Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Eudorian Pietism

What my husband won't do for himself he doesn't hesitate to do for me. He has the 7 year old system with barely 2GB, and no room for anything more to be put onto it. I've been after him to upgrade, but he's happy to live with it. Recently my 3 year old laptop crashed- the DMA controller simply fried. Without a blink he ordered a new system for me. He's quite a man!

That means I have Eudora newly installed, including the recent upgrade (they've offered it at a cut-rate). Normally I turn off the Mood Watch, those little pepper thingies that tell me to watch my language, or that screen the language of emails coming through to me. I'm a big girl. I can both govern myself and handle what comes along my way. I don't need little peppers to warn me. Still, like I said, I've not turned Mood Watch "Off" in the "Options" section yet. So what's the first piece of email that gets flagged as "too hot to handle?" One of Rev. Scott Murray's "Memorial Moments." Consider:

bound by chains and cords
passionate and bloody embrace
skin to be nailed upon the stake

This reminded me of a web-based computer program a while back that scanned your system to see of you had any pornographic and potentially illegal material on it. I tried it once. My computer was flagged as in "critical danger" because it had a huge amount of literature dealing with blood, sacrifice, sex, and violence. Every flagged source led straight back to Libronix (Logos) or Bibleworks files- all scripture and theology resources.

On the surface this demonstrates only that machines and the computer programs used to search for specific words can't sift between the connotation and denotation of a word. All the programs look for is a specific word. Once it is flagged, it is marked and regarded as suspect. Machines and programs do not, nor can they, understand how words are used according to the Faith. They simply know certain words are to be learned, marked, and outwardly avoided by little peppers, regardless of their connotation in any circumstance. This highlights mystery.

The First Commandment teaches us that we do not love God as we ought, for we do not "fear, love and trust in God above all things." Therefore, as the Third Article teaches us, we cannot believe in Christ by our own reason or strength. Yet the Holy Spirit calls us by the Gospel and sanctifies us with His Gifts. Without the working of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts and minds, we are very much like those machines and programs processing words, but with little use for their actual God-ordained meaning. God's Word remains as a list of words and nothing more. To those without faith in Christ, scripture remains a tangle of undecipherable contradictions. According to His gift of faith, those of the Body of Christ- His disciples- are the ones who remain in His word . To these He says, "The truth shall set you free" (Jn 8.31).

1 comment:

Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

good point. I never pondered that theology would have so many "offensive" terms. I suppose there are many ways in which the gospel is offensive to those who do not believe (or cannot, as is the case with a computer).

I was a lactation consultant for a few years as well as a La Leche League Leader, and was on all the email lists. Imagine my surprise when we installed "Net Nanny" that I could not even tell it that those emails were okay! "She" would not believe me! There apparently was no context in the programmers' imagination where "breast" would be an okay word!

I really enjoy your blog