Friday, February 17, 2012

Only spiritual enough to date vampires

I am a: 


Looking for a: 


I am: 

        Spiritual but not religious
        Only spiritual enough to date vampires...

        Not too long ago, our image of God was little more than a derogative, lame-duck cariacature, mostly created by the entertainment industry and the media, where man's super ability to blame his problems on everyone but himself got put into TV shows, movies, newspapers and comedy routines. According to this cariacature, God was just an absentee cosmic killjoy that created us and then set the rules into opposition so he could come back in a few milleniums and laugh at the carnage. There were only three types of people that believed in him: (1) Fat, sweaty, rosy-cheeked evangelists in boss-hog suits selling Bibles, moonshine, and used cars, (2) ugly, fanatical, female cult leaders lamenting the child born out of the one time they relaxed their frustrated celibacy, and (3) pathetic, guilt-ridden, Catholic priests, finally losing their faltering faith in God altogether when their beads, cookies, water-bottles, and other useless trinkets that have nothing to do with faith in God got thrown back in their faces. TV shows conveniently cited their own fabricated situations as reasons to doubt God. Heaven got depicted as a zonked out kumbaya, at best, with everyone floating around as neutered, transparent lumps of spiritual pudding with only a few air bubbles to differentiate themselves, their heads hanging at limp right-angles to their shoulders while they drooled, strummed their harps, and muttered, "Holy, holy, holy," every time their elbows bumped. Hell got depicted as a slightly warmer place that people could enter and leave as they wished, so long as they captured more souls for the devil while they were out. Salvation got depicted as more of a substance than a belief, never free, but on sale for a good price if you made a deal with the rosy-cheeked evangelist, the fanatical woman, or the guilt-ridden priest. It's no wonder we slowly started thinking of God as a fading addendum to our lives, at best; someone we had left behind not by any fault of our own, of course, but because he was an ancient, outdated dad who hadn't kept up with the times and didn't know how to keep our attention anymore. Eventually, spirituality altogether got sold as nothing more than an attempt to keep people under control by giving them a common, although invisible, enemy. 

        The only reason our image of God is better today is because we've taken his place. Or, at least, we're hoping for that. Today, we're "only spiritual enough to date vampires," and I say that largely in lieu of all these modern movies that so accurately reveal our current level of spirituality and attitude towards God. All of them cast us as powerful beings capable of attaining godliness without God's help. Today, we're all hoping for something "bigger than ourselves," but only if it's not big enough to hold us accountable (at least, not without a sex scene). It seems as if that awful, empty promise Satan made to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:5) haunts us, still. "You can be like gods without God," he said, and man has never gotten over it. That's why we scoff at the stories in the Bible, but then wish movies about wizards and magic schools, galactic empires and techno-mystical forces, biogenetically enhanced stiletto kung-fu, and werewolves and vampires that not only date but graduate from high-school, could all be true. It's why we watch TV shows about ghosts and UFO's and tell our friends about the creepy thing we saw the night before, and then casually deny God's existence during the conversation over dinner. It's why we cite (Leviticus 17:11), which says that God gave us blood for life and sacrifice, as proof that the God of the Bible is too brutal and primitive to be real, but then turn around and cite the same verse to substantiate vampirism in our movies, books, and role-playing games. We embrace all sorts of things that let us imagine our eternal, magical, even spiritual sandbox, but with no pesky, annoying God walking about, trying to ward us away from bad choices the devil has decorated to look good. In fact, if you think about it, those movies and stories captivate us so much because they promise a world that lets us have godly intervention by our own hand when things are going bad and a return to sin once things are going good again. In short, they let us have a world where sin has no consequences.

The Bible so accurately predicted this attitude towards God. All of the following verses apply to us today, but pay special attention to the last verse:

(2nd Timothy 3: 1-5)
1. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3. Without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4. Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

         Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on whether you love God or not), our godless sandbox is impossible, folks. Ever noticed in those movies that suggest some kind of godless eternity that someone STILL has to lose and die? It's just never US in our fantasies. Apply that exception to everyone, however, and you have a world that doesn't exist. That's because only God knows how to make a fun world where everyone wins and lives. Moving away from him leads to a world with plenty of death, but no magical sandbox, much like the world we have today. Moving close to him leads to a life of joy and an afterlife that we couldn't even comprehend in our current, carnal state:

(1st Corinthians 2:9)
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.