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September 11th 2007 (2) comments so far  

Thanks, Ron, for your input. I was afraid that “Let go and let God” was the last thing you want to hear as you are hanging off a cliff, holding on to the limb of a small tree.

I see that your interpretation of the phrase focuses on the sovereignty of God, the point being that we should recognize that He is in control. The reference you cited from Proverbs is in chapter 16, verse 33:

“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” To answer your question: in an absolute sense, there is no such thing as gambling, as gambling presumes that there is an impersonal force that controls things called “luck” or “chance.”

The author of this proverb affirms that not only is there no power or force that supersedes the power of almighty God, but that His control extends to every aspect and decision in life. Right down to the toss of the dice. Note how many times in the Scripture decisions were relegated to a roll of the dice. Determining the will of God meant trusting that He controlled the outcome of the lot.

Which explains why I don’t buy lottery tickets: “Why would a wise father like my heavenly father turn an idiot like me loose with millions of dollars that I did not earn the hard way?”

I’m a little unclear about your use of the “control stick” (on the B-52 it is called the “yoke”) and “autopilot” analogy. Autopilot is an aid to the pilot flying the aircraft; control of the aircraft is always the pilot’s responsibility. Functionally, all control inputs flow through the yoke (even with autopilot engaged) so that the pilot at all times has immediate control of the aircraft. This is critical since autopilots do disengage and heading or attitude gyros do tumble.

That being the case: who is the pilot in the analogy? If “God is my pilot (not co-pilot)”, then the analogy makes your point that He is always in charge. Autopilot ““ our complicity? – makes His job easier.

Mention of a co-pilot reminds me of the old question: “What’s the difference between a co-pilot and a jet engine?” After the flight, the jet engine stops whining.

Thanks for conveying a usable meaning to “Let go and let God.” The phrase has a nice ring to it, but has no meaning without a definition of what we are to let go of. There are things we are commanded to release to God, like justice for wrongs done to us (Romans 12:19). Apart from an explanation or definition, the phrase suggests a passivity or disengagement in our lives that I am not comfortable promoting. Think about it: if the car is not moving, does it change direction when you turn the steering wheel?

OK, Darth and Leslie: how about this as a working definition for religion? Religion is man by his own efforts attempting to curry favor from God, be a god, or achieve equality with God. Christianity recognizes the truth: God reached down to restore mankind to relationship with Him doing everything necessary to restore the relationship broken by sin. He did so out of love, in the face of man being undeserving and totally unable to earn or merit that love. Religions practice good works “in order to” achieve something; Christians practice good works in response to or “because of” the love we have already been given.

“Spirituality” is like beauty ““ it is in the eye of the beholder.

The definition of spirituality depends on the identity of the spirit or Spirit that guides your life. For the Christian, spirituality is the guidance and empowering of the Holy Spirit in one’s life. Secular “spirituality”, guided by either the spirit of man or the “spirit of this world,” is either a kind of contemplative narcissism or an extended emotional response to stimuli from nature. In the 60’s, there were also substances that produced “spiritual” stimuli, along with a preference for bell bottoms and garish colors. But that is a different issue.

So, was Jesus spiritual or religious? The ball is now in your court.


Comments

  1.  

    darth September 11th at 9:04 am  

    Well, Jesus certainly isn’t religious because he doesn’t need to curry favor from God, be a god, or achieve equality with God. He is God, the God that became flesh and dwelt among us.

    So Jesus, being God and being part of the Trinity, I guess you could say He is spiritual. Just seems confusing to me to say Jesus is following Himself….

    Leslie’s point about upsetting the religious leaders of the day is dead on.

  2.  

    Leslie September 17th at 7:07 am  

    Darth:

    The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, though all equal, are different Persons in essence. So, obviously Jesus was not following himself, but the Spirit’s leading, like he was not praying to himself, but to the Father.

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