Remnants of a Sore/Conspiratorial/Grieving Yet Hopeful Week

1. I recently began a new workout regimen. I’m trying to ease myself back into a consistent weight training program for the first time since college.

I read a lot from the experts about “muscle confusion” as the way to go. After three days into the plan, I think I know what they are talking about. Every time I work out my muscles are severely confused as to what the heck is going on. They cry out with unwarranted pools of lactic acid, “Why are you doing this to us!?”

When I pick up my two year old son, Josiah, I now have to prepare myself mentally like I’m about to clean & jerk a new Olympic record.

2. I’ve recently been pointed towards an interesting subculture in the world of Christian conspiracy theory. G. Craige Lewis of “Ex Ministries” brings to light some interesting parallels of modern Hip Hop and the occult. It’s a shady underground that includes many radical claims, such as: Jay-Z is a leading member of the Illuminati and Beyonce is a practicing black magic witch. What the Ordo Templi Orientis, Freemasons, and the biblical Nephilim have in common with contemporary Hip Hop can make for one twisted and fascinating tale.

Of course, all of this should be taken with a healthy grain of salt, but I am surprised to admit that behind the shock value there is more smoke than one would first imagine. Many hip hop artists use some very heavy handed and dark symbolism in their lyrics, videos, and performances (Jay-Z has claimed to be “God” multiple times). Whether hip hop artists liberal use of these occultic themes is consciously subversive or merely for entertainment purposes, I don’t know. But this ancient symbolism comes from somewhere, and if not from Scripture, then what are the other options?

Left Eye Triangle? This dude must be a 33rd degree Mason!

If we can learn anything from fringe ministries like Beale’s, it’s at least that we should be careful to filter what popular culture is preaching to us. Everyone worships something or someone, and everyone has a theology of God, even Lil Wayne and Lady Gaga.

One should also be equally careful when delving into the cult of conspiracy theory. Too much tinkering in the darkness and you may find yourself groping in a rabbit hole of fanaticism for awhile (ahem, Jack Van Impe). Know the biblical gospel and share it boldly. Every “principality” and “power of the air” must submit to King Jesus in the end.

3. Jessica’s grandmother, Francis Pitner, died Monday of this week. The past month the doctor found her body was racked with an aggressive form of cancer, and her passing was as relatively quick and painless as one could hope.

She was known for going straight “Jerry Lewis” on the piano in her heyday, and up to recently her signature peach pies would make you smack your momma twice. She passed on her legacy of discount and antique hunting to her youngest granddaughter (my wife).

Most importantly, she loved Jesus and believed she would be healed up until the end. Well, in His presence she is ultimately healed forevermore.

At her viewing, I picked up Josiah to show him his “Manny” for the last time. He looked with a slight grin and put a little finger to his mouth, “Shhhhh! She’s sleeping!”

Yes, she is. She is only dead to this fallen world. And she has awakened to real life now, unbroken intimacy with the Father and Son (John 17:3).

Bryan Daniels

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

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