Hollywood

Seems Richard Gere is a Buddhist, does that trouble you? The thing is he is making a very specific truth claim. Were you willing he would welcome you into his religion. He would say that Jesus was a really good guy, a guru, a teacher. He may as well teach that Jesus Christ was a cruel liar who persuaded people that when they die they get to hang out with him because the Buddhist truth claim is in stark contrast to what Jesus said about himself.

Today we will receive a stream messages; there’s this blog, the internet, TV, radio and conversation. For most of us we’ll accept this stream passively, drinking from its familiar waters. It’ll reinforce what we already believe to be true, a taste for which we acquired young or we’ll dismiss it as nonsense, because we trust our ‘feelings’.  Either way, the day finishes with us satisfied our worldview is intact. However, my goal is to stimulate the appetite for digging a little deeper, to examine life’s meaning and purpose beyond what we ‘know’.

Is your love trajectory rising or falling. Are your relationships with your wife, neighbours and friends progressing or digressing? I have a plan to get to know my wife better each day, to grow old together in such a way that tomorrow is a delight. Each new wrinkle and grey hair will be a mark of a relationship that is growing closer and stronger – it’s exciting. This plan works when we are together or, as now, separated by thousands of miles, the journey is taking us to the same destination.

Your sadness, grief and fatigue is good news, it has purpose.  Just imagine for a moment that you really are an image bearer of the creator God of the universe. conjure up the thoughts that you were created to mirror his love in a world that is corrupted by mankind’s’ pride, arrogance, and greed. Wouldn’t it make sense that given our personal proclivity to lie, even to ourselves, that others would start false religions, that people would want to be their own gods, have power and wealth? Suffering is a consequence of living in this world and people who suffer well have a powerful testimony.

Are you going to let the mess of your life, the degradation of others, the lies taught you through the cultural mandate, make your heart so hard that you reject the love offered you by Jesus when he took the punishment we deserve, absorbed the wrath, the pain and rejection? Nothing in this life can deliver ultimate satisfaction. look at Hugh Hefner, still searching for someone to bring him satisfaction. It may look like he’s had fun searching but isn’t that a show, is there not hidden sadness not to be envied?

One day soon I will die and see that this life, lived for our comfort, well-being and personal happiness is worthless. But what about being connected to the very source of the Love that created us? And because we are loved beyong imagination Love’s source sent his Son to make that connection, take the punishment you deserve and give you a new heart, with new desires, hopes and dreams. Happy days. Remember, don’t trust everything you think.

I am referring to evidence, history, and the reality of living, suffering, joy and death.  Hollywood’s people have had a significant impact on the cultural mandate. I certainly absorbed, albeit unwittingly, many subtle messages. From the African Queen, to the Lion King and all shades between. Most of these messages reinforced a pluralist, individualist and eastern philosophical worldview. I am simply encouraging us to take a closer look at what substantiates what we believe and contrast it with the teaching of that broke, homeless preacher from Galilee who was murdered after he accused the religious crowd of hypocrisy. He never walked a red carpet, wrote a best selling book or ran a big company and yet world history revolves around him. What’s that all about?

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