God in a Box: Understanding the De-Converted Part 2

Originally posted to MySpace on:

July 4, 2007:

The Jewish Truth-Seeker

A young Jewish man enters an office block looking for answers. He wants to discover the intricacies of his faith, including his very purpose within the paradigm of Judaism, and he’s certain the office might provide the answer. It has, after all, a full network of information at his disposal, with cubicles, computers, and Internet access to his heart’s content. So he begins searching the floor for his answers.

The room is surprisingly deficient of people. He also discovers very quickly that he doesn’t have a password to access any of the computers. But he keeps searching. The answers to his faith and his purpose have to be here somewhere.

He finally makes it to the back of the room where he finds two men sitting in opposite cubicles: a Rabbi and a Nazi. At last, one of them must have the answers to his questions.

But whom should he ask?

The young man deliberates this a bit, as he knows both must have authoritative knowledge of Judaism. In the end, based on the trends and movements of his culture in the last century, especially in the form of tolerance, he decides to seek his answers from the Nazi. After all, the Rabbi would just show a bias toward the faith as it’s been written for thousands of years and not allow room for speculation or modern progression, as is appropriate for today’s truth-seeking culture.

“What does it mean to be a Jew?” he asks the Nazi.

The Nazi folds his hands as he ponders this question.

“To be a Jew is to, essentially, be one with fault,” says the Nazi. “To be a Jew is to be without perfection, and imperfection is frowned upon in this perfect society of men. To reach perfection, you must first denounce your heritage, a heritage wrought with strife and discontent, and then embrace anything that sounds good and teaches against Judaism.”

The Nazi reaches into his desk drawer and produces a handful of books about “The Perfect Race.”

“Here, read this information I have about the fallacy of Judaism and the perfection of the Aryan race. When you’re finished with that, come back and I’ll give you more. Pretty soon you’ll understand the truth that to be a Jew is to be misguided, and that we, the Aryan race, have the answers you need to escape that bondage of yours. You’ll also find that we are a peaceful group, only concerned about your perfection and well-being.”

The young man accepts the gift graciously.

Meanwhile, the Rabbi, who overheard the entire conversation, weeps as he tries to get the young man’s attention. The young man fails to give him ear, as the information given to him by the Nazi, as truth, was satisfactory to his truth-seeking ears, and thus he has no interest in what the Rabbi has to say. Alas, the Torah, the book that could have answered the young man’s every question about his faith, hadn’t even been considered, nor was the God who could’ve offered him wisdom about the matter.

He leaves the office, ready to absorb the Nazi’s information about Judaism as truth.

A Pursuit without God

It’s tempting to wonder why he didn’t consult the Rabbi first. But a better question is: why would the Jewish man forget to consult God on the answer to his question? Is there a problem with accessibility, or maybe a fear of truth? Did he honestly think the Nazi’s answers would be enough, or even accurate to exposing the truth about his faith, and thus the pursuit of God was unnecessary? Did he think that taking the search solo would’ve been fruitful?

As I’m taking notice of an alarming trend of Christians turning apostate (falling away from the faith), I’m asking these same questions about them, as any Orthodox Jew might ask of the young man who naively sought his answers from the person who wants to destroy him.

The first problem that secularists, scholars, theologians, apologists, and lay Christians are running into during their searches for truth, and subsequent falling away from truth, is the problem of putting God down to man’s level. Many try to justify faith by comparing the character of God to that of man, and invariably fall short of “logic” in the process. God is not man, but the omniscient Creator of man, and thus His ways cannot be comprehended fully. To state a classic example: the pot will never be able to think at the potter’s level, nor will it be able to justify his reasons for doing what he does. The pot may try in vain to rise to the potter’s level in a great move to understand truth, but the best it can do is to think of the potter as another pot—a straightforward, non-complex pot—and thus base all of its assumptions about truth as though the potter was himself made hollow and of clay and easily broken.

The conflicts with the Creation story reflect this problem best. Most anyone rooted in secular thought can’t even accept the basis of the Creation story because it seems so implausible, because they put God on man’s level if they consider God at all. Instead, they have to think of a more “reasonable” viewpoint to support their own limited thoughts on the matter. And then to support their new belief, they have to present God at a man’s level, or not at all, when explaining their “boxed” perspective to others.

