They Just Don’t Get It

dont get it

 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Read: Ezra 3:1-4:23, 1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4, Psalm 28:1-9, Proverbs 20:24-25

Relate: Apparently there is this new phone app that for the past couple months has been all the rage. Now, I don’t have it but from what I understand, people who do have the app will run around strange areas they have never been before in an attempt to find new and better monsters. When they do find one, they then have a chance to catch it and add it to their… zoo? Battle school? They then train these monsters, somehow, and when they get strong enough they would then take those monsters out to do battle with the monsters of another trainer. My question for all you lanistae: if you win these battles what do you get? Money? Points? Do you get to keep your defeated opponents monsters? If you have lost, does your monster “die”?

facepalmNow those of you who have Pokemon Go installed on your app and have been building your ludus into an army of epic proportions I apologize. I can imagine you reading the paragraph above shaking your head and doing a facepalm worthy of Jean-Luc Picard himself. If that is the case let me explain myself. I have never played the original pokemon on Nintendo DS or any of its offshoots on any other gaming platform. I have never watched a single episode of pokemon or digimon or any of those other equally ridiculous anime TV shows. I have never owned a pokemon card, let alone played the game. I do not and never will have Pokemon Go or any other future variations that will be marketed to nostalgic adults who don’t know how to grow up and leave their childhood where it belongs… in the past. So when you say to me, “You just don’t get it.” You’re right. What you don’t get is that I am actually proud of that fact and honestly do pity those of you who do.

As fun as it is for me to write everything I have written above, I don’t honestly believe having pokemon on your phone makes you any less mature than the rest of us. I play civilization (4 not 5… beyond the sword mostly) on occasion and I like watching my sports teams (NY Yankees, Syracuse Orangemen, Real Madrid). Both of these hobbies or diversions are just as meaningless in the eternal scheme of things. It is healthy to have a hobby and if Pokemon is yours… more power to ya.

React: For you Pokemon players, do you find it frustrating trying to explain the game to people like me who don’t seem to understand the point or the attraction? Do you find yourself saying or thinking things along the lines of, “If you would only play it you would understand”? That same attitude can be felt with far more legitimacy with regards to those who mock and criticize Christianity. The difference is, they do not acknowledge their ignorance as I did above. They believe that because they have read a book by Hitchens, Dawkins or Sam Harris they are now an expert on Christianity. With smug condescension for the “ignorant unthinking masses” who have fallen for the lies of religion they stand on their soapbox and call us fools.

If that is you, all I have to say is, “You just don’t get it.” It is impossible to explain to those who have never been enlightened, who have never tasted the heavenly gift or the goodness of the word of God just exactly what that entails. Util you have surrendered your life to God, you have no idea what living is really all about. Until you have received the Spirit of God, you are completely ignorant with regards to spiritual things. If this sounds offensive to you, I am sorry you feel offended, but I am not sorry for saying it. I will never apologize for speaking truth. Why not end your ignorance today? Why not dive in and come to learn first hand just exactly what it is you just didn’t get?

Respond: 

Dear God,
Grant me the patience and wisdom to know how to best deal with those who have not yet come to know You as I have learned of You. Far more importantly, give me the temerity and faithfulness to continue knocking on Your door on their behalf until You reveal Yourself to them. In words and action and prayer help me be an intercessor standing for them before You and doing my best to demonstrate You to those who just do not yet get it.

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54 thoughts on “They Just Don’t Get It

  1. Truly, they don’t just get it because they don’t believe in God. Unfortunately, they think we (believers in Christ) are the ones that have missed it. I pray their eyes open one day.

  2. I think playing Pokemon and being religious are two aspects of the same thing:
    It’s all about chasing virtual entities and scoring points while doing it.
    Both aspects are a way to escape reality because life sucks – apparantly for both parties –
    and playing Pokemon (with many hundreds of characters) as well as believing in a god (any one of the many hundreds) is just a way to have some time of feeling good in life.

    In exactly the same way of reasoning, this could be the response of a Pokemon-addict to non-believers in Pokemon:

    ‘Dear Pokemon,
    Grant me the patience and wisdom to know how to best deal with those who have not yet come to know You as I have learned of You. Far more importantly, give me the temerity and faithfulness to continue knocking on Your door on their behalf until You reveal Yourself to them. In words and action and prayer help me be an intercessor standing for them before You and doing my best to demonstrate You to those who just do not yet get it’.

    Kind regards from a freethinker.

