Physical. Mental. Spiritual. These are the worlds that we can come to know. Physically, beyond ourselves is the potential of what we could do physically. Beyond the mental is our future knowledge and understandings. What is beyond the spiritual is simply beyond me.
Out of all the articles, my biggest interest was drawn into the discussion of yoga. I’ve been previously interested in many eastern practices and new age ideas and understanding our place as Christians in this changing and post-modern world. Experiencing exorcisms and understanding the roots of where demonic activity comes from, I’ve learned that not everything is simply physical alone. And I am having a hard time believing that we can do physical acts and make them solely good based on our own simple intentions of the heart.
I think of the book of Daniel and the bowing down to the golden idol. The physical act of getting on your knees in worship cannot be explained away as “worshipping Yahweh” no matter what the intention of your heart is. The buddies of Daniel knew that they could not simply say, “I do the physical act of bowing and make my intentions to worship Yahweh and partake in this cultural practice.”
And in Exodus 32, Aaron said, “This is your God, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt” (32:4). He was referring to the golden calf created out of the gold brought out of Egypt. He was unsure where the fellow Moses has gone and perhaps decided to depend on his self to bring a benefit, most specifically saving his skin. As a consequence, this golden calf that Aaron made while Moses was on the mountain brought death because of how jealous our God is for our love. God stated that the people have become corrupt in verse 7.
And I question what is the line between redeeming culture and becoming like the world, becoming like all men so that I may save some (1 Cor 9:22)? What is the line of keeping our bodies healthy and finding stress relief and doing a physical practice that may not be honoring for God, no matter what our intention may be. In this logic, I would wonder when redeeming practices like tarot cards, palm reading, horoscopes, sufi whirling, and even haitian voodoo dance rituals into Christian practices will become popular.
After this 6th edition is done, I’ll be graduating with my double major from Multnomah University. It’s been quite the journey starting the Muse from scratch and looking in hindsight at this point. As the team grew and more responsibilities discovered and empowered towards others, we realize there is so much more we can grow and learn.
This is the last time as Editor for Muse Magazine, and the baton is being passed to another whom I wish will carry on what has been created and pushed past our expectations. I have dreams of one day becoming someone to engage all aspects of cultures around the world and bring peace to this world by means of conflict resolution. Because this world needs more people to stand in the gap and mediate and stand for the cause of justice, for Christ was the ultimate Mediator to us. In His sacrifice and death, He brought life. And I rejoice in that. I am happy because I don’t need to fix myself up to go to Him for satisfaction. He is my provider and redeemer. He is my stress relief.
–Aaron Esparza is a senior Communication Studies major.