Before the real post, check out this neat review of Microsoft Vista, the new operating system that is supposed to replace Windows. I love any review that includes the line:
Ironically, playing around with Vista for more than a month has done
what years of experience and exhortations from Mac-loving friends could
not: it has converted me into a Mac fan.
Now, on with the show…
I often will arrive at a particular thought, quandary, or memory because of sheer chance as I ride through the channels that are flipping in my mind. I sometimes compare it to watching television at 1:00 a.m. when you can’t sleep and there is nothing good on, except that the second thought in the string is directly connected in some fashion to the previous thought. I suppose that it is sort of like playing that movie game with Kevin Bacon where you try to get from one movie star to the next by linking co-stars. At any rate…
I started on one of these paths today and figured you might enjoy sharing the journey with me. If nothing else it will let you into my head a little. I was preparing for the youth class tonight where we are on a series of comparative religions. Tonight’s lesson was on Islam, so I was brushing up on my Islamic trivia and common Jewish ancestry trivia. It was in this process that I brushed back over how the Koran treats Jesus as a good person, a prophet like Moses, but not the son of God.
Whenever I think of this (if you give a mouse a cookie), I always jump over to the Lord, liar, lunatic argument that Josh McDowell and many others have made for validating Jesus’ testimony and statements. Since Jesus claimed to be the son of God, and since Jesus can’t be the son of God and not the son of God simultaneously, either Islam’s teaching is wrong or Jesus’ words are wrong. Once you examine the lifestyle Jesus led and the sacrifices he made while supporting his claim, you rule out lying pretty quick. Then it’s on to the lunatic possibility. While Jesus did make some strong claims, he showed no other signs of insanity in his ministry that you would expect from one suffering from schizophrenia or some other illness that would make him claim to be something that he wasn’t.
At this point I made a new jump to a conversation my dad had with me a few years before he died. He was working at a hospital in Arkansas in their inpatient psychiatric unit. His normal reminder for me when dealing with mentally ill people was to remember that it isn’t illegal to be insane. Still, the week prior to Easter they always admitted anyone with a schizophrenic God-complex because of the high rate of suicide associated with this condition within the three days prior to Easter (I’m sure you can put the pieces together on that one).
On this particular year, they happened to have two God-complexes in house: one who thought he was Jesus Christ and the other who thought he was Zeus. While sympathizing with these guys, he was also intrigued at the conversation they were having. While on a smoke break together (Jesus and Zeus I mean, not my father) they began to argue over which one of them was really God. The Jesus Christ character raised his hands to the night sky and said, "To prove to you that I am God I will bring the stars down upon your head and crush you!" To the Zeus lifted his hands up to support the sky, turned his head away flinching, and said, "STOP!!" He slowly opened his eyes, saw the stars in place, and said, "See, I told you I was God."
The story is both sad for the men experiencing it and humorous at the same time. For me, it strengthens the "not a lunatic" part of the L, L, L defense by showing what real people with God complexes act like. To beat the old apologetic horse a bit more, if not a liar or a lunatic then we are left with only one option: Lord.
Hope you enjoyed the ride!