Friday, April 23, 2010

What does God need with a star-ship?

Despite being one of the worst movies in the Star Trek series, The Final Frontier had a couple of good lines.  Well, I can only think of one, but still, It's my favorite line.  After reaching the mythical planet Sha Ka Ree, Kirk and crew meet an interesting entity who claims to be God.  The entity seemed believable at first, but he made a major error in his dialogue with a skeptical Captain Kirk.  The "God" asked how they managed to reach him, and Spock's brother educated him on their use of a star-ship.  The "God" then demands that the star-ship be brought closer to the planet.  Kirk rightly asked, "What does God need with a star-ship?"  Like Kirk, one of the things that I tipped me off in relation to Islam, was the codependency of their god. 

In Islam, Muslims are to help Allah's insecurity by fighting against those that don't believe in him.  In Christianity, If someone doesn't accept the message, you move on. It's not YOUR message to begin with.

Koran: Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. - Sura 2:216
Bible: If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave. - Matthew 10:14

In Islam, Allah needs the help of Muslims to punish those who offend him.  In Christianity, God takes out his own trash.

Koran: Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme - Sura 8:39
Bible: Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"says the Lord. - Romans 12:19

In Islam, Allah encourages all Muslims to pick up their swords and fight for him.  In Christianity, Jesus encourages all Christians to lay down their swords and pray for them.

Koran: Allah has purchased of their faithful lives and worldly goods, and in return has promised them the Garden. They will fight for His cause, kill and be killed. - Sura 9:111
Bible: You have heard the law that says, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! - Matthew 5:43-44

What separates Christianity from all other religions can be summed up in Kirk's question.  In Christianity, God doesn't NEED you or your star-ship.  He desires you.  He loves you.  There is no concept of love in Islam, only fear.  In Islam, martyrdom will get you into heaven via the express lane.  Allah desires that you "Slay the infidels wherever you find them".  Jesus didn't come to slay the world, He came to BE slain.  After being spit on, whipped, beaten, and nailed to a cross, Jesus looked up and said, "Father, forgive them."  Compare that to the next time you see Muslims making death threats when their God is mocked.

My God isn't codependent, insecure, or nervous about people who don't agree with Him, but Allah seems to be a little sensitive when it comes to unbelieving mortals.  When Kirk refuses to bring the star-ship closer, the entity gets visibly upset and attacks Captain Kirk.  Suddenly, everyone starts doubting the entity after realizing that this "god" is helpless without them.  Yup, that's pretty much how I came to the same conclusion.  The god of Sha Ka Ree needs a star-ship, Mohammad needs a sword, the Wizard of Oz needs a curtain, and Jesus wants ME.  I'll take the one who wants me over the one who needs me any day.

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Friday, April 16, 2010

Discerning the False

I was always good at taking tests.  Even if I didn't know the subject matter, I could successfully guess my way through most questions.  No matter how tough the question, with a quick process of elimination, I could easily be down to two choices.  It's not always about finding out which choice is right.  Sometimes it's easier to just rule out the ones that are wrong.

My favorite questions are True/False statements.  The single most important rule in analyzing True/False statements is every part of a true statement must be true.  If any one part of the statement is false, the whole statement is false despite many other truths.  You don't always have to know what is true.  If you can recognize any part as being false, you can confidently mark the whole statement as false, and move on.

Often in life, we get inundated with problems that completely overwhelm us physically, mentally, and spiritually.  The reason is that problems by definition force us to make decisions on how will we respond to them.  Most problems don't just go away.  They stand there nagging, whispering, and tapping their foot waiting for you to reveal your strategy on dealing with it.  Like a crying baby needing to be fed, problems want attention, and they want to know what are you going to do about it.
You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked Proverbs 3:25
Problems don't wait until you've had 8 hours of sleep and 2 cups of coffee.  Most of our problems come upon us suddenly.  Suddenly, you lost a job.  Suddenly, you get a letter from your kid's school, your lawyer, or the IRS.  Suddenly, you have problems, and you need sudden solutions.  In the heat of the moment, when the pressure is on, what will you do?  What can you do?  Our immediate response would be to strategize, brainstorm, or grab at anything that looks like an answer.  But like the strategy for True/False statements, If any part of your solution isn't of faith, then the entire solution isn't of faith.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
Any imagination, thought, or plan born out of fear, must be immediately arrested and investigated. If God never gave us fear, then anything born of our fear must NOT be from God. We may not know what the answer is, but there is a sure way to know what isn't. We make a lot of mistakes in the heat of the moment. Our survival instincts immediately kick in when our health, security, and peace is threatened. No matter how well we think we know how to fix the situation, most of the time, it does the opposite.
There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. Proverbs 14:12
Sometimes, the most spiritual thing you can do is to circle False, then go to bed.

Be still, and know that I am God! Psalm 46:10

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5