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.”
July 28, 2012
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?
July 21, 2012
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?
April 4, 2012
This is a review and criticism of the Movie “Hunger Games.” I have not yet read the Book Series.
As far as the movie technical side is concerned, I have two emphatic words for movie makers out there–STEADY CAM! I nearly lost my lunch with all the shaky camera work. I understand you can’t show the gore and thank you for trying to not show it, but hand cameras wasn’t the answer.
The Movie focuses on a future totalitarian government forcing each district to sacrifice a boy and girl to fight to the death in pageantry rich television show called the Hunger Games. The heroine and the “hero” (we’ll deal with that later) are mentored by a drunk previous survivor–His advice is play the game, get sponsors, and be smart. With his advice and backstage manipulation and wheeling dealing manages to get the director of the games to play for ratings–this allows both heroine and hero to band together and survive. In a last minute rules change, the heroine is forced to kill the hero. Instead she responds with calling the directors bluff–nearly committing suicide. The couple come home as “star-crossed lovers” having given a sick society a great dose of bloody violence and a warm fuzzy love story.
There are three fully capable human beings in this story. The heroine, the mentor, and president of this sick government. The heroine, who volunteered to take the place of her younger sister, is ready to fight, get friends, protect them, and do what is necessary to survive the games she hates. This “do whatever it takes” includes playing the lover to the hero–giving the sick society her love story as a means to root for and help her. The mentor, a drunk survivor of a previous years games, is also fully capable-as a wheeler dealer, he gets help dropped into the games and gets a crucial rule change thrown into the games–this motivates the heroine to join the hero. The president is also competent–understanding the purpose of the games, to distract and control the people. He has the director killed when he fails to the heroine’s bluff.
Everyone else is a shallow shell of a human being. The heroine’s mom is shell shocked over the violent death of her husband. The hero’s mom is abusive. The games ridiculously dressed sponsors are more concerned with the heroine’s manners than the fact that they are about to die. Even the kind stylist, in a moment of deep kindness, tells the heroine, “If I could, I’d bet on you.” The other players serve as victims; their deaths dramatically serve the same function as the gladiators, to entertain the masses and cause them to root for the survivor–the cruel ones die vicious deaths we are supposed to cheer for and the kind ones die tragic deaths we are supposed to cry for. The audience is never invited to think that it’s cheering kids killing each other–even the “Lord of the Flies” didn’t make that mistake.
The “hero” is the worst example of this. A pusilanimous baker’s son, he plays the wimpy man to emphasise the strong woman of the heroine. Personally I find this type overdone. He also, more insultingly, plays up the romance angle. He can’t survive himself so he depends on his strong “girlfriend.”
That being said, the movie was well done. The story was very engaging and I’m looking forward to reading the books. More importantly, I’m looking forward to engaging in some very heavy thinking. These stories lack the one thing that made the gladiatorial games illegal–a Christian understanding of the worth of every human.
I have one thing that truly concerns me about the whole story in general though. While many people in the story hated the games, and hated the killing, and hated the government–no one actually even said it was wrong! No one in the story made a moral judgment. It was all what they liked or didn’t like. Murder, violence, cruelty, mistreatment of the poor, and totalitarian governments are not things that are icky like rats or mold; they are WRONG. And they aren’t wrong because I dislike them, they are wrong because God says they are wrong in the Bible. This was the moral failing of the story–while it said the games were bad, sick, messed up; No one ever got up and condemned them as wrong no matter what the consequences.
September 24, 2011
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.
July 5, 2011
I like to write; which comes with other statement, I like to read. Lately, I miss the competent humans in books. It’s like the whole world has resigned itself to the fact that mankind is REALLY messed up. Many (if not all) the modern books I’ve seen are about–“Oh, wow, some horrible thing beyond my control has really messed me up and will continue to do so; but I must fight for something by creepy bordering-on-committable stalking and obsession.” (I am thinking of Twilight by the way, but also basically EVERY other book in recent years.)
