Monday, December 14, 2015

wise fools

After seeing yesterday that those who suppress the truth of God, revealed in plain sight, are destined to suffer the eternal wrath of God absent the redemption of Jesus Christ, today we see in better detail how we came to begin suppressing the truth:

Romans 1:21-25
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts became darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

-- Those who have suppressed the truth are those who know God, but have chosen now not to honor God or to give him thanks. But how did they get there?
     Suppose that those who originally recognized they glory of God, apparent in the beauty of creation, decided to "become wise" and gain deeper understanding of God through the study of his creation. Yet, as they became further immersed in their study of creation, they become enamored in the intricate beauty of the creation they are studying. They begin to focus more and more on the objects they are studying, until they begin to lose their focus on the creator, and begin praising the creature. Their thinking has been lowered from the heavenly realm to the worldly realm, and they begin to exchange the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, animals, creeping things... They continue to sink lower and lower, their hearts becoming darker in the process as they slowly digress into what amounts to idol worship. God, being holy and jealous for his own glory, will not compete for their affections, and eventually gives them over to the lusts of their impurity, and their suppression of the glory of God.

We are implored to keep our minds on the things above, to keep our thoughts focused on the things of God. Spelled out in this letter to the Romans, we are granted a look into what happens when we slowly begin to lower our eyes and allow our praises to begin resting on the things of creation, and slip away from the creator. The end result of the cycle is a suppression of truth which will lead to a decision (conscious or not) to begin to worship and serve our new idols. What is worse is that this cycle often begins in the name of wisdom. We decide we want to seek deeper knowledge of God, we decide to study what he has made... not a bad idea, but easily twisted, distorted, perverted into making us fools. It begins to split our focus, and our worship starts to drift. God is not interested in our double-minded worship. Focus being shifted to creation, rather than creator, is an insidious, demonic assault on our worship. The attribution of the beauty of an object as a possession of that object is an exchange of the glory of God for the glory of that object. And, even though pleasure can be found in the worship of creation, joy is robbed, resulting in the absence of the fullness of joy which is found only at the right hand of God.  

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