    • Hey, Joop. I’m sure you realize but I’m going to point it out anyway…simply replacing “God” with “Pokemon” does nothing to demonstrate your belief that “chasing virtual entities” and belief in God are equally exercises in escapism. It seems to me that suggesting they are, however, is just that. The one who is interested in knowing and living in the real world will acknowledge that Pokemon is a game and “virtually’ no one believes the characters actually exist. And why? Because the evidence points to that conclusion. Conversely, there is very good evidence that God exists. Is there any of that you would acknowledge?

      • Dear Caroline,
        Every sane person knows that Pokemon is merely virtual.
        If someone would tell you that Pokemon is real, you would call him insane.
        If a lot of people (say 6.3 billion) would believe that Pokemon was real, it would be called a religion.
        For the existance of any one of the hundreds of gods in the more than 4,000 religions in the world is no evidence whatsoever. You would be the first to present any of the “very good evidence”. Please surprise me.

        • Joop, your response to mine is further evidence that you are not honestly facing reality. I didn’t ask if you conclude from any of the evidence that God exists, only if you acknowledge there is evidence that points to him. According to your worldview, how did the universe come into being? On what do you ground objective morality? How do you explain the fine-tuning of the universe for life?

          The very existence of you and me and the entire material world is evidence that very many reasonable and intelligent people believe points to the existence of God. You can condescendingly invite me to “surprise” you with something you’ve never heard before, but that just tells me that you are not serious about honestly engaging with the evidence you surely have already been confronted with.

        • Dear Caroline,
          Well, then my obvious answer to your previous question is simply: No.
          For starters: I’m very serious about this subject. Here is my short answer. The truth is only relative and short-lived: it changes with our insights. Or, even shorter: The truth is just an opinion. It is subjective.
          If you are interested in my long answer – because there is no short answer to the very existential questions you have asked me – please read this (1 page) post on my blog:
          https://unbelievablescam.wordpress.com/2016/07/30/every-lie-someday-will-die/

          If you want to understand how I ‘know there is no god’, as opposed to your ‘knowing there is one’ please read my extensive blogposts and articles on that same website.

          For a good understanding: I don’t deny people to believe in a god. If it’s good for you and gives extra meaning to your life: great!. I respect that. I am only opposed to people in general who commit murder or manslaughter, are racist, homophobic or otherwise discriminatory, purely on the basis of their convictions. And regretfully there are a lot of people who behave like that on the basis of their religion.

          In my opinion people should not teach anyone – especially their children – WHAT to think, but HOW to think.

          Please don’t deny me my living a very meaningful life without any god.

        • Dear Joop,
          We pray for truth to be revealed to you. We extend compassion (but not compromise) in your spiritual blindness. Some people like you, will remain veiled to the truth because of intellectual pride (2 Corinthians 4:3). Your last sentence is an oxymoron. There is no meaningful life without God. Everything else is a counterfeit.

          1 Corinthians 1:18
          For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

        • You probably don’t interact with many people outside of the god of your belief. I know many people who believe in different gods, no gods and follow godless religions who live meaningful lives. You may believe differently but that doesn’t make it true.

        • Actually, I live in a country where 99.8% of the people are Muslim. You are clearly a first time reader here. Welcome and thank you for visiting and commenting. 🙂

        • The difference between God and Pokemon is that God is a real person who has thoughts and emotions. He does things you wouldn’t do. He thinks in a different way than you do. He is not created by the human mind. He is not like the Tooth Fairy, who only exists “if you believe”, He exists whether you believe in him or not. He is the ultimate reality. The illusion is that He isn’t real. It is what people tell themselves who don’t want to deal with Him. I would just suggest to you that you read and study the Bible, if you want to know Him at all.

        • Dear Christine, Oh, but I did not only read the Bible, I have analyzed it. And to put it mildly: I don’t like him. Have you read it yourself? Did you really? God, as described in the Old Testament is a very scary entity. Fortunately he doesn’t exist.
          As Richard Dawkins described him: The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

        • Hi DLink. Thanks for understanding my point. I like your last sentence. That’s a very deep thought. Just like all people who try to understand our place on earth and in the cosmos, we wonder about that higher reality. Many people say that they KNOW and call it God, Yahweh, Allah, Jehova, Shiva, Ganesha, what have you. And then they stop thinking. But in my opinion the interesting quest is only just starting. I personally call it “my search for the beginning of Infinity”. (of course that’s a contradictio in terminis). The ‘Big Bang’ is no explanation for the origin of the universe and neither is ‘God’. It is only a NAME. It’s not an explanation. One still does not understand it! Nobody does. It’s very arrogant and stupid to make such a claim, if one does NOT ask the question “where did THAT come from?!

