Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Spit and the Siloam

(WARNING: The following blog contains opinions that will be offensive to some audiences. Reader caution is advised.)

Spit and the Siloam I get. But I don't understand the concept of a mud wrap. I just don't.

While in Dallas recently, I stopped at a salon for a pedicure. A well-dressed woman soon glided in and announced she was there for her mud wrap. I watched as she paid $75 - plus a tip - to be slathered in cool mud and then rinsed off - all within 45 minutes. Good grief. I would have dug a hole in the backyard of Freeman House, turned on the water hose, and let her stay all day for $10. Of course, I don't have Dead Sea mud, and I doubt my backyard mud "detoxifies". But whatever.

Yeah, the concept of a mud wrap is lost on me. As I was sitting in the salon, I started thinking about mud. About mud being slathered in weird places in the name of relaxation and/or healing. I began to wish I owned part of the Ninnescah River (seen here). It's shallow and muddy and I could sell tickets to well-dressed, gliding women in search of $75 mud wraps. I could serve smoothies on the shore, and could retire by 30.

Then I thought of that story in John. You remember... the one where Jesus heals the blind guy with near-Dead Sea mud?

As He (Jesus) went along, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked Him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." Having said this, He spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes. "Go," He told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam." So the man went and washed and came home seeing. - John 9: 1-3, 6-7

Now this kind of mud wrap I understand! But not the salon ones. To me, they make about as much sense as this whole Positive Confession/"Name-It-and-Claim-It" movement that's sweeping some churches today.

Yeah. Speaking of muddy, murky, shallow things - I'm tired of hearing that if only we believed enough, or spoke enough positive things, we wouldn't be sick. Or poor. Or in 2004 Hyundais. (Why should we be when God obviously wants EVERYONE who's smart enough to claim a 2007 Lincoln to drive a 2007 Lincoln?) I'm tired of television evangelists and authors shouting at us to "speak it as though it were". I, for one, think it's bordering on ridiculous. I'm not God. I'm made in His image, but I'm not God. I won't pretend that my words - even backed by the sincerest of faith - can manipulate a holy and awesome God into granting my every desire and whim. He is an omnipotent deliverer, not a divine genie. I mean, our blind, mud-wrap guy was obviously blind because God had a bigger plan for his life. He could have walked (or stumbled) around all day "speaking" himself into 20/20 vision... "claiming" that he could see... but until he was touched by Jesus, our blind guy was just that - blind. Words didn't heal this guy. Positive confessions didn't restore his sight. A visit from the Omnipotent Deliverer did.

Yeah, so I'm not a wealthy TV evangelist. Or a seminary graduate. I don't have any degrees in theology. And I don't drive a 2007 Lincoln. I'm just the girl who sits in mud-wrapping salons reading about Spit and the Siloam.

And as long as you guys got me talking mud wraps, I think I've decided that Freeman House will be offering them next spring for a nominal fee. And if the Positive Confessors can't speak enough rain to make a mud pit, we'll turn on the water hose.

It's no spit and the Siloam, but it's a start....


Anonymous said...

Wow, I mean wow, someone lit a fire under you today huh? I couldn't agree with you more. Wish you had talked about how this movement is a "Christian" branch off of New Age and Christian Science beliefs that Christians (or certain believers) are little gods and therefore capable of speaking their deepest desires and whims, as you said, into reality. God does not exist to make Christians happy, wealthy, and wise; He came to seek and to save that which was lost. Christians who view themselves as powerful as God are swallowing the same lie Lucifer bought and fell (from grace) for. And Christians who view God as a softy benevolent diety are setting themselves up for just as hard of a fall.

Thought provoking stuff, sweet girl, I just hope Hagee doesn't read your blog or you'll have to hire me as your bodyguard. Jeff

Anonymous said...

You obviously don't have a Bible because if you did you would have read Matthew 17/20. He replied, Because you have so little faith I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to there and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. See, you are just a girl sitting in a salon and should keep your own close-minded ideas of religion to yourself.

Anonymous said...

You know who you sound like? That Molly Ivins woman in the Dallas paper with the big mouth and sarcastic slant on the world! You should try things before you knock 'em!

Brin said...

