Saturday, July 19, 2008

(Proverbs 18:2) "A fool finds no pleasure in understanding
but delights in airing his own opinions."
This is an interesting verse, isn't it? I try to keep it in mind when I am blogging. It comes to mind frequently when I review discussion threads about religion.

Everyone has an opinion. Not so many people care about true truth. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me." (John 14:6)

Many people are sure that this is just a statement of Christian arrogance, so they arrogantly say that it can't be true. To them every religion is pretty much the same. For them hell is an abominable thought. They believe science has proved there is no god. They chafe at the idea they should subject themselves to biblical morality. The idea that Jesus is the exclusive way of salvation offends them.
(Proverbs 18:2) "A fool finds no pleasure in understanding
but delights in airing his own opinions."
To what authority do they appeal? "Everybody knows..." "Most scientists believe..." or, most prominently - "I think..."

So on these social networking pages and discussion threads we find much more heat than light. Very few facts. Very few appeals to scripture. Very few references to any authority.

Autonomy is the god of the age.
(Proverbs 14:12) "There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Millions of young people know amazing details about the history, technology and personalities of fictional worlds - Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, The Matrix, Harry Potter, etc.

What does this mean? Is it just a harmless hobby? Is it possible that entertainment is so huge in American culture that the lines between fact and fiction are blurred? Is it possible that some people don't know the difference between real life and entertainment?

Why are entertainers paid more than teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyers, scientists, etc.? Why are entertainers sought out as spokespeople for various products and causes. (Remember the ad, "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV...?)

Have you noticed the magazines and newspapers in the checkout lines at Wal-Mart? They are all about entertainers - who they are marrying or divorcing or living with. Whether they are fat or thin, sick or healthy, happy or sad, in love or out of love. Many magazines provide interviews with the stars - their advice on gardening, cooking, relationships (!), politics, religion and careers. Why should an entertainer have any special credibility when talking about anything outside of their field of expertise? But they do.

I am fascinated by the books of information detailing the history of fictional civilizations in fictional worlds of science fiction. People clearly spend lots of time memorizing these histories so they can discuss it with other people for hours on end. (What if they spent this much energy and attention learning math, science or real history?) They even debate what WOULD have been (fictionally) true if something else had happened in the fictional storyline.

The religion of Scientology was developed by a science fiction writer named Ron Hubbard. This "religion's" narrative of origins is indistinguishable from science fiction writings and is based on no objective authority other than the writings of Hubbard. How interesting that the major spokespersons for this group are entertainers!

I think that the focus on entertainment is a dangerous trend. Instead of living a life of real meaning a purpose, people are pouring their energies and resources into fiction. There is a place for entertainment, but this is beyond diversion or recreation.

People need to live in the real world and be grounded in the truth. They need to give the best of their resources to finding the meaning and fulfilling the purpose that has been given to them by their Creator.

(Hebrews 9:27) "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,"

Will God be impressed at the judgment, by a thorough knowledge of the blueprints of the Starship Enterprise?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Godliness is a moral choice

Over time you meet all kinds of people. There are people who are very meek and quiet. There are people who are bold and loud. Here is a gentleman, there is a roughneck. You meet intellectuals who pride themselves on their deep thinking and broad scope of knowledge. You meet others who avoid any intellectual pursuit to live according to the impulses of the moment.

How does temperament/personality/culture affect your relationship with God? How does your relationship with God affect your personality? If a person is arrogant, outspoken, and sarcastic - can that person be godly? If a person is meek, quiet, and non-confrontational - is that person godly?

The Bible says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2Corinthians 5:17) This certainly implies that people who come to know Christ will be transformed by the experience.

The Bible urges the disciples, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:1-2)

Pursuing godliness requires pursuing personal changes that honor God. The godly person is not serving SELF, but Christ. The godly person is not living by the values of this world, but by heavenly values. The godly person is not controlled by temperament, culture or personality - but by the word of God applied by the Spirit of God.

A person's underlying personality might not change - but their use of that personality must be brought into the service of Christ.

No more excuses... "It's just the way I am." "It's the way I was brought up." "I'm just outspoken." "I'm just being true to myself." "I don't know any other way."

The godly person is one who has come to believe in Christ Jesus. This person has seen himself as a sinner and has repented of his sins. He has turned from the false gods of this world and has committed himself to following the One True and Living God. This person has made a decision that by God's help he will accept his responsibility to choose the things that are right in God's sight. No excuses.

Godliness is a moral choice.