Humans are Creatures
Reverend Jonathan Fisk’s book, Echo: Unbroken Truth. Worth Repeating. Again, is a brilliant work of literature. In this book, he details what Christianity is all about, which, to use the title, is an unbroken truth worth repeating again and again and again, again.
The first section of his book is “The Ten Important Things about Being Creation.” I will rephrase this as being creatures. This is why, in my writings and sermonising, I try to stick with saying human creatures rather than human “beings” because creature more starkly reminds us that we are, indeed, creations. We are creatures whom God has created. The word “beings” has developed this denotation that we are simply things that “are.” Being human is more than simply being; being human is about being creatures whom God has created.
The first important thing about being creatures is the fact that there is a God. Even if you’re a Christian and believe and confess this, Fisk divulges the troubling paradigm with respect to our creatureliness: “No matter how much you actually do believe there is a God, you still don’t want to, because believing there is a God means that you are not Him, and that’s quite a bit more than your psyche really wants to handle on average Monday morning” (13).
Furthermore, the first important thing about being creatures is the fact that there is a God, and that God is not you. You have not set the control for the heart of the universe. You are not in charge. You cannot control everything. We know this, but as fallen human creatures we don’t want to admit it. We are in this perpetual curse, ever since the Fall of Man, to indefatigably strive to become God, but we cannot. It is a feckless endeavour.
Just as Fisk’s book “is not an apologetic for the unbeliever” or “answering skeptics” (15), so this series based on Fisk’s book is not a blog dissertation that sets to prove God exists and you must believe in Him. The purposes of this series is to echo the unbroken truth of Christianity Rev. Fisk echoes in his book, which is always worth repeating, again and again and again.
Fisk says his book is for “empowering Christians of goodwill. It is a whetstone for Christians who can tell that the sword of their religion is growing dull and want to find the everlasting way to sharpen it again” (16). In the same way, this series is meant to encourage Christians in their faith with the unbroken truth of our religion—of Christ—that’s worthy repeating over and over again.
There Is a God, and that God is Not You
There is a myriad of false religions that have their own echoes, but they all echo The Lie of the Devil: “There is a God, and he is you.” Many of these will not outright say, “You are God.” However, “at their core, they are all teachings about how to get to God, how to be like God, how to join God, how to be on God’s level” (17). Examples of these teachings include, but are not limited to, Islam, Mormonism, and Buddhism.
After all, that was The Lie of the Devil in the beginning: “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil'” (Genesis 3:4-5, emphasis mine). Essentially, Satan tempted Adam and Eve, “If you eat of this ‘forbidden’ tree, you’ll actually get to God, and you’ll be like Him and actually join Him in all that He is! Knowing between good and evil! And He knows this! He wants to be the only Supreme!”
Thus, ever since then, not only have we been entirely severed from perfect communion with God, we still think we are better without Him. The Christian will say, “I don’t need to go to church regularly. I have enough.” That is, “I am enough.” Or we’ll get rid of God entirely because we think we’re better off by ourselves, thus we have atheism. We either embrace the curse or we manipulate it in deceiving ourselves into thinking we need God only when we “feel” we need Him. The consumerism of our culture only aids this. We are bent inward upon ourselves.
Rev. Fisk calls this inward curve Me. Your Me is what Scripture calls sin. Me thinks it knows what is best. It is this inbred narcissism that you think Me is the answer to everything. Because Fisk uses this term throughout his book, I will be using it throughout this series as well.
Me does not want to believe there is a God. Even when you’re a Christian, Me is still somewhere back there in your conscience—or subconscious—trying to convince you there really is no God. In fact, Me will go so far as to convince you that Me is God—that you are God.
Me does not cease to speak when you become a Christian. “Christianity does not unleash you from this thorny experience. Christianity gives you the confidence, conviction, and trust to be honest about it, to admit it for what it is. It takes a Christian to believe that every time you do wrong, Me is the reason you wanted to” (19). This is another way of saying that a Christian repents. You repent of Me. You say, “Lord, I am sorry for wanting to do it my way, that I did do it my way. I’m sorry for being Me. Please forgive me. Help me to seek Your ways.”
The First Echo
The first echo of Christianity is that there is a God, and that God is not you. When the Christian believes this echo, she repents whenever she gives in to Me. He trusts in God’s forgiveness in Christ and prays, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Not my will, but Your will, O God. Not the will of Me, but the will of Yahweh.
Fisk, Jonathan, Echo: Unbroken Truth. Worth Repeating. Again. (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2018).