This applies to the stories of the Birth and Resurrection of Christ as well. Those who wish to denounce the deity of Christ because it’s unbelievable (or threatening to their agenda), forget that God operates on a much higher level than they can possibly see, and if His Son shares His power, then His Son can also do things that are pretty unbelievable, like rise from the dead and forgive sins.

This is, of course, a very watered down perspective of the grand scheme of faith. The complexities of God run so deep that nothing on earth can hold Him or fully understand Him. Therefore, this inability of man to decipher the full character of God does not give him the right to discredit Him as God, or the Author of truth, as doing so would be the equivalent to judging a pizza based on the taste of one crumb of uncooked flour, while inebriated and eating dog crap.

And yet, man still tries because he wants to take God’s place and inflict his own will and design the pizza his own way.

The Logical Fallacies

This inability to understand God (in the form of knowledge rather than relationship) has produced a number of critics and skeptics worldwide. And many of them reside in high academic places—places that man might be tempted to consider as sources for truth, for who better to know the truth than the academicians and the scholars who research them? These scholars will scour mountains and riverbeds for the answers of life, but do so without regard to God, or with regard to God but with a man-sized perspective of who God “should be” to them. Then they produce their findings in journals for all the world to read and eat as truth, though what they write is merely theoretical.

This method has produced many alternatives to the Bible’s truths throughout the years, including recent accounts of the world’s origins through “Big Bangs” and evolution, rather than through creation. Like everything else in science, of course, the truth to the world can be explained through biblical accounts and proofs if one were to actually look; but then, that might leave the scholars without a job, and who can afford that?

Of course, this is, again, a very watered down perspective of the fallacies of secularism, and only a minor instance of the greater point I’m trying to make. The bottom line is that secularism cannot function with God in the picture, so it must find ways to explain life and history without the essence of God.

That brings about the second detail regarding the apostasy of Christ’s followers: Satan is very good at his job. Very good. The remainder of my journal here will focus on this, as this ties into my original example about the Jew and the Nazi.

Recently, I read an explanation about Jesus’ lack of sin. I’ll admit that in my human, though Christian brain, I’ve wondered how a man like Jesus could avoid the submission to sin, when the rest of us can’t even go a day without breaking a traffic law, much less a number of other things. How does one man spend thirty-three years being tempted, but never conform to sin? Again, this goes back to the first point that we cannot put God on man’s level. Yes, Jesus was as much man as he was God; therefore he had the same temptations that we had. But the difference here is that his God side could not be deceived, and thus he had no motivation or reason to sin. Man, on the other hand, does not have the same wisdom and understanding that Christ has, and so we are much more susceptible to the devil’s deceptions. It started in the Garden of Eden when Satan deceived Eve into thinking that the fruit would give her knowledge, and thus, an understanding that matches the level of God. But to be successful in his deception, he had to first water down her understanding of the consequence, giving her the false belief that she wouldn’t die, even though God had told her she would if she had eaten it. So right there, the devil convinced man to doubt God’s word (and authority) and man fell for it.

What followed sucked.

The pattern continues well into the present. Man thinks he’s enlightened because he lives in the 21st Century where computers rule the earth, though forgets that the degradation of the human genome over six thousand years has made him so far removed from perfection that he might be part of the stupidest generation to ever walk the earth. Because the first generation had yet to bare flaw, as the degeneration was barely in its infancy, science, creativity, and wisdom was at its peak. During that time, Cain learned how to farm and build cities, Abel learned how to tend flocks of sheep (and probably other stuff), Jubal learned how to craft instruments (and play them), and all this without prior education or building blocks. These guys were the inventors of such practices, and had hundreds of years to improve on what they made and very little competition in seeing them done. Our generation, on the contrary, has neither the time nor the creativity to invent from scratch items so prolifically as those early generations had. Sure, there are a few diamonds in the rough in recent generations (Edison comes to mind), but the numbers are so few now that when someone invents something extraordinary, they become famous. That equates to maybe a fifty-to-six-billion ratio. And that’s just for unique stuff. Most of what we have today is just an extra block added onto someone else’s work, and rarely bares creative difference. Therefore, we aren’t even close to being the wisest generation. We only have the greatest number of building blocks. And sometimes those building blocks are built on faulty foundations.

