Sunday, April 17, 2005

I'm not sure that there is such a thing as "blind submission". Once submission becomes blind, it becomes one of two things: laziness or ignorance (and often, these two aspects coexist quite peacefully). In our attitude towards God, we are never commanded to be stupid. We are commanded to be submissive. We are not commanded to ignore the world around us, but to separate from it. Our submission to God, by its very definition, is an act of submission.

Strangely enough, we are often led to believe that submission is a negative aspect of society. After all, the slaves were submissive, right? Are we supposed to be slaves? (subtext: since slavery is bad, anything in Christianity that makes it seem like slavery to me must be bad too). Obvious by now, I believe that both of these answers must be given in the negative.

Our lives must be living sacrifices to God. However many times we hear this idea over the radio, as Americans we find it incredibly easy to ignore. We think that we can be who we want to be while serving God (and if we can't, then it's God's fault for making us this way, huh?). However, while engorging ourselves in the fat of society, we can never seem to see the hypocritical truth of our statements. Unlike those who are starving to death and live in a "backwards" world without tv or internet, we are one of the few peoples in the world who can't see our own (as individuals) weakness. This has been assumed away.

Instead, we should make it our everwaking goal to submit to our authorities as much as possible (now I don't have time to discuss the concept of authority here, but I will at a later date).

In the beginning of this essay, I mentioned that blind submission leads to ignorance and/or laziness (both quite pitiable senses of character, wouldn't you say?). Nietzsche tried to solve the problem by flipping it all around. Instead of blind submission, active rebellion must be the way of truth. It is interesting how close he could have come had he not been surrounded with the same Christendom that Kierkegaard "rebelled" against. However, ultimately, rebellion to one thing means submission to another (ie what are you rebelling for?). As such, there is no such thing as "pure rebellion". Inevitably, you stand for yourself or for something external to you.

Just as the laziness and ignorance I mentioned earlier are the result of a lack of true submission to God, they are in themselves acts of rebellion against God. And this is what makes sin so egregious. It's a direct denial of what God has given.

We can easily be blind in our faith, but this quickly leads to inactivity (why should I do something if I have faith that God will do it anyway?). Inevitably inactivity (practically) brings us to the same point in spiritual development whether we're rebelling or submitting...because we're not really going anywhere. Imagine a person leading you through a dark room. If you sit down in the middle, can you really say that you're not tugging against that person's pull?

Or, if we accept the necessity of activity, we can choose to rebel or submit and ultimately, this is simply a question of where our own priorities fall. For either entails the other, and neither is not an option (for it leads back to the previous paragraph).

Ultimately, our submission must be active. Our faith must be passive. For if not, what are we?

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