Thursday, November 01, 2007

Food for thought: Immortal Sin Conversation

So to really "get" today's blog post it is going to require some work/time from you the reader. Before you go any further in this blog post (or at least, to really get anything out of it/be able to comment intelligently on it) I am requiring you to listen to a podcast over at EscapePod.og. The story is embeded right below this paragraph of this post, all you have to do is click play. The story is about... 30 minutes long or so, so make sure you have the time to listen to it before you start. Think of this as a new fangled e-community book club, only you don't have to read a book, just listen to a podcast!

icon for podpress  EP129: Immortal Sin [46:28m]: Download

This story really spoke to me on many levels. Lately I have been thinking about legalism vs heart condition and I thought this story illustrated it so well. In fact I was even thinking about how the Doctor after he talks with the priest and decides he is doomed to hell, in reality doesn't really change his life at all. His life before and after the encounter with the priest is completely dominated by "rules" whether they are his rules or what he thinks are God's rules.

I also ESPECIALLY loved the interaction with the priest, when he is talking about repentance. Obviously the doctors sin is probably "greater" than any sin I have committed, but is my attitude at times the same as his attitude. When the priest is talking about what it would mean for the doctor to have true repentance, how many times in our heart do we have a similar attitude to the doctor? The story is illustrating an extreme, but I think it can really speak in to our life on viewing what our heart condition is when we go before God and ask for forgiveness. Are we willing to show true repentance not only to God, but then take action and accept the responsibility that comes from our sin or do we just want a quick absolution and then continue on with our life?

I also wonder, when the doctor has his coughing fit... did he die and was the rest of the story after that point has he lost his life and this is his eternal punishment, or does the doctor actually survive but create his own personal "living hell" on Earth... in that he achieves his goal but in the process loses his life (figuratively).

Anyway, I hope at least 1 other person out there has the time to listen to the story and share their thoughts in the comment section. I really bought into the whole film and theology idea at church (and in fact would like to restart it) and this just seems like a logical extension of that. We can use secular media to bring about good discussion and as a gateway to talk about Jesus. This story is not hosted by a Christian, read by a Christian, and I don't know much about the author so I can't comment on whether or not it was written by a Christian... but it is still an excellent launching point for good discussion.


.justin said...

he reminds me of christian "extra biblical" laws we create to help keep us pure/undefiled from our world.

it really is a sad, self-destructive, tiring way to live.

that's what i've been thinking about as i've read some people's blogs lately... they sound "tired" from fighting "the evils of halloween"...

i don't know.

ok. back to SS lesson at hand.

thanks for sharing.

jeremy said...

I listened to the story on the drive into work today.

For starters, the reader's perfect pronunciation of every single word is most distracting and unnatural.

The thing i thought of was that when you give lordship to God, and truly are repentant and accept consequences, God desires to free you from your sin, which allows you to live better. "I have come that you may have live, and have it in abundance." Or something like that. When you live like this guy, you are NOT free from that sin - it owns you until you deal with it.

When you think you have God defeated on some technicality, and you think you are forcing God to forgive you because you confess without repentance or accepting consequences, what you are really doing is defeating yourself, and cheating yourself out of the fullness of life and God's desires for you.

The doctor in this story is an extreme example of how many of us - or perhaps all of us to a certain degree - cheat ourselves out of truly living by playing legalistic games with God. This man lost this life, and will still lose eternity. Perhaps many of us will too?