Saturday, August 27, 2011

Avatar the sermon

  No, this is NOT a repeat of the Matrix blog. In fact its going to be the oposite. I'm not going to be redeeming Avatar, I'm going to be JUDGING it!  Which is ironic considering the sermon that inspired this blog told the congregation that judging is bbbaaaadd.

     So the inspiration for this came from a sermon by a local pastor. It was part of a "God at the movies" series from North Point church One of the first things I would like to say about this, is if you've been to the movies much lately, it's hard to say with any certainty that God is actually there. Especially in a movie such as Avatar.

The Sermon, which I don't think you can see on their website but you can find on ITunes, was not good. "Pastor" Tommy Sparger used the movie as an example of empathy, learning to walk in some one else shoes. And the movie does explore that quite literally. There is nothing wrong with empathy. Empathy is good and the world probably needs more of it. However this was a church and the pastor was using a decidedly unGodly example  to try to make a point of Godly empathy. I would have thought a better thing to preach from would be say maybe Mark ch1 where Jesus goes to the desert to be tempted by Satan, or any number of points in the New Testament where the writer talks about Jesus taking on human form for us.

The sermon was decidedly not Jesus centric.  The high point of the sermon came towards the end where he talked about how their was not judgement at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ just grace. Which is true, however he neglected to say grace for what.  Never once when talking about the cross did he go in to any explanation of why Jesus went to the cross.  He didn't explain that Jesus Christ went to the cross in our place. That he took the punishment that we should have gotten for our sin and that we all need to repent of our sin and believe and accept Jesus Christ as our lord and savior! Apparently he was too busy talking about how judging is bad and that we need to be empathetic and not hurt peoples feeling to tell them that we are all sinners bound for hell except for the those who accept the saving grace of Jesus.

This is not an anomaly. This is pretty much par for the course for this church and for more and more churches around the country and the world. The job of the pastor is not to tickle peoples itching ears with little feel good lectures and pretty speeches, it's to proclaim the Gospel. that Jesus Christ died for our sins. That he rose on the third day and now sits at the right hand of God and he's coming back for those that believe and to judge those that don't.

So lets turn now to the movie he use, Avatar. Don't get me wrong I actually like the movie. It's a good fantasy/sci-fi flick, beautifully filmed and technically amazing.  However with that said I don't think I would ever take any theological ideas from it.  Pastor Mark Driscoll once called it a "Demonic and Satanic film" and I'm not sure he's far off. The Ideology put forth in Avatar is not in any way, shape or form Christian. It's just not. 

The Na'vi, the natives of the planet on which the movie took place were the very model of paganism and pantheism.  They worshiped the planet and everything on it as well they had a "goddess" called "Ehwah" who was said to be part of everything, and that the whole planet is "alive".  This is the Ideology that they fight for in going up against the human who want to mine the planet.  In the end they win with the help of the planet as the many of the wild creatures begin attacking the humans in the last battle of the movie. 

The whole movie could be considered a Gaia theory/extreme environmentalism PSA with a little new age spirituality tossed in. So ,yeah you could easily call this movie demonic from a biblical point of view. Which is why I say it was completely inappropriate to use this or pretty much the majority of movies as examples in a church.  I did write a blog using matrix point of view but I don't think I would actually preach that as a sermon in a church, it was a response to another point of view.

This same church has a sermon series coming up about Hell. I am both curious and concerned about his take on Hell.  The bottom line is, that Pastors need to get back to preaching the Gospel  and if you're going to use an example from the world you better be able to tie it back to the Gospel or not preach it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

On Gnosticism

Gnosticism is some thing I find fascinating and it's something that is very seductive. Here is the point where I would try to define gnosticism, unfortunately defining gnosticism is like trying to nail jello to a wall or prove whether or not Barack Obama is a natural born citizen. It's a subjective ,every flowing ,ever changing thing.
Their are a few points I think I can corral in general.

First a twisting of the Bible. Like in my last blog, many gnostics consider God as portrayed in the old testament as a false, dictatorial, entity that's not actually God and they see Satan as portrayed in the garden in Eden as a liberator or savior who brought man out of ignorance.

Second they don't see Jesus as god or savior of man. In gnostic thought line that I am most familiar with, Jesus is not even seen as actually existing. He is seen as a savior archetype and his mythological death and resurrection was not to save men from their sin but to reconcile the fallen "Sophia" to the unknowable god.

Third that God  did not create the universe but he did. Ok this is where gnosticism gets a little confusing. The Unknowable god Created the Heavenly realms and after that their was just a bunch of junk (matter) laying around. At some point comes along this "Demi-urge" character who thinks he's God and from the junk laying around fashions the material universe and calls himself god.

Next is the character of Sophia. Sophia is a Greek word that means wisdom. In gnostic mythology Sophia or wisdom has been personified as a goddess with her own storyline and various incarnations. In fact she's actually seen as the savior of man and not Jesus Christ. When in gnosticism like with Kabbalah when talking about the various heavenly or diving entities they are spoken of as emanations from the one "unknowable" god. Sophia  was one of the last emanations from the one and wanted to create something without paring with the one and actually created a deformed blind arrogant creature who was the Demi-urge. (it seem Wisdom wasn't so wise) and thus causing her to be separated from  "the one".

