Thursday, July 24, 2014

Warped Together

Everyone who has a passion or hobby of some sort grows to love very specific things within that passion. For a guitarist, he might love the stiffness of a certain, rare guitar pick. For the runner, they find the particular pair of running shoes that best aids the way that their feet... hit the ground? I don't know. I can only speak of what I do know.

I am a prestidigitator - a sleight-of-hand artist, if you will. I love working with playing cards specifically, and I've learned a few things about my own tastes. I like it when card manufacturers use a thicker stock of playing card paper, like Studs (out of production). I appreciate the Linoid finish used on Tally-Ho's. I greatly value the packet-ability of Bee Wynn playing cards. This might all be Greek to you, but to me, I find great pleasure and happiness in appreciating the details. However, the flip-side of that appreciation is finding great annoyance when something is just a little bit wrong.

Warped playing cards.

It's hard to describe just how much I am disgusted with warped playing cards. Even the slightest curve make fan spreads feel wrong. They make you hate to spring the cards, because you know you will only add more distortion to the deck. And you cringe every time you see someone perform a riffle shuffle without completing it (the bridge thing), for you know that they are bending the cards without accomplishing an equal action that will unbend them. It's hard to watch.

One thing that you notice about bent playing cards is that it's almost never just one card that is warped. It is every single card in the entire deck - they are all warped together, with the same horridly unnatural twist running through the whole deck. If it was just one, you might be able to fix it; an entire deck cannot be salvaged. You must put up with them, throw them away, or do what I do and give them to people who want to play a game of cards so that you don't have to give them anything out of your more expensive decks. Selfish? Perhaps - I have 70.
You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. (Galatians 5)
The fact of the matter is that we are the lump. You and me? Lump. The whole church of Christ? Lump. A lump of dough cannot be separated. You can't go into it and begin to separate the water from the flour. So whatever you do to one portion of it affects the rest. If you set a lump of dough on a table, with just the end of it peeking over the cliff, what happens? It is not just the little piece on the end that falls, it is a whole section of dough.

Just like a deck of cards, the church acts cohesively. If it allows false teaching in, large amounts of those who aren't careful will be poisoned with lies (as was happening to the Galatians). If someone in the church continues to remain in unrepentant sin, it will affect the people around him. We warp together. It is for this reason that we must be exceedingly careful about what we allow into this deck.

Oh, that we might let go of our self-centeredness and grasp the gravity of the reality that we are all responsible for each other - that what we do has ripple effects for those who God chose to be near to us. Let us not sit with our hands folded at the effects of our own sin and the onslaught of false, demonic teaching.

For this we have been doing far too long.


Post a Comment