|Until we see||
THE MYTH-MAKERS WALK AMONG US!
In ancient times people such as the Sumerians invented stories to account for the creation, the historic flood and other events. The Gilgamesh Epic is one such story, as is the Rainbow Serpent story of the Australian Aborigines or the Incan Wiraqucha.
It is important to understand that there were two streams of people walking the Earth (see my book ‘THE PEOPLE, The Sons of God (through the eyes of a Watcher’). One stream was that of those who followed God; the other, those who kept choosing independence from Him. They are known respectively throughout the Bible as the sons of God (benei Elohim) and the sons of men (benei adam).
The sons of God in the line of, for example, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David etc. interpreted the handed-down history through the lens of their experience of the one, true God and His very evident work in those He called The People. Theirs was the correct interpretation and it has come to us by the grace of God intact, as the story of His grace which culminates in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in our behalf.
Those known as the sons of men (because of their denial of truth and their choice to walk away from God) found it necessary to invent causes for the great events that remained in the human memory by story-telling. These are the myths such as the Gilgamesh Epic and the Rainbow Serpent and the Native American mythologies.
But, the myth-makers are still at work. The sons of men—those rejecting God today—are hard at work on the great 20th & 21st Century myths in an effort to account for creation and events in a way that excludes God. So, we have men such as Richard Dawkins and many more, creating their own story (and persuading many), that all can be accounted for without the need for God! You see, it all arose of its own accord from a single entity (the origin of which is inexplicable) into a universe of such astounding complexity that it defies all attempts to fathom or understand. A sophisticated myth, but no less so than those mentioned above.
And we had been told that only ‘primitive’ people invented myths! The spirit of the myth-maker is alive and well—and active within the sons of men today—and it’s simply the same spirit!
MARY: AN ALTERNATIVE SCENARIO…
Mary’s friend (laughing): “Mary...you’re either putting on weight...or you’re pregnant! You and Joseph haven’t...have you?
Mary (dismissively): “Of course not!”
Mary’s friend (three weeks later): “Mary! Haven’t seen you in a while....where have you been? Uh oh...what’s happened? You know what you look like, don’t you dear? You seem to have a bump emerging....Oh dear, I don’t know whether to cry for joy—or dismay! Is it true?”
Mary (confidingly and graciously): “It’s time for me to tell you what is happening.”
Mary’s friend (somewhat saccharine): “Oh Mary, I know what’s happening—and what’s happened! You know I’m your best friend— you know I’ll understand...and still love you. How does Joseph feel about it?
Mary (assuringly and discreetly): “No, best friend, you don’t know at all what’s happening, actually; and I’m still coming to terms with it.”
Mary’s friend (comfortingly): “There, there, my dear...I can understand...it must be difficult. I must say I’m somewhat shocked and I’m sure you know some will stigmatise you; but I won’t...”
Mary (becoming firmer): “my dearest friend, I want you to listen carefully. A little while ago I had the most remarkable encounter with a being who said he was Angel Gabriel and that I had been chosen to bear a child by God’s Spirit who will be the Immanuel One...and I knew at once in my deepest heart that it was utter truth...believe me, I’ve been pondering it all in my heart for weeks and asking ‘how can such a thing be?’”
Mary’s friend: “Oh Mary, under such distress as you clearly are it’s easy for our minds to play tricks on us...it’s a coping mechanism...a need to rationalise things and have an explanation to offer. We’ve all experienced it in one measure or another. But an angel? Really dear, nobody’s going to buy that—let me help you through this. Now look, I’m probably the only one who’s noticed...has anyone else commented? There may be a way out of this embarrassing mess before anyone notices...I know of a physician, skilled in these things who has treatments and means at an early stage, to make such problems disappear! I could talk with him...”
Mary (now agitated): “I thought you were my friend!”
Mary’s friend (with empathy): “You know I am! We’ve travelled together through so many things. But this...look, it’s just going to become sooo difficult for everyone concerned—and it really needn’t be. Think of your dear parents. And can you see what it will mean to a child born in such circumstances...and the cost to you all and to Joseph’s business and standing in the community? Really Mary my dearest, believe me...it’s just not worth the trouble it will bring on everyone concerned. Yes, yes, I know you said Joseph too had heard from this angel...but really, can’t you see, it’s the stress getting to both of you. Let your dearest old friend take care of it...and of you. I can speak with my physician friend today. Life will go on as normal...you and Joseph can wed, have a lovely celebration and then there’ll be time for children and all will look well for you both. Look, I love you too much to see you suffer unnecessarily my dearest. Let me see what I can do...there’s no time to waste. There’s my good girl Mary.”
Mary: (vacillating): “Well...I do feel for my dear betrothed.”
Friend (newly confident): “There you are, you see, you’re feeling better already. There is hope that you can put all this understandable difficulty and delusion behind you and move on into a great future together.”
Mary: “But the angel said...and Joseph and I have not...”
