Explosions and Tori Amos? Both got me thinking…

April 17, 2009 — Leave a comment

sinThere is a laboratory where I work that does research on “extreme deformation and failure of materials and structures.” That’s basically a scientific way of saying that they blow stuff up to see its limits and recommend solutions.  I know, pretty cool! I’ve been to the test range, but they weren’t testing at the time – maybe someday.  The scientists and staff there do some pretty cool research that saves lives of people in a number of situations.

So that is the Explosions part – now on to Tori…

I was surfing iTunes last night and saw that Tori Amos‘ new CD is called Abnormally Attracted to Sin.  Intrigued by the CD title, I did a Google search and found an interview where she talked about her new CD (whose title is a line from Guys and Dolls) and the impetus behind it.  Interesting article – here are some excerpts:

I’m drawn to questioning what traditional authorities have defined sin to be. As a minister’s daughter, I’ve been exposed to the traditional belief system. [Sin] has been used to shame and control people. If you’re controlled by a religious structure, then you’re going to have a very different outlook on life and what you’re open to than if you’re not controlled by these old, crumbling concepts.

I guess I was never a Bible-thumping Christian; I was always trying to question because I had so much religion in my upbringing. I was drawn to those people and those ideas that weren’t accepted necessarily, and it’s not because these ideas in reality are “evil” — that’s just the perception that’s being given. The reality I was brought up in was, “Anything that doesn’t work within the Christian doctrine is sinful.” And that’s a lot of stuff.”

My thoughts – combining both (I write this directed toward Christ followers…me most of all!  I will not pass judgment on Tori or others who ascribe to her line of thinking.):

Just like the scientists at my company with their experiments and many people in general (Christian or non-Christian), how often we casually test the limits of God’s tolerance of sin in our lives – “lightning didn’t strike” or “nothing bad happened” it’s not so bad…  Abnormally attracted to sin…hey, we’re normally attracted to sin!  It’s almost like we rationalize and categorize our sin: murder – bad, pride – “eh, he’s a lot worse than I am!”, and on goes the limit testing.

This quarter, I’m leading a Sunday school on Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love.  A Spirit-inspired book that really challenged me when I first read it – if you have not read it, it is definitely a book to get.

Related to this subject – and from Chapter One, Chan writes:

“God is the only Being who is good and the standards are set by Him.  When we disagree [with His standards] let’s not assume it’s His reasoning that needs correction.

It takes a lot for us to comprehend God’s total hatred for sin.  You and I are not allowed to tell Him how much He can hate it.

God never excuses sin.  And He is always consistent with that ethic.  Whenever we start to question whether God really hates sin, we have only to think of the cross, where His Son was tortured, mocked, and beaten because of sin. Our sin.”

Further, I only need to read Romans 5 and 6 (as well as many other passages) to adjust my course.  I must use God’s Word as my guide and criteria for defining sin – not public or personal opinion on what is OK, tolerable, or acceptable.

Praise God for the free gift of salvation and His amazing grace!

All I can say is:

Standard Setter and Grace Giver,
You’ve lovingly defined sin for me in easy-to-understand language in Your Word.  Forgive me for naively thinking that I get to define what sin is for You at any given moment or in particular situations.  May Your Holy Spirit be free to convict me when I test the limits – and may my heart be humble and open to accept Your correction.  Kind Savior, I desire to be a slave to righteousness…help me in my attempts.

So Father, stumbling forward I go – upheld by You alone,
my kind, awesome, and loving Lord!


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