          But there are different ways to look at that: WHAT is that “higher truth and higher reality”? Just like you put it. Is it ‘mother nature’, is it a fifth dimension or higher, is it the multiverse of which our universe is merely a tiny part? Science is honest about it: “We do not know yet, but that’s why we keep researching”. Believers have already stopped thinking: “We know, we dont have to search anymore”. That’s a choice. Everything in life is a choice. Let’s accept people with a different opinion, a different world view. Everyone is entitled to that. If people cannot accept that, peace will never come; truth will never be reveiled. Not really.

        • You said, “Believers have already stopped thinking: ‘We know, we don’t have to search anymore’.”

          I strongly disagree. As I said in a previous post: “Science is a great teacher. It is an excellent tool and any Christian who fears it or its findings only demonstrates their personal lack of faith in a great big God who beggars definitions, defies limitations, and destroys the boxes we are so desperate to create for Him to keep ourselves comfortable.”
          https://theriverwalk.org/2016/07/05/proverbs-1815-use-your-noggin/
          https://theriverwalk.org/2016/04/30/john-13-creation-and-science/

        • I have found it has little to do with a person’s faith and far more to do with their personality and/or upbringing. I know plenty of atheists or Muslims or… whatever who are just as anti-intellectual. As a general rule, the less a person knows the more they think they know and as a group, I don’t know a more dogmatic bunch of individuals than atheists.

        • Joop: “For starters: I’m very serious about this subject. Here is my short answer. The truth is only relative and short-lived: it changes with our insights. Or, even shorter: The truth is just an opinion. It is subjective.”

          It seems to me you’ve made an objective truth claim that truth is subjective.

    • Hello Joop,
      I think a lot of the comments you have made here are valid (although you lost me on the part where you said that truth is subjective/opinion). I can see where you are coming from, and I can see where Beejai is coming from.
      There is God, and then there is religion. Religion is a human institution that may or may not be focused on learning more about God/coming closer to God. It is not always the case that people who believe in God assume that they know everything there is to know and therefore stop reasoning/asking questions. St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Blaise Pascal and C.S. Lewis are some well-known people who I think support this. Also, I understand your opinion of the Old Testament – it is a mess. However, tied in with all the homicide, genocide, war, violence are also tales of love, promises made and fulfilled, redemption, joy, peace and a whole bunch of other stuff. As much as we shouldn’t ignore the negative things, we should acknowledge the positive. That’s as much as I daresay on the Bible in this context because I have more questions than answers about the book at this point.
      Someone made an excellent statement in one of these comments: to the one who believes, no explanation is necessary; to the one who doesn’t believe, no explanation is possible.
      The thing is, if God is who we believe He is, the creator of the entire universe and everything in existence, then can He really be contained in one book? One religion? Can any of the minds He created fully understand Him? In the words of C.S. Lewis, it would be like trying to drink an ocean. And again, if God created the world and the people in it, and is master of all life, then does anyone really expect Him to explain Himself to the people who insist that He doesn’t exist? You are Joop (don’t know if that’s your real name) and if I say that you do not exist, how likely is it that you will come and try to prove to me that you do? How much more God?
      I think that majority of people who say they believe in God believe because they have “met” God so to speak. I don’t believe in God because some people gave me a Holy Book to read, or because I was preached to, or because I was forced to. At some point in my life’s journey, I encountered God, and thought, “Oh, I see”. It was similar for two of the people I mentioned above (St. Augustine, and C.S. Lewis). If you haven’t encountered God, then none of this stuff will make sense to you – it didn’t make sense to me either. I think that this may have been what Beejai was aiming to communicate in his post. In any case, it is my opinion.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts; you gave me a lot to think about.

  3. I was a Pokemon Go player for about three days because my kids thought it was cool. Mainly all the app did was crash, but on the whole – while I had never even touched a Pokemon anything before this – I do applaud the makers for getting kids out and about. Yes, they still have a device but that is the tech driven world we now live in. At least they aren’t sitting behind a device, and are up and moving. If they can drag their parents with them into the madness, so be it. And it’s honestly kind of fun to point out the guy in the suit smashing his finger on his phone trying to capture the creatures.

  4. This verse says it all: “But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

  5. Great analogy, BJ! Eph. 4:18 also outlines the problem: “They are darkened in their understanding and alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts.” But thank God that His love leads men to repentance and His Spirit opens the eyes of the blind! Many will mock and never turn, but if we just keep walking and speaking in Spirit-empowered love, those who are called to salvation will see the goodness of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

  6. Awesome analogy BJ. Personally, I don’t play Pokemon so I doubt I fully understand the fascination; kind of like how a lot of non-Christians probably couldn’t fully understand my faith. Good job! 😊👍👍👍

    • Well, Caroline, obivously for me it is. Whether that is true for you, is only for you to decide. But running around the centre of a maze that someone sometime has put into your brains, will never get you to answer that simple question. I have found the exit of that maze a long time ago. But that’s up to you, just like it is for everyone: it’s a choice: stay in the maze or escape from it. The movie trilogy ‘The Matrix’ is an excellent example of that. Just as an analogy to answering the question “what is true”? It’s only relative and subjective. It changes with one’s insights.

