Rich for a Thousand Years

I was working on my budget today. Numbers are a hard reality that can be rather pessimistic. I don’t have the financial strength I would like. So Asaph, I get Psalms 73. It is so easy to look at the nice houses and nice cars then become envious. Contentment isn’t maintained by peaceful thinking but by a war of perspective.

I took a walk and prayed about it. On the walk, I smelled honeysuckles. Those flowers have history in my family. My grandma used to have neighbors that had a window box full of them. The smell drove my mind back to family vacations at her house and the joys of childhood. I stood smelling the honeysuckles and thought that I might not own the nice house but no one could take away that wonderful smell.

Often, we focus on the troubles of our current situation. But we ignore the joys that God has provided for us today. We would do very well to stop, remember the goodness of God, and smell the honeysuckles.

I have never been rich. But God has never failed to provide for me. More amazingly, God has kept me out of debt. There are so many things that God has blessed me with. I have a job I love, a family that loves me, and so many friends that care about me through my church, school, and family. So not counting money, which is such a fickle thing anyway, I guess I am rich.

The world is a scary place. Troubles, violence, and disasters are in the news daily. But that’s not our destiny; and, even if the world should fall into chaos now, God will win in the end. The promises of scripture tell us that God’s Son will return. Jesus will rule and reign on this earth with complete justice. So, in spite of the problems of today, the problems of the world, or any other problems, I can be happy because God promised the Christian that they will rule and reign with Him. For a thousand years, I will be able to enjoy paradise that Jesus’ rule will create.

You know, I can wait. God will provide for me now. Jesus is going to bring a paradise later. By keeping all this in my mind, I can be content with what I have.  I am going to agree with Asaph. “God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.” And “I have put my trust in the Lord GOD.”

Follow the Recipe: Dangers in trusting yourself.

I love spices. Years ago, I experimented around with spices and created a pizza sauce based loosely on my grandma’s rich spaghetti sauce. I don’t make it often. Each year, before the last performance of our school play, I make the cast and crew pizzas using this rather intense pizza sauce. Many students have told me they like it and the director has told me it’s almost too spicy.

But a very weird thing happened this year, I got a head cold or allergies or something. I’m not a doctor, but I know I have not been that congested in a long time. So, I pull open the drawer and use the recipe to make the sauce. I let it simmer a bit and then I taste it. To my horror, it tasted horrible—barely different from straight tomato sauce. What am I going to do?

I’ll be honest. It didn’t occur to me right away that I might be the problem and half of a tablespoon of Italian spices went in before I thought it through. But then it occurred to me, I knew I followed the recipe. I had carefully put in all the parts and it should have worked. Then I remembered the fact that I had so little ability to smell.

I tested it by eating straight garlic powder. Nothing, well, not much anyway. I was obviously impaired. I could trust one of two things but not both. I could trust my own senses or I could trust the recipe.

I’d like to say that it was an easy choice. But it wasn’t. I obviously knew that I couldn’t trust my own senses, but I tasted it a couple more times anyway. Nothing-bland tomato sauce. But I could smell the spices; I knew I had followed that recipe. I was hesitant all the way up to when I couldn’t wait any longer. I had to make the pizzas.

The recipe was right.

Later, I received a compliment from my picky nephew. It was the best pizza he had ever had. His dad verified that he had eaten three slices. The lesson that I could learn from this was not lost on me.

The Bible clearly tells us that we can’t trust ourselves. Proverbs 3:5-7 tells to instead trust God, not our own mind or perception. In other words, our hearts and minds are fouled up, like my congested nose. I couldn’t taste the spices I put in my sauce; I also can’t trust my own mind and heart to come up with what is truly right. I have to trust the recipe for my sauce and for my life.

The Bible bursts with warnings against what I call the biggest lie of Hollywood— “Follow your heart.” If I had made my sauce spicy to my own senses it would have truly been inedible. If I follow my own heart, I will do what is wicked-what will hurt me and the people around me.

