What’s the real thing?

WE seem born to desire authenticity. There is something of the poet, painter, musician, dancer or architect in all of us. It must be so if we are created in the image of God.

This is a world of tragedy and pain. It is also a world of joy and fulfilment and we have to be artistically creative to deal with the paradox.
Sadly, creativity has sometimes become the domain of those who exploit it for big profits, or for destruction.

Creativity gave us Hamlet and the Beethoven symphonies – but also the Hiroshima bomb, pornographic web-sites, Trident submarines, dictatorial governments and rampant consumerism.

As George Orwell said, we have a hunger for something like authenticity, but are easily satisfied by a facsimile.

That hunger can easily seek human happiness as the ultimate goal of the human condition. But true creativity seeks the beautiful and ugly truth about what it means to be human.

In a time of shrill and divisive religious rhetoric, a simple message of faith rings with refreshing authenticity.

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained it was all about paradox. You could be blessed even when in mourning. You could find greatness in being lesser than others. Peace does not come with the absence of troubles, but with the realisation that God provides adequate resources.

Irrational gobbledygook? No, a work of art.

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7 thoughts on “What’s the real thing?

  1. “You could find greatness in being lesser than others.”
    I realize that the era of ‘keeping up with the Jones’ ‘ has mainly passed, except amongst the very wealthy. Even there we find people like Bill and Melinda Gates are becoming more numerous. Simple living is more and more becoming fashionable.

    I suppose there is a paradox. Don’t know if creativity is involved. This is something I need to think on more deeply, I suppose. 🙂

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  2. “Jesus explained it was all about paradox”

    Well, he got that bit right. A few of the biggest paradoxes are:-\

    1. Believing that ruthless domination and control, complemented by fawning worship and self-abasement represent love.

    2. Believing that “faith” which can allow you to believe absolutely anything, however ridiculous or contradictory, is a sure path to knowledge or truth.

    3. Believing that “truth” is what feels right to you, rather than what can be verified.

    4. Believing that God will grant you anything you ask in prayer, IF he feels like it, and that even a result equal to chance is proof of prayers being answered.

    5. Believing that condemning you to an eternity of torture and pain is the behaviour of a loving god.

    6. Believing that everything has to have a creator, then claiming that, although the creator just happened by itself, the universe can’t have.

    7. Believing that the universe was created just so that the self-replicating colonies of cells that infest this almost infinitesimal speck of dust for a few seconds of universe time can worship the creator and be punished if they don’t.

    8.Believing that the first man and woman, with no sense of right and wrong, were condemned to suffering,together with all their descendants forever for their curiosity, by this omniscient god, who then drowned the whole world’s population, bar a few, ordered tribes to massacre other tribes, killed off thousands of first-borns, decided to be born of a virgin (as they tended to) as his own son, had himself killed for a couple of days to save everyone from all the sin he could have prevented in the first place just by doing things right………..etc..etc…etc……

    9. I ask you! And there are thousands more!

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    • Rol,
      I could give a rational explanation to every single one of your point but I dare say that you would not be interested in the truth. You are more interested in attacking things you have no idea about, without bothering to verify whether they are true or not.

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    • Lots there to agree with Rol, but on the whole I feel you are a literalist or fundamentalist. You are seeing only what’s immediately before you. Perhaps something will happen one day to enable you to look farther. Blessings (feel free to accept them or not!) 🙂

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    • DOES THE ‘LENS’ THROUGH WHICH YOU SEE THE WORLD CONTRADICT ITSELF?

      WHILE snowboarding in Japan I wore tinted goggles which coloured everything orange. After a while I had adjusted and totally forgot that I was wearing them. Worldviews are just like this. Everyone has a worldview, but most of us are unaware of it and how this set of beliefs colours how we see the world. Even if you think you don’t have these beliefs, isn’t that a belief in itself?

      The question is not whether or not you have a worldview but whether or not your worldview is the right one. However, all worldviews not based on the Bible are self-refuting. They break laws of logic such as the law of non-contradiction which says that it is impossible for something to be ‘A’ and ‘not A’ at the same time and
      in the same way.

      The biblical worldview is internally consistent and accounts for universal laws, such as the laws of logic, laws of nature, and laws of morality. These laws exist because they are a reflection of the character and mind of God. In contrast, other worldviews cannot account for these laws adequately. For example, if the evolutionary worldview is true and we just evolved by chance random processes, there would be no basis for any universal laws to exist. How would you even know that your brain had evolved the correct thinking processes in order to actually know anything?

      Many Westerners these days hold to an atheistic or agnostic worldview that is based on empiricism. This says that true knowledge can only be known by the scientific method. However, this view is self-refuting because it cannot be scientifically tested itself. You can’t put an abstract belief into a test-tube to see if it is true. I shared this with a very intellectual atheist recently and he said, “Oh, I hadn’t thought of that.”

      Agnostic literally means ‘don’t know’. But a good question here to the agnostic would be: do you know that you don’t know about God? Many agnostics may not even be aware that they have an empirical mind-set and simply say ‘I believe in what I can see.’ But can that belief be seen? Of course it can’t because beliefs are abstract concepts.

      We all know instinctively that God exists, and to argue otherwise is like someone trying to argue that air doesn’t exist – and at the same time breathing! Atheists have no good explanation for why laws of logic exist – but have to use them in order to try to argue against the Bible – so they are actually stealing constantly from the biblical worldview without realising it!

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      • Buddhism, attractive to those who oppose biblical morality, refutes itself by the teaching you should strive to have no desires, but this is a desire within itself. This is clearly not a desirable state to be in.

        Likewise, Hinduism is self-refuting because it says it is not possible to know knowledge, but that is knowledge within itself. The belief that everything is just an illusion is an illusion itself. Many Westerners have unknowingly embraced this ‘knowledge’. They say, ‘there is no absolute truth’. But is this absolutely true?

        Islam refutes itself because Allah is so transcendent and unknowable that nothing in human experience is comparable to him. But laws of logic are part of human experience. So where do they come from if they are not a reflection of the mind of God? In order to refute the biblical worldview they have to use the bibli-cal worldview which alone accounts for the laws of logic.

        The Qur’an says that the Bible came from Allah (Surah 6:114) and that God’s words cannot be changed (Surah 6:34, 6:115). Yet because of the many contradictions between the Qur’an and the Bible, Muslims believe that the Bible has been changed. But the Bible could not have been changed because we have copies that were written before the Qur’an and they are the same as the Bible we have today. Thus in trying to refute the Bible Islam refutes itself.

        The biblical worldview is the only self-consistent worldview that does not refute itself. It explains why we have laws of logic, laws of nature, and laws of morality – they are a reflection of the creator God revealed to us in the Bible.

        You might have read all of this and still be thinking you don’t accept it as true for you because ‘truth is just relative’. Restated you are saying that ‘there is no absolute truth.’ Do you think that is relatively true or absolutely true?

        If only the skeptics would be skeptical about their skepticism!

        All of this confirms that what the Bible teaches is true. When people reject the one true biblical worldview and adopt a man-made one the result is that their beliefs end up becoming absurd, irrational, and self-refuting.

        101 Arguments com

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      • I was about to offer you a job as my lawyer!…….until: “We all know instinctively that God exists, and to argue otherwise is like someone trying to argue that air doesn’t exist – and at the same time breathing!”

        Even a dopey police prosecutor would tear that argument to bits. 😉

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