Friend (impatient): “Angel, schmangel! No more nonsense my dear. You know you’re just a humble girl from Nazareth. Whatever would an angel be doing ‘appearing’ to someone from our village? Come on, you can see now how silly it is...”
Mary (capitulating): “Maybe something happened between Joseph and me that I can’t remember...or I’m blotting it out; I know our minds can trick us...perhaps what you say might be best...”
Friend (elated): “Good girl. Let your friend take care of it. It’ll all be over and forgotten in no time.”
Gender fluidity and choice?
Raging against God:
There is no length, it seems, to which we as flawed humans will not go to assert our imagined sovereignty and rage against God. The view that we can rule all things, including the gender we think we should have been born with is the latest loud shout of defiance at the sovereignty of another—a gracious and all-knowing God who longs to visit each one of us (if invited) in a profound and majestic way.
I have no control over the ethnicity into which I was born; nor my color; nor who my parents were. These determinations cannot be changed no matter how much I imagine that I really should have been born rich, or British, or black ... or white or ….? No matter how much I think or feel that within my white skin there really is a black person, I cannot change what has been determined. But now, in our sad rebellion against what a sovereign Hand has determined, comes our latest rage against God.
This latest shout of self-sovereignty is not something He dis-allows, because in the realm of our decisions we are, in a limited sense, sovereign. The actor on stage is free to depart from the playwright's lines if he so wishes. It would be an act of self-assertion or rebellion—and, would spoil the play and its outcome. Usually actors choose to abide by the writer's lines. Similarly, we may, in defiance of The Playwright, try to impose our own lines but this, sadly, is simply a defiance of all that is intended to be best for us—intended, with the Playwright’s help, to bring an outcome above all we could ask or imagine; a person of great usefulness to His plan and purpose. This can soon be discovered if we choose to cooperate with Him. For what He offers in Jesus Christ (the model of truest humanity), is acceptance of who we are created to be. This is an extraordinary thing—that if I am prepared to lose myself in the fullest human, Jesus, I discover my own true 'I am'; that is, my self-identity and true self-description, a reflection of the One who is called I AM.
Did we choose the ethnicity, nation or family into which we were born? Can we? No! So why such a loud shout in this matter? Perhaps because it is seen as something about which, at least in our age of science, surgery and chemistry we can exercise a show of defiance and self-rule in a vain hope of engendering (to use an appropriate pun) wholeness and an arrival at joyful self-hood—the very thing, ironically found only in Him!
AT THE END...
At The End some will say, "Why didn't you tell me?"
And HE will say, “Tell you? Remember those of my Followers I brought across your path? You dismissed them as people who needed to see the ‘real’ world when you were actually the one refusing to see it. Or those times when you heard from me at Followers’ funerals or weddings and justified yourself by relegating my Story to ‘folklore’. And remember when I saved your life in that accident? You even said, ‘thank God’! I had your attention for a little time, yet despite that, you still managed to persuade yourself you could handle things better on your own. Your fun and fast-paced lifestyle and career (not to mention pursuit of knowledge and travel—immersing yourself in what you called the ‘real’ world) usually contrived to silence my voice, because I rarely shout.
“Yes, I have been ‘telling you’ all your life; but my voice, and what I’ve had to say wasn’t what you chose to hear. You hoped I would say something I cannot, and affirm you in your lost-ness. No, I actually gave you life in the hope you’d become your ‘found’, true-self in me! You have saddened me deeply with your life-long refusal to heed and yield to my kindness, but I will have to let you go into the end you’ve so clearly told me every day, you’ve chosen.”
Put yourself in this shirt!
WOE IS ‘HOMOPHOBIC’ ME!
(An imaginary tale)
Me: Hi Jerry! Glad to catch up for coffee—haven’t seen you in a while. How’s your flat white? And, how are you?
Jerry: Good to both questions, thanks. I’ve been wanting to see you for some time now.
Me: Oh? Something important?
Jerry: Well, certainly to me and then to those close to me.
Me: Sounds serious. Un-pack it for me.
Jerry: Well, er…you need to know that I now have a partner..
Me: Oh really? Tell me more!
Jerry: His name is Charles…and we’re so happy!
Me: Now there’s a surprise! I ah, um…I’m not sure what to say.
Jerry: Just congratulate me; say you’re pleased!
Me: Well, I could say those words; but since you know me so well, you’d also know that I wouldn’t be saying them with my entire heart.
Jerry: Surely you want me to be happy!?
Me: I sure do.
Jerry: Then what’s the problem?
Me: The problem is that whilst I certainly desire the best for you, I can’t endorse the lifestyle you’re choosing without denying the truths I hold most dear.
Jerry: Oh, here’s Charles now…Charles this is the friend I told you about.
Me: Join us for coffee?
Charles: I just overheard those last few words; are you a homophobe?
Me: Whatever you think that means, no, I’m not afraid of people who choose a homosexual lifestyle.
Charles: But you don’t like us?
Me: I don’t agree with and can’t endorse that lifestyle. That has nothing to do with whether I like you. I may or may not like you. I’d have to get to know you.