As odd as comparing pizza sauce to scripture is, God taught me that I have to trust Him and His Word even when it doesn’t make sense to my senses. After all, I am a sinner, my senses are messed up. However, the recipe is perfect.

Danger of Anger

This morning I heard loud noises outside my window. I glanced out my apartment window. A young man in his early twenties was yelling and swearing at the top of his lungs. Apparently, his car wouldn’t start.

He stormed into his house, kicking his picket gate in as he did so. This did not get the car to start. It didn’t turn over when he came out and chucked a piece of the gate across the parking lot. When he stormed over to the car and cussed it out, it didn’t start. It did not start when he kicked it and punched it multiple times, I can’t image that either felt good to his hands and feet. The car still didn’t start when he slammed the door. Then he popped the trunk and to prove his level of irritation he started beating the car with his skateboard. The car still wouldn’t start. It didn’t start when he stared into the engine compartment for twenty seconds or when he slammed the hood and then punched it again.

Odd, if you think about it. All of his hostility, profanity, and actions didn’t help the situation at all. Each action only destroyed something of his. The gate to his house, the car, the skateboard were all damaged as a useless sacrifice to the man’s anger. His own hands and feet were hurt too.

There was one other thing he probably hurt. You see this young man wasn’t alone. He had a friend with him. This friend wasn’t screaming, wasn’t angry, but I thought to myself that had I been that man’s friend, I would have left. I can’t imagine that the young man’s temper made him any better a friend or that by going through this it made their friendship any stronger.

The Bible tells us not to make friendships with angry people. I don’t have to imagine what would happen if this man was angry with a person instead of a car. Our world is full examples of people who have been beaten or even killed by people’s rage. Do you think a wife or kid would have fared as well as the car after being beaten? The car is still sitting there, not bothered at all for its many “wounds.” A person treated the same way would be in the hospital.

I may be being unfair. After all, the man surely knew the difference between a car and a person. He surely would never hurt a person, you might say. Unfortunately, I can’t count on anything of the kind. I don’t know this man but too many examples exist when people hurt others with their anger.

The young man’s friend was hurt. Not physically, but the Bible says not to be friends with angry people because what you learn from them will be a trap for you too. (Pro22:24-25) It also says that angry people cause trouble and are soaking in sin. (Pro 29:22) To act like that man did today proves a person is not a good friend, not a safe spouse, and not a wise man.

Just something I learned today.

