Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Life in the Biodome

In the mid-90's there was a movie called Biodome in which Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin starred. The movie itself was a bit silly, but for the past two or three months I have had the concept and nature of a biodome on my mind and in my spirit. In the movie, the biodome was simply a glorified terrarium (a usually transparent enclosure for keeping or raising plants or usually small animals indoors). Picture a self-sufficient environment where food is readily available and no contact with the outside world is necessary. The plants feed off the light and soil and in turn provide food for the animals. The moisture that is trapped inside serves to water the plants and animals. It's an Eden - a utopia. Why? Everything you need is inside and therefore no contact with the "outside" is necessary. You are free to make everything perfect according to how you like it. Nobody can mess with you. It's the ultimate comfortzone.

But there's a problem.

Despite our human, fleshly desires and attempts to satisfy ourselves and build our own utopia, we simply were not wired that way. We were made in God's image. God loved the "outside" so much that He sacrificed His only Son in order to help those on the outside. Jesus left His comfortzone and allowed Himself to be tortured.

It seems to me that many of us as Christians have created our own biodomes. Yes, God has given us "everything we need for life and Godliness." He has promised to meet all of our needs "according to His riches in glory." I could list all the ways that God has blessed us and provided for us, but you get the point. So what do we do now? Many of us have built ourselves huts smack dab in the middle of the biodome in order to separate ourselves as much as possible from the faint cries of those outside who are hurting and need our help. Will we dare to walk up to the glass, wipe away the condensation, and look into their eyes? Are we willing to help?

Oops, one problem, that would mess with our ultimate comfortzone. We might have to rely on Someone else. We might not find things so predictable. We might have to give up some convenience. We might have to show love to someone other than ourselves.

We might have to be more like Jesus.


At 3/22/2006, Blogger Melanie Morales said...

I love that cheesy movie, by the way! Good for a laugh...

In your scenario, I'd be the one that found the back door to sneak the pizza delivery in - and end up inviting everyone to a party in the biodome!

At 3/22/2006, Blogger Patchouli said...

great, great post. And isn't Stephen Baldwin a nut for Jesus now?

At 3/23/2006, Blogger Mark D said...

Me too, Melanie! I also liked Encino Man. Weren't Pauly and Stephen together in that one too?

Yes, Patch, Stephen seems to be totally sold-out for Jesus. A couple of years ago he produced a DVD featuring extreme sports, alternative Christian music, and the Gospel message. I think it is called "Livin' It." Last I heard he launched an anti-porn campaign earlier this year. He could certainly use our prayer support.

At 3/23/2006, Blogger Patti said...

Mark, you are so right. In this age of media, you don't even have to join a church. You can watch services on TV, join listservs, blog. One person wrote on another blog that they prefer the fellowship of bloggers over their church. They didn't need the church. It scares me. While I love blogging and interacting with the people I do on the blogs, I gotta be in a church-in fellowship with Christians I see face to face. People who can hold me accountable. Sometimes I think it's too easy being a Christian in the US. But on the other hand, really following Jesus and not the Christian band wagon can be difficult.

At 3/23/2006, Blogger Ryan Kellermeyer said...

I've been catching up on your posts these last couple of days. I really like this last one. Congrats on the baby!

By the way, your fireplace looks awesome.

When I first "met" you, I was turned off by your profile. Is anyone really THAT nice? But your posts present a more balanced view of your humanity that I really appreciate. Just thought you'd find that interesting.

At 3/23/2006, Blogger Mark D said...

Just in case, I wanted to make sure people understood this was in no way an anti-Church post. It was simply a reminder that we should take what we learn at church to the real world. I'm pretty sure that's what you were saying in your comment too.

Thanks for the baby congrats! It sure would be nice if that was my fireplace in the picture, but it was taken at a reception hall after a wedding. I don't have a fireplace in my home, but I definitely love the genuine woodburning ones. I sure didn't mean to turn you off with my profile. In reality, I have had to "scale back" what I do for people because for years I was a "yes" person - I felt guilty saying no and would do anything for anybody. People started taking advantage of that. By sharing my desire to help people I was in no way implying I am perfect - FAR from it.

At 3/23/2006, Blogger CJ said...

awesome post! i really dig this. and so true too. great metaphor and great reminder to me of something i already have been thinking about lately: it's time to get off my butt and outta my comfort zone and go to where i am needed. thanks dude!

At 3/24/2006, Blogger Mandy said...

I love Stephen Baldwin:) What a testimony of how God touched him and changed him. He has taken such a stand for Jesus, no matter what the cost.

At 3/25/2006, Blogger Patti said...

I was agreeing with you. I was just reflecting on what some people have said on some blogs and in my life. The church isn't part of their life or important. They can get all their Christian support via media/internet. Scary for me. It's too easy to hide behind a persona. In a real church and the real world, you get confronted and challenged. Your Christianity and what you say you believe get challenged. Right now I am working on gossip. If I didn't have people I interact with visiably, I couldn't do it. I know your post was not anti-church.

At 3/28/2006, Blogger Kitty said...

I haven't watched that movie, but your post really challenges me to not only be in the 'ghetto' (within the four walls of the church), but practise and take what we learn in the 'ghetto' to the outside world.


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