Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
Another chance to get off the forklift and do something else. Truth be told, my La-Z-Boy recliner is a bit worn out. The padding is wearing thin and the fabric has become quite frayed and there are several holes. I supposed I could get it redone, but that would cost me about $800. I could probably buy a new recliner for less. In fact, as my recent experience has just shown, I can.
It is true that my recliner is in poor material shape. The upside is that it still functions well mechanically. Regardless, the chair has reached the point in which it is not necessarily as comfortable as it once was. Such being the case, and in acknowledging the third law of thermodynamics (entropy), it is probably time to replace my recliner. However, how do I know what the best deal is on a recliner?
Certainly I can find one on amazon.com and perhaps get free shipping. However, do I really want to wait two weeks for a recliner? To that end, do I really want to pay for a recliner without trying it out first? How do I know that I will actually find it comfortable? I don’t. That is one of the down sides to shopping online. You can not truly be certain of what you are getting until after you have paid for it and it arrives. Such being the case, I am persuaded to believe that shopping for furniture online is a bad idea. However, there are some things that you can buy online and be fairly well satisfied with them, such as amateur radio equipment, but that is another concern.
Acknowledging that buying a recliner online is a bad idea, my next step is really obvious. I need to go to a few stores and look at recliners. Lucky for me, there is a La-Z-Boy showroom only a few miles from me. The choices are almost overwhelming. The prices seem a bit steep, but a new chair for $600 is cheaper than having the old one refurbished for $800. Some chairs are kind of stiff and not very comfortable. Others are little too soft, to the point of almost too comfortable. Then I found it. That one chair that was just right, just like in the old Goldilocks story.
What does any of this have to do with faith or theology? More than some would want to expect or believe. When we go shopping, we are looking for what is right for us or perhaps what is best for us. We are not going to accept something that we believe is substandard or doesn’t suit us. In some respects faith is the same way.
Please understand that I do affirm the doctrine of predestination and believe that sooner or later all who will become Christians do. I also affirm that those who won’t ever become Christians don’t. However, there are those who believe that they can and do decide whether or not they can choose the Christian faith or some other religion. I understand where they are coming from, but I don’t agree. Decision theology is primarily based upon Joshua 24:15, but the verse is taken out of context, as Joshua was speaking to those who had seen and believed God’s miracles. They knew better, as revealed in 24:16, but some still misquote the passage to give themselves a say in their salvation.
Putting predestination aside, let me ask, why would you pick some other religion? Seriously, what is in it for you? I can’t give a comprehensive pro/con list, but I can give a general look at a couple of the major ones. Here is what I see:
Seriously, who would willingly pick this? Its “holy book”, the koran, was written by a man who though faithful until the death of his first wife, would later take a six year old to be his wife, and other wives along the way. He would insult and demean women, saying that they are pitiful and declaring them all as unworthy of paradise. For a woman, there is nothing redeeming in islam, as women are treated with cruelty as mere property. Additionally, islam takes an unhealthy aversion to pork. This aversion goes to the extreme that if you die and are in paradise a thousand years, and a pig should dig up one of your bones to chew upon it, you will automatically go to Hell. Who would willingly serve a deity that can not protect them from a pig, especially after death? Insofar as this is concerned, there is nothing in islam of any redeeming value.
This one puzzles me. As I understand it, a prince forsakes material possessions to seek wisdom. He dies. People follow his teachings, which include something about becoming one with everything. I have to ask, if we become one with everything, do we lose who we are/were? Do we have any form of individuality in eternity? Do we have any awareness? Truthfully, from what little I have read, the answer is no. In this regard, we are no better or worse than the atheist who claims that when we die, that is it.
Honestly, we all know I’d go there. Atheism has a few problems. To start with, Atheism fails to acknowledge that it is a religion, bordering upon another religion, naturalism (not going there). Atheism can not give any good answers regarding where we come from or why we are here. Atheism postulates that morality comes from nature, though the observation of nature demonstrates little that we might call morality. Thus, in terms of the origins of life or morality, Atheism falls flat. Additionally, Atheism can not answer that which Christians and Jews can, what was the nature of the Big Bang? What caused it? What was the uncaused cause? In truth, there is no naturalistic answer for an event that, aside from the supernatural, violates all the laws of thermodynamics. Atheists have to borrow any and all rules about morality from other religions, because their belief structure does not provide any foundation for anything. Sadly, to realize that if there is not a God and everything is meaningless random chance, then logic would dictate that life is meaningless, and thus the reason that Douglas Adams committed suicide.
Yes, the Christian church has had its bad apples. There have been men and women who abused the scripture for personal gain. However, the Christian faith gives a reason for why we are here and where we came from. It answers those questions that the others can’t. The Big Bang was there when God declared “Let there be light”. The Christian faith demonstrates that men and women, though gifted differently (not to mention created differently and for different roles) are inherently equal. Not only that, but the Christian faith affirms that all men (this includes women) are created equal, thus making it unlawful to own slaves. Not only that, but the Christian faith assures us that because of what Christ Jesus did upon the cross, all who believe can and will be saved.
So then, just as it best to buy a chair that is right for you, so too is it best to find a faith that offers you what is best for you. The only faith that truly does that is Christianity. No other faith offers you an eternity with he who died for your sins and can even protect you from a pig. No other faith demonstrates that we are all sinners and God can save all of us, regardless of who we are.
I did buy a new recliner. It will arrive by the time I get ready for next week’s post. As much as I look forward to that chair, I look forward to something far better. I believe that I became a Christian because that is what I was meant to be. As such, I look forward to the day when I can stand before my savior and praise him for redeeming me from my sins by his sacrifice upon the cross and his resurrection from the tomb. I believe that the best thing for me is stand before the throne of the Lord my God and praise him. This is a promise I know I can trust. I don’t need to go shopping for a faith that is best for me, God provided it.