Monday, February 24, 2014

Louis CK Bible Study Week 3 Recap: Did You Shit All Over Every Polar Bear?!

Weekly Jesus meme, per usual.
   Welcome back, friends! If you want to start this bible study at the beginning, check out our introduction. You can find the subsequent parts I and II in the According to Dazz archives.
   Instead of starting with a clip this week, I actually want you guys to read this quick passage first; check out Genesis below.

Genesis 1:27-31

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earthand subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of lifein it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
   You have all that? Great. It is time for our good friend Louis CK to lend his thoughts on all of this. Here is your clip for this week!

   Now buckle up, because you have another passage to read. Well, we are going to be doing a little something here called comparing and contrasting, and to do that, you need two things (wow—rocket science!), so suck it up. Here is John 1—many Christians would consider this “classic Gospel”—kind of like the Dark Side of the Moon of the Bible. It is one of the best-produced passages in the entire holy book, and a great intro into an incredible world of thought.

John 1:1-14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
   Essentially, we have a story here told in three parts. Let’s go in order:

Part I: The Ideal World
   Look back at that Genesis 1 passage. Life seems pretty great, right? God creates us with the mindset that we would become masters of this earth, and live with the rest of His creation in a perfect, harmonious setting. We would be a reflection of God Himself, that is, we would carry out His original intention of being people of love and compassion and grace. We were made in the image of God—crazy—and God looked to us to reveal that in our behavior.

Part II: When we shit on the polar bears
   The world that Louis CK talks about, however, is something very different than what God intended. Louis CK shows how today, we value things like expediency, convenience, and bacon over the more important areas of life, such as, you know, taking care of what we all share (i.e. the world). Instead of living out our lives the way God wanted us to live, we have put ourselves first. As a result, the polar bears are brown, oil is oozing all over the place, and God is looking down with his face in his hand going “What the fuck did you do?!”
   The world is broken. You know that funny Internet picture of the dog who trashed his whole house while the owner stepped out? We are the dog. We took the vision that God wanted for us and we chose to ignore it. We did our own thing. Sometimes, we still do.

Part III: The Word enters the picture
   I guess the first question we have to answer here is “What is the Word?” Well, the short answer is that the Word is Jesus, the Son of God. This passage refers to Him as the Word for good reason—it actually comes from the Greek word “logos,” which is rooted in the idea that the spoken word itself has tremendous power. Think of the creation story up there in Genesis 1. Throughout that chapter, God speaks things into being—his words have all the power. Jesus can be considered as the Word because of his humanness. He is here to send us the message—literally, a verbal message—of God’s love for us. Bam, origin story.
   The key line is that the Word became flesh—God became man. Is it important to note, also, that the Bible never says that Jesus was made or created. Rather, the text is careful to say that Jesus was begotten. The idea of something being begotten comes from royal blood lines. Kings would beget a son, with the idea that one day, that son would become equal to himself (that is, a king). Now, when you make something, you create something that is different than yourself. God made man. We make things in our kitchens. Things like that.
   The Bible, though, says Jesus was begotten, not made. That is to say, Jesus was someone who is the same as God. If Jesus were created, he would clearly be something different, but he was not created. Fascinating.

   But what was the big deal of Jesus being here at all? Why did he have to come? Well, it was all in response to God’s original intentions being broken by us people. The world was a place of sin and despair and emptiness, and God decided that, to hell with it, he better come on down here himself and help us figure out our problems. God needed to reveal to us that, because he loves us so much, he was willing to give up his Son (essentially, give up himself) to save us from this broken world. Even though we shit on the polar bears, God wanted to give us another chance, and we have this chance in Jesus, right now.
   So as you go out this week, consider this: what was God’s original intention for you? In Delta Chi, we talked about being a brotherhood, a place where men could gather and support each other and grow together. In some of the habits that we have now, we might have lost some sight of that, but as a bible study, we were able to sit down and bring the focus back to what was important. We may exchange harsh emails at times and neglect to clean our chapter room, but at the end of the day we have to turn back to the foundation of friendship, community, and bro-mancing that brought us all together. You can do the same for yourself, for your family, your friends.

   The challenge of this week is to bring yourself to look at God’s original intentions for you, and how you might have gone away from that (what polar bear have you shit on?). Make a commitment, something tangible and substantial, that will help keep you aligned toward that idea of being created in God’s image. It might be challenging, but think back to the Louis CK clip: do you really want to be that person who God facepalms in front of?


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