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Saturday, May 30, 2009

The perception of point-of-view offers a new dimension in understanding behavior.

Could that sound any more boring?

A Certain anime voice actor, Vic Mignogna - who is also a music minister at his church - catches a great deal of grief on the more Belial-oriented web forums. He is openly Christian, and offers a "chapel service" on Sunday mornings at anime conventions, a voluntary get-together for believers who wish a church service away from home. A sweet young miss of my acquaintance took umbrage upon hearing that he had said at one such meeting that someone might go to hell., Now, I know this artist, and have been to a couple of the meetings, and have never heard a tart utterance in his presentations, himself making a case for reconciliation with God through Christ. Now, if I go to a happenin' dance club, I do not get offended by the techno beat, because I expect it in that context. If you go to an as-advertised Christian meeting, you should not be surprised or offended by hearing Christian ideas.

Now, if I am a marathon runner, and upon approaching a treacherous mountain path, a man with a light baton starts waving wildly and shouting that if I continue on that path, I will fall to my doom because the bridge is out, I can either 1) be thankful that he cared enough for me to warn of the impending peril, or 2) I can get angry that he interrupted what I was doing, and tried to force his wacky ideas on me. Number one is my only reasonable response.

In Christian teaching, we have the concept of a loving Father God, who sent his very Son to be born a human, who taught us how to live lovingly, and was killed for his trouble. His death atoned for, paid the blood-price for our sins, and through faith in and obedience to Jesus Christ, we are reconciled to God, and to one another. But God is a gentleman, and does not force himself upon anyone. If we do not wish His company, we may go elsewhere. That is hell. It is the ultimate in Choice. So, if a Christian perceives that you may not have chosen company with God, and recognises the alternative, he is caring for you, showing you love by warning you of the consequences of your choice. That is his point-of-view, that is his motivation. Eternity in God's company, or a gnawing eternity of regret. One should always make informed choices.

I do not discount that there are hateful people (*cough*Westboro) who buttress their own insecurities and self-righteousness by verbally consigning people whose actions they do not like to Eternal Grilling. Their motivation and message are both horribly flawed. It is not their job to punch anyone's ticket. Judgment is above their pay grade. But the committed Christian believer is commanded to point the way to the Father, and to warn of the alternative. Each is a side of the same doctrinal coin. Whether YOU agree or not, please recognise that the major motivations are care and loving concern for you.

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