I have been reading the book "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel. I am fascinated by some of the perspectives that are shared in the book regarding religion (he worships all Gods, or one God... depending on what religion you are). I am taking a quote from chapter 25.
"There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless. These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy begging for a few paise, walk by children dressed in rags living in the street, and they think, "Business as usual." But if they perceive a slight against God, it is a different story. Their faces go red, their chests heave mightily, they sputter angry words. The degree of their indignation is astonishing. Their resolve is frightening.I am intrigued. This is very similar to one of my philosophies, but I have never read it so eloquently stated. I am a strong believer in Christ, I have to say that first, and I do not agree with much of his (Pi's) philosophies... but I found this to be perfect.
These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart. Meanwhile, the lot of widows and homeless children is very hard, and it is to their defense, not God's, that the self-righteous should rush."
Ephesians 6:10-12 says: "A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places."
As the political atmosphere begins to calm, I am disappointed and disturbed by the continued hateful emails and other anti-Obama propaganda I witness daily. Not because I think he's the best President ever, but because it's not about him. It's not about Mitt Romney. It's not about George W. Bush. When I hear Christians spouting the same hate-filled rhetoric, I feel like pinching their lips together. The struggle is not against Obama or against liberals or against conservatives. It's against the dark forces, and the unseen world.
Where does that battle most frequently get fought?
Inside of us. Inside each man or woman on the planet is where most of the wars, injustices and atrocities are begun.
The demons, or dark forces out there are not (normally) physically out there killing people... they don't need to, we are taking care of it ourselves.
I see facebook updates and rabid email forwards that complain about children not being allowed to wear Christian t-shirts or read Bibles or pray at school here in the United States (more than likely not true)... while there are children literally dying from hunger in other parts of the world.
Where is the outrage? Where are the rabid email forwards against the lack of resources for those children?
|From the Website World Food Programme: http://www.wfp.org/hunger/stats|
I love the idea that we don't need to defend God or our religion, but rather need to defend those who cannot defend themselves. God can defend Himself. He's been doing it for ... forever.
Additionally, we need to spend more time working on our inner selves, to "let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2. Not necessarily because we are evil or plotting to harm a child, but rather because God calls us to strive after an inner beauty, because it leads to only good things.
What do you think? Do you feel like God needs to be defended? What really gets you "hot under the collar?"