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Friday, October 26, 2007

If You Think It

Why is it that "intellectuals" seem to feel such a need to attack Christianity?

This morning I was listening to a CD of a lighthearted sci-fi story that was produced for radio. Every once in a while in the story, there is a little break where two female androids talk about stuff. Often it is silly stuff, like the time they talked about what sheep dream (an homage to the title of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, the short story that the movie Blade Runner was based on). The music bed behind them is some trancelike techno music, with the ultimate effect being that the clips almost have the feel of subliminal advertising or what some might look at as some kind of mild hypnosis. Generally it's fun stuff, but this morning I was surprised to hear the androids say (I'm paraphrasing; I don't have the CD with me):
If you believe it, it is true. For you. If you believe that Jesus is your savior, He is!
The obvious implication being that Jesus as savior exists only to those who are dumb enough to swallow the whole thing. It's all in your mind. The next break with the androids in it talked about "barking up the wrong intellectual tree," accompanied by the sound of dogs barking. (To be fair, the android breaks seldom seem to have any connection with each other, but I wanted to illustrate the cynical humor present in the breaks.)

My question is this: why was Jesus targeted? Why not Mohammed or Shiva or Zeus or Krishna? Why not The Flying Spaghetti Monster, for goodness sakes? My hope is that it's because Christianity is so prevalent in Western civilization. The humor might be less obvious if the joke was about, say, Quetzalcoatl or Ra. But it does make me wonder if the attacks are because Christianity is a big target, or because of the germ of truth that nags in the back of the mind of those who struggle intellectually against God.

By definition God cannot be understood; He is the creator and we are the creation, thus the reality we live in is within and smaller than the reality He lives in, so His reality is difficult or maybe impossible to figure out unless He reveals it to us. Intellectuals like to figure things out (I ought to know, I'm one of them). Maybe smart folks "attack" God because they want to understand but can't, and it makes them afraid.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

parent gifting

I've many times heard ministers talking about how when their son or daughter approaches them with a heart of gratitude and love and asks them for something, the child can get whatever he or she wants. This is used to illustrate how God provides us what we need when we ask Him in faith. The whole metaphor seems sort of flawed to me, though... if I had unlimited funds, would I give my son anything he asked me for? If I did, he would wind up spoiled and with no appreciation for any of it! And then again... does God give me anything at all that I ask for? Of course not. If I ask to be president of the moon, it's not likely to happen, at least not until someone LIVES on the moon. If I ask to be the owner of Microsoft... well, someone already owns Microsoft. And then there are the times when we feel we have made perfectly reasonable requests of God, and yet He does not seem to come through. What about those?

So what's my point? I don't exactly know. The Word specifically tells us that God will supply all of our needs... but I don't know that it says He will supply everything we want. I would never withhold food or clothing or shelter or love from my child, but I might withhold candy or a toy in certain situations. Maybe God, as our loving Father, works things out in a similar way. Maybe there's some sort of God-logic to when He answers "want" prayers. But I guess it doesn't hurt to ask, right? "You have not because you ask not" it says!

(I don't really want to be president of the moon, though.)

Thursday, October 4, 2007


I've been thinking about what people call "spirituality" for a while now. Particularly this comes up in the arts... musicians, actors, those types. People who have no real understanding of God or religious beliefs. "I'm not religious, but I'm a very spiritual person." This bothers me, because unless you are in a relationship with God, the Bible says that you are dead spiritually. Which means that this "spirituality" has no basis in the real spirit world... it's all human emotion, empathy with other human beings or being in touch with nature, that sort of thing. In the long run, it's not spirituality... it's being human. That's not the same thing.

This becomes dangerous when just the kind of attitude I quoted before comes about: "I'm not religious, but I'm spiritual." When humanity starts being called spirituality, it leads people to intellectually believe that they are in touch with whatever "spirit" is, and so they are off the hook to figure it out: I don't need your Christianity, they might think, because I'm already very spiritual.

Spirituality is not being in touch with our feelings. It's not being in touch with The Human Race At Large. It is not feeling sympathy for things in nature. It is not a feeling of wonder at a sunrise. Spirituality is being in relationship with God. Those other things might take you somewhere into the neighborhood of spirituality, but they are the means, not the end. Spirituality is, in a nutshell, meeting God and joining His family.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Today I was walking down some stairs with a handrail, and a series of thoughts hit me in rapid succession:

1. I wonder who else has had his or her hand on this handrail?
2. Maybe nasty stinky persons... ew.
3. Maybe someone I wouldn't mind being friends with.
4. I wonder if I'd want to hold hands with those persons? I hold hands with lots of different people during prayer time at church.
5. Why would it seem repulsive to touch something someone has touched?
6. Why would it seem repulsive to touch someONE?
7. God is not repulsed by us... by ANY of us. Even the nasty stinky persons.
8. Why is that?
9. Because God doesn't look at the state of our bodies as the final indicator of our worth... He sees the worth he constructed within each of us.

All that before I reached the end of the stairway! Maybe I'm deep or maybe I'm trite, but that's my deep thought for the morning...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

White Stag

I was just listening to the Roar of Love album from 2nd Chapter of Acts. The album is based on The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and the last song, "White Stag," is about the hunt for the stag at the end of the book. Interesting how the children, now grown into adults, begin to see landmarks of their previous journey (the lamppost is the main example) but have forgotten what the landmarks are. They follow the signs anyway, and they wind up children in "our" world again. Since the white stag is clearly a symbol for Aslan/Christ (or maybe for the Holy Spirit, since Aslan generally appears in the books as a lion?), the picture that presented itself to me was this: when we grow "old" and have lost sense of the true landmarks of our spiritual journey, sometimes God will lead us into a place where we can become children again.

Food for thought.