Saturday, September 12, 2009

Reading Tea Leaves

Tea Leaf Reading: A form of divination or fortune-telling method that interprets patterns in tea leaves.

Once or twice a month, I get an email or a comment on my blog from an enthusiastic Christian who wants to point out the error of my ways. Sometimes it is done gracefully, but more often than not it is proclaimed by someone who has become overly frustrated because I have the audacity to hold a view of God that is different than theirs. If this were the 16th century, some commentators would probably have me burned at the stake - as John Calvin did Michael Servetus. Since present laws and culture will not permit that, they must resign themselves to caustic comments and emails.

The latest comment on one of my Truth Project (a DVD series by Focus on the Family) blogs finished off by warning me not to comment further, lest there be eternal consequences. Interesting theology... but I actually want to focus on the beginning of his comment. He said:

"I am simply amazed at how on earth you got to be on the top of Googles searches regarding the Truth Project but it simply goes to show me how powerful the enemy is and how important things like the Truth Project really are. Your views are not only wrong they are a terrifying example of why the project exists in the first place."

His interpretation of what has placed my articles at the top of Google searches is very typical of how some Christians read random events. He doesn't like what I have written, so he interprets that this blog's high placement in Google searches must be the work of Satan.

However, one could just as easily say that Focus on the Family is spreading a poor interpretation of God though their Truth Project seminars, and God was getting a little tired of the misrepresentation; so He bumped a nobody blogger to the top of Google's list to try to get the word out that Focus on the Family has gone way off the path.

Of course, either view is just Tea Leaf Reading... looking at a random happening and assigning an outside meaning to it. Not too different from thinking that fluffy white cloud bears a striking resemblance to Scooby-Doo.


Steve H. said...

"And I would have gotten away with it to if it weren't for those inteferring kids" (As the mask is pulled away from Satan to reveal...OH NO!!!...

Old Man Hackman)

Don Hendricks said...

I would love to know were this belief that no one gets saved without truly earning it and deserving it comes from. I read commentaries that take a verse with a benifit clearly designed for all of Adams race and in moments it becomes a benifit verse for believers. There a wideness to God's Mercy, and I will take the flack from that hill with you.

Andrew said...

I agree... I think a lot of times, people are just used to an in/out, saved/not, view of reconciliation. So when they read verses that, as you state, clearly refer to all, there is a sudden thick filtering process that changes those verses to Christians or only the elect. I was having this conversation with a friend recently and to him, Romans 5 CLEARLY on refers to Christians. My own beliefs in this regard are growing all the time. Thanks for your thoughts!

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