Conform?

One huge negative compels me to write today. I am sorry because there are positives as well. That one negative is, being expected to measure up to a standard of excellence that is expected of everyone.

There was an ethos to live up to, a vision to achieve. They were “building people of excellence”. An eighty hour work week was the ideal. If people did not like what they seen and heard, to go away. The implication is that we do things our way. A fortress mentality. But, what happens when you inevitably do not measure up, or if you do? And by someone else’s standard. I mean, is this for everyone? And is there guilt at not measuring up? Then, people were asked to submit to the leadership and be “blessed”. This was the final straw. Now, it was becoming controlling, one was being asked to come under obedient submission to the so-called authority. To become prosperous I presume.

But the measure of a church should be the measure shared of Jesus Christ — who loves me not for what else I can do, not for how much work I will do, and not for how many dollars I can make. Prosperity is the impossible standard for many, the domain of the business or company, but they will tell you to think big. For Jesus, the measure of success was not how much the wealthy young man had, but by how much he was willing to follow Jesus. The Christ who does not impose a vision or direction, but asks the question. Where we are free to be ourselves while listening and learning from Christ alone. And one to another share a mutual appreciation and spiritual intimacy because of Jesus in our lives.

Emphasis

Some preachers emphasis confession immediately after sinning, but when did I hear a preacher talk about prayer to the Lord Jesus when one is tempted and praying immediately, so one can avoid sinning? The Lord can help one overcome temptation, the challenge is in a steely resolve to say no to temptation, with God’s help. One may stumble, but one can get up and learn to say no and keep on saying no.

Does God need us to love him?

Human-like artificial intelligence. Does their creator need to be loved by them? Will they rebel? Photo: Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law in A.I.

A Christian perspective.

A.I. (2001) speculates on artificial intelligence in the future and asks, does the creator need the creature to love him back?

It is an important question for artificial intelligence. In other words, when humans create a new life form, such as human-like artificial intelligence, would the creator need to be loved by this new life form?

A.I. even goes one step further: try to understand artificial intelligence by going back to the start, with the Creator, God. Does the Creator need his creatures to love him?

Then, do the creatures that humans create, such as David, need to be loved back, as they have this intrinsic need to be loved?  

The A.I. David hopes the “Blue Fairy” (a character in the book Pinocchio) will grant him his wish of being loved. David will have to become a real boy, loved because he is a real boy, so it takes him on a journey through the “new earth” to find what he is looking for.

But go back to the start, with the original Creator. Does God have a need? Is God needy? Did God create humans out of need? Does God really need humans to love him? Does the self-sufficiency of God beg the question that he does not need?

I think this goes to the very heart of God. The Bible says that God is love so in his heart is pure love for his creatures. God will love irrespective of getting love back from his creatures. God goes on loving. So, is A.I. asking the right question, that God has a need? It is one of those tricky theological questions again, but God is. In the Bible, God is the I AM. The Alpha, the Omega, the beginning, and the end. Not how much we love God back, but how much God loves us—this is the undeniable fact of his love for us.

We can love our “creatures” like this, with care.

Background to today’s poem

The poem I published this week, Widow’s Mite, may seem harsh on the rich, it seems to have an attitude. Yes it does. That’s because I don’t like the pretentions of the wealthy where it appears and their negligence of the poor where it appears.

My attitude may be personal. I try to listen to my Bible as well. The Old Testament casts down the greedy and criticizes their blind eye to those in need. The rich man went away from Jesus sad when he could not follow Jesus and give all he had to the poor, in the New Testament.

Greed is not good where it comes in its various forms. I don’t like it in myself when I strive getting another rare CD, but try to bring it into perspective and change my priorities.

I always admired the widow in Jesus’ story who gave all she had to live on, presumably what ever she had left over after paying her expenses, to the poor. Jesus was pleased with her more than the people who gave out of their wealth, presumably they had plenty left over after their expenses were paid and only gave some of it.

It’s the selfless giving to the needs in the community that commended the widow, from all she had. But the rich had much more to give out of their wealth.