At church this past Sunday, there was a dramatic reading of Matthew 4:1-11, the text in which Jesus, hungry in the wilderness for 40 days, is tempted by the devil. In the service, the choir sang a response praising God periodically during the reading. Then at the end, the devil is walking around the sanctuary, singing the very same song that the choir had been performing. It was quite affecting.
I was reminded of this a couple days ago when I saw on YouTube a video of a young woman praising God for answering the prayers of “the believers”, that “God literally took Japan by shoulders and shook it.” HE RATTLED THE ATHEISTS IN JAPAN!! (If you want to watch it, you can’t anymore, as Arthur explains.) Even though, or maybe because I now know it to be a hoax, I’m sorry to admit – as a self-professed pacifist – that I still wanted to reach into the screen and slap this person silly.
I was also reading Jo Page’s column in this week’s Metroland weekly about how the “New Atheists” should Give Faith a Chance and how “it is a kind of arrogance to look down your nose dismissively at the varieties of religious experience.” While I understand her point, I also recognize that representations of faith such as the faux one mentioned above does little to aid the cause of Christendom in the greater world, and frankly mortifies more than a few Christians – such as this one – to boot.
In fact, Arthur’s quote of the week dovetails nicely here: “I knew I’d struggle with the injunction to love my enemies when I first became a Christian. I just didn’t expect so many of them would turn out to be other Christians.” – Tapu Misa
I will opine that, noting pious-sounding language may be spouted by the devil, if I were to believe in a personalized Satan, it would be messengers like the person in the video that I’d be most worried about. I’m not saying she’s the devil in Christian clothing, but…
And speaking of hell freezing over, I find myself agreeing with FOX News’ Glenn Beck. Yes, I’m surprised, too.
“Analysts from the Poynter Institute and The Blaze, a website set up by Fox News host Glenn Beck, told an NPR reporter that they found a short version of the video deceiving when compared with the full two-hour tape of a lunch meeting between NPR fundraisers and two conservative activists posing as a fake Muslim group.” Nevertheless, James O’Keefe, the same dude who edited versions of his videos to discredit of the nonprofit group ACORN, still got NPR’s Ron Schiller fired. Read more HERE. .