Thursday, May 5, 2011

God Made Me This Way!

This is a famous statement nowadays, and it can be used one of two ways.

#1: God made me in the condition that I am. I am naturally a (fill in the blank); this is the way God chose to make me, you make me ashamed of who I am; you should accept me as such.

#2: I am already a child of God. We are all part of a universal brotherhood of man, and we function under the universal fatherhood of God. I do not need Christianity, because Christianity suggests that I am not already one of God's children, which I am.

To answer #1:
Suppose you have a clean running computer that is brand new. it does exactly what you want it to do, when you want it to, how you want it to. But then along comes some hacker who downloads a nasty virus onto it. Now the computer is sluggish; it does not respond well. Sometimes it doesn't respond at all. It takes you places you don't wish to go, and keeps you from places you want to visit.

This is us. God made man upright, but when the tempter came and enticed Adam and Eve, something entered man's perfect makeup that was not meant to be there: sin. Sin is a computer virus that affects the proper function of man. Our emotions are distorted and our reason is dulled by it. Like certain viruses that like to download pornographic material onto your screen, so too does sin lead a man to do something that would be good if enjoyed as it ought to be, but perverted when it is enjoyed otherwise.

For example: God created sex for procreation between a married man and woman. He created it to be pleasureful, and it was just one type of union in which husband and wife were to be joined. Within marriage the couple become one flesh in their choices, lifestyle, parenting and more. God wants godly parents to rear to Him disciplined offspring that are receptive to His leading. What becomes evil about sex is that we isolate it as the only form of union men and women seek, and transform what was an act shared between a married couple into a sporting event or recreation.

We are not made by God "as is" from birth. Rather, sin's presence in this world has had cosmological effects. Entropy is at work, making things break down and wear out within a closed system, unless intelligent intervention prevents it. Entropy is the law of chaos that we see all around us. The recent earthquakes and tornadoes, I believe, are the result of a world growing old and winding down, as the Holy Spirit says, soon to be cast away like an old garment. When the human body grows old functions normally healthy and useful fail and become a detriment. So too with the earth. Man is living in a sinful world, and the arousal to desire things we should not demonstrates that this world-and us-are not as we should be.

We'll go back to the issue of sex, since it is easily understood in our culture. Sex of itself is not evil. God created sex as a form of procreation for our race. It is when you isolate sex as something that should be pursued outside of marriage; indeed making sex one's sole purpose when pursuing a man/woman, that perverts the act and makes it evil. Sex is not meant to be a display of "love." Animals simply have sex; love transcends physical passions and lust to put the good of your partner before your lust. There are a hundred ways to demonstrate that you love someone before marriage without bedding them. A very genuine way to demonstrate real love would be to propose marriage; if you love that someone, why not show it by accepting a lifetime commitment of care and responsibility with them?

If you seek sexual union with them because you love them, why avoid the responsibility of the other unions that naturally accompany the act? Love in this case (having sex to show you love someone) is perverted. How many people Hollywood has killed with this drivel we'll never know. Love is not sentiment, arousal, passion or lust (though love can be passionate). Genuine love is an act of will, when the "spark" of physical attraction ebbs. God's love is pure and enduring, and that is the type of love that He wishes us to possess; one that reflects Him in its behavior. When God loves His love never fails; some people change "lovers" as often as they change socks. This is sin; it is what the computer virus has done in us to make us far different than God's intended purpose for us.

Spiritual maladies are like physical ones, really. When Jesus came to this earth the Bible records that He healed the sick, lepers, lame, blind, deaf, etc. If these physical conditions had been God's intended design for these people Jesus would not have had compassion on them and healed them. Indeed, they would never have even known anything was amiss. These physical maladies teach us that just as sin has physical consequences in this life (its effect on the body's structure), so too does sin impact our spiritual nature. We need healing, and cannot heal ourselves. We do not know what it means to be "out of whack" until we experience it. We do not know true sickness until we suffer through it. The human condition is out of whack, and Christ came as a Man to heal us; He came to deliver a new condition that is divine by nature and not subject to the entropy that sin's arrival has caused, because this new nature is not a part of this created order.

If it is true that made was made in God's image, then we are like mirrors meant to reflect the glory of God. That is why man was forbidden to make idols: God already made an image that represented Him: us. When sin entered the mirror became so dusted over that it reflected nothing. a mirror that cannot perform its task is no longer beneficial. Nor does a mirror reflect itself; no, a mirror is built for the sole purpose of casting the image of the one who looks into it. We need a dusting; we need a thorough cleaning to be able to reflect something other than our own filthiness. This is our natural condition.

