A Chromebook laptop is an entirely different concept when compared to ‘normal’ laptops. Instead of having most of its apps originating from its own hard drive, machines like this are designed to be connected to the internet where they access their programs, and even store the user’s finished product ‘in the cloud’ theoretically for access anywhere an internet connection is available.
So generally, most everything in a Chromebook is external to it. Its ability to access external applications from outside itself give it functional value. The value comes from without, not from within.
I realize that I am giving a very large generalization here, but my reason for doing so is to lay the foundation for an analogy between machines like Chromebooks and Fundamentalists. What’s that you say??
I was taught that life has intrinsic value because God created living beings. Life is a gift from God. External from God to us. I think this is wonderful!
But I was also taught that mankind is innately sinful to the point that we are incapable ‘in and of ourselves’ of doing good. Our internal drives are all bad! All good that we might accomplish is still motivated by our sinful natures that want some sort of return on our good works to other people. Maybe helping someone out makes us feel better than them, or makes us feel important; maybe donating large amounts of money to charity, or building hospitals makes the donor feel proud, or self-righteous. Nothing we do of ourselves is purely good because our sinful nature stains every action and motivation.
So all of mankind, by default, are so sinful, the vast majority will never even have the capability of acknowledging God, and are deserving of eternal hell. (This is literally burning alive forever, without the relief of death or unconsciousness, but burning in screaming, horrible agony. . .forever) For the horrible act of being born with a sinful nature that is incapable of communication with God unless God, in His mercy chooses to ‘pluck us out’ of the river of eternally damned humanity unknowingly being swept to eternal, torment.
This is the story that fundamentalist children are brought up believing to be literal, historical truth! If their family, like mine, took this seriously, then they are burdened with an absolutely imperative command to ‘be a witness everywhere you go, be ready to give out the Gospel at all times!’ It is incumbent upon them to tell their friends and save them from their ‘burning house.’
This teaching runs so very deep into my core, that even as I write this, I still have a faint tingling fear that perhaps I have denounced and therefore lost my salvation, and will end up in this literal, horrible place!
It has been written that our core personalities are basically set by the time we are about 5 years of age. What if part of this core personality includes this belief in a literal, historical, hell??
What would your motivation be to ‘get saved?’ Is it truly because you love God for mercifully saving your wretched soul? Or is it really the gut wrenching deep fear embedded in a young child whose brain has not even developed enough to distinguish reality from fantasy? How is it that we think it’s ‘okay’ for a 5-year-old to believe in Santa Claus and expect that same 5 year old to make an ‘informed choice’ about ‘accepting Jesus into their hearts’ because they love Him?? Really?
I think that fear is the core motivation for fundamentalists. Let me say this concisely; Fundamentalism is a fear-based belief system.
We do right things, not so much because we love Jesus, but because we are afraid of having bad things happen to us. How can I love an invisible idea? I’ve never met Jesus in person, nor have I ever met God, and even after a lifetime of teachings, combined with two different Bible colleges, I am still pretty vague about what the ‘Holy Spirit’ is, and how ‘He’ lives inside me, directing me, empowering me, making intercession for me to Father God, and being my conscience.
As an aside, if Jesus died for my sins, so that now I am justified, sanctified, and my fellowship with God is unbroken, then how is it that I have to even confess my sins to God? Didn’t He already forgive them all? How could my fellowship be broken if I am already justified? But I digress. . .
All of our power, our personal identity, our worth is tied up in our relationship with God. God directs us, empowers us, gives us wisdom, leads us to the right people who are set in place by God to help us, God will solve problems for us that are insurmountable to us. He shields us from harm, He is our Rock, our solace, our loving heavenly Father who knows all our needs before we even are aware to ask Him.
WAIT, WAIT, WAIT! Interrupt. . . .
All the above things steal our innate ability to think for ourselves, to analyze data and choose for ourselves, to be self-directing, autonomous human beings!! Fundamentalism teaches us to be human Chromebooks – everything of value is external to us. From God to us. This is just wrong!!!
We have intrinsic value, with our own unique applications, thinking, experiences, abilities stored on board internally. From us to external circumstances! We are not mere machines whose only task in life is to access our Higher Power in order to receive whatever He/She/It happens to feel like bestowing upon us! We matter from the inside out!!!
We have unique abilities that we were born with, or we developed on our own. If God told me, as Obama once said that ‘you didn’t build that’ – why, yes I did build my own abilities due to my own efforts, not having some invisible entity magically bestow knowledge on me. I earned my own knowledge by my own hard work.
And along those same lines, I have the ability to problem solve internally by using rational reasoning and fact gathering. This is completely different from praying externally to an invisible God, while looking for favorable circumstances, a feeling, and ideally a supporting verse from Scripture to make your decision for you, then claim that God directed you one way. I am shocked when I realize how I’ve made several really major, potentially life changing decisions based upon ‘waiting upon God’ ie…waiting for an imaginary choice from ‘the God Cloud’ to me!
It is very difficult to take back your life when you’ve lived as a Chromebook Christian, looking up expectantly for everything of value, every choice to be given to you externally from the God Cloud to you!
In many circles, what I just wrote is really not PC!! (See what I did there?)
Anyway, I intend to create and build the best I can be from inside out! I will not beg, waiting with outstretched hands to an invisible god while hoping that I haven’t somehow offended Him so that He disconnected my connection to the God Cloud.
To your best life!