A New Chain?
I don’t read a lot of blogs anymore, Christian or otherwise. In a world where churches are obsessed with “feeding” people, and people are obsessed with “getting fed,” I find that I’m pretty fed up. As a result, I don’t write that much anymore (as you can probably tell, if you’ve tried following this blog). I figure you’re all about fed up, too.
Today, however, I ran across one of those gems that was worth reading, and worth sharing. It doesn’t hurt that the post included a couple of choice strips from “Pearls Before Swine,” and a video of Derek Webb’s “A New Law,” which I had totally forgotten about. In my opinion, it’s possibly the only decent “Christian” song recorded in the couple of decades. Here’s the opening of L.R.E. Larkin’s Mockingbird post, “Run, Dog, Run!”
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
I’ve written on Stephan Pastis’ work before; Pearls before Swine is my favorite comic strip, and I read it daily. Pastis typically displays what we might call “great acumen about human nature.” And he’s done it again here in the above (and below) strips.
It’s naïve Pig’s response that caught my eye. When asked why he’s excited, Chained-up Dog replies with tremendous enthusiasm, “New Chain!!” Pig’s right, being excited about a new chain is quite optimistic. In fact, it’s nothing to be excited about, because it’s not good news—the dog is still chained up. But, truth be told, don’t we all get excited about the new thing/behavior/rule/diet/routine that will be the key to real success, to us finally achieving control over our lives. It’s in our fallen nature to be oriented as such. I’ve seen this in my own life, and I’m sure you’ve seen it in your own. I’ve seen it in my tendency to be attracted to the newest diet craze (where are we now, gluten?) to my fruitless efforts to watch just one show at night (wait…how is it 12am?). I desperately try to control broken behavior with behavioral changes, and that is just switching out an old law for a new one; that’s not freedom and it’s certainly nothing to be excited about.
The good news is that the Gospel is not a new chain, a new law. It is a word of freedom, silencing the law and its tyranny in my life, in our lives.
Couldn’t have said it better, myself. Read the rest of the post here, along with the video I promised.