Thursday, March 18, 2010

May the force be with you?!?

Have you heard about the gentleman who filed a religious discrimination complaint against an employment office in England? The staff of the office asked Chris Jarvin to remove the hood over his head while he was in the building. He refused based on religious reasons and the management had security escort him out of the facility. He immediately filed a complaint against the local office and three days later received an apology from the manager of the office. You see, Chris is a member of the international church of Jediism (yes, 'jedi' as in the Star Wars movies), and they believe that you should be able to wear hoods wherever you choose to. (source: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/03/17/uk-job-office-apologizes-anti-jedi-discrimination/)

Believe it or not, the church of Jediism is actually growing; however, most countries don't recognize the Jedi as an official religion yet. In a recent New Zealand census over 20,000 individuals marked their religion as Jedi. That was more than the Assembly of God or Jehovah's Witness.

Now you probably just shake your head in disbelief. That's what I did when I read the story, and I'm a fan of the Star Wars series. Probably a number of the church's members are simply doing this as a novelty kind of thing. They're probably huge fans who just love the idea of being a Jedi. But I also imagine there are some that really buy into the notion that there is "one all powerful force that binds all things in the universe together."

The Jedi church website (http://www.jedichurch.org/) goes on to state: "The Jedi religion is something innate inside everyone of us, the Jedi Church believes that our sense of morality is innate. So quiet your mind and listen to the force within you!" That statement, quiet frankly, is the downfall of nearly every religion. The focus is on what humans can do to better themselves and society and ultimately achieve 'heaven,' 'nirvana,' or whatever name you want to use for the utopian eternal state.

Christianity, as defined in Scripture, paints a far different and more accurate picture of humanity. Our nature is not one of love and benevolence, but of greed and selfishness. Even many of the good things we do are driven out of a desire to "make us feel good." We can easily observe the true nature of humanity in the actions of toddlers. Toddlers actions aren't carefully calculated moral decisions. They act out of their innate nature. How do they act? Watch a two or three year old play with other children for a while and you'll discover something far different from a loving and benevolent nature. A toddler operates under the assumption that everything is his and if you take something from him he throws a fit. That's an accurate picture of the human nature, and the Word of God depicts that reality.

The universe is not held together by some impersonal force that we need to tap into for guidance. It is held together by a personal God who wants to have a relationship with us and free us from our selfish inclinations. We won't discover the path to a meaningful life by resting in the 'force' or listening to our 'inner self' as others might say. We can only find true meaning in a relationship with a personal God through faith in Jesus Christ as revealed in His written word.

Instead of "May the force be with you," let's say, "Surely, Christ is with you." It is Christ who has been THE singular, personal, life-changing 'force' since a long, long time ago in galaxies far, far away (and right here on earth as well).

2 comments:

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  2. So Jared thought this was totally awesome. He stil wants to say "May the force be with you!"

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