This past week I heard the most unusual devotional I have heard in a while. A brother in Christ gave us a lesson about fanciful ideas about religion and how man has began again creating gods in their own image. ďThe Flying Spaghetti Monster is the deity of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Pastafarianism (a portmanteau <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portmanteau%20/%20Portmanteau> of pasta <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasta%20/%20Pasta> and Rastafarian <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rastafari%20/%20Rastafari>), a social movement <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_movement%20/%20Social%20movement> that promotes a light-hearted view of religion and opposes the teaching of intelligent design <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design%20/%20Intelligent%20design> and creationism <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creationism%20/%20Creationism> in public schools. According to adherents, Pastafarianism is a "real, legitimate religion, as much as any other". <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster%20/%20cite_note-About-3> Pastafarianism is legally recognized as a religion in the Netherlands <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster%20/%20cite_note-metro.co.uk-4> and New Zealand - where Pastafarian representatives have been authorized to celebrate weddings and where the first legally recognized Pastafarian wedding was performed in April 2016 (from wikipedia).Ē What really scares me is the fact that the founder is being called a prophet, these people are fighting for the right to be recognized as a religion and they have proclaimed that they have been religiously persecuted against when they donít get to wear a colander on their heads when taking their picture of their state issued identification cards, such as driverís licenses. Pastafarianism was initially created to mock Christianity or more specifically creationism. In January of 2005 the Kansas board of education was debating on whether or not creationism should be included as a viable alternative to how life began and whether or not it should be included in their schools text books. A student from the university of Oregon felt compelled to add his two cents worth and referenced an invisible spaghetti monster in jest. It is now a world wide religion. While it is easy to show through passages like Rom. 1 that such persons will be judged by God for what they are; worshippers of their own creation that will in turn be judged worthy of death, the point of this article is not to show the obvious. Rather it is to address why such a religion which was written in satire has become a global phenomena. Christianity has become a joke. I want you to let that sink in for just a moment. The flying spaghetti monster is taken more seriously than Christianity in many circles (and now in many countries in Europe). In fact, it is one of the fastest growing religions. Meanwhile, we will in world where believing in God has become comical. Words cannot express how hard that is to wrap my head around. How can belief in a spaghetti monster be more credible than the belief in Jehovah? The wealthy, the influential, and the educated are laughing at Christianity. We are called backwards for clinging to our guns and our religion. Recently disparaging remarks concerning the conservative nature of Christians have been coming out of one presidential candidatesí campaign. Rather than damaging that personís campaign it wasnít phased. Meanwhile, if the other candidate were to make disparaging remarks about Islam the candidates poll numbers suffer. If the media needs to run a piece on creationism they will undoubtedly find the most foolish looking/acting person they can and portray that person as the standard Christian. And if they do happen to get an intelligent man in an interview they will edit it to make him look like a buffoon. Ken Ham, the founder of Answers in Genesis, is a well studied man. I have heard numerous lectures by him and have read a number of his books. He is no fool. But, according to his spots on television when this past summer he is one of the most ignorant person. Bill Nye even portrayed his ignorance as extremely dangerous to children. What did we do to become a byword? Some of it has to do with the fact that evolutionary science is being promoted as not only as real science, but as fact. But, perhaps the bigger issue is what we are doing. For far too long we have taken the idea of turning the other cheek to mean that we donít stand up for Godís truth. For far too long we have mistakenly taken meekness for passivity. (No one was meeker than Jesus and he was calling Phariseeís white washed tombs and overturning tables in the temple.) We permitted the rhetorical to continue without standing up for the word. It is time we take a stand for the truth. It is time we take a stand for Christ. If Flying Spaghetti Monsters can be taken seriously be various governments and countries bow to the will of Islamists, then it certainly can listen to the voices of Godís people.
Grinnell church of Christ
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