Posts Tagged ‘Homer Simpson’

The Right GodAh, Homer Simpson. Even a dolt like him occasionally raises questions that are worth answering. This is one of them.

In case you don’t know, 17th century mathematician, philosopher and physicist Blaise Pascal formulated his philosophy based on the Christian idea of God. Since that time, there have been many challenges to the wager, but let’s deal with the one put into Homer’s mouth by the writers of The Simpsons.

Let me ask you: did four or five “gods” create the universe? What about the air you’re breathing right now — did a committee of “gods” come up with that? Our brains, our opposable thumbs, our ability to recognize right and wrong — did “god” #3 do all that during a very busy day at the office? Or was it #1?

If what I’m writing here seems a bit ludicrous, that’s exactly the point.

So why the Christian god? I bounced the question off a wise pastor. Here’s a bit of Ross Carkner’s thoughts:

“To begin with, we are talking about The Almighty as recorded in the Bible who has no equal. Poor Homer is concerned about all the lesser gods who are duking it out for a share of last place in the god contest.

“These lesser gods have often been put in place, not by their own claims, but the claims we make for them. The Bible records God as making His own claims …. so I do not worship a god of my own making, I worship the God who makes everything!

Here’s another viewpoint, from John Morris of the Institute for Creation Research: “There is one infallible way to know [what is the right god]—one sure test, and no other. The one God who can defeat death is the only God who can give life!”

That god is the God who offers a gift to humanity: Jesus of Nazareth, who many people believe is His Son. Primary source documents on His life all declare that three days after death, Jesus was brought back to life. That’s right, by “the only God who can give life!”

Now what about God getting “madder and madder” if we don’t worship Him? If the twists and turns of human history have proven anything, it’s that God is all about freewill — that includes us deciding who we want to declare as creator.

Ross Carkner weighs in again at this point:
“Is this God an ego maniac? Does the Almighty crave our attention? or is He more in tune with my redemption? My needs? My crisis? Since He is more concerned about my fulfillment — my fullness of life in Him, his reaction to my choosing lesser gods is not anger, but sadness.”

Exactly. So what do you think about Pascal’s Wager now? Does it make sense? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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homer-simpson-quotes-about-love-7417I found this graphic on the Internet and, as a fan of the long-running Simpsons TV show, it got my mental wheels spinning.

First, the fun stuff. Homer Simpson the hard worker?? If you’ve seen the Simpsons, you’ll know Homer works hard looking for ways NOT to work at all. 🙂

“Not a bad guy”. Maybe not. But a good guy? Well, who among us is really good?

Consider these words from one of the earliest and most important followers of Jesus of Nazareth: “There is no one doing what is right, not even one.”

Beyond that challenging statement, I ask: what is “good”? Am I still good if I routinely exceed the speed limit (which I do)? Am I still good if I pay a contractor under the table to avoid taxes (which I don’t)?

And what about ignoring my creator? As a serious follower of Jesus (who many people believe is the Son of God), I know that God is interested in every part of my life. So if I live as if He barely exists, am I still “good”?

One of the reasons I follow Jesus is because in the end, I have to admit I’m NOT good. And no matter how hard I work at it, I can never be good on my own.

I welcome Jesus into my life because He is bringing me closer to “good”. And for the many times I still fall short, his sacrificial death and resurrection wipes all my shortcomings off the books. God sees me as he sees His Son – perfect, without blemish.

The other thing that grabbed me about this graphic is the notion of spending Sundays (in church, I presume) hearing about going to Hell.

I imagine if you’re not a regular church attender, then you’re nodding in agreement with Homer’s assertion. But it’s no more true than his claim about working hard.

I regularly attend church services because through them, I learn more about how to live as a Jesus follower. I’m also surrounded by other Jesus followers who encourage me, support me and pray with & for me.

Does Hell come up? Now and then. However, serious Jesus followers aren’t fixated on it because we know we’re not going there. But we keep in mind all those we know who don’t follow Jesus. We want to spend eternity with them in Heaven, so we pray for them and, at church, we learn how to lovingly show them and tell them about the hope we have in Jesus.

If that sounds appealing to you, then step out on the ledge one Sunday. Go to a church service and talk to the people you meet there. It just might change your life. 🙂

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