Hmmmm.... You compared me to Molly Ivins? Really?? Forgive me if I take that as a back-handed compliment! While Ivins and I are on completely opposite ends of the political spectrum, I respect her ability to humorously push issues and debate to the forefront. You forget - I'm an old reporter. If you're trying to offend me you'll have to try harder. Regardless, thanks for the opinion, and thanks for reading me! Brin

Anonymous said...

Being an "old reporter" (and how old are you? twenty something?) doesn't make you an expert on the things in life. You have a mighty long road to travel and many things yet to learn. I like reading your blogs.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Some people say very mean things to my very wonderful friend! I completely respect your opinion as a Christian, even if I don't completely agree with it. I'm not completely "decided" on this issue, but I know one thing with absolute certainty -- even if you have faith the size of a mountain, if you're speaking something outside of God's will, you won't get even something the size of a mustard seed.
Please don't let these "older, wiser" folks dissuade you from speaking (or writing) what's on your heart. If you've got misconceptions, it's up to God to change your mind -- He's your loving Daddy. You're not "just a girl" with "a mighty long road to travel". (Ugh -- for people who supposedly believe in the extreme power of words, why would they speak such nastiness over you?!) You are a wise woman growing in the grace and knowledge of your Master.
I love your blogs -- you're so talented -- I'll definitely read your book ;-)

Anonymous said...

As a m1ss10n@ry in a foreign country, I have to say you are right on. (I have to "doctor" certain words to keep them from getting picked up by ppl here...) The chch in America seems to have fallen for it's easy society, and everyone is scared to death to offend anyone. I realize Paul said to try and not offend our brothers and sisters, but the fact of the matter is, TRUTH is offensive. Otherwise, the religious leaders of His time wouldn't have hated JC, and wouldn't have broken laws to get Him killed. As you stated in another post, His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. He gives only when it is His will to give, and we cannot dictate that will no matter how much "faith" we decide we have. He is the potter, we are the clay, and it will never be the other way around no matter how many mustard seeds you have. The key to this whole issue I believe lies in Psa1ms. It says "Delight yourself in the Lrd, and He will give you the desires of your heart." I am pretty certain this means that if you are finding your delight in the Lrd and His Truth, and not in material possessions, social status, or whatever we are supposed to "name and claim," He will give us the desires He wants us to have in our heart, and our hearts will then reflect His heart, and we will want what He wants. His desires will become our desires, not the other way around.

As for keeping thoughts to yourself?? You are free to write anything you want on your blog site, and if someone doesn't want to know what you think, well, they don't have to read your blog, do t they? No matter how young or old we are, we will never have it all figured out, and we will never understand everything about G*d, His plans, His will, or His timing. If we did, then we would be G*d. And if we knew Him better, we would remember to season our criticism with love, not harsh words as the W0rd tells us to do.

So, keep writing, keep working through things the Father suggests to you. Even if you change your mind about something you post, I will still respect you for working out your sa1v@tion on the internet!

Anonymous said...

I say this with all the gentleness that I can. I'm not sure of the beliefs behind your arguments, and I grant you that He is a loving God who cares for us and gives us bread when we ask for it and not a snake. He is a much better father to us than we are to our own children, He says so in His Word. I do agree with Brin, however, in that all throughout the Bible especially in the New Testament; often times God chooses to allow hardship for the sake of making us into a more perfect image of His Son. Again, I don't know what sort of religious background any of you come from; but I would ask you to consider this: Consider sitting down with believers in other parts of the world and having this same discussion. Consider sitting down among the house churches in China who are constantly threatened of losing their homes, being seperated from their families, and being beaten simply because they hold to the name of Christ. Consider sitting down with the a congregation of Uzbek believers who have just lost their pastor to a sniper's bullet. Consider sitting in a grass field underneath a tree, meeting with West African Christians who are content with one meal a day. Consider trying to convince these brothers and sisters of the faith; who routinely take the few Bibles they have apart, book by book and pass the parts of the Bible around within their village; that if only they had more faith, they might not have to die for Christ, they might not have to live with so little. Promise them that if they would only ask and believe they too could live in a nice big house, with a two car garage, and all the take-out they could stand. I simply ask that as you read the Bible, as you work out your salvation in fear and trembling, try to read it with eyes that are open to God's story as a whole and not just what you experience from day to day.