Thursday, December 6, 2012

Eyes on Mordor and not on Christ

In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, a great evil lives. By the end of the story, we are confronted by the image of an oversize eye floating atop a massive stone pillar. The pillar and eye form nothing more than an emotionally thrilling, deeply threatening lower case “i”. The metaphor is simple: "i am God" is a great evil. The lower case indicating the human.

From the most logical stand point, all of life is spiritual. There are choices and activities which hinder spiritual development. Even a weakening or stagnant spiritual life is a spiritual condition. The paradigm shift that needs to occur in the practice of the Christian faith is a decision, an awareness, a self-discipline to reject the notion that some aspects of the Christian life are mundane, human and not spiritual. Rather, there are no coincidences, no simple happenstances which we simply live through. The mundane and every other aspect of our existence is meaningful in Christ.

Christians are sometimes confused or overly confusing regarding what is and what is not spiritual truth. In that confusion, folks influenced by such winds of doctrine are very likely to emotionally disconnect…to not realize, recognize or respond to God as real in a every moment. String several of these together, and the result is to describe our condition as a “dry time”. The wind will blow a dust in our eyes, stinging and blinding. We are likely to blame God, or in the least lose our focus on Him.  

Our Lord is not the author of confusion nor is there a desert in His Presence. 

Or perhaps, we may not be confused, but experiencing the effects of the great darkness on the earth. In not being aware of how we continue to love life in the earth and what it offers, we unwittingly live on the dark side while professing Christ. Several of the groups into which Christians have sub-divided make a portion of their teaching  to include “spiritual warfare” against the devil. True Ephesians tells us to wear the whole armor of God, and that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers in the heavens. Yet it appears to this author in the fights of his life, that what we blame on the devil are very often simply decisions and desires that reside within us in our fleshly-- read that oriented toward our physical body--minds. In being our own person, the "i" rules. In loving ourselves over God, we choose sin instead of submission and reap the natural consequences! Making blanket statements about how the devil is attacking us and asking others for their prayers in the face of this onslaught sounds spiritually effective and dedicated to life in Christ, but such is nothing more than pretense at the forms while denying the awesome power of the love of God.

i know what i am talking about.


postmodern redneck said...

In the past I've seen some excitement about "deliverance" ministry; at one church we were part of in the late '70s-early'80s the elders went overboard with it (if the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, you tend to see all your problems as nails!) and this was some years before Frank Peretti's novels popularized spiritual warfare. I think sometimes they went looking for demons behind some problems that may have just been due to human cussedness and weakness.

I believe pretty strongly in the traditional doctrine of the Fall--in fact, I tend toward what you might call the all-out version, which implies that the Fall did not just affect the human animal in the areas of morals, but also physically (the truth behind the stories of the long lives attributed in Genesis to some of the early people) and mentally/intellectually (A lot of our modern problems might be attributed to people in high positions in gov't, academia and social elites who aren't as smart as they think they are).

Christians aren't immune to the above failing, of course; but they have at least some basis for remembering, and recognizing it. The secular person has no such insight into human nature, and gets blindsided by human failings.

postmodern redneck said...

I do like your equating the Tower in Mordor with human grasping for godlike stature. Never thought of that myself, even though I've read and re-read LOTR for many years, and learned long ago about the "throne" in the human heart, and the continual contest over who sits there, God or oneself. Maybe one reason Father gives each of us different insights is so we remember we do need each other....

ded said...

Hey, Phil.

I certainly agree with the people in power are not as smart as they think they are!

The lower case i metaphor jumped out at me as I watched the final film near the end. The gates are opening and out from Mordor are coming the hoards of soldiers. Overlooking is the rock pillar with the floating eye. I saw the i and decided then Tolkien intended it to represent the evil of i attempting to be God. Be interesting to be able to ask him, if that was the case!