Charles: Come on Jerry. He sounds homophobic to me. I’ve had enough hate speech for one day. He’s the third person I’ve met who thinks we’re wrong…
Ministry of LIFE v Ministry of DEATH...
It should not surprise us that God is pro-life. He invented it; it did not not arise from some primordial soup by its own inventive effort. In fact he ‘breathed’ it into actuality.
It should also not come as a surprise either, that there is an enemy of God and, by extension, an enemy of life. Prima facie, the works of each are easy to discern: wherever there is beauty and peace, grace, mercy and kindness, we see the handiwork of God; where hatred, violence and malevolence abound, there we witness the work of the enemy of life.
However, the one called ‘the enemy’ is first described in the Bible as subtle—and his subtlety is soon seen by his deceptive ability to make to appear good, that which is intrinsically evil.
So...his style and agenda is to make the snuffing out of life, for example, appear to be mercy and grace; life is, and has always been, one of his major targets. He is not able to create it or provide it—but he can end it. And he desires to do that, not just because he hates life: he hates life because he hates its Creator.
Now, (early 2019) New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo wants his state and New York City to ‘celebrate’ a human/devilish ‘triumph’ of death over life, by having the One World Centre in NYC lit with pink to mark the passage of a law allowing abortion up to the time of birth!
Many question a God who in our Old Testament wiped out various peoples, yet fail to see that one of the common denominators—against which his own people were constantly warned—was the snuffing out of the lives of babies.
Practised by many of the people of Canaan, the sacrifice of babes was a heinous act, and yes, brought about by the subtle deception of the same enemy. His objective then was to demonstrate his own supposed superiority by snuffing out life. He did it by telling people that the gods that he’d convinced them to create for themselves, required this of them. In our day, he’s doing it by telling people that comfort, expediency and convenience must rule—in every area of life.
Snuffing out life was anti-God then: why would it be any less anti-God now?
As Jesus said, “the thief comes only to rob, kill and destroy.”
MIRACLES AND THE ONION SKIN
My problem with the anti-creation camp is as follows: many are too easily swayed by the mantra, ‘but the science is saying this’ or ‘the science says that’ and automatically jettison any possibility of, for example, an actual 6-day creation. I am not anti-science by any means, but science, remember, is forever only the attempt to understand (and explain) what is observed. What today’s science would have observed (if it could have) when Jesus made wine out of water, was something like the manipulation of time, or the condensing of time. For not only was water made wine in a matter of moments—but the best wine! The maturation process was somehow accelerated within those huge jars.
It is not difficult for me to accept that what he can do in a jar in Palestine, he can do in an infinitely larger space with different matter. What the science would have seen when a lad’s lunch fed more than 5000 people was matter somehow being formed, or at least multiplied—instantaneously. When three men walked unharmed in a furnace that normally consumed flesh instantly, some temporary shift from matter to non-matter appears to have occurred (a reality that Quantum Science now concedes as possibility). What we call miracle, after all, is the implementation of laws that have to date eluded our understanding. You don’t have to read or understand much of quantum physics to see that there is much that baffles the very best scientists—and the best and most modest of these, say so!
We can (and should) go on through all the miracles of the Bible and hear what we call the realm of the miraculous, is saying. Certainly for the Christian, that becomes our platform when confronted with, ‘but the science is saying this’, and be bold enough to say, ‘yes, but that other realm, the miracle/eternal realm is saying this!’
In my view, something from the eternal realm that we are forced to call miracle, is the pinnacle; miracle trumps currently known principles of physics and miracle is the ground Christians occupy. Just recently it has been announced by scientists studying quantum effects that ‘time may be illusory.’ Well ....hello!
The sciences are scratching (as they should) at tiny fragments of the outer layers of an onion that is huge beyond comprehension! Unfortunately, it too often acts as though it has found the core—and that's what offends me! Surely the way God gets things done does not necessarily need to be explicable to science in its current state (or ever?)
Science will forever be catching up to miracle because God is just a little ahead of us! He knew about the quantum world before Max Planck, Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein found it (they simply found what was there and started trying to explain it!) As time continues we will probably be allowed to discover more mysteries He knew about before He set this thing in motion!
We need to get over ourselves! And ... a lot of scientists need to get over themselves. As one secular scientist—Jeff Forshaw, has wisely said, “By overstating science’s power and not acknowledging its limitations, we risk fostering the growth of a religion-substitute, with the scientists as high priests. Such hubris not only irritates people, but more significantly it risks promoting the misconception that science deals with certainty—and that is the very antithesis of good science.”
Beautiful Newport Beach,
What people who've read THE PLACE are saying...
Marilyn Sams - author of The Jerusalem Temple Mount Myth: Ian Heard’s book adds a unique ....aspect to the growing movement of people accepting the City of David location for the temples in Jerusalem. His perspective .....brings many insightful possibilities to the table. Especially moving are his heartfelt expressions of faith in and love for the prophets and the Savior of the world'.