Monday, March 21, 2011

IMMIGRANTS & COMMANDMENT NINE: DO NOT LIE


I think that one of the most potent realities that polytheism is anti-productive is its disregard for little facts, for little truths. Because polytheism seeks to resolve all things into one, it ignores fundamental distinctions. Fundamental distinctions cause division, and apart from sin, those divisions are not bad. 

It is important to know the difference between a cow and a can opener. The usefulness of any thing is first seen in its definition or in its difference from another thing. Culturally, division is seen as a negative. I am surprised that the Western concept of ying-yang makes a distinction between good and evil at all. I really am, because in the Eastern ideology it is all really the same. It is almost a waste of time making a distinction at all. 

Greek Polytheism was never able to develop science on its own. That is not just because there was no time with all of the wars they fought. It is because they believed that deities controlled various elements and regions of the world. So natural phenomena became interpreted as the interaction of the gods. However, the Ancients were at a loss when it came to a strict understanding of natural phenomena. It was not until the gods themselves began to be diminished and then altogether disappeared that men began to have more of a mechanistic understanding of it. They never knew which coalitions the gods had made today, so they never knew what to expect. Of course, they were able to chart out certain cycles and patterns, but that was primarily out of necessity. 

What does that mean for us today? The people groups who surround us do not all carry with them a strict scientific view of the universe or of the world or of our behaviors or of America. They have their own deistic or animistic narratives and explanations for them, and I am certain that according to their traditional and historical narratives America takes a subservient role. Understand this. This is another hurdle we must recognize. The immigrants we pass by each day carry with them beliefs that used to be incarcerated within borders or that by its seemingly functional inferiority or incompatibility were relegated to other time periods.

These beliefs will either be strengthened or weakened by our narrative. In other words, you/we are now a part of their narrative! That apologetical strategy that relied heavily upon logical syllogisms to "win people for Christ" is not going to be the dominant way converts are made anymore. Consider that on the Emmaus Road the two disciples are given a narrative. The Ethiopian eunuch was given a narrative. The Early Church was given a narrative. Time and time again you see this. Now, the narrative either will be true or not. It will either resonate with others or it will not. It will either fit reality or it will not. Nevertheless, in expression it is a less fixed thing than a syllogism was ever understood to be. 


By refusing to live in the subjunctive this way, I am funneled to in the affirmative or declarative. Now I am compelled to speak in terms of truth else I lie. 



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