Saturday, February 27, 2010

How much freedom can I give my imagination?

As I taught Romans 1:18-32 tonight, I was sobbing inside. I've read the passage many times, and not even when I read it in preparation, had I felt that way. God tugged at my heartstrings at how painful sin is to Him. I started in 16, For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, and I am willing to call sin what God calls sin. I'm willing to say that I've sinned and need His forgiveness. Then I come home and read C.S. Lewis. In the book Weight of Glory, he wrote an essay on forgiveness vs. excuses. It's On Forgiveness and it's followed by an essay about how we rush to do the temporary things before we repent for eternity in A Slip of the Tongue. Our priorities are all messed up. We know we can't do bad things and come to God in the midsts of them, so we do them and then we come to God to "repent" but we make excuses on how we can't be expected to resist the temptation under the circumstances. And from the passage in Romans, I was convicted on how I put God aside in my thoughts so I can play out a particular fantasy, and then re-engage Him in the next moment. I excuse myself with, "It's only a thought. I wouldn't ever really do anything even close to that." But that fantasy somehow gives me this temporal satisfaction as if it was a puff on a cigarette... just strong enough to get me to the next puff.

And in this realization of how blind I was to my own sin broke my heart. I felt as if I was not worthy to teach that passage, but I had to teach it at the same time, not to the High Schoolers, but to me. And my confession isn't to you there in cyber world, nor is it to the High Schoolers I taught, but to myself and to God. Sin is empty. We all know that. The trick to sin is to believe that it will satisfy. That's hope. But it's hoping in something that is not true. We can either choose to believe that sin will satisfy or choose to believe that God will satisfy. You don't have to ask me what I believe. You will see what I believe by what I do.

The next question that I have to weigh out is movies and tv shows. They are depictions of worlds where the God I know and love is not God. He doesn't exist there. In the best Christian movies, He's like the God I know, but He is still man-made. Some man has decided how God would act or answer the prayer of a character in a story. Depending on the writer's relationship with the real God, it may be an accurate interpretation of His will, but we don't know for sure.

I'm not saying that movies and anything fiction is bad. But if it shows a world where God is not God, is that really something I want to spend my time watching? I don't know. It's something I'm praying and thinking about. I do enjoy movies. I do enjoy suspending my beliefs in the laws of physics to see men do extraordinary things. But am I attempting to escape my relationship with God in those moments? If eternity starts now, then where do those moments go that don't contribute to it?

How much freedom can I give my imagination?

1 comment:

Diane said...

1) didn't God bless you with imagination? what about the ability to write fiction?

2) are your "fantasies" based in sin or are they based in love?

3) God is forgiving