Saturday, January 14, 2006

God's Way Or My Way Pt 1

"Son, in 35 years of religious study, I have only come up with two hard incontrovertible facts: there is a God, and I'm not Him" --Father Cavenaugh (from the movie, "Rudy")

The following is a message that was given by a best selling Christian author. It is not word for word the same, as I can only recount it from memory.

There's really only two religions in the world. Either God is God or man is God. It all boils down into one of those two categories. It is also a reflection of two attitudes. You are either going to have an attitude like Christ had, or you're going to have an attitude like Lucifer (aka Satan) has.

Let's look at the two attitudes.

Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV) tells us, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who being in very nature, God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled Himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every other name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in Heaven and in Earth, and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Now. Bear in mind that Jesus, who is God, humbled Himself and became a man, which was very nice of Him, considering that most people today are trying to become God, the perfect opposite.

See? You have two attitudes there. You talk to some of these cultists or occultists and they say, "Oh, we're all God. Didn't Moses say we are all Gods?" Well, actually, no, he didn't, but that just shows how much they know, but anyway, then they get to Jesus and the first thing they say is, "Well, you know, He didn't really claim to be God".

Everybody gets to be God but Jesus! That just reflects the attitude that's out there.

But what's this other attitude? Where did it come from? What's it like? Well, let's go to Isaiah 14. This is where it began.

This is the fall of Lucifer. Beginning with verse 12: How you have fallen from Heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the Earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, "I will ascend to the heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." (NIV)

He said to himself, "I'm going to be the head honcho around here. I'm going to be in charge. I'm going to run the show, I'm going to be God, I'm going to make all the rules, create my own reality, have my own way, be the boss, I'm going to be the head honcho of Heaven."

But that didn't take him far. He got found out, and down to the earth he went. Now he's moping, and pouting, and stewing. "Boy that God, what a bad sport He is, kicking me out of heaven...Who does He think He is? God? I'm going to get God, if it's the last thing I do." And he puzzles with himself, trying to figure out how he's going to "get God".

And he wanders around on Earth until he stumbles across the garden of Eden, and he runs into the apple of God's eye, the joy of God's creation, the center of God's purpose. He looks upon...Mankind.

And he formulates a plan.

He thinks, "God, being totally just, had to kick me out of His presence, when I rebelled, when I wanted to do my own thing,when I wanted to be God. If I can convince mankind to buy into that same lie, and to assert himself and try to be God, and rebel against God, and be arrogant, God, being perfectly just, will have to kick him out of His presence, and kick mankind out of the garden, it's a beautiful plan!"

And, in the form of a snake, he sneaks into the garden.

There, he encounters Eve. Here is the way Genesis Chapter 3 describes the encounter:

Genesis 3:1 (NIV) Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" ( "I mean, really, Eve, Let's be open minded about this, Did God really say that? How do you know what God really said? I mean, after all, It's been translated so many times, it can't possibly be accurate any more.) 2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from any tree in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"

4 "You will not surely die, the serpent said to the woman, "for God knows that when you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

In other words, "Eve, if you eat that fruit, you will have an altered, higher state of consciousness! You will see things you've never seen before! You'll have truth and reality you've never experienced before! You'll be able to create your own universe, call your own shots, make your own rules, you'll be able to judge for yourself what is right and what is wrong! You will be the ultimate arbitrator of all truth and all reality! Oh, what a package! All you have to do is eat the fruit!"

So Eve said, "Ok". And she ate the fruit.

But really, it's not the fruit. It's the fact that they ate the fruit, the fact that at a heart level, they decided, "I want to go for that. I want to do my own thing, have my own way, call my own shots, make my own rules...I want to be God".

Who could pass that up? Well, none of us ever did, you know.

It's called "sin".

(Read more here).


Timothy said...

Very good post Mark.
Quite good. That is the difference in the two camps... God is God and saves man, or man is god and save himself. I use to have a pastor who said that all the time, only two religions and he is right on the money. The Seed of the woman, or the seed of the serpent. city of God or city of man. The hard part is discerning those who claim to be in the city of God, while actually pushing for and advancing the city of man. I think that is why there are so many disagreements in our circles about what the Bible says... there are those who are advocating the city of man, while claiming to be for the city of God.

One of the things that strikes about those who do that, is that they are so arrogant and proud. They lack one of the basic fruits of the Spirit, humility. And the moment you point out something like this to them, you are the one who is arrogant and proud... Just love Jesus, they say, but the do not do as long as they ignore His word. It's frustrating.

But I digress. Excellent post.

Mark said...

Timothy, I hope you clicked the link where it says, "Read more here"... I created a whole other blog just to put that message on it. And I'm still not finished with it. there's much more to come.

Gayle said...

I didn't click on the link Mark, but I will, I promise! It's very well written, although I'm afraid you will now be in a battle with atheists once they come across this.

I came here to say I saw your delicate comment (ROTFALMAO!) over at Alabama's Blog. I wonder what she may have done to cause that? It's scary! :)

Mark said...

Gayle, That isn't me. i never made any comments at Alabama's blog. I went there and checked it out, tho, and there is a Mark that posted a comment there, but it isn't me. I don't use that kind of language. At least not publicly.

Goat said...

Hey y'all you know I could debate the interpretation though the conclusions are the same. We must fight evil in whatever form we deem it to exist, whether we choose to personify that evil or not as long as we recognize it. Timothy, I am sorry you had to close your site, I enjoyed the conversation. Since we agree to disagree on interpretation and concentrate on the Lord's indiscriminate Love for His children and spreading that love and Christ's sacrafice for our redemption. I guess I made you think a bit since all of us come to came to the Lord by a different path through life the important thing is that we find Him and take His Hand. The journey for all of us is narrow and treacherous and frought with peril as shown in Job and the forty years the Jews spent in the desert after leaving Egypt plus what they endured while in Egypt. I guess you could say I am a historical believer and not a "fire and brimstone" convert. I was reborn through His love of terribly flawed mankind not the thought of Hell. He died for us so that we may live, let us not wrangle over the journey, let us celebrate the destination, everlasting life with Him. Now is not the time for sectarian strife among His flock, now is the time for unity among all Christians and Jews for evil is at hand and its name is Islam.

Goat said...

Here is another site y'all may find interesting, an efriend of mine. Another journey to and with Christ:

Goat said...

Too many doctrines get in the way of true belief, as no two people will read a poem identically, we will not interpret the Bible the same way. For example the quote from Isaih Mark quoted could be interpreted as mans fall from grace as He created us when Eve fell to temptation. The story of Eden is the most profoundly beautiful of all lessons of good and evil and the history of humanity mirrors it and the lessons of the Torah. When it comes down to it I am somewhere between the Vatican and Jerusalem. I just have a problem with all the many sects telling me I must believe their way, is that not of what you are saying? All I care about is if you believe not how you believe so why should we debate such trivia of the micro interpretations of millions of people. We should celebrate the Lord not argue over whose painting is best.
There is a circle of bloggers here that enjoy theological discussion, I have a site open, Mark, you just opened one. The discussions I have had with y'all are great, you make me read my Bible to keep up with you. I don't care which site, lets continue the ongoing conversation. Mark, thanks for picking up where Tim had to stop, his flock is more important than a blog.

Mark said...

Goat, perhaps you should go to my new blog and read the enture content. There is more than ample evidence throughout the Bible, that a Devil does physically exist and that His name is Lucifer, or Satan. Likewise, there is more than amople evidence that there is a physical, real Hell.

I think I know what your main problem is in choosimg not to believe the evidence. and It's not entirely your fault.

I think you have simply over- studied, a phenonema that I have only recently discovered.

Erudite Redneck said...

Mark, you are a riot. "Over" studied! Hoo hoo.

I stand firmly on the Bible as the foundation of my Christian faith. But it doesn't hold much water for "evidence" of much of a literal nature. So, be careful. If you look at it that way, then you MUST deal with the obvious errors and contradictions.

And, keep insulting Goat and he might quit coming around.

Goat said...

Thanks ER, I am used to it growing up Southern Baptist in the deep south. I have attended also Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of God, Catholic, A.M.E., and am confirmed as an Episcopalian though I broke with them over the homosexual clergy issue. Like I said now I look more towards the Vatican and Israel and study for myself. They are free to walk their personal journey with Christ just as I am. I enjoy the discussion. I had a great history teacher that focused on socio/religio/politico dynamic, and its impact on history and social trends, Rousseou, Blake, Thomas, Milton, Voltaire and many more were required reading. We spent alot of time on the great schisms in the Catholic church, Luther, Calvin, The Church of England, and Wesley. They apologized for calling me an heretic. It makes for lively discussion.

GP said...


Don't give up on finding that church home. I don't denigrate your personal walk at all! But Christianity is communal. It may be a long process, but I feel like He will still lead you to a community of believers that will share your burdens and strengthen your faith.

Goat said...

I agree GP, this is a very good discussion group though for the time being. We post because we are so passionate, a good thing.
While I search for that community I have only the Torah, the Pentateuch and myself. There is no horned Beelzebub challenging me only the forces and temptations of life.