Denominations of Donuts

What is the difference between a Baptist and a Methodist and a Bible church? How is a Lutheran different from a Catholic? When a group of Christians declares it is right to behave abominably to the world at large, how is the rest of Christianity to distance itself in the minds of the world?
This mission started when a friend of mine had to tell her co-worker that she wasn’t one of the “kind” of Baptists that harass military funerals. It is confusing those looking at Christianity from the outside that there are so many groups inside of it. On this great mission, we need a simple way to convey what it means to be Christian.
Thus consider the donut. There are many types of donuts. Crullers, yeast, cake, dunkers, filled, long johns, apple fritters are just some of the types, and everyone knows it. Add the different frostings, nuts, jellies, and other toppings and you’ll never be at the end of all the types of donuts. But you’ll never convince me that a muffin, bagel, or croissant is a donut.
What is a donut? Well, it’s a type of pastry that is made of dough fried in fat. If those requirements are the standard, then we can see easily what is and what is not a donut? Is an apple fritter a doughnut? Yep. A bagel is not. Donut-ianity is obvious.
Some donuts are nutty. Others are frosted. Some seem awfully plain. Some are wacky-covered in psychedelic colors. Some are meaty. Some are greasy. Some are light and airy. Some are soft and tender. Others are fried enough to be a bit crispy. But all donuts are donuts.
If a bagel came into the donut shop and told the donuts that it too was a donut, all the donuts would immediately point out the Non-donut-ness of the bagel. The bagel could argue that it’s the right shape and made of dough, but all the donuts would be perfectly right in saying the bagel was no more a donut than a piece of fried chicken.
By the same token, if all the cake donuts were to say that cake-iness was the sign of true donut-ness, the other donuts could rightly condemn such a ludicrous notion. But neither the cake donuts nor the glazed yeast donuts would be any more donuts than the other—although their attitude might just sour the whole batch.
Christianity is basically the same. The requirements for being a Christian are to believe that Christ Jesus is God, Savior, and Messiah as revealed in the Bible. That He died to save us from our sins and one must accept this divine pardon by faith. That’s Christianity; those that believe it are Christians.
It doesn’t matter if they are a little nutty, frosty, wacky, light, or crispy—they are a Christian if they truly believe that. And no matter how nice a person might be, if they don’t believe that they are no more a Christian than a donut. There are many donut imitators—things that are NOT donuts in the donut shops around the world. In the same way, many people will say they are a Christian, but they aren’t. They are a muffin or bagel trying to convince you that they are really a donut. If they don’t meet the Christian requirements, they might be a nice person, but they aren’t a Christian.
Now being a donut, one has certain goals (of satisfying hunger). Being too greasy, sweet, sour, salty, etc. will stop that goal. The donut that does that will be a poor donut that no one would like. In the same fashion being a Christian, one can reach their goal—being like Jesus Christ—or fail. Being rude, sentimental, wishy-washy, or sinful will stop that goal. Christians like that are being “poor” Christians. They need to stop that and be a better “donut.”

