As of this moment I really ought to be asleep, but I’m not. Instead I’m watching WarGames on Netflix. You know, the 1983 movie where Matthew Broderick is a brilliant computer genius whizkid who hacks into NORAD and starts global thermonuclear war? It’s a great movie! Also, you can’t tell me that Ally Sheedy isn’t really, really cute in this movie. Swoon! …ahem. Right.
One of my favorite lines is when Dr. Falken expresses his deepest regret with his creation, “I never taught [the computer] the benefit of futility.” Funny thing, I’ve been pondering futility a lot lately, that’s why I decided to watch this movie instead of giving some much needed sleep a roundhouse kick in the neck.
I’ve been thinking a lot about these battles we Christians are facing. The battle for prayer in schools, the battle to keep God in the pledge of allegiance, the battle to protect marriage; I wonder if we’ve ever stopped to run the simulations to see what the casualties would be.
We’re in a battle of good vs. evil, ladies and gentlemen, and we are losing, but not in the way that you may think. You see, the battle of good vs. evil has turned us all war-minded. We think in terms of black and white, armor, blade and steel; we treat people with an “us vs. them” mentality until the Christian motto is, “join us or die!” Grace and mercy have moved far down the page.
The battle of good vs. evil is a sleight of hand trick, fixing our eyes on the enemy in whatever form he takes and off of God. We’ve been taught that goodness is light in a dark world and we couldn’t be more wrong. Goodness does not create light any more than a lightbulb does in its box on the shelf.
Just a heads up, I’m about to talk about menstruation.
There’s a curious thing in Isaiah 64:6 that Bible translators have been protecting our gentle, Christian ears and eyes from for centuries. God calls our righteousness “filthy rags” which makes us think, “yuck, better throw that in the laundry pile.” Ummm, no. “filthy” means menstrual blood-soaked and “rags” means old clothing. #pukedinmymouth
Oh my God, that is disgusting!
Seriously, stop trying to fight evil with that. It’s super gross and it is making everyone nauseous. It’s time we learned the benefit of futility in this war. God isn’t calling us to be good; it’s never been about goodness for Him. In the eyes of God, people fall into two camps A. those who are His and B. those who are not. Those who belong to Him will enter His presence, heaven. Those who do not belong to Him will be eternally separated from Him. It’s not fire and brimstone, but that’s the only earthly analog to the absence of the presence of God; it burns like fire in the soul.
Our battle is not against flesh and blood, neither is our armor. We are geared up against slings and arrows but not against people. Before people we are laid bare, like David before goliath, like Jesus before those who crucified Him. He prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies, exposed and vulnerable, like sheep to a slaughter. In this there is no futility. There is no way to reach people with the message of Christ but through this exposed vulnerability.
Do we really think that a homosexual man is going to look at our attack strategy and think to himself, “those well-dressed people have a great argument, I guess I should stop being gay and join their club.” In these war-games against evil, to quote the computer at the end of the movie, “the only winning move is not to play.”
The only winning move is to love The Lord your God with all your heart, mind soul and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.