What is on my heart today comes from two very different angles. The first of those angles you know some about if you read last week's rant about getting unfriended. You can go back and look at that whole mess if you like; this story goes from there.
I don't take losses of people I thought were my friends lightly, so I debated the whole thing in my mind at work this week, trying to remind myself to be forgiving. Which really wasn't a huge problem; it's not like her mindset was a surprise to me, although her inability to see past it to me was hurtful. But at a certain moment, I entertained a thought about how hard headed about their beliefs these people are, and I connected the fact that she was Jewish with the Prophets being told that they were sent to a people who would neither see nor hear, lest they turn and repent.
And no, this isn't about Jews being hardened by the Lord, because this is a condition common to all mankind, as Paul tells us. At a certain point, our souls make a choice in the way they are going to walk, a choice made in a way I believe is not wholly understood by mortal man. And if these souls choose the false path, they fall from the grace of being able to connect God to themselves. Thus you see comments like I saw on a FB post later in the week where someone lambasted new VP Mike Pence for "using his position to promote his religious beliefs".
Because these people are shaded from realizing that, for a believer, that faith is a RELATIONSHIP with God. They look at "religion" as if it's just another political club, one they think should be proscribed- partly because of their own misreading of the US Constitution, and part because when you close God off from the God-shaped hole in every soul, a darker master fills it in. And that darker master cons them into the "un-necessity" of God, and from there it's an easy step to convince them that "God" is just a limiting, harmful concept that needs to be eradicated.
So stepping back, when I connected my musings to my former friend, I said to myself, "When God darkens one's understanding, He doesn't mess around!" And that, unfortunately, is true. But we get darkened too, when we try to extend the blindness that God brings in matters of faith to those who just disagree politically. GOD IS NOT INTERESTED IN YOUR POLITICS. He is interested in being your God. And that brings me to this post's other dynamic.
I have just started reading in I Chronicles when I noticed another of the million things in the Living Word of God that I hadn't noticed before. Let me preface this by mentioning that, in my Bible, the forward to the Chronicles says that the difference between the two books of Samuel, the two books of Kings, and the Chronicles, is that Samuel/Kings is written as a political history, whereas Chronicles is a religious and moral history.
How then is it that, in 2 Samuel, we see the story of David and Bathsheba, starting with the phrase, "In the spring of the year, when kings go out to war, David sent out Joab with his army, but David stayed in Jerusalem..."; and then in I Chronicles, we see the same starting point- but NO mention of David's adultery, just a mention that Joab won the battle, and David put the crown of his enemy on his own head. How is THAT a political, and not a moral, story?
Because of God's perspective. Look at all the political repercussions from the sin: The eventual discovery, the death of a son and heir, the revolt of another son as God's punishment of David- and, oh yeah, the birth of the next king, the son of the woman David committed the adultery with.
The moral repercussions? David repented, sought forgiveness and received it, and continued on the track that God set him on. Because he repented, his "moral trajectory" remained the same. The story of his relationship with God was not centered on the sin, but on the faith.
And that brings us back to the beginning- that choice of faith that our souls make somewhere down our individual timelines. God doesn't see the confessed sins anymore that we have fallen prey to along the way; when we make that choice, He sees that choice, that trajectory. The rest doesn't become part of the story anymore. That's why some of us see the Bible as the Living Word, and others see it as a collection of stories that man manipulated to take control of simple minds for some nefarious purpose. That's why some see Mike Pence as a man who lives his faith, and others see a bully forcing a political agenda. And that's why those who don't believe can't tell the difference between being "judgmental" and being discerning.
Do you know the Doppler effect? It's an astronomical concept that you can test out along any highway. If you face the direction a speeding vehicle is coming, the sound you hear is high pitched because the sound waves are being pushed together by the approach. Similarly, both light and time are being pushed, though not to an extent that you notice it. And when it goes past, the sound is deeper, more vibrating. Now, sound, time, and light are being drawn out longer. In space, it means an approaching star has a red shift, or tinge, to it, but a receding star will be blue shifted.
And this is as good an analogy for the difference in people as any- you see God differently depending on whether your soul chose to move towards Him or away from Him. A long time ago, I, another friend who chose to remain anonymous, and an atheist named Joshua (ironic, no?) had a long comment battle on a post of mine. One of Joshua's comments went thusly...
I was a Christian for a long time. I abandoned religion because it's illogical. No one turned me away from religion nor did I have a bad experience. My only problem with religion is that it flies in the face of reason and all that horrible thing that have been done in the name of religion.
And here is the fallacy of the soul that chooses wrongly. Equating Christianity- which by its truest definition is faith in God- with religion, which is basically man's conception of God. He could never have abandoned Christianity HAD he been a Christian; he abandoned man's conception, because it did not fit his own. His blue shift never let him hear the Word Of God as a believer.