Artistic Responsiblity

This morning was Friday, July 20, 2012. I went shopping; I had a ten dollar gift card to use. As I walked into the store I saw the blue-ray of The Dark Knight-$9.99. I thought about it, but I had told myself I was going to be practical. I bought a large bottle of dish soap and a bag of rice. Much later, I found out what else happened this morning. While most people slept, the joy of a mid-night release of the new Batman movie was destroyed. A man in Colorado went into the theatre and started shooting. It was one of the worst shootings in history.
I haven’t seen the new Batman movie and don’t care to do so. I enjoyed The Dark Knight, but I didn’t enjoy what it taught about morality. The man who decided to embrace his evil nature and shoot those people this morning will face God in eternity and hopefully the death penalty in Colorado. But I do believe another villain is loose that must be addressed and as a writer I have the ability to do so.
People are affected by the stories they listen to. Dark Knight, along with many other movies, books, and songs, teaches a dangerous idea that must stop. Artists who teach that absolute morality doesn’t exist cannot expect people to leave that idea behind with the tubs of popcorn and the theatre’s sticky floors.
In Dark Knight, every single character has to violate what they knew was the standard of right and wrong. Starting with bank robbers to Batman, each person makes a conscious decision to do something that they knew was wrong. Joker plays Gotham City, the underworld, and Batman like a flute—suffering only a few punches, Joker’s life is saved at the last minute by Batman. In the end, Joker destroys Gotham’s peace and murders dozens, but he is left unpunished. He’s a problem that is supposed to be dealt with by a therapist.
One thing The Dark Knight did better than most was put a moral question before the public—unfortunately, it’s answer was plain wrong. Dark Knight taught that one should do what they think will serve the greater good, even if it happens to be wrong. People lie, violate others rights, even attempt and commit murder because it’s what is “best.” Do the writers believe that?
Wrong, sin, and evil are actual things. For us to discount them as myth is to dream up a fantasy far too outlandish and foolish for man’s evil nature to withstand. Mankind has proven time and time again that despite all our hopes to the contrary, man is evil through and through. A mental disease didn’t cause a man to shoot movie goers this morning, but you will hear many people say that. It’s called evil and sin. Calling it a sickness is akin to calling Agent Orange a variation on a cold. Mankind’s evil is a real fact that must be remembered.
As an artist, I can create a world. And what’s better, I can invite others into my dream world to play. We can have a wonderful time and I can help brighten their days. But while they are there, I have a moral responsibility to put certain ideas into my world and keep others out. To teach that morals are just conventions that can come and go at will is not only false but morally wrong. Why should I develop a dream world where the good guys differ from bad guys only in the amount of their reluctance to commit evil? How can I let men in my world choose evil and not suffer for it? Such things are not only an affront to God and His morality, but foolish. Men want excuses for their evil, if I make evil acceptable, misunderstood, or worse of all sophisticated and funny, I allow them to get those excuses. And history is full of the horrible answers to the question, “What has mankind done with excuses to commit evil?” Hitler, Stalin, David Koresh, Jim Jones prove time and time again, that we artists cannot expect nothing to happen when we give people excuses for evil.
Another instructive thing happened today, I watched the musical Gigi. In it, a rich Frenchman’s uncle teaches him the fine art of social life in the late 1800’s. With total resolve to being a “gentleman” he teaches his nephew to go from one worthless trivial affair to the next, using women like extravagant prostitutes that get paid off with expensive jewelry and luxurious apartments. Through the whole story, the young man is bored senseless unless he is with real people—not the fake society crowd. The story climaxes in the young man turning Gigi, a real person, into his charming phony mistress. In anger, he realizes the stupidity of it all and then marries her, turning his back on his uncle’s “gentlemanly” life.
The Dark Knight and Gigi have very little in common. A gritty special effects action adventure has little to do with a period musical. But artists should learn that like the uncle in Gigi, artists have the opportunity to introduce bored people to wonderful worlds. And like in Gigi, this world is fake; the society page is as much fiction as any of the D.C. comics. But this fake world affects what one thinks about the real world. The nephew frantically tried to apply his uncle’s advice to real life; he viciously dumps his mistress and then throws dozens of parties to prove he doesn’t care about her or her failed suicide attempt.
Are we artist, writers, and storytellers bad uncles?
Stories teach, whether we like it or not. If they teach immorality, should we be surprised if the students act immoral? If they teach violence, should student’s violence surprise us? And worst, if they teach that right and wrong do not matter should we be surprised that our world is becoming lawless? Our story telling is coming back to get us. We can no longer afford to have immoral heroes and heroines. If we continue with our imaginary gladiatorial games, teaching boys and girls that right and wrong are mythical and violating them has no consequences, what will we say to them when we are staring down the barrel of gun in the real world?

Where is home?

A recent and unsuccessful bought of house shopping has me wondering about something. I have been blessed; especially in the area of finance. First, God taught me to save as a kid. Second, I have no debts to speak of. Third, I have a job I enjoy. Fourth, Alameda Bible Church has let rent their parsonage for the last year. It is a really nice house.

While I’m counting my blessings, I guess I should ask my question. When and how does a house become a home? A house is a thing. Like a rock or stick, it’s just a thing. But when you live in it, you start to take part of your individuality and start organizing the house with it. Events and enjoyable moments start oozing into the woodwork, until we view the house as a home. I think we humans are far too fast to put human emotions into inanimate objects. I’m dealing with this because circumstances are causing me to move. What of the home I’ve made is coming from the house with me? 

My goodness, I sound depressed. Or maybe a little sad, and don’t worry, like Sally Sparrow said in Doctor Who, “Sad is happy for deep people.” So since I’m so deep and sad, I’m happy. And I am happy. No, that’s not true either. I’m blessed. So, what of my home goes with me.

I’m betting the lack of final destination is what bugs me the most. I know what to do with my stuff, and I know where I’ll be living in two weeks. But what I don’t know, is where I’ll be living in two months. Where will MY home be?

C.S. Lewis said that God has made man for heaven and it’s very hard for him to feel at home anywhere else. That’s true. We get into such a pickle thinking this place or that place is home. I don’t have a home here on earth. I’ll never have anything more than a house. My REAL home has been and will always be in heaven.