Many gnostics also have espoused the idea of reincarnation as well as other eastern ideas. Many a hatred of mainstream Christianity especially  Catholicism, anything with orthodox in the name, and any that consider themselves fundamentalist and of this created world in general seeing matter as evil.  As they see them as worshiping the evil demi-urge. Another strong trait is that they don't recognize the authority of any scripture really, they take ideas from the Bible, nag hammadi, and other apocryphal and psuedopigraphical works though seeing non of them as the ultimate authority. And still others look to other works such as the writings of the mystery schools, works of Jung, works from Philip K. Dick, and even movies such as "The Matrix" and "Dark City" for spiritual ideas.

Gnostics often claim to be the christianity before christianity and were spoke about in the Bible as false teachers. Some claim Paul as a gnostic saint as he never met Christ in the flesh but had a vision of him on the way to Damascus. Though I have listed some common points here the stated goal of gnosticism is supposed personal revelation of  god or "gnosis". Which is fine, Paul talked about having spiritual knowlege of God, he also talked about testing it under the light of scripture and if it didn't measure up it should be considered the teaching of demons (tim 4:1) . The gnostics take all spiritual wisdom as good whether and especially if doesn't agree with scripture.

This is just a very very quick over view of gnosticism, as I said gnosticism is like looking an ever shifting desert almost impossible to pin down, Knowledge from God is not though, James the brother of Jesus Christ writes, Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow. (jam 1:17), and like I said above, while Gnosticism is extremely seductive and it tends to speak a language similar to Christianity it is a shifting shadow.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Is God a reptilian alien overlord?

Ok I see this...this...ridiculousness pop up every once in a while and I just thought I would address it. This is actually response to this comment I saw on a youtube video :

" I believe ppl got all wrong with the all seeing eye, its not Lucifer its Yahweh, from my own direct experience Yahweh is a reptilian Annunaki god who is in control of humanity, the serpent in the garden is actually the good guy you just have to look at the message and who is trying to empower you, is it empowering to have to submit to a dictator god or the realization that you can become your own god? GNOSIS!"


I've heard this over and over again over the last few years and frankly I find it one of the dumbest idea's I've ever come across. So lets actually look at the story from Genesis, at least the parts that pertain to this, and see exactly why this guy is wrong.

"And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.s14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.s15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Gen 2:8

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:s17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. "
Gen 2:16

Ok so at this point God has created the entire universe and Adam and now on the Earth, God has created a special garden just for man, and from the description it sounds like some place I wouldn't mind going, four rivers, gold, animal, all the fruit you can eat and every body is running around naked. One exception, God has put two special tree in the middle of the garden. "The tree of life", which when we read further we would have gotten to eat from had we not disobeyed, and the tree of "Knowledge of Good and Evil" and all he said was do not eat from the the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, that's it. Had Adam and Eve listened we'd all be running around naked, eating from the tree of life and playing with our pet velociraptors (nothing ate meat till after the flood) and communing with our creator.  I don't know about you but that sounds like a pretty sweet life to me.

Then enter Satan who came disguised as a snake (which is...wait for it...a reptile) and tempted Eve to eat from the tree.

Genesis 3:1-5 ESV

"Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?"
And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

So...Satan came to Eve and said "ya know God the guy who made you and the rest this stuff? Screw him do what you want and eat from the tree and it'll make you a god too." And she did and then he did and it's all been down hill from there.

All this we have to deal with now, war, hate, famine, disease, government, all this came from that one disobedient act. So how does this make Lucifer the "good guy"? I don't see it. Because after this God kicks out of the garden  and because sin has entered in to and currupted us and the rest of creation and now every thing is a struggle. So if the God who loves us and created a paradise for us is evil and the reptile who helped get us kicked out is good well then color me evil! But God is not evil, he is good Jesus says only God is good and he wants us to go back to paradise.  In fact he loves us so much and is so good he sent his only son to suffer and die for us so we can go back to paradise.

So is Yhvh an annunaki alien, reptilian overlord? No, it's a lie and it seems to be one of Satans favorites. That God is bad and you can be a god. But God is good and infite and we are flawed an finite.

However all is not lost, like I said, our good, infinite, perfect God sent his only son Jesus Christ to redeem us, so we can go back to paradise and not have to spend eternity in torment, in hell with Satan and his demons. 

As far as the message the poster was talking about. Gods message is love. Eternal, unconditional love but he cannot abide sin, that is why need Jesus.

Satans message is hate, greed, selfishness. He hates God and he hates you.

So what's your choice?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dumb as a box of hair

I just commented on a friend facebook that our representative in D.C. are stupid and they are. From a normal common sense perspective they're dumb as a box of hair. If you have a debt problem you don't fix it by spending more.

However if u want to take down a country from the inside. If you want to remove it's sovereignty and make it dependent on a global system without an armed take over, then you spend like a crack head with a stolen credit card.  In this light what has just happened (debt ceiling, super congess etc...) makes perfect sense.  Look at Obama who during the election was campaigning all over europe. Why? They don't vote in our elections. This shows his "global" mind set.  I don't for one minute that he's loyal to America like most americans are. conclusion is that all this we're seeing in Washington is globalist maneuvering. I truely belive the next step is the Amero. We might even see it before the next election...if there is one