June 9, 2013

A Committed Relationship In A Clockwork Universe

The Bible repeatedly speaks to loving God with all your heart (feeling and being) and loving your neighbor (fellow human being). It is in this very way (among others) that men are created in the image of God or Imago Dei. When God created man in His own image he made a deliberate creation unlike every other object in the creation including animals. All in the physical creation including animals are not capable of love and reciprocating love in the manner and depth that a human being can. The naturalists will attempt to tell you otherwise by stating that man is nothing more than an evolved ape but the truth is that even they can see that there is clearly something more involved when dealing with the consciousness and cognizance of humanity. If we are only the sum whole of our parts which are chemically and atomically the same as animals, we must admit that there has to be something more than just minuscule pieces of DNA and different ratios of chemicals that allow mankind to be self-conscious or self-aware.

On the other hand we have an automaton or mechanical universe outside of the human mind and being. Where man is driven or drawn by cognizant volitional thought, the rest of physical Creation is not. Only the angels in the spiritual realm come close to humans in this aspect. Animals think and react similar to humans (mimic) but they do not necessarily do so in a manner that is linked to conscious choice with a premeditation to achieve a certain end(s). The key I believe is to understand that the “thought” animals do is more instinct or reactionary. If thought is involved it is not as in a human being.

This is why man is responsible for his own sin as stated in the Bible-whereas the rest of creation is not. This is why man is responsible to seek out God where the rest of Creation is not. This is why man is responsible to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. If man can think to the depth described he is rational enough and logical enough to analyze the details of the Christian God and His holy text and arrive at the conclusion that it is truth. If man is indeed the rational and logical being as stated, they should have the capability to see the logical inconsistencies within the dogma, doctrine and holy books of other religions. Therefore they have no excuse to not recognize the true and proper God of the Christian Holy Writ: The Holy Bible.

What’s more we need to realize this: We need to look at the mechanical or clockwork universe that has no soul in and of itself and realize that humans do.

This is why mechanical and vain repetition is so abhorrent to God. The ritualistic approach to God that gives lip-service and actions/works but no cognizant meaningful thought that could in any way be construed as a purposeful “relationship” is not what God called us to in the Bible. When we worship God by mindlessly chanting to a nebulous void rather than talking directly to the thinking and listening omniscient/omnipotent Christ…we become exactly like the remainder of Creation-robotic and mechanical. 

Isaiah 29:13 ~ The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.

We become perfunctory, mindless and reactionary. This is not a relationship…it is ritual and a dead soul. It is death for the dead. It is clear that man was not created to be like the rest of the Creation (Genesis 1:27) regardless of what the rest of the godless evolutionary world will lead you to believe. We are called to a familial relation with God not only with ourselves but with our families as units in our homes and churches.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 ~ You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Jesus, when posed the question by the crowd of what was the greatest commandment, He responded succinctly. It is no coincidence that He did so while interacting in a relational manner with others as both God and man acting as intermediary between the Father and the people. This therefore is addressed in the Shema above and in Jesus' answer in the New Testament (covenant).

Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I suggest that man is by his very nature a “personal” being as opposed to an animal that can be close but not personal as there is no “persona/personality” inherent in animals. There are only personalities imposed on animals. Personality is a characteristic only found in God, angels and in particular...man. The relational Triune God created a relational being that only fully emulates the triune Godhead in its married form because the two then become one. It is the literal: “You complete me” statement. The full completed relationship is God/man/woman. Hierarchically, it remains in this order also. We see a relational God of order, love and continuity.

The relational / personal aspect is made even more obvious by the fact that God deliberately communicates within the Godhead itself and God chooses also to verbally communicate with man. God has further solidified His relational connection with man by revealing what needed to be known of Him for salvational purposes through writing in the Bible. The Word/logos itself being God and God being the Word incarnate. When was the last time you saw a rock or an animal that could communicate or read at an articulate level?

Matthew 6:7 ~ “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.

These are the very reasons why mindless ritualistic nonsense that is so emblematic of the pagan religions is so reprehensible to the Christian God who desires a loving relationship. It is also what makes ritualistic religion so unfulfilling to the pagan and misguided Christian alike. It (dare I say it) dehumanizes and depersonalizes the divinely ordained relationship and relational status of God and man in a true Christian faith. It mechanizes and creates robots of what should’ve been loving interactions. It puts hearts of stone in chest where there should’ve been hearts of flesh.

The relational desire built right into mankind’s very essence is so profound and pervasive that even the non-believer desires it in the absence of God. It is their ignorance and very sin that prevents them from recognizing the very thing that will fill the God-shaped vacuum in their lives. It is the very sin that resides within the non-believer that prevents them from fulfilling that needed relation with God because the sin itself estranges the non-believer from God. In that separating distance the non-believer loses bearing without God and their ignorance of God that acts as an anchor dragging them down away from God and further adrift into sinful wandering.

History’s flow is a constant interaction of humanity with God. The claim that God becomes more silent as time goes on is countermanded by the fact of the very incarnation itself. God doesn’t separate further and further from man as time elapses in the Bible but actually He inches closer and closer to man until the amazing miracle of God actually condescending and becoming man once and for all (albeit a divine man). God wanted a meaningful relation with man so much that He actually became one of us because we could not become Him. He died for our sins because we could not. He did so to maintain that relationship for eternity. A loving relationship with God that no other of this visible created order could have-not the star systems and galaxies of the clockwork universe nor the animals or plant life that are so much a part of our everyday lives. Man is unique in his salvational relationship with God. God Himself is unique par excellence as there is none other like Him. Yet he deemed it necessary to make us in His very image. I posit this is because He wanted a unique relationship- just He and us, Him and I. Relationships with each of us individually but also communally. Individual personalities yet unified in Christ. It is in this very relationship that man finds His ultimate reason for being and value as a human. In this relationship between God and His highest order creation, God is glorified as He has created a being that is able to reciprocate His love through conscious choice.

A parting note: Our reward in Heaven will not be heaven in and of itself- it will be a face-to-face relationship with God. It is a relationship, not an apathetic recitation of mumbo-jumbo to a non-being or un-person. People ask: What eternal paradise would remain a paradise if someone would exhaust all meaningful things to do and then have heaven turn into a mundane repetitive Hell. This obviously is a question from a finite perspective and a limited human mind. It is a question from a person that does not know the Bible, the power of God nor what Heaven will be like. By approaching God and Heaven from this level we are approaching ignorantly and finitely and we really miss the point.

Mark 12:25 ~ "Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?

The reality is this. We are saved to the eternal relationship with the eternal limitless God, whose treasures and wonders can never be exhausted. There will be no mundane repetition to endure only new things from an eternal God whom we can never reach the end of. Because of these things we will never cease to be amazed, be thankful or cease worship and praise of Him. Why would we want to cease praising Him, He has saved us to an infinite Kingdom of constant new wonders. The more His wonder becomes evident to us the more we will stand in the presence of eternal glory in dumbfounded amazement, not tortured hellacious monotony. It makes sense that we should not approach Him in a casual manner with repetitive and robotic ritualistic praise. He deserves more…much more…eternally more. He showed how much he loved, why can’t we show him the same back?

Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul and mind. Love Him infinitely just has He can and does love you being an infinite God! We are not alone nor will we be ever. It is the very relationship that we have with God that helps complete us and moves us towards our ultimate destiny and it is a failure of that relationship of falling away from it that will damn us for eternity.

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