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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday message: Friends and robots

Would you like to be a robot?  I don't mean the flying, crushing, striving robots of comic books and absurd fiction, but the reality.  They do what they are programmed to do.  They know what is fed into them.  Without ever questing or questioning, with no joy or pride of creation.  That is a robot.  It knows what to do and does it, with no choice in the matter.

Recently, a fellow blogger posted about "why did God put the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden, knowing that Adam would fall?"  That is a good question of itself and is exactly the same question as "why are we here?"

The answer being:  The Choice.

God could have made us robots, with perfect knowledge of Him, bound to only believe, only worship, only do right and not wrong.  But God wanted more than robots, He wanted a people to LOVE Him.  And you can't have that without The Choice.  The Choice to love Him, or reject Him.

He gave Lucifer and all the other angels that choice, and to show how powerful The Choice is, allowed that one-third of them chose against Him.  And He gave Adam and Eve that choice too.  Thing is, Adam and Eve were unique in human history- directly made by God, in constant fellowship with God, in bodies that needed for nothing, and in a Garden where they had everything they could ever want.  We today do not begin to have a frame of reference for what it was like to be them.

And yet, we try to shoehorn it into OUR framework.  One poster called the whole story "ridiculous" and "hilarious".  Another questioned how Adam and Eve could have been expected to make the right choice.  Another chose to look at it from the angle that, "without knowledge of good and evil, they had no way to know that god is good and serpent is bad."

How about this:  God created them, gave them everything, spent time with them teaching them.  He set up one thing that they had to do.

The Choice.

One tree that they could not eat from.  Black and white, with consequences therefrom.  When we tell a child, "don't touch the stove," Are we expecting them to mull over the esoteric ramifications of why they shouldn't touch it, to way the effect on their eternal souls of perhaps taking the chance of touching that which is forbidden?  NO.  It is a black and white question of obedience.  That is what The Tree was. Period.  I tried to explain this to the commenter.  The response?

" They knew right and wrong IN THEIR FRAMEWORK"

That's just a post hoc apologetic that isn't in the text, it attempts to massage away the contradiction, and it's only convincing to people who have already bought into the story for other reasons.

Which is basically atheist for, "If it isn't within MY framework, it is ludicrous and has no validity."

He continued to try to argue the notion, How would A&E know who was good and who was the evil?  How about, "Because the One you know created you, gave you all you have, showed you nothing but kindness- and the other tried to turn you against all that?"

We have 84 Facebook friends.  By my count, I've actually physically met 51 of them (some of whom have two accounts), 5 more I have become what I consider to be friends with through the internet, and 28 whom I'd have to say I barely know, if at all.  And yet, to FB, they are all my friends.  The knowledge of Jesus Christ works a lot like that.  There are people, like myself, who know Him because He has become a personal part of my life, has moved in me through His Spirit, lets me know He is there and He died for me.  For others, He is a "Facebook friend", someone they read about, search scripture for, but never REALLY let Him in on a personal level.  And when they hit the places where they perceive contradictions in scripture, they become confused, they doubt- they call the stories "ridiculous."  Or, to put it another way:

Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. (From Mark 4).

What I'm trying to say is, you can feed all the data you want into your brain, but like the robot, it's only going to be a list of "if this, then"s.  You'll do the things programmed in, but without the least understanding of why.

The poster has gone on about trying to find the truth about God, the Bible.  She's swung from one of man's theories to another.  And now, she doubts, because she cannot make them intellectually coincide with the other.  But faith is not about knowledge, or data, or anything that man comes up with.  It's about, do you Know Him or are you just Facebook friends?

It's about The Choice.  One side submits to God, and the motivations of God are revealed- slowly, incompletely, filtered through your own perceptions and limitations, "through the mirror darkly,": as Paul says.  (Why not just explain the Truth to us completely, you ask?  "Because YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!"  God is BEYOND you, deal with it!)  The other side divorces all that God is and does out of the equation, assigns Him (for reference) the place of "the genie in the bottle", and ridicules the concept of "god" when "god" doesn't do as man would.  And they never see the other side, because they too have made The Choice.  They just made the wrong one.

It was sad to me that the poster brought up the verse where Jesus says, "Ask anything in My Name and it shall be granted", and based doubt upon certain prayers not then being granted.  We have a BIIIIG misconception as mortals about the difference between in HIS name and in OUR name.  When Jesus asked in His name, He finished with, "Not my will, but Thine be done."  God's will was done, the prayer answered; and yet the cup did not pass from Jesus' lips without Him drinking.

But of course, that's just me "massaging away the contradiction."


  1. I'm sorry if I have offended Chris. I'm just telling my story, not trying to proselytize or deconvert anybody. I also don't want to play the endless scripture dueling games because nobody wins.

    I was a real believer not a facebook friend. You don't have to believe that if you don't want to, I know it.

    1. Only you can judge where you've been and where you are at... however, if such a wonderful savior was part of your life in the way I'm speaking of, you would have been hearing His answers to your questions. Instead, it seems, all you really heard was the "endless scriptural dueling games"- meaning you've been listening to man. You have been trying to leanon your own understanding, and that, I'm afraid, is where you'll lose the game. And I am not offended. I merely hold out hope that somewhere in all this something will break through the human-perspective-manufactured doubts and put you in contact with the One you should have been listening to from the start.

      Hope you understand I am not trying to mock or belittle your experience. But, you're story has been, to my eyes, a story of, "who do I listen to to make God make sense to my mind" and very little "Jesus, I need to shut out trying to ponder the imponderables and just try to hear you." I'm not Him, don't pretend to be, and know I'm not going to get through to you. Unless He wills.

      And that's where the choice comes in.

  2. So glad I made the choice to accept him as the Savior of my life. This is a great post as is all your Sunday Messages. They really make me think! And I totally agree with you that we have a HUGE misconception of asking for things in His name vs our name.