Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Monday, July 28, 2014

An Incoherent Monday

I do not know what is the matter with me today.  Fortunately work is not overly demanding, so far.  Too much gunk on the plugs, and running a little rough.  So if this doesn't make any sense, I'm still not drunk.  
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. -- John 8:44

How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn!  How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!  You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’  But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit. – Isaiah 14:12-15

It is said sometimes that the world is the devil’s heaven.  That’s not referring to the planet earth but to the human system, the world of human perception and understanding.  God’s material creation is good; He said so.  It is derived from His ideal.  Between that derived reality and us lies what the Bible calls “the world”.  The devil is the prince of “this world”.  When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, the devil declared that all the authority and glory of “the kingdoms of the world” had been given to him that he might do with it as he pleased (Luke 4:5-6).  Jesus did not argue with the devil’s claim. 

Indeed of that realm of perception and manifestation lies under the devil’s control.  We tend to think of the devil as the source of evil, and in a sense that’s true.  Most of what we call evil, though, does not come from the devil’s direct actions.  Instead a human or a bunch of humans accept the distortion that they perceive before them and perpetrate wickedness and iniquity.  We can hold them accountable because they should know better.  We always have a choice to believe the truth or believe the lie. 

Eden is not far from here.  God has the way guarded lest those who are not ready for it stumble into it and utterly destroy themselves. 

Meanwhile, the devil has most of the rest of us convinced that our hope lies outside in the shifting, bottomless morass of our experience and belief.  The call to work on the externals is seductive.  Success, we are convinced, lays with a new government, with a revolution, with the next election, with a new program, a new policy, vegetarianism, more time at the gym, a new partner, or a different job. 

What really needs to change is our understanding.  If we will turn from the lies and turn to the truth and start living, acting, and thinking in alignment with the truth, we will begin to see the eternal reality that underlies the world.  We will begin to see many of the things that trouble us are manifestations of our own short-circuited, twisted, perverted thinking. 

I’m not doing a very good job of getting at what I mean.  The basic, persistent flaw of all utopian thinking is its failure to change people.  All of us are sick to a great or lesser degree.  If we are put in paradise, we are apt to turn it into hell.  The only way there will ever be heaven on earth is for humanity to emigrate to Mars.  Conversely, if I could get all the hell out of myself, I could experience paradise right where I sit.  I could let go of the devil’s kingdom of lies and walk in God’s truth. 

This is impossibly easy.  That is, it’s easy; it’s just impossible.  Only one Man has ever done it.  We are invited to participate in His victory.  The Body of Christ is not a new force for societal change and improvement.  It is as radical a departure from the common way of living and walking as a spaceship blasting off for some new Earth 2.0.  Instead of leaving the planet, we leave the world. 

If the teleporter's working, just beam me on up.


julie said...

Aye aye, Cap'n!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

No fair, Julie, that's my line! :)
Great post, Mushroom!
You're absolutely right, changing our understanding is the key.
But we needGod's help to do it.

mushroom said...

Everybody wants to be Scotty.