Sunday, March 25, 2007

"Spirit and Mind" -> The Last Banquet


The follow-up study reported in "Nature" reveals that the rate of belief is lower than eight decades ago. The latest survey involved 517 members of the National Academy of Sciences; half replied. When queried about belief in "personal god," only 7% responded in the affirmative...

I think that I've written about this before. Evidently there is a battle between religion and science because if you are a bright scientist, you will find only a 7% chance of believing in God. The real question is "why is this?" The second question is "what does the Bible say about this?"

When you are smart, you run the risk of knowing it all. You are superior to the other people. You are strong, and they are weak. The Bible warns us that when we are a "know it all," God will not speak to us. The more that we are rebellious and self assured, the more that we become a god in our own mind. Thus we are told in the Bible:

1 Peter 5:5 "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

As I reflect on the words of the gospel. I start with a song by Daniel Amos:

Banquet at the World's End

The beautiful people, all send their excuses:
(Real estate and sex lives, livestock and ex-wives)

But the poor are coming, the lame are running
In their sleazy clothes and orthopedic shoes
There's a harelip spokesman shouting out the news

"Come to the banquet at the world's end!"

There's a string ensemble, and the King's court jester
Telling parables and big jokes, to mongoloids and old folks

The blind are seeing, the dead are breathing
And the mummies dance in geriatric style
The amputees are rolling down the aisles

"Come to the banquet at the world's end!"

Candlelight and party hats, duck and pheasant under glass
Aluminum walkers, thin white canes, caviar and pink champagne
The bride and the groom waltz on
Club foot lane at the banquet at the world's end
The banquet at the world's end
The banquet at the world's end

Say the beautiful people (the poor are coming)
"We'll live with the lights out (the lame are running)
Leave us alone now because (the blind are seeing)
Hell feels like home now" (the dead are breathing)


But the poor are coming, the lame are running
In their sleazy clothes and orthopedic shoes
There's a harelip spokesman shouting out the news

"Come to the banquet at the world's end!"
"Come to the banquet at the world's end!"
"Come to the banquet at the world's end!"

What is the above? A dumb song that never got much play during the early nineties. And yet, in this stupid song that is weird in composition, I get shivers up my spine. There is something that God hates in those that call themselves wise and smart. Those that think that they are better.

The whole of gospel is the idea that God, through Christ, calls to those "In their sleazy clothes and orthopedic shoes." The idea is that the Lord wants those that obey. He does not want those that "really, really smart or really, really rich." Every movie producer knows that the audience pulls for the underdog. In the Bible, God pulls for the underdog. And those that have it all? They get ignored.

The appeal of the gospel is to put the fine theory and thought behind you and simply taste and see.

Mind you, I don't think that this means that we are to get all emotional and caught up in any stupid idea. I have seen this turned to the opposite extreme. I have seen some that have stated that they will just have blind faith. Blind faith is just as stupid. The point is not to have blind faith. We are not called to be stupid or put rationale thought behind us.

The point is to try it out.

It was as if we were standing outside a banquet hall. You and I are starving. A man comes to you and I. He says that there is food inside, and all we need to do is come and eat.

Now, if you were my friend and an atheist, or a disbeliever, you may say, "I'm not sure that there is a banquet. I have been doing a lot of research on this, and I've heard that a lot of people that have been offered banquets find out that there really isn't a banquet. As a matter of fact, I've heard that believing in a banquet often causes people to kill each other. As a matter of fact, evolution has proven that we have created banquets to make up for the fact that we are hungry."

You can say this all you want. I am going to walk into the hall and try out the food. Don't stand outside.

Just try it.

Luke 14:

"A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.' "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.' "Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.' "Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.' The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame." 'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.' "Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.

1 comment:

tmm said...

Uncle Ted - do you have an mp3 of the song? BTW, "Little Red Ridinghood" is, oddly enough, still on regular rotation in my music collection (though, I believe you gave it to Paula not me... )