Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Foot in mouth disease

Day 2 of the Pat Robertson digesting his foot saga is upon us.

Now, the leader of the Christian Coalition (that name makes me wince because of his propensity to step in a pile) says he was misquoted yesterday about advocating the assassination of Hugo Chavez, the democratically elected president of Venezuela.

Robertson claims he meant kidnap or something other than kill Mr. Chavez. Hmmm. Here is the quote and I'll let you decide:

"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we are trying to assassinate him, we should go ahead and do it," Robertson said Monday. "It's a whole lot easier than starting a war, and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

Gee, I can't imagine why anyone would think Robertson had it in for Chavez after that statement. Clearly The Associated Press made the whole story up out of whole cloth.

Someone take his microphone away before he brings more embarrassment on himself and further damages the cause of Christ.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Stop him before he talks again

Will someone please take Pat Robertson's microphone away? What on earth was going through his head when he advocated the U.S. Government assassinating the leader of Venezuela? Click here for the story if you missed it.

How is it a good idea for a Christian minister to advocate the cold-blooded murder of another individual? It's one thing to kill someone in combat, e.g. Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay. There at least they chose to fight and die as a result of their actions. But to advocate murder is beyond the pale.

We need to denounce this kind of idiocy in the strongest possible terms. It is not Biblical and it does nothing to advance the Kingdom of God.

Pat, please retire. Now!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Fools rush in (Second in a series)

1 Corinthians 1:17-31 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. 18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, "I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE." 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God as chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29 so that no man may boast before God. 30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."

Foolishness. That word brings up a great deal of mental imagery, and almost none of it is positive.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Down the Rabbit Hole

First in a series.

I love The Matrix. I love sci-fi to start with, but I really enjoy The Matrix for many reasons, including its grounbreaking special effects. I love the way it can enable one who thinks on such things to view it as sort of a modern allegory to Christ

Some of the similarities are obvious, and I won't recount them here. For more on that go here. But several things struck me as I watched it recently with some friends.

First, The Matrix is a modern day Alice in Wonderland, where up is down and down is up. In the Matrix reality isn't real. What you think you know to be true isn't true. The Red Pill/Blue Pill scene where Thomas Anderson takes the pill that allows him to step out of the false world he lived in really speaks to me. It was as if the scales were lifted from his eyes and his ears were opened for the first time to the truth.

This is oddly similar to a series of discussions that occured nearly 2000 years ago between an itinerant Jewish teacher and the religious leaders of the day. This Galilean rabble-rouser turned the conventional wisdom of the day on its head with his pronouncement that
"many who are first will be last, and the last, first."

This pronouncement did not sit well with the religious leaders who were convinced that their public piety, service to the letter
(but not the spirit) of the law, and maintenance of community order during the Roman occupation would entitle them to special privileges in the afterlife. The Pharisees were greatly disturbed by this teaching because they viewed themselves as better than the average Jewish citizen and had no problem displaying their superiority.

Along comes Jesus to tell them that the Kingdom of God is not attained through their actions but rather through simple faith. In Matthew 5, Jesus declares war on the Pharasaical system of the day with a series of teachings.
  • Matthew 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
  • Matthew 5:10 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
  • Matthew 5:20 "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."
The last one is a direct shot at the Pharisees. Telling them that despite their piety and rules, their righteousness is nothing in God's sight gave hope to the masses and drew a line in the sand. From that point forward the Pharisees were gunning for him. Just like the machines in The Matrix. Neither side could risk the truth getting out to the masses because it would upset the order of things and revolutionize the world.

And their ox would be gored.

Are your eyes open? Can you see the things of God happening in the world? Or do you see the world as you think it is. Dark, futile, pointless, warring, hateful? Or do you see souls waiting to be freed from bondage? Only Christ can open your eyes to see what is present but unseen. Seek Him through his word and get ready to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.