Christmas 2015 has passed. The showy lights and the gift-giving have passed. The cleanup and post-holiday sales remain. What Christians can take away are memories of family time and thoughts about a God who so loved the world.
There is also that time us news junkies spent perusing the Internet and the local paper. One article I read included the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I wondered. Is the Flying Spaghetti Monster real? Do people actually worship it? The answers to those questions are, surprisingly, yes and yes. The Flying Spaghetti Monster looks to all the world like a spoof. The primary website promoting the “One True Church of our Noodly Lord” obviously poses as a spoof (see here, here, and here) against Christianity. Yet it would be a mistake to assume the followers of the Noodly Lord are not serious.
Why serious? There is money involved. There is prestige. There is the power to make others think “correct thoughts.” There is the power to influence and control government. There is the worship of the state, and the state is quite real and concrete.
Whether inadvertent or not, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a good symbol for an all-powerful state. The unblinking eyes. Tentacles that reach everywhere. Juicy meatballs that alternatively represent virility and the reward of true believers.
What does the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster have to do with Islam? Read on.
The followers of Islam worship a god they call Allah. Allah, I suppose, is a bit more traditional sort of god, a warrior’s god. No spoofing. Just worship Allah properly, and his clerics promise paradise and endless sex.
Is Allah real? Do people worship Allah? Let it suffice to say that the dream of Allah — the wish for Allah’s blessing — is real. Because they wish to believe, people follow Allah with the same self-centered ferocity as those who worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Both statists, the worshipers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and Muslims have much in common. Both seek salvation through their own works. Where they differ is that statists seek their reward in this life and Muslims seek their reward in the next. Islam, however, is a practical religion. Muslims, their leaders in particular, have been known to eagerly benefit from rewards in this life.
So what does this Christian think of Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Islam?
- Both the statists and the Muslims need Jesus just as much as I do. These are the sort of people for whom Jesus gave us the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20).
- From a political perspective, I find it difficult to choose between a statist and a Muslim who advocates Sharia. It is the choice between a rock and a hard place. Neither group respects the rights of Christians. Well, perhaps that’s not entirely true. The statist (essentially a Liberal Democrat in this country) thinks Christians have the right to a state funded abortion and/or contraceptives. The Muslim thinks Christians have the right to worship Allah.
Anyone who has studied nations dominated by Islam can figure out Islam is antithetical to God-given rights, but what about those who worship at the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? What about those Liberal Democrats?
Consider how many Liberal Democrats equate what is moral with what it legal. Consider the Constitution itself. Which is more important to a Liberal Democrat, what the Constitution actually says or what judges says that it says?
What is the basic problem with a Liberal Democrat or a big spending Republican or a Muslim? Consider this verse.
Philippians 1:6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
The Christian sees virtue as coming from Jesus. If we have faith in Christ, He justifies us. Christians do not depend upon or even expect virtue to flow from the state. That is, Christians do not believe the state (or the Law (Romans 7:14-25)) can perfect mankind.
Yet both statists and Muslims expect some form of salvation from government or the Law, statists because they worship the power of government, Muslims because Islam ordains a theocracy.
Ironically, both the statists and Muslims prove through their actions the power of sin over man. With cowardly and treacherous glee, statists deride and torment those who recognize their right to make fools of themselves. With suicidal madness, Muslim radicals torture and crush the enemies of Allah. Because their egos demand preeminence, neither group leaves others in peace.
Recognizing and accepting the sinfulness of our nature, the people who founded this country sought a government designed to check our more vile impulses. Hence, James Madison advocated a constitutional republic (see THE ADVANTAGE OF A REPUBLIC OVER A DEMOCRACY). Even so, unless we are willing to see the need for a constitutional republic, we cannot make one work. So our budgets are out of control, much of our infrastructure is crumbling, our foreign policy is in a shambles,….. our government is tottering.
Therefore, if you do not believe you need Jesus, look carefully at what Islam has produced. Consider what those who worship at the altar of government are producing. Then take the time to read and study the Bible. Pray to understand why Jesus is the only cure for what ails the human heart.
John 14:1-6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Jesus Comforts His Disciples
14 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.