They have Pulled Down Deep Heaven on their Heads

“They have Pulled Deep Heaven on their Heads.” So titled is chapter 13 in C S Lewis’ third book in his prophetic science fiction series. In this book, That Hideous Strength, Lewis recounts the efforts of a seemingly civil society of philanthropists to simultaneously enhance the buildings and grounds of a Private British College while they furtively seek to unearth the remains of Merlyn, the Medieval Wizard said to possess mysterious powers. It was those powers that they would harness and wield to their own purposes.

What they unearthed was not exactly what they had intended: quite the opposite in fact. In resurrecting Merlyn and his powers they inadvertently pulled down deep heaven on their heads.

How often do our plans and motivations pull down deep heaven on our heads? A desire for revenge certainly takes its toll on the begrudged, consuming both resources and creativity. Rage and a bitter spirit do likewise gnaw away at our souls, leaving us less than who we might have been.

But the one that does the most damage is that seething inner hatred of some other group or individual that is never assuaged; rather, it intentionally feeds exclusively on the meat that reinforces its ire, ignoring anything contrary. It’s not just that some of us need to be more right than anyone else. We also have to be able to rub it into those whom we’ve just proven wrong. This is an evil hatred that disdains the other and wishes their utter annihilation. This is the kind of arrogance that will pull down deep heaven, the wrath of God, if you will, on their own heads.

They must believe that their actions will have no consequences; that there is no God in the heavens with whom a reckoning must come. Can their resentment and fury be so unquenchable?!? What realities will bring them contentment, resolution, mercy, or grace? Will they ever be able to forgive those who have done so much wrong to them? Is retribution the only way?

Or is there another? Let me assure you that there is. But it will cost you your soul. You will come out the better man, the better woman for it. But the price is not cheap. Then again, anything of great worth never comes without disproportionate sacrifice.

Maybe it is simply better for things to go on as is, with your spirit seething within, seeking gross retaliation on others. What a glorious existence!

Personally, I would rather sacrifice my soul to be rid of such seething, crazed lunacy.

For what it’s worth,

Gary

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a curious Bible

The Christian Bible is a curious thing. Most people in Western & Latin cultures have one; that is also true for much of the African continent. Many claim that it is the revealed Word of God, inspired by God, inerrant and infallible. Defending these beliefs about the Bible (short of a circular argument) becomes virtually impossible, historically and rationally, given our current culture’s proclivity for self-creating truth.

At a Christmas party in our home we gave small bibles wrapped with a chocolate bar as party favors. One particular person took the chocolate, but lifted the Bible with two fingers as if it were a dead rat to be disposed of in the trash can. That was almost 30 years ago. Today, I would never consider even offering a Bible as a gift in this postChristian mélange.

Oddly, even giving a Bible to a Christian can be a like pearls before swine. Why? They rarely get used. Read, occasionally, yes; but truly used in contemplation or study? Rarely. Why? Genuine Christians carve out very little time to learn about the Bible. It’s just too much work. Unless it’s a Bible video download to an iPad. Or there’s always the History Channel’s version. “That was easy.”

In the same way that many of us want an easy faith so also do we want an easy Bible.  Seriously, what is so difficult about God’s revealed Word, 66 individual treatises (some say more), written by 40 authors, over 1,500 years of written history, spanning 4,000-10,000 of remembered history and then some?!? Then passed down in over 900 English translations alone, across widely diverse cultural perspectives, reinterpreted and oft misapplied by countless of our forefathers over the past 2000 years. I mean, where could there possibly be any difficulty in understanding its message?

No wonder so few of us read it deeply, Christian or otherwise. It just takes so much effort. I want a simple, sound-byte faith: so do you. So don’t concern yourself with the difficulties in understanding the complexities of the Bible. Leave its richness and depths to the scholars. “Just give me Jesus.”

Really!

Just give me an intelligent faith that leaves the Bible in its own history, utilizing its history & principles to guide me to God and to live an honorable life before God and men. Selah…, means pause.

Maybe it’s not the Bible that is curious: maybe it is us.

Have a nice week,

Gary