particularly material -- I'm dead, you see. Every change forward from death only happens because of Jesus' resurrection -- things *actually* change because of him. And the things that are happening are good -- some are just foretastes, but -- the restoration of the cosmos is promised.

Obviously, it takes a bit of faith to believe that. Fortunately, forcing one's feelings be aligned with the faith at all times isn't some sort of necessity -- as I said, it is Jesus (the resurrected one) who is *doing things*, rather than oneself. Sufficient to the day are the troubles thereof. Trust that he has the matter in hand, even if you feel it's doubtful. I know that's what I do...

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