originally written Feb 1 2015
Atheism is not a threat to God’s glory but an opportunity for Daddy, Our Father, to interrupt a soul’s mind for His glory ! These posts are to challenge the atheist and to challenge an authenticity to manifest in the Christian.
I have a Daddy . He is my Father in heaven. And I have a father. He is my father in the flesh given to me by Daddy . He calls himself “Lord M”. He dwells on this earth with me . He is an atheist and I am a Christian. We love each other dearly. And I am writing in honor of that love. But mainly, I am writing in honor of the Love Daddy has for both me and my father.
“Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place and cried incessantly:’I seek God!! I seek God!! as many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? Emigrated? Thus they yelled and laughed. ( the beginning of “the madman” from “the Gay Science Fredrick Nietzsche 1882)
My father is an architect, engineer and play-write, He has both a large and complex mind. He says that he has a mind with an affinity towards all subjects except “Theology and Medicine”. I have a smaller mind and am only fascinated with Theology and Medicine. Somehow , my father and I converse. There is an unsaid sense of a an unseen common ground. Perhaps it is because of the ” One” that is common in all these areas.
The plays that my father has authored are complex and historical and philosophical. Often my mind cannot manage the complexities. One particular play however captivated me. In 2005 my father wrote a play entitled “Costumes Unlimited”. It is a play of dialogue among very diverse characters captive in a costume shop. His list of “cast of characters” includes : “Madman” “Obsteperous”,”Cleavage”, “Jock”, “Susie”, “Chuck”, “Candi”, “John”, and “Street People”.. It is the “madman” that fascinated me most.
in the casting , my father “Lord M”, defines the “Madman” as “the philosopher Frederick Nietzsche in a cage. Either from arrogance, apprehension or angst, he does not step out of the cage”. A mocking counterpart to the “madman” is the character “Obstreperous” who is defined as a “god like proprietor of a costume shop. His salient quality is the arbitrarily use of power.” From these two characters I have learned much about how people “outside” the church view God. But greater, and deeper, have I learned how my life has fallen short in reflecting God.
The madman lit a latern
There is a darkness in this world. Perhaps all mankind can agree that there is both dark nights and “dark nights of the soul”. There are always times where we feel it necessary to have light. Both the mad man and the believer seek a light.
The Christian often quotes from Jesus how he is “the light of the world. ” He may sing every so often and ever so tritely “this little light of mine , I’m gonna let it shine”. But rare is there a true follower of Christ who knows deeply the source of his light and how great a light it is in a dark night. They are few and they are what Jesus calls the “blessed”. There is a radiance in their being. So they do not speak of shining the light , they indeed are seen as light. They need no lantern and Jesus gives them “oil”.
Sadly, more common is the singing christian with a sleeping heart and an oil-less lamp. They work hard to be like another or better than another .They repeat phrases that make themselves “sound” Christian. They do not resound Christ but rather mimic what they think sounds “Christian” They do not possess a life “not their own ” (belonging to God) but rather one very much their own. It is scheduled and fed like any other. These are the ones the madman sees and thus disbelieves . Perhaps it is these that he asks in the market “where is God?”. He disbelieves rather than believes that he will find God because he does not see anything miraculous in his midst.
Like the trite and hypocritical Christian who works to gain light , the madman ,who knows not the light , must also light his own lantern. There is a striving of both souls. Indeed, there is a madness in trying to create light when it is God’s realm and domain to do so. Perhaps that is why it is so odd that both light lanterns in bright morning hours. Might they be expecting a rising Light rather than trying to ignite their own light?
Surely for the Christian this should not be. The Christian should not be like the madman. But rather, the true Christian ,should be a great lantern from which the madman begins to see an illuminating of Christ.
For the madman : He is blind and knows not that God has provided light. What excuse is there for the hypocritical Christian man? The man like Obsteberous This man strives to obtain by control that which he already possesses by design. He cannot make light but rather is designed to carry the light.
Cried incessantly “I seek God”
Churches in the 80’s began to target the “seeker of God”. They were filled with welcoming Christian who were once lost but now “found” by God. They would sing “amazing grace my chains are gone” as if God had chased them down like “a hound from heaven”. And yet they opened doors inviting folks to “seek God”. They seemed to tell the world that the Creator was detouring. Were the Chritian people now asking : Had he stopped chasing? Was He only in this marketplace of a church? Did He limit His domain? Had these leaders of The Church agreed with the madman?
Might we both see how He has never lost one of us. Both the madman and the hypocrite need a shedding of scales and an unstopping of ears that they may know He is never far away. But the Christian , who possesses an eternal lantern, must not hide this lantern of glory beneath a bushel of blessings.
For what the true Christian proclaims is not themselves but Jesus Christ as Lord with the Christian as the servant for Jesus sake. For God who said “Let light shine out of darkness has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” 2 Corinthians 4:5-6