Monday, March 7, 2016

Walking Heroin

The Tv show Lucifer will probably be short lived.  Most naughty tv shows centered around religion or religion adjacent topics are.   This one's got some real eye rolling moments.   Lucifer is a night club owning man-whore who trades sex for therapy.  It's hardly... profound.  But what he says when he makes the offer, when he tells her she'll regret it, is the most accurate description of Lucifer I've ever heard.
I'm like walking heroin...very habit forming. It never ends well.~Lucifer 
No, no it doesn't.   It never ends well with that one.   Think about it.  At first glance, that almost sounds like a good thing.  Walking heroin.   Heroin, I'm told, starts out making you feel great, then it gets worse and worse until you're spending all your time trading sex for drugs and watching your health slip away until you die from it.    Sin is like that.  It feels great at first, then one thing or another starts going wrong until your life is unrecognizable.  You find yourself face down in a gutter somewhere looking for another high that's never the same as the first one.

The thing about Lucifer in the TV show is he tries to seem innocent enough.  He's just giving the people what they want.   All he's doing is allowing them to live out their deepest desires.  What they want most in the world.  Dear old dad (notice they set him up a son of god in a way that makes me very uncomfortable) has just forced him to do all this punishing and tempting and he's not really a bad guy, he's just doing what Daddy Dearest asks him to.  That's how it starts.  You get a little sympathy for the Devil and it opens the door just a teeny tiny bit for him to come in.

Just a little bit.  Just a taste.  Speaking of taste:
Matthew 4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a]by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b] 
The way this reads, Jesus hadn't eaten for eight weeks.  This had to have been considerably worse than the year I gave up caffeine for Lent only to find out that also included chocolate.  It was terrible. My friends waived fundraiser candy in my face every time we ate lunch together at school.   I have never chosen that fast again for a reason. (Homicide.  That's the reason.)  The tempter came to him, and suggested he make himself some lunch.  It seems innocent enough, but it is really not.   Probably furiously hangry at this point, Jesus turns him down and answers him with scripture.   It's tempting to take a short cut, to meet our basic needs in ways that do not acknowledge God as the source of all things, but it's also dangerous.   What it does is convince us of our self sufficiency.  It's what makes someone think they don't need God or man, and that they did everything on their own.  The truth is, all of us are toddlers playing with legos that God gave us and thinking we built a house all by ourselves.   Dad is proud to look at it and coo a bit, but he remembers giving us the blocks and knows whereof they (and we) are made.
  Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you  and they will lift you up in their hands  so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d] 
 Now I have sang those words more times than I can count.   "On your hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone."  I believe it, but the advice that follows is gold.  Do not put the Lord your God to the test.   Don't run out into traffic.  Don't play with snakes.  Don't fall down on your sword in an effort to bully God into a display of power.  In other words, remember who is who in this relationship.  Don't make the power play.   And if anyone could make the power play, the Son of God is the one to do it,  But he doesn't.  He doesn't take the bait, and neither should we.  Playing games with our health and livelihood just see if God will really save us from our own stupidity is the height of hubris.
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
The last one is less subtle.   Worship me,  Submit to me.  Follow me.  Do what I do and put yourself first, and I will give you all the pleasures this world has to offer.  Power unlimited for all time.  All you have to do, is bow down to me.  This is where the walking heroin really shines.  He's pretty, he's shiny, and he moves so prettily.  He promises pleasure forevermore.  Even angels followed him.  Like kittens after a sequined ball.   But he makes nothing.  The world is not his, he has only twisted it.  He didn't make it.  He didn't make a thing.  Not even a damn thing. He took Someone Else's work and twisted it.

It's not worth it, kids.

Don't take the bait.


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