If we were created "as is" then there is no more cause to be appalled, mortified, concerned or outraged at wars, rape, murder, kidnapping, slavery, abuse, or any other thing we perceive as injustice. God made the child molester and the axe murderer as well as you, whoever boasts they were made just like God wanted from birth. This is a high degree of hypocrisy. The Bible states that until man is reborn through faith in Jesus Christ we haven't even BEGUN to be the way God wants us to. The world states you are perfect just like you are, unless your "perfection" somehow hinders life's general flow; then you are a problem. This is also partiality. Man's seat of emotions was never meant to be the barometer by which we discern right from wrong. Yet we have come to a point in history where sympathy cannot be separated any longer from acceptance; and if it feels right it must be. If you are sympathetic you must be accepting too. Not to accept is to be callous toward someone who was "made this way." In the end then, the majority (or whoever shouts the loudest) decides who was "made this way" while dissenters are silenced. Apparently we who dissent to immoral and aberrant behavior are NOT made this way.

Again, "feeling right" is an oxymoron. Feelings don't think. Feelings can't tell you what is true and what is false. Feelings aren'r concerned with right and wrong; unchecked feelings are concerned with getting one's own way because emotion drives feelings. To feel angry is one thing; to kill someone because you feel angry and justify it as the right thing to do is another. When feelings reign reason is dismissed. When emotions rule us truth becomes irrelavent. And if our emotions are corrupted by sin (which by nature twists something that functions normally into an abnormal status) then many of the passions in us we must check, because to be ruled by emotion would make us exceedingly dangerous to ourselves and others.

To answer #2:
Going to back to the computer virus analogy, there is sometimes only one way to get rid of it: everything on your computer has to be wiped off, and a clean slate begun again. The Bible says much about God begetting children. The Bible says little about anyone being born a natural son of God. Jesus was the only begotten of God; Adam was a son of God by direct divine creation. Angels are sons of God because they-like Adam-were created directly by God. No other human being can claim to descend as a result of God's creative agency. I am not Ian, the son of God; I am Ian, the son of David (my father's name), speaking from the perspective of genealogy. Jesus was the Son of God in two regards: He was born by direct agency of the Holy Spirit; and He was God to begin with. Like begets like; a man always has a human child, not a donkey or yak. Christ's conception was God becoming a human being, while remaining fully God. He was the ONLY begotten Son of God. Begotten, not created: a vast difference in two small words.

Now being Ian, the son of David, I am the inheritor of my father's genetics. I look and function like him. I have strengths and weaknesses similar to him. I also took on his sin nature and prove it every day of my life. Now flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of God; what is born of flesh is flesh. The rebirth is what we need to become genuine children of God. Through the new birth we acquire new "genetics" so to speak. I should begin to look and function like Christ as He lives in me and matures me. I should find my strength where He derived His, and in this new nature there are no weaknesses. The one who learns to abide with God in this new nature ceases from sin, because the focus of his life becomes God and His glory; not me and my wants or felt needs. I take on Christ's perfect nature which imputes a righteousness to me that God finds acceptable. I now have begun to live a life that looks and feels more like a child of God, because the life of God's Son lives in me; like begets like. I am now a child of God through faith, adopted into the household of God.

Man was not created for sin, but for God. This world is subject to the curse of sin, though it was all "very good" before Adam sinned and brought its curse into this world. One might complain about being charged with Adam's sin; but God is not charging you with Adam's sin: He's charging you with your own. You need a nature different from your own. You need one that is not subject to the lusts of the flesh, because we see the flesh and all the world slowly becoming more and more warped. We need an immutable, eternal nature that is not subject to entropy, a nature that is eternal as God's. This was His will when He made Christ to be sin for us: that we might share in His life and be born into the family of God.

We are not made this way, if by this way you mean given to pleasures and pursuits that are not a part of God's perfect will. Since God created us, like the proverbial computer programmer, He knows how we are meant to function, when something goes awry, and how it is to be repaired; being who He is--capable of entering man's interior and changing us from within--He is the only One competent enough to affect the repairs. The Bible, in some part, is like an operation manual for how men should have functioned had sin not corrupted us inside-out. Through the new birth and the indwelling Holy Spirit God gives us power and ability to now live in a way pleasing to Him. When we are born again we are certainly going to become how God intended man to be made. How is that? God never designed man to function apart from Him. It is like running a car without gasoline; how far will you get? Man is an eternal being whose corrupt nature needs to be replaced with a nature compatible with Heaven. Hell is conflict, contention, betrayal, loneliness, wickedness, strife. Our base nature testifies that we are already fit to go there.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. God give you grace to receive the truth.

1 comment:

  1. Great post and great illustrations.

    You also dealt with the topic of original sin well. Because of Adam's sin, we were infected from birth, but we sin by choice.

    ReplyDelete

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