Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Point Of View

This picture was a hit on the interwebs last week. Follow the link to the original and instructions on how the picture was made.

Step away from your computer, what do you see? But come closer and the image changes. Yet again, what do you see?

Even though the image in your mind is different, in both cases you see the same thing- a face. It is only as your point of view changes that the image changes.

When I saw Peter pick the topic of "secular" for his blog carnival I was stumped. But then my wife found a picture on Pintrest that uses one of the Urban Dictionary's definitions of Christianity:

The belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree...

Yeah, Christianity makes perfect sense.

And I remembered the picture above. (Yes, my brain works in odd ways. I'm having that checked) But the point that stood out to me was that the "definition" above is only one point of view. Secular it may be, but is it really that far off?

Before you scream "blasphemy!" consider- your perspective and my perspective are different. If we were to each give a description of Jesus, chances are we would say different things. You say loving, I say faithful. You say merciful, I say bold. We could go on and on. Francis Chan makes that point in Crazy Love with respect to God- that if every person in the world used a different word to describe God, we would run out of people before we ran out of words. Your experience with Jesus is different from mine. Different still from the secularist. Yet like in the picture above aren't we all seeing the same thing, Jesus?

So the Urban Dictionary description makes Christianity sound crazy. But isn't it, really? Has Christianity in our day and age become so "normal" that we forget just how crazy it is to give up everything and follow a Jewish zombie that told us to eat his flesh and drink his blood to atone for some internal demon that we all have just because some naked chick in a garden ate the fruit of a magical tree because a snake told her to? I'm not offended by this. My faith in Christ is crazy, I am ready to admit. But that's just my perspective.

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.'

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength." (1 Corinthians 1:18-25)

This post is part of a blog carnival hosted by Peter Pollock. This week's topic is "secular". Be sure to click the link to check out other posts and other perspectives.


Lisa notes... said...

I've been reading on the wisdom of the world and foolishness, etc., in John Piper's "The Pleasure of God" so this is quite timely for me. Perspective makes a LOT of difference.

Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke said...

I loved this crazy post! :) Thank you! Wild blessings to you and yours!

A Joyful Noise said...

This is such an interesting focus. The photo did work and my brain was able to see both views, are their more than two views. In life there certainly are lots of views. When I want a good picture of God, I go direct to His Word and find Jesus there through out the entire book. If you could only see my heart, you would also find Him there. One view only, Jesus.

caryjo said...

When I'm in the gospels and think of what the society was like when Jesus was walking through it, driving others nuts with His outlook and drawing other nutty ones to His side, what you're saying is true. Yes, we're crazy in our world; however, my hope is simply that more and more of the Truth of the Creator of this World will invade the "secularism" and multiply our Family. [This comment may not make sense, but I'll toss it out to you, anyhow.]

Cris Ferreira said...

A lot of scientists were considered crazy until they (or someone else) proved their theory right.
Unfortunately, when Jesus return and proves the Bible right, it will be too late for lots of people.
Let's do our best to make the number of people proved wrong lower and lower.

Fatha Frank said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fatha Frank said...

The bottom line that I wanted to get to, was on the surface our faith seems crazy. Our lives should look crazy to the world. If the atheist/secularist thinks following Jesus is crazy, so do I, so let's start our conversation there instead of arguing over what we don't agree on.

Fatha Frank said...

Thank you all for your comments!

@Lisa, I'll have to check that out. I haven't read much Piper, but I've wanted to. Now I have a title to start with!

@Hazel, there are only the two views. I like what you have to say, if we want the perfect perspective, we need only to open up His Word! Have you checked out John Eldredge's Beautiful Outlaw? It just came out and it challenges our perspective of Jesus by looking at his life anecdotally.

@Caryjo, you make perfect sense. I share your prayer.

@Chris, eventually Jesus will be proved true and every knee will bow. I pray as many as possible bow their knees humbly in surrender, not forced under duress.

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