Sunday, September 03, 2006

What you see is what you get!

My coauthor and myself have submitted our paper's first draft. I have a lull and can put down something that has been banging around my mind for a couple days.

The thought relates directly to the "Christianity Lite" and the recent abduction and release of the Fox News people in Gaza. First, "Christianity Lite", also known as the "worship celebration," the "don't-bother-me-with-words-just-good-vibes" or, my phrase, "marshmellow services." What do you really get here? A sense of community? A discount at a spa? Maybe the church you go to isn't that far, it just has a contemporary service, maybe some more "upbeat" music. Yea, the music is low on substance, but it has more pep that some of the older hymns. Maybe the only thing that bugs you is how things seem a little off, but you can't put your finger on it. I know the last part- I have lived that one myself. Something is off, and you can't figure it out. It most likely is NOT the theology- or at least not directly. Surprised? You should be. The theology in these churches is, more or less, on. They read and try to adhere to the Bible. But what is the theology? Where is the error?

Think on it while I go to the next aspect- kidnappings in Gaza, and the Middle East as a whole. The Fox News people were held for about 2 weeks in an unusual abduction. They were released alive, in keeping with previous kidnappings. But something HAS changed in that warfront. The journalist from the Christian Science Monitor, these newspeople, and the latest from al-quiada all have something in common. Conversion. If you don't convert, well thats too bad for you. Never mind the conversion happens at the end of a gun (or willingly for that matter, as long as it happens). As long as you aren't currently attached to the wrong end of a weapon or its projectile, a conversion seems to be a "willing" conversion in islam.

Back to Fox News- both of their correspondents claimed to have "converted", but pulled a "fake out." (term from the 80's related to lying for those less than 18) They said they didn't mean it. Granted, I have never had a muslim put a gun to my temple and start reading the koran. I have not had the pleasure of sitting in their version of the "Hanoi Hilton." I pray everyone who reads this does not also experience this. Hoewver, given all that humans can do and say, the words of Christ come to mind "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it." (Mark 8:35 NKJV) There is a lot of pressure to follow the easy path in prisons such as these. This is why the Christian is to trust God always. "Convert" to save your life? You might well loose that which you should mind above this life. Your life here is temporal. This is exile. Why do we grasp it so? (good Christian answer: old adam and sin!)

How does this relate to the question above? America has had a wonderful state of prosperity and peace. Our homeland has not been invaded by a foreign army since the War of 1812. (Mexican minor incursions not withstanding- I am talking about actual invasions. Civil War doesn't count- that was us on us.) Our religious freedom is unprecedented. This sort of conversion is not something we are used to. What does "kumbaya" give you to fall back on during such conversions? Where does the "happy clappy" fall into the Lord's Prayer? How much do you really keep to use in time of stress and trouble? This is the error- they have theology, but it is liquid, weak, and not providing the strength for battle! Read that again- the theology is "correct", but weak. "How can God's Word be weak?" I hear some screaming. God's Word is never weak- only faith of individual people. The "lite churches" revel in spiritual immaturity. They only want milk, suckling long past their time. Doubt this happens?

12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)

Those "lite churches" do not provide the sustenience to "fight the good fight" or run the race. They provide sweet milk, but watered down. Think of it as spiritual formula- kinda like the real stuff, just no where near as good. I know this sounds harsh, but in the end, you will have to stand and defend your faith. It might be at the end of a kid with a gun anywhere, a muslim with a sword (gun, etc), or the guy who says "it's all the same isn't it?" No! Again- NO! It is not the same! Fight the fight- defend your faith! Eat the meat of the Word, do not dwell in the nursery! The milk can leave you guessing. It is the meat that sustains, leaves no doubts. Do you want to doubt when the time comes to know?

Maybe I shouldn't watch action movies prior to posting. ;-) On the other hand, the movie I watched has a chilling image of the current situation. I watched "Chronicles of Riddick." It was an action flick, but the arch enemy either converted you or killed you. It sounds a lot like some words from the koran. The interesting thing is they destroy a muslim planet. Some irony, huh?

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