I like Dean Koontz; Now his characters are often (always?) messed up beyond reason; and, even though the bad guys usually get it in the end, I have a complaint.
Here is the thing: I am a Christian–and as such, I have a world view that allows me to make sense of every given circumstance that I will ever encounter–This includes the supernatural, natural, normal, paranormal, kind, cruel, nasty, freakish, and quiet. So, I in my reading I have to muddle through the emotional angst of characters that come from the other side of the track.
These characters represent the nonsensical contradictory veiws of the humanist, the atheist, the pantheist, the Buddhist, or nature worshipper. And those are just the worldviews –add the usual self-destructive, lustful, self-loathing that comes with the worldviews and OUCH! I get headaches thinking about it.
I like Characters that are not messed up by circumstances; I like the conquerors–the characters that look at the problem, and solve it. That take their problems and improve themselves by them. I like hope, confidence, respect, and courage. The Fellowship of the Ring that against all odds launches an attack at the greatest evil of their day. Aslan offering himself for Edmund. Miss Who as a star exploding-driving back the darkness. I like the people that don’t resign them to defeatist modern attitude.
I guess, like Jack, if I want books that I like to read, I’m gonna have to write them. (P.S. Anyone know who Jack is?)
June 18, 2011
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.
“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.”
“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?
January 5, 2011
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.
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!
December 31, 2010
Okay, I know sin is wrong–I mean that’s the definition. Sin is wrong! No argument from me there. But what is the worst thing about sin? I was listening to a pastor on the radio. He was ranting about how sin will destroy your life. And he is 100% right–sin will destroy your life. I teach that! In seventh grade, we are going over the rules of reality and number 5 is “Sin will destroy you!”
But I’m thinking, is sin destroying my life really the worst thing about it? NO. What about other things we know about sin? Sin hurts other people. Sin causes all the world’s problems. Sin is evil. Sin is controlling. ALL TRUE. But not one of those is the worst thing about sin!
God hates sin (rule of reality number 3), and the worst thing about it is the fact that it hurts or offends God. Sin put Christ on the cross–where He took the wrath of God for every person whoever existed, which is the most fearsome event in all of time. So the worst thing about sin, is not that it hurts me or my friends or my family or society or any of that. By far, by an infinite amount, the worst thing about sin, is it hurts God.
So, sin will hurt you–stay away. Sin will hurt others–stay away. Sin offends God–STAY AWAY!!!!!!!!!
October 3, 2009
I like this restaurant Albuquerque called Weck’s. It states that it has a “full-belly tradition.” I like that too, and the mounds of hash-browns and the pancakes as big as hub-caps. Oddly enough, the decoration of these restaurants is done in classic movies with plenty of space for Gene Kelly, Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, and Audrey Hepburn. It actually got me thinking.
Now, at first, it got me thinking about the difference in beauty. Where Marilyn’s beauty was from her sensual appeal; Audrey Hepburn was different. In Hepburn, you have an attractive woman with depth of character and intrigue–which is a higher quality beauty. Marilyn Monroe is also very pretty, but she comes across as loose or cheap. Her actions and modesty issues produced a persona of a plaything rather than that of a valuable beautiful woman.
Both of the women were pretty, no one would argue that either wasn’t; but one presented herself as much more than a pretty face, while the other reveled in only that. Then I noticed something else. Two life-size photos of the two actresses. Marylin in a once-piece swimsuit and Audrey in an evening dress.
Marylin was not skinny! She wasn’t fat but she totally lacked that nearly twiggish body type that our society currently tries to elevate to the position of truly beautiful. If Marylin Monroe would be too big for our society’s current obsession of beauty, who isn’t? Something is definitely wrong!
The thing is the “natural beauties” of the silver screen are nothing natural. If you don’t believe me, go to the local pool during water aerobics. I also suggest you don’t eat first. Those “natural bodies” will cure you of wanting to see! Those unfortunate enough to be the beauties of Hollywood can’t really enjoy life-They must constantly maintain their petite to super-petite physiques. Marylin Monroe was pretty; I don’t think she used that gift well, but she was a beauty and no one would argue differently. However, she was not a skinny body sculpture of today’s obsessed culture.