Because man fails to see his lack of creativity, and continues to see himself as enlightened, he is quick to think that he has unlimited knowledge and understanding. He thinks that he is much more sophisticated now than any generation before his, and so he has the greatest understanding of human truth. And though he might have more information at his fingertips than any past generation had, it doesn’t make him wise. The fact remains that he’s still human, still flesh, and still susceptible to the deceptions of Satan, which is evident throughout the numerous sins infesting the world. To try to put logic above that is to merely fall into Satan’s agenda for the world, as he would sooner be forgotten than he would to be acknowledged as the author of confusion and deceit.

Where Am I Going with All of This?

After a good Christian friend fell away from her faith during a search for truth, I became very concerned with the vulnerabilities we offer to others to exploit; that we walk into wolves’ dens dressed as sheep, saying, “hey, can you help me?” The fact remains that there is information out there that discredits our faith. But the information comes from the hands of our Enemy, through the hands of people who hate Christianity, and through the minds of people who are devious enough to bend the truths they find. The information is merely the “logical” presentations of a doctrine that elects to forsake God, or to at least put Him on a human level. In the end, those who have fallen away fail to recognize Satan’s role in their “truth search,” likewise, they forget to consult the Holy Spirit first, and thus it’s no surprise that they’re easily deceived when they believe the Nazi is looking out for their well-being.

I’m not writing this to condemn my brothers and sisters who have fallen away. On the contrary, I would rather they step out of their shoes long enough to see what’s been done to them, and that they might pray for the sight to see truth and to see clearly through the deceit. I’m still very heartbroken over the recent falling away of this friend of mine through the lies of Satan to the point of losing sleep; thus I feel very compassionate toward the real revelation of truth, as the Holy Spirit would reveal to them, as He is the source of truth.

–July 4, 2007

(Note: A friend had responded to this with a challenge, but that was on MySpace in 2007, and I have no idea what that challenge was. I think it had something to do with emotional responses to explainable things and calling them spiritual, or something of that nature. Or, it could’ve been an argument about science and reason. No idea. Apparently “brainwashing” had root in the response, which reason would clearly defy. Whatever it was, I did find my response to that challenge tacked on at the bottom of this journal.)

Response:

Except that when you experience a moving of the Spirit, experience immediate healing through prayer, witness the interpretations of things that the interpreter has no foundation to even understand, witness ancient prophesies coming to pass, etc., the matter of faith all of a sudden extends past the threshold of belief. Then the lessons are no longer hearsay (or “brainwashing”) but become as real as eating pizza. And when this kind of faith becomes real, as in it can be confirmed through witness account, then a Christian’s exposition on a Christian subject becomes as foundationally sound as an English teacher teaching English. Yes, I could still ask a French, Spanish, or German teacher to teach me English, as I could also ask a math or science teacher to teach me English. But it doesn’t change the fact that the English teacher is still the best person for the job, bias or not. And whether or not the English teacher uses brainwashing techniques to get the message across, or just loves the subject enough to teach it with passion, the fact remains that what he teaches is still far more accurate to reality than what the other teachers would teach, as that’s his specialty and his conviction, and so he has no reason to manipulate the information (unless he’s psychotic or passionless). The real issue then lies with how the listeners receive it.

I do understand your viewpoint, granted, but I dare say that there’s nothing particularly tangible about Christianity being true to individual minds only (as in they just imagined it’s true), as it’s not a religion of knowledge. The whole point of Christianity is to understand and accept a singular event witnessed by real people and recorded by real people involving the death and resurrection of a real person (who loves us enough to sacrifice Himself to save us–thus bringing validity to the relationship side of Christianity, the true heart of its teachings), and is in no way affected by the imaginations of millions upon millions of people who just want to feel like they have eternal salvation. If truth were entirely metaphysical, then this world would have no future, as there would be nothing to pass into when life ends. Hope, joy, love, etc. could never survive in such a dead environment.

Maybe I’m missing the argument here, but I still stand by this fact: regardless of what a person believes, God is still higher than all understanding, and thus, He is still truth. He is reality that stretches beyond individual faith. He cannot be compromised, He cannot be accurately discredited (though many try), and He cannot be denied in the face of real truth. Nor can he be limited to mere imagination as His signature can be found in all creation. Thus, as He is truth, I still think it’s foolish to search for truth outside of His leading, as that would be like putting the construction of a rocket engine into the hands of a psychologist. The end result might be passable at first, but sooner or later it’ll fall out of the sky and kill everyone onboard (or just blow up before take off). There’s no sense in that.

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