Here is a reminder from a sad, deep, happy little nut–Your home is where God is.

The Weapons of Christian Warfare

Islam uses violence and fear, and they aren’t the only ones. Lies, manipulation, vice, and other weapons of mass and masses destruction destroy the truth out of spirituality and mankind faster than Kevorkian did away with his patients. What can a Christian do?

Well, for one thing, I stand firmly with those that say we must stand up and fight for what is right! (And if that means more than tough talk {and it does}, so be it!) But before I go off, I have to check the armory. What are my weapons? Hmm.

One: The first and most important item in the arsenal is…….Tada! TRUTH. Pure simple truth. It doesn’t get used that often. But it really helps morale to know that though you may be unpopular, slandered, hated, persecuted, etc, that YOU ARE RIGHT! ” So dust off that Bible and learn the truth. That’s what this fight is about after all–the father of lies against the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Two: This one is hard–You see the Bible (that’s the truth, remember) says “the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” Ouch! Loose the anger, that “righteous indignation” isn’t going to accomplish anything worthwhile. Uhh, I know! I absolutely despise the works of the wicked–I hate it with a perfect hatred! But that’s not the weapon–it’s joy

JOY!? Huh, the Bible (that TRUTH again) says “The Joy of the Lord” is our strength.” Well, that makes sense, people aren’t going to care about a “religion” that offers just more things to be angry about. The world is plenty angry and hopeless. Imagine total hopelessness; wouldn’t ANY joy and hope attract you like a fly to honey or a starving man to a sandwich. But when we’re angry, when we’re bitter–the world has all that; why would they want our version? 

“But it’s so hard to be joyful in this world!” you say, “Don’t you know about _______________.” Yeah, I know.  It is hard, but that’s because we have the wrong perspective. Is God on the throne? Is the world out of God’s control? Is perfect justice going to happen? Guess, what? The answer–from the TRUTH–to all those questions is YES. So, that means, We are winning. Pssst. FYI. I said we’re winning. We should live from the perspective of JOY–We’re winning! Yeah, it’s hard. Yeah, sin is disgusting, hurtful, horrible, and nasty. BUT WE ARE WINNNING!–smile, God loves you. You know how I know? He said so, in a book, a book about How much God loves you! If you can’t have a private revival service thinking about how much God loves you and how He proved it, you’re synical to the point of nauseating. (Excuse me, I need a tissue.)

 Okay, I’m back. WEAPON 3: I kind of gave it away already. Are you ready? This is powerful stuff, handle with care, oh, and use this liberally–Love. “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, that ye love one another.”

(Oh, time out! This is not that rather weak ridiculous stuff that you hear about it songs and poor movies–we’re not talking about romantic nonsensical smooshy sentimentality, but the robust, strong, passionate Agape Love that God has. Okay, sorry to slow you down. Time in!)

We should tangibly love one another as Christians and the lost world–they are the true victims of sin after all.

FOUR: Don’t forget to take a sanctified sense of humor. It really helps to be able to laugh at life. Remember, we have not been given a spirt of fear but of power, love, and a  sound mind.

So, Christians get out there and FIGHT! But remember, we dont’ fight like the world–cuz’ were not of this world.

You, Philosophy, and a Nuclear Reactor.

I’ve am reading great books this summer, City of God by Augustine, How should We then Live by Schaffer, Miracles by C.S. Lewis. Either from over exposure to great Christian Philosophers or some other reason, I wish present to you this illustration.

You are stuck, alone, in the control room of a nuclear reactor. No one can get to you for hours, at least. The control panel starts beeping, and the screen says, “Error 412: Meltdown in 20:00.” It then starts counting down; you have twenty minutes before the reactor goes critical.

Before you can scream and panic, a voice comes over the intercom, “Hi, this Frank, how are you doing up there?”

“The reactor’s going critical! How can I stop it?” You yell.

