Saturday, September 12, 2009

Absolutes? Absolutely!

Before I get into what the above picture has to do with anything even remotely Biblical, I wanted to share the excitement of this special day with you! Today is not only my parents' 35th wedding anniversary, but it's also this blog's first anniversary, in its current name and format! To celebrate, I'm doing two things, all at once! And no, neither of them involves walking or chewing gum!

1) I am having my very first "bloggy giveaway"! Leaving me a comment will automatically enter you in the drawing. No, more comments won't increase your chances of winning, but don't let that discourage you. Next weekend, I will draw a name at random, and that winner will receive a Christian music CD! Now, exactly which CD... that's open for discussion. :)

2) I am launching a new sister blog, called Lift Up the Standard. It will be of a more activist and political nature than Jesus Is Wonderful, and hopefully it will spark some good conversations, with a wider audience. Please check it out!

So, back to the Star Wars picture...

The climax of Episode III is arguably the battle between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, who has just turned to the Dark Side of the Force and became Darth Vader (sans the breathing mask). As Padme lies unconscious, choked by an enraged Anakin, Obi-Wan tries in vain to convince the young man that he's on the wrong path. Anakin responds, "If you're not with me, then you are my enemy." Obi-Wan answers, "Only the Sith deal in absolutes." Some see this as a pot-shot at conservative Christians, who dare defy the concept that morality is only relative (never mind that the wise Jedi's bold statement is itself a contradiction). And yes, they might have something there, especially given George Lucas' liberal leanings. But there are a couple very interesting places where Jesus talks about who's with Him or against Him. Let's go exploring....

"And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us" (Luke 9:49,50, and similarly in Mark 9:38-40).

Now that's interesting, because you would think that besides the people who are gung-ho for Jesus and the ones who openly ridicule His followers, there are many in-between, who haven't made up their minds or are simply of a "live and let live" mindset. But Jesus doesn't seem to share that view (in fact, He promised in Revelation to spew such people out of His mouth). In this verse, He appears to see anyone who doesn't actually oppose Him as an ally.

Okayyyy... now, here's where it gets even more interesting:

"He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth" (Luke 11:23, and also Matt. 12:30).

This is kind of the flip-side of Jesus' previous quote and was almost exactly what Anakin said. Anyone who is not following Jesus is leading people away from Him. Now why would that be?

In John 14:6, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

This is the ultimate in absolute statements and one that gets a lot of Christians in hot water with the secular progressives. It essentially asserts that there is only one way to God, and that all other religions are false. So, anyone who believes otherwise is, by word or deed, contradicting Jesus and leading others away from Him.

So what about the guy in Luke 9 (not Skywalker!) and Mark 9, who was casting out demons in Jesus' name, even though he was not traveling with Jesus? Well, he was pointing folks to Jesus, the Savior of the world, and that's exactly what Jesus would have us all do. :)


Dusty Chris said...

I think the first commenter should get the prize, heh heh.
Great post for your one year anniversary. I agree with you. It would stop a whole lot of denominational bickering if we realized we are on the same team...that 97.48 percent of our bekiefs are the same.
Happy Birthday Jesus is Wonderful!

Gigi said...

Happy blog birthday to Jesus Is Wonderful! I also wish you much success with your new blog, Greg!

thekingpin68 said...


Anders Branderud said...

You wrote: “In John 14:6, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."“

I want to comment and atonement.

(le-havdil) How to live in order to enable the Creator in His loving kindness to provide His kipur –atonement- is outlined in Tan’’kh ; and was also taught by the first century Ribi Yehoshua from Nazareth (the Mashiakh; the Messiah).

Read it here:
Anders Branderud

Greg said...

Thank you, everyone, for stopping by!

Anders, I understand where you're coming from; you're probably as strongly opposed to the New Testament as I am to the Book of Mormon or the Quran. Ultimately, our views on God are a matter or faith and our own spiritual experience. I am probably just as convinced that Jesus is who the NT says He was, as you are that He wasn't.

I have never had a deep conversation with one of the Jewish faith, but maybe we should sometime.

Laura said...

Happy Birthday Blog! hmm now that think about it my blog birthday is coming up.............

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Congratulations, Greg!

Nice post...and I echo Dusty Chris' sentiments.


Farrah said...

Happy Blog Birthday, Honey!!!!

Hmmm . . . Now why does GGM think Dusty Chris should get the prize?

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Well, I always think I should get any prize, of course! :-)

But I echo Dusty's other sentiments. :-)