He who Overcomes, Part 5: First Love

One of the most wonderful things about coming to God again and again (i.e. being an overcomer) is experiencing His presence.  Being in love with God is a wonderful thing.  There is nothing as fulfilling, nothing as satisfying to your mind, soul and spirit as being in experiential communion with the Father, in Christ and by the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  I’ve been 34 years experiencing God, experiencing His love, knowing His touch. I’ve had visions, embraces, revelations.  It has been like paradise on earth to be raised up in the Spirit before the throne of the Father because of the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

And this is what the first promise to the overcomer is all about.   S/he who overcomes has the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God (Rev. 2:7).

That is not just a promise for the future, it is a promise for now.

The Power of Satire

Satirical writings are part of most people’s lives these days whether they appreciate it or not.  One of my favourite examples is The Onion’s on the connection between Facebook and the CIA:

What makes this and other good satire work is that it can take a while to know that it is satire (or a spoof if you prefer that term).  The reason for that is that what is being satirized could easily be true.  Actually good satire contains many facts and slants on truths that serve to bring out the reality of things.  Who doesn’t suspect that the CIA are using Facebook to gather information about us?  Though I don’t think the CIA are funding it directly … maybe.

Recently, another satirical site called Waterford Whispers parodied Pope Francis‘ efforts to curry favour with scientists in the creation v. evolution debate.  Whatever one thinks about that debate, there are things to learn from this skit.  I found it interesting that there were actually quite a few responses to the article which showed that the people reading it thought that the Pope actually didn’t believe much of what was written in the bible – that the report in the article was in fact true.  The thing is, any child can tell you that if you don’t believe the first thing that the bible says you are not likely to believe the rest of it.

Most people don’t have the time, desire or the inclination to think through whether evolution’s account of our origins or the account in the bible of creation is fact.  A lot of people haven’t realised that if they believe one they have to work something out in order to believe the other at the same time.  They are just not thinking that way.

But there are a lot of people out there: children, the poor, the meek and the humble who simply believe what God says to them by His Holy Spirit through the bible.  It is those that the Pope has done a disservice to by proclaiming that the big bang theory and evolution are true.

The RC church has had a bad patch for the last couple of decades.  The implication of so much of its hierarchy in attempts to cover up pedophilia among its priests has been more damaging for its reputation than even the acts of that minority of priests themselves.  The election of Pope Francis has been a master stroke in public relations.  His origin is sufficiently removed from the hierarchy in Rome to enable him to look relatively untarnished in the cover ups (despite his beatification of his predecessor who actually led the cover up) and he has enhanced this image by his fall out recently with his more conservative cousins over homosexuality.  All of this points to one aim of his pontificate, to try and repair the reputation of the RC church.  Everything he has publicly done can be understood in this way including his recent attempts to make the Roman Catholic church popular with the intelligentsia (or those who think they are intelligent) through his proclamations on evolution.

However Jesus never curried the favour of those who thought they knew it all – or indeed of anyone else.  He never had to worry about or protect his reputation.  He still doesn’t.  God doesn’t favour the intelligent, quite the opposite if anything:

At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.  Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.” (Matt. 11:25)

If you need convincing about this read 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.

There are over 7 billion people in the world.  If you started to count them one a second it will take you 200 years to finish counting.  That is a lot of people.  Of the hundreds of millions that will read the Pope’s statements saying that evolution and the big bang theory are correct, how many will then go on to think that the account in the Bible is therefore wrong?

And how many will think that the Waterford Whispers article is in fact true?