“Okay, don’t worry about it okay, I know just what to do.” Frank says calmly. “I knew this would happen today. On the control panel in front of you, there is a big blue button. Push it.”

“Okay,” you say marching over to the panel, there are a dozen buttons on the panel, one  is blue. “Are you sure?”

“Oh, yeah, positive, the monkeys told me last night,” Frank says.

“Monkeys?”

“Yeah, the flying monkeys on the wizard of oz. If you listen real closely you can hear them talking to you. They told me to tell you to push the blue button.”

QUESTION: Would you push the blue button? No, why not? Frank could be right. You could need to push the blue button. But you would have no reason to believe that was true. From irrationality, you cannot assume that you can get rational advice.  You disregard Frank’s advice because behind his advice is an irrational idea. This is similar to saying that mankind’s reason came from random forces of nature. IF this were true, we would have no reason to believe that mankind was indeed rational. He would be like Frank, basing cool reason on the gruntings of flying monkeys.

Similarly, if Joe got on the intercome. “Hey, we got everybody together down here. There’s 12 buttons on the panel. Let’s assume you need to press one of them.”

“Thank you!” You say, breathing in trying to remain calm. The timer is now at 15 minutes.

“I’ve got a twister spinner here, lets see.” Joe says, “Okay, we spun it. Push the red button.”

“What?!”

“Push the red button. I spun the spinner; it landed on the red button.”

“But that’s idiotic, get me a nuclear scientist!”

“We’re all scientists down here; there’s twenty of us. We agreed that we should just spin the spinner and see what comes up. Now push the red button.”

You would probably have some very unkind things to say to those scientists, but QUESTION: Why do you disregard there advice? Is it because reason doesn’t come from random chance processes? No matter how many people jump on the side of random chance, are you willing to push a button that could kill you and everyone in twenty miles? Now, they could be right, but you have no reason to believe that they are.

“Is anyone else up there?” you yell at the intercom.

“Hello, this is Philip. What’s the problem?” a voice responds.

“The reactor is going critical! It has ten minutes left!”

“What’s the error?” Philip asks.

“It’s error 412.”

“Oh, my. The coolant is down. Okay, to the control panel. Push the blue button. That will start pumping cold coolant into the reactor. Then wait one minute and push the red button. That will start venting the old coolant. And tell me if anything else happens.”

“Are you sure?”

“Of course I’m sure. I built this reactor.”

QUESTION: What would you do? Do you trust this reasoning? Because he built it, he knows how it’s suppose to work. Would you trust that? I hope it’s obvious what that’s like. If you can’t trust irrational reasons for rationality, or random chance to produce rationality, can you trust the Creator to be the source of rationality?

Hands Up

I am not, I certainly hope, picky or finicky about other peoples style of worship. I don’t fault others for doing what they do when they worship God. If they want to stand, raise their arms, shout Halleluah–go for it. (As long as they aren’t being obnoxious or fake–Like the man that shouts Amen every three seconds.) But for some strange reason, raising one’s hands has always bugged me. 

Now I don’t for a minute think this was or is anything but a personal taste–but when I’m in services when people raise their hands, I get monstrously distracted by it. Why? I never figured that out until recently. I remember at teachers convention, a group of people off to my left raised their hands in the praise service. I can still picture them, and even though I shouldn’t have been I was distracted the whole time by it.

Finally, the answer came at my Brother-in-laws church. It’s a smaller church, Gallup is a smaller town, but when the pastor on the front row raised his hand in the song service–I had to stop myself from calling on him. THAT’S IT! I am a teacher–For seven years, I’ve trained myself to call on those that raise their hands–so when people raise their hands in church I want to call on them and answer theirquestion. Hmmm, go figure.

Tragedy

Tragedy. It’s an interesting thing. I watched an episode of Doctor Who. I like the show. A lot of thinking goes into the stories. But this episode was sad, in the end, the hero—oddly not the doctor—looses everything: his friends, his girlfriend, he even finds out that his mom died from some stupid alien thing. The only happy ending of it was that his girlfriend was turned into an immortal piece of tile—with whom he has a deep, although weird, relationship. I hated it. I wanted the villain to loose and good to triumph. I wanted the lovable character and his lovable friends to have a good ending.

 But they didn’t. I can’t even blame the British. Blast.

 But it got me thinking. (Which, as any fan of film can tell you, is a dangerous pastime.) I’m a Christian, and tragedy is a very, well not anti—because that word and Christian have VERY huge ties—but at least opposite-Christian. Tragedy is the fact that the hero or heroine has something taken from them by the villain whoever or whatever that may be and nothing can make it right again. Romeo and Juliet loose their families and each other. Caesar is murdered. Those two ladies drive off a cliff. The guy’s girlfriend is now a talking piece of tile and his friends are all dead. It’s great drama and all—the hero looses the girl. The villain though properly defeated still wounds, stabs, steals from the hero—and nothing can make it right again.

 In a way, the Christian story is very much like that—The villain, sin and it’s ridiculous underling Satan (Sorry, but I really hate the hyped up stupid nonsense of the Satan type—for crying out loud, he’s the drugged out drug peddler—he’s had a bit too much of his own product, and is the worst slave of sin the world has ever known. Still hate him and all, peeps, but don’t give him too much credit. He doesn’t deserve it. Anyway, back to my sentence.) The villain, sin, took what was best and bravest and most glorious—the perfect man Christ Jesus—and it brutally murdered Him. In the most gruesome way possible, sin destroyed the only one that made sense of it all—the only hope for mankind.

 That’s tragic.

 But on the cross, Jesus Christ won. If it was just a silly movie and not actual historical fact, it would be downright ludicrous—Imagine, the hero being stabbed in the heart by the villain and as he slumps to the floor, smiling and saying, “I win.” But on the cross, the Savior of the world did just that. He cried out, “It is finished.” It wasn’t “I am finished” or “game over” or “we lost.” As He died, He cried out in victory; in the face of sin’s greatest victory, He won.

 He proved it three days later; He rose from the dead. He raised Himself from the dead. Death, Sin’s greatest weapon and right hand man, was defeated as easily as a man telling his butler he’s going out for a walk. The enemies of man, sin and death, were defeated soundly in their moment of greatest triumph—and because of it, anyone can have that same victory. That’s the Christian message.

 Epic? Definitely. Loving? YES! Wonderful? Beyond anything in the world or universe! But tragic? Oh no, not even close.

 So you know what, Comedy—I think God’s behind that. He gave us a sense of humor and proportion. Drama—that too. God’s given us the sense of seriousness to life. Love stories—God is love. The Epic—HA! God invented it! The story in the Bible is about the Epic Love that transcends the wickedness of man and what it took for the righteous, holy God to bring wicked, sinful man back to Himself.

 But not tragedy. God is just—all wrongs will be made right again. All loses are temporary; the villains, even in their most depraved triumphs, are really defeated. And anyone that wants too can be part of the greatest story ever told, the story of how God has made a way for mankind to come to Him.

 But now that I think off it; there is a loss that is permanent. There is a Biblical tragedy: the rebels—real people; not those in a story book—who cry against the things of God and Jesus Christ. They don’t want the salvation offered to them—they won’t take it. They want God to work on their terms, to accept their sin, to not be just and true, like He is. And they are heading just where they’ve chosen too, hell. Now that’s tragic. And what’s even worse, it’s unnecessary.  

 So Doctor Who tried a tragedy; Shakespeare did too. There is a whole industry to the fact—but there is only one real tragedy—rejecting Jesus Christ. It’s pointless. It’s sad. I hate to see it. People, real live people, walking away from hope, freedom, salvation, and love! Each day they go off into a Christ-less eternity. It’s the saddest thing about this stupid sin-cursed world. I hate it!