Monday, March 21, 2011

IMMIGRATION & COMMANDMENT TWO: NO CARVED IMAGES


More often than not, God is framed as the best that a category has to offer. But God is not a commodity. God is not a better I-pod. God has forbidden our association of Him with any finite object: concrete or abstract. He is not restricted by form because He is not material. American Christians in large numbers everywhere seem to be unaware of this doctrine because they don't understand its preeminence in normal, daily life. They believe one must rationally associate God with some "thing."


I disagree. A man is not initially separated from God because he is metaphysically small. A man is initially separated from God because He is not God. After all, in part or whole, God is not the things He created. Alienation from God on the basis of ontology (being) is good and proper and the foundation for all sound reason. Though man is made in the image of God, man is not of the same essence as God. Further, to reduce God to an amenable concept is simply abuse of God and subsequently abuse of man. If God were a commodity, then we have the Zoroastrian tension between “special” objects and “non-special” objects so that material "things" become associated with God Himself. Things eventually become synonymous with God. 

The final result of this thought-form is the re-enchantment of nature. That is to say, certain natural elements take on a super-spiritual nature and special rules and regulations are applied to them in a way that they are not applied to the "others." We can be at fault for the same heresy if we elevate any particular commodity above others as a most effective vehicle for "conversion." 

Because culture changes, it is true that certain forms are better vehicles for communication than others. After all, it makes sense to communicate to a person whose mother-tongue is Spanish in Spanish versus making them jump through the hoop of learning English before they are culturally acceptable enough to "handle the Truth." Further, it makes sense to have a handle on Spanish (or whatever language it is) itself from grammar to word use to idiomatic expressions. However, absolute clarity in conversation is not even an effectual means for converting an immigrant to the Gospel. Our own denominational bent admires serious intellectual discussion and the reading of books (particular books). Still, these are not especially assured agents in conversion. To think so is fundamentally to mistake God for a thing. 

As many of you are aware, an intelligent mind in our town invented the Evange-cube, a puzzle cube that when manipulated illustrates the different parts of the "salvation" message. It is my understanding that Evange-cube does not put any special "weight" on the effectiveness of their cube: they simply intend to distribute the cube in countries where the Bible is scarce. After all, it is a clever way to distribute information of any sort. Evange-cube has gone the proper length in thinking about the "effectiveness" of its commodity. 

However, another organization of which I am familiar is intent to expose every part of the world to the Gospel within a specific time-frame. They not only believe their specific accomplishment of that mission will statistically increase the number of Christians, but they actually believe it will be a catalyst for the Second Coming of Christ. They actually believe they can effectively speed up prophetic events. I think they are in breach of the second commandment. 



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