      In your very first reply to my initial remarks about Beejai’s post, you stated “there is very good evidence that God exists”. In your second reply you didn’t produce any evidence, but you stated “The very existence of you and me and the entire material world is evidence that very many reasonable and intelligent people believe points to the existence of God.” That’s no evidence. That is only an interpretation of the evidence at hand and then stating ‘I don’t know any further, I don’t understand it, so it must be God”. That no explanation. That’s running around in a maze. ‘God’ is only a NAME for something one does not understand. But it explains NOTHING. I can live with that, but there are obviously a lot of people that cannot live without unanswered questions.

      Please read my reply to wordpicturesbydlink (DLink): same thing here.

      And again: that’s my view, my conviction. I don’t want to force that to anyone. You decide for yourself.

  7. Whatever spin we put on the God of the Bible is a projection of ourselves. It really depends on how we view authority. Many people read it and think He is evil, mean, and sadistic. I read it through a lens of, I love you … these are truths that will help you (from God to me) avoid feeling regret or hurting other people. When people read into a written text putting their own inference on what the Lord has said with our own tone, we are going to miss what He said. It is said with love, not tyrannical control freakishness. Its a mirror. Its showing us how we think, not Him. I do Pokemon Go. My spouse insists, and He is trying to “date” me through it (he said so) 😂 Its like a scavenger hunt combined with a puzzle and mild competition.

  8. Amen. They just don’t get it. Continuing in prayer that they WILL get it. And, no, I don’t do those games either. I’m not judging those who do…I just don’t have time. Time down here is short when compared to eternity, so I’m throwing in with spreading God’s Word.

  9. Amen! I don’t get the Pokemon thing either and don’t want to. I agree with everything you said. I love the way you lead in with the Pokemon and transitioned to Christ. It is so true. They don’t get it. I pray that like you I can share the truth, the Word of God, and live my life in a way that they can see Christ in me. And then “get it”.

  10. BJ, thanks for this and for all your ongoing efforts to share your faith. Im going to add some disjointed thoughts that have come up for me. I’m not trying to take a position but to share my own experience.
    As one who “gets it”…. my process of coming to “get it” was so long, arduous and unexpected that I am very tolerant and forgiving of those who “don’t get it”. How do we explain to ourselves that some of us are saved (or so it seems) and some of us (so it seems) are not? My answer is that maybe I was saved for someone else’s sake, and that even my salvation is not about me.
    There was a time in my life when I was completely broken, and felt it. I didn’t believe but I WANTED to believe. And maybe that’s the crux. I didn’t get it but I needed to get it.
    To those who believe, no explanation is necessary. To those who don’t believe, no explanation is possible. I heard that somewhere, I don’t remember where, but it resonated with me.
    If any of this helps someone, then good. It must have come from Gos. If any of this confuses or offends…well, maybe that part came from me. God bless you.

  11. Hey BJ, interesting post. I did find one logical hole that sort of soured your analogy for me, or at least the altar call at the end. You compared the two ideas (playing the game and believing in God) but you said that you would never try Pokemon Go and had no interest in ever doing it. But if your comparing the two ideas, all I could imagine was an atheist agreeing, saying “That’s nice that you like your religion, but I have no interest.” In other words, if your unwilling to listen to and follow the example of someone who wants you to “get” an easily downloadable mobile game on your phone, how would belief in a supernatural deity and commitment of your life be an easier proposition for someone to “get”? That’s the disconnect I fear prevents this post from swaying any non-believer reading it.

    • Thank you for your comment. The River Walk is a daily devotional that takes the One Year Bible program and apply the daily reading in practical ways to our lives. My primary purpose for today’s devotional was to take 1 Corinthians 2 and illustrate what that looks like in our daily lives. I was first planning to use an illustration of me trying to explain the joys of baseball to my Turkish friends and neighbors but felt the Pokemon was a better, and more global analogy. While I do my best to make scripture come alive, I recognize that only the Holy Spirit can make a soul come alive. While I am always eager to see that happen it was not my primary objective today. To see when it is, you might like: (https://theriverwalk.org/2015/11/18/the-test-pass-or-fail/)

  12. Reblogged this on Handicap and commented:
    If people would spend as much time on their faith as they do games, apps, and so on this world would be a lot better place. Sorry for saying this, but I am not sorry it’s the truth.

  13. Started with pokemons n