Monday, April 2, 2007

Turn Your Radio On

The inability to think literally, as I have been saying, has hurt us in more ways that I can name, but I want to look at one example that I've been thinking about in the past couple of days. When I went to church, at a Baptist church here in the area, I remember sitting in Sunday School, reading through the tract book they give us for conducting Sunday School, and thinking how much like herds of cattle we are. The school "teachers" had no formal education in theology, nor did they concern themselves much with topics of a religious nature. They did take great care to apply the fundamental teachings of Christ to their experiences (a nurse and a fire fighter) but that's about it. Mostly, they asked the questions they were supposed to ask (the ones out of the tract.) and get the answers they were supposed to get. Why ask the question if all you expect is the "right" answer? If everyone in the room gives you the same answer, and it's the one you expect, there's no real reason to ask it, is there? For instance, if they were to ask who your heros are, or who you look up to, say in a lesson about Timothy and Paul, the whole class would answer, almost in unison, "God" first, and then maybe their parents, teachers, policemen (firefighters and doctors, obviously)...etc... but that would be about it. There would be no other discussion. The questions would all be like that. No deep, theological or philosophical conversations. And then after the obligatory mumbling through of the lesson, a lesson in which nothing was learned, things would denigrate to the latest football game or whatever, and then we would hold hands, pray, and leave. And nothing would be learned, no thoughts would linger beyond the time of church to tap you on the shoulder at nine in the evening. It was a wasted hour, and I grew tired of it. So now I don't go to that church, and I question whether there would be any class in any church in these parts that would have a teacher that would be able to hold a class in a manner that would suit me. Let me give an example...

A couple of nights ago, my mom got a new Bill Gaither Video, Love Can Turn the World, and in it, Gloria Gaither wrote a b-roll for Russ Taff to say in front of the school where they had shot film. He said something to the effect that scientists had found that the smallest bits of matter in the universe were strings of music, much like what Bob Greene talks about in The Elegant Universe. But instead of going into quantum physics, Russ went another way. Inside all of us are these same strings of sound, music of the spheres, as some of the ancient philosophers called them (Pythagoras, I believe). Inside of us are strands of DNA that, included with the songs of life are the encoding that make us what we are. Now, if we are to take as true, and we must, if we believe the the Bible is Truth (the Word was God and the Word is God.), that God made us in his own image, then would it be possible to assume that he made us out of music, of song, of the very fragments of the universe that He himself created? In this case, we can forgo the idea that God will look like a human being, or that Angels have wings and feet and whatnot, but rather, we ascend and "sing" for all eternity His praises, in the form that He gave us when we were first created, out of the dust of the Earth, out of the musical strings of the universe. This very directly agrees with science, with the beliefs in Theosophy and Pantheology, that God is everywhere. Now, unlike Yoda's "force," we cannot manipulate it with our minds, but we can pray, and ask God, who is the source of all that "force," to manipulate it for us.

I find it very hard to argue with this, but there will be people who would, because in this, the traditional beliefs of God having two hands and human like figures is done away with. It destroys the idea of God as some perfect "form" of a human (see Plato's metaphysical beliefs), and replaces it with an abstract form of science which is difficult for even the lay person to understand and believe. But perhaps that is what God intended, because a truth that is hard to believe is hard to perceive as the truth. And you will find no Sunday School class talking about these types of things (at least not generally, there may be some amazing class in a Church somewhere that does... I hope so.), because it is better to build up the walls to all but the most traditional of thoughts, and the fundamentalists would call anything else heresy.

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