What the problem is, is that we have allowed those that have been blessed with good features and then abused themselves to extremes to manipulate those features to be the standard of beauty. But as a twenty minute swim at the local pool will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt; all those feautres are fleeting. Time will not be put off. It will conquer any physique.
But then that brings me back to Audrey Hepburn. She had something more than physical beauty. She was not just a pretty face, but a lady with class and character. I can speak from a guy’s perspective, being pretty is great; but a girl with class and character is a prize that is really attractive.
May 8, 2009
I have been noticing that most of the world doesn’t like the law of sowing and reaping. The world hates that what they do has consequences. What is abortion but a way of running from consequences? Why is AIDS such a horrific disease? Why are humanists so mad at even the idea of God? I have been reading about Atheism and one of their major arguments is that evil exists in this world and God shouldn’t allow it. But I can’t help but think about the game RUNESCAPE; Runescape is a mmo-rpg. Basically you walk around a huge world with thousands of people and you do stuff. When you start the game, you end up the city of Lumbridge. Once, there you can basically do anything! You can adventure however you want. One of the biggest quests you can play for free is to kill an evil dragon that has destroyed an island.
If the dragon kills you, it is no big deal. When you die, you’ll come right back. Sure you might loose a little loot and you’ll have to walk from Lumbridge back to the dragon’s cave. But someday, you will beat it. Someday, you will win. You know that if the dragon kills you that you will get it in the end.
But when you do kill the dragon, it comes right back. When you stop the black knight, he comes right back. When you save the man turned into a chicken, he gets right into trouble again. NOTHING ever turns out bad or good forever because every decision you make doesn’t matter. You can threaten to kill a man one second and the next he will politely give you directions. The thing is that every decision you make is fake. It doesn’t have any real consequences.
Runescape is fun for a while, but it gets boring really quickly because really nothing matters. What if God had allowed the atheists to have their way; no consequences for actions–no tragedy follows choices no matter how foolish, sinful, or selfish. Hitler kills Jews, but they come right back. Fathers are drunks and abandon their kids, but there families have no ill effects. People fornicate whenever, where ever with whoever or whatever–no pregnancy or STDS. Wouldn’t it be great?
But what about good choices? The single mother that works two jobs to send her son to Christian school or college–Her sacrifice doesn’t matter. He turns out the same if she works or not. The Father that loves his family, the soldier that fights bravely, the shrewd investor, the inventive entrepreneur, the honest politician–none of their choices for right matters one bit. Everything ends up the same no matter what–Life on earth becomes like Runescape.
This would apply across the whole spectrum of human relationships. Imagine if dating resulted the same way if a man was a gentlemen or a sexist pig; a woman a lady of virtue or a harlot. It didn’t matter if you loved, hated, cared, or cried. Nothing matters-That is the wonderland that Atheist want so badly to believe is the reality. But to me that is like wishing you could go to the fair to watch others ride the rides and eat the funnel cakes. No, it’s worse than that. It’s like wishing away all that makes human life worth living. The only thing you could ever satisfy is bass instincts–you would be an uncontrolled and useless animal. All the wonder of life, the real love, care, etc. would be gone. There would be no consequences in life because their would be no life. All that makes us worth while would be gone, replace with nothing but useless, empty, tepid entertainment that would merely distract for a few moments before we again revel in our empty, pointless existence.
I thank God that He is so much smarter than us and so much kinder too. He could have had automaton that would not mess up, but He knew that giving mankind choices, REAL choices, was so much better. Yes, we have tragedy, but we have triumph. We have suffering but we have love. What we do, each of us, every moment does matter–It really matters. So Dawkins and his crowd can complain, but I am glad God choose to make our reality real and our will real too. I don’t blame God when wicked people choose evil and sin. I rejoice that I can effect reality just as much by choosing righteousness and love.