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I must confess something. When I was in High School, I was…a bit of a prat, actually. Kind of a Goody-Two-Shoes. It’s true. I kind of had to be, just because I lived in California, and everyone else seemed so…well, I want to say “damned,” but trust me, I never would have used that word back then.

I was one of those kids who didn’t believe in Santa Claus, ever, and didn’t celebrate Halloween. I didn’t listen to secular music. I was a staunch little evangelical, and a Republican, to boot. I also disliked peace symbols (a broken, upside-down cross) and yin-yangs.

You know yin yangs—those swirly little symbols with a little dot of the opposite color on the inside of each half? I didn’t like them because I read that they symbolized that there is a little bad in every good, and a little good in every bad. And, being the rational child of modernity that I was (and still am, in many respects) I concluded that this was false, since God clearly had no evil in him, and the devil clearly had no good in him. So. Yin-yangs=taboo.

Even now, I shy away from peace symbols and yin-yangs. But I must admit my feelings have changed a little. After all, outside those two absolutes I mentioned, God and the devil, isn’t everything else in this life kind of…mixed? I mean, even as Christians, as new creations, don’t we still wrestle with our sin nature? And in those who are not yet saved, despite being lost and fallen, isn’t there something that Christ, through us, wants to redeem?

Redemption is a tricky, sticky thing.

It’s one of those things that sounds easy in theory, but is harder in practice. Common Christian knowledge would have us believe that Maturity, growing closer to God, means pulling away from the world. Being sensitive to things that would grieve Him. Cutting out bad things in life. And that’s true—to a point.

Consider, though, that Christ spent his ministry years among the poor, broken, and degenerate of his society. He didn’t keep himself away from all that might taint Him. Instead, He was able to see so clearly and Love so fiercely that even today He is redeeming the Lost.

It’s hard, sometimes, I think, in this world that is so mixed, to find the redeemable. We’d like to draw very clear, dividing lines to say This is Sacred, and That is Secular; This is White, and That is Black, This is Good, and That is Bad. This is Christian; but That is Not. Certainly we have been given standards and rules and guidelines on how to keep ourselves pure and set apart. But when we try to apply these things arbitrarily to something like, movies—for example: Rated ‘R’ movies are Bad!—I think we run into trouble.

Does Redeemability apply only to people? I don’t believe so. I think Christ came to redeem the whole earth. And we know one day, Someday, He will. Until then…what?

Let me first say that I don’t have all the answers. But here’s what I think. I think sometimes we get so caught up in seeing the bad in things that we write them off. We throw everything out—bathwater, baby, and all. I know sometimes it might seem like there is precious little good in something. But I still say you never know what God may use.

This could be said of so many things—situations, movies, books, even people. It’s so easy to disregard something because it looks ‘bad’ at first glance. I’m not advocating filling our heads and hearts and lives with garbage just to sift through for a little treasure. All I’m saying is that it might be nice if we kept our eyes open for the good we can pull out of things. As Arthur F. Holmes says, "All truth is God's truth." He has given us so many glimpses of Him throughout so many areas of life. There are fingerprints of our Creator left on the entire universe. Perhaps we can use those things to point others toward Him.

Just a thought.