Friday, January 25, 2008

The Ironic Swallow

You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
(Matthew 23:24 – NIV)

Conspiracy theories have always been at the core of a rebel’s heart. Our human nature finds it easy to believe in a story where, lurking behind the scenes, a vast array of twisted subplots lead us to the conclusion that, just as we expected, some cherished notion is just a pipe dream, a fairy tale, or a paper tiger. “I knew it was too good to be true”, we say, and another anchor loses its hold on us. We grow up with this mindset, that everything is not as it seems, and this does have merit. Remember when you found about Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny? You were never the same, and you were now a hardened skeptic. Yet, also remember, this wasn’t the last time you were fooled, you have been taken for a ride many times since.

How often is it that we make trivial matters our stumbling blocks to success?

Of course, when the conspiracy theory revolves around something as important as your soul, then we might want to investigate further, but how many of us actually do that? We see the tremendous work this or that expert or authority has already done; we should trust them, we reason; how could they reveal all this and be wrong, or why would they lead us astray?

If the premise is wrong, however, then no matter how many items or how much counter evidence is uncovered, it has a faulty foundation, and it cannot stand scrutiny. Why then do we want to take a single thread of counter “evidence”, and let someone take us for a ride, while ignoring the vast volume of reliable evidence we already have? Ironic, isn’t it?

The point we are getting to is that people treat the Bible this way all the time. They see one apparent discrepancy in the Bible and dismiss it all, while they see one tiny shred of coherence in a horoscope or whatever and swallow the whole thing. We call this the “Ironic Swallow”.

Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day for doing this type of thing when considering Him.

Atheists and apostates have long been fond of this type of dangerous diet. They strive with everything in their being to somehow prove the Bible as false, and God as non-existent, or at least Christianity as myth. They only need that one item, that one piece of “evidence” to make the whole house come tumbling down, they believe. Of course they already have what they need, an unbelieving heart. If they start, a priori, with intent to disprove, God will most certainly allow them to continue to play the fool.

They know right well that Christianity has withstood the test of time, and has successfully defended itself from every attack, but there is no way that they will yield their stubborn, rebellious hearts to the God of the universe. It is that way for many of the masses; they would rather believe in some generic, fortune cookie type of spirituality than one based on an historical, verifiable reality. In that way, they won’t have to bend the knee. Or so they think. However, God proclaims that every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father (Philippians 2:10). Ironic.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

19 comments:

Even So... said...

Ironic, indeed.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

I logged on to ask you a question from your book but have now read the post so have two questions as the two notions seem linked to me somehow.

From the first paragraph of this post, "I knew it was too good to be true". My question - do you suppose they ever say that about God especially when it is coupled with some sad disapointment about life?

From pg19 of Voice of Vision (hope you have your own copy) you say “God does as He wills, not as we well, and He is NOT bound by our obedience.” So, for my second question, do you think that God is bound by our disobedience or the consequences thereof?

Craver Vii said...

Remember when you found out WHAT about Santa Claus??

Seriously, "If they start, a priori, with intent to disprove, God will most certainly allow them to continue to play the fool." That's free will, correctly defined.

Even So... said...

My question - do you suppose they ever say that about God especially when it is coupled with some sad disappointment about life?

Yes, especially if they have been sold a false bill of goods surrounding God which is why I am so vehement in opposition to the "prosperity doctrine", or are all caught up in the emotional aspect...

Even So... said...

my second question, do you think that God is bound by our disobedience or the consequences thereof?

Not entirely or necessarily, but He often wills that we be left alone to our own path, and as Christians, we get "out from under the umbrella", so to speak, and get rained on...see my post "Umbrella Policy" for more...

All Blog Spots said...

nice blog

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

looks like we were all spammed by the same spammer - bah humbug!

I guess I'm just thinking over the course of my own life and wondering, but not knowing, just how soggy or disheveled I may still be, to use your example, even though I always jump back under the umbrella.

I suppose though that this is where that walking by faith and not by sight thing comes in, darn it - such a hard thing for me to do. It would be so much easier if God just said, "Susan, here are your consequences and you have to live with them for the 1)rest of your life, 2)30 years 3)2 days" but, there is just quietness with no answers.

Even So... said...

This post goes in line with where have been the last few days, so...

Maalie said...

>hey see one apparent discrepancy in the Bible and dismiss it all

You must be joking! The bible is absolutely riddled with contradictions! There are whole treatises written about it!

>while they see one tiny shred of coherence in a horoscope

Not true. They see a vast vast of overwhelming collection of objective evidence described by scientists in your own country, and around the world.

May I, with your consent, additionally ask here: When Noah travelled to Australia (which we did not know about ourselves until the 1600-1700s) to collect up a pair of each of the 500 or somarsupial species did he not save a couple of the indigenous Aboriginal peoples that were inhabiting that continent?

jazzycat said...

I heard a lecture by one the great theologians of our day, Dr. R.C. Sproul, who related a story where a person made the same objection about contradictions that Maalie makes. He asked the person to list the best ones he could find and bring the list and meet with him the next day. One by one he proved to the satisfaction of the person objecting that no contradiction existed.

I am not qualified to do that, but I do know that unbelievers do not discern the true meaning of Scripture. They do not distinguish between the different kinds of writings. There is allegory, poetry, prophecy, prayers, etc. Many and varied writings are included and Dr. Sproul says there are no contradictions. I know of apparent contradictions, but under careful interpretation I have seen them reconciled to my satisfaction. Side note: Biblical prophecy has been amazingly accurate, which should give objectors a pause to consider how that happened.

Even So... said...

Noah did not travel the animals came to him (Genesis 6:20).

Another accusation thrown at biblical creationists is that kangaroos could not have hopped to Australia, because there are no fossils of kangaroos on the way. But the expectation of such fossils is a presuppositional error. Such an expectation is predicated on the assumption that fossils form gradually and inevitably from animal populations. In fact, fossilization is by no means inevitable. It usually requires sudden, rapid burial. Otherwise the bones would decompose before permineralization. One ought likewise to ask why it is that, despite the fact that millions of bison used to roam the prairies of North America, hardly any bison fossils are found there. Similarly, lion fossils are not found in Israel even though we know that lions once lived there.

Maalie said...

Dear JD (if I may be so familiar),
No doubt to your relief, I have decided that this will be my valedictory contribution, for the time being anyway, for I have discovered what I need to know.

First, I did not know (or remember) that it was the animals that came to Noah, so one-up to you. However that leaves me, an ecologist, trying to imagine Koalas from Australia; Kiwis from New Zealand; Polar Bears from the Arctic; Wolverines form Canada; several bear species from North and South America; Pandas from China as well as all the colourful "big game" from Africa, all bumbling their way to Noah's barge in the Middle East. Unbelievable! At a conservative estimate, there are up to two million animal species, each having exacting ecological requirements, all making their way to Noah.

Then he had to provide their food: do you know how much bamboo a Panda consumes in a day? Or gum-trees leaves consumed by a Koala? Noah had to manage their diverse ecological requirements, simultaneously catering both for tropical and polar species, not to mention managing the excrement.

This was done very recently in archaeological terms. He had to know how to assemble planks of wood into a watertight hull, using treenails to fasten them together, and pitch for caulking the seams. The Egyptians learned how to do that. My point here is that we know for a fact that the Eskimos of the Arctic, the Aborigines of Australia, the Pygmies of Borneo, the Maoris of New Zealand, the indigenous North and South Americans, the black races of Africa, and many other human groups, walked the earth LONG before we had the skills of ship-building. It follows that they were drowned in the flood. And it therefore also follows that they all re-evolved and diversified from the genetic stock contained within Noah's family. Incredible! The genetics of medicine is the same as the genetics of evolution. It is simply impossible. I do not, And will never believe it.

Your argument about fossils is flawed; it the oldest trick in the book of the Creationists: the absence of a fossil does not indicate that it is not there; it may not have been found; it may not ever be found. First, you have to explain the fossils that HAVE been found.

There was a point in recent discussions when I saw light at the end of the tunnel. It was when you yourself expressed the opinion that something in the bible would not have been written in the way it did if we had "modern" (your word) knowledge. But then Mark, Jazzycat, Donsands and others built more tunnel.

I understand that you have invested your life and your career in the bible and would be reluctant to consider alternative views. What a waste of an investment that would be! But it leaves me with a final conclusion:

There are none so blind as those who won't see.

I'm sorry to say it, but once again it Christians who have put me off Christianity. I remain even more a confirmed atheist.

Yours truly. I wish you peace.

donsands said...

"But then ... Donsands and others built more tunnel."

Let me know what tunnel I built, and surely if I was in any way rude or dishonest, or dissenting in a sinful way, then I'd be more than happy to repent and apologize.
I have to do this a lot, even with my wife, but I'm getting better, by His grace.

Even So... said...

You are a good soldier Don...

Hey maalie, this round was more fun for me, though, and you are certainly welcome back...I meant it when I said I will be taking a look at the stuff you linked to, I hope you might consider some of the stuff I suggested as well...

There are none so blind as those who won't see.

I agree whole"heartedly" of course (2 Corinthians 4:4)

I understand that you have invested your life and your career in the bible and would be reluctant to consider alternative views. What a waste of an investment that would be!

Actually, I used to have more money than I knew what to do with, but in God's grace I lost it all, and have nothing now, and I pastor a small church, and so the monetary factor is nil. I have invested my soul, my all, and I have found, despite having lost all money, all reputation (according as I have a genius IQ but am a "rabid fundamentalist" to other intellectuals), many friendships, some family members despise me, and have to bear many other such burdens becasue of my faith, they matter nothing when compared to my love for Christ. Oh how I will pray for YOU to see the Light, which shines so brightly despite the world, my flesh, and the devil being against me.

BTW, the "poop factor" always puzzled me, too...

May God give you mercy as He draws you to the place of grace...

jazzycat said...

Maalie said..... I'm sorry to say it, but once again it Christians who have put me off Christianity. I remain even more a confirmed atheist.

Could this statement have been meant to blame the messengers who pointed directly to Scripture at every opportunity?

I wonder how it will go on that great day to say, "Lord, I think I would have believed if hadn't been for those Christian bloggers. All that talk about creation, a flood, and the ark just turned me off"

While we the messengers that were blamed are certainly weak human vessels, this is one instance where truth was proclaimed without accommodation to worldly wisdom. Perhaps this was the problem as the latest post at BLUECOLLAR illustrates.

Christopher Cohen said...

The irony to me is that those who claim to be ever so open minded are always the same those who are unwilling to allow anyone else to have their own point of view.

Rabid fundamentalist huh? Sounds communicable. :)

jazzycat said...

Christopher,
I recommend the link I gave to BLUECOLLAR on my comment just before yours. The post is about actual tolerance which we have vs. post-modern PC tolerance which is nonsense.

Being open-minded does not require abandoning ones views and adopting PC views. That would be succumbing to manipulation and brain-washing.

jazzycat said...

Christopher,
I forgot to add:
And you are correct to mention the irony of it. PC tolerance is actually anything but tolerant and open minded of all views. Again see the post I recommended....

Christopher Cohen said...

Thanks Jazzy. Your right....good post. I just seem to be seeing that from alot of angles lately, for instance my extended family's ridicule of my political views. They are the 'open minded', but in that have pre-determined that my views are already wrong, and that I am somehow part of the problem with our wonderful country. I choose not to fight these battles, becuase in fighting with the 'open minded', I will always inevitably be wrong. It is the irony of the month. I felt as I was reading the comments in the post that there was yet one more application of this irony, which was ironic in itself considering the post.

I am cracking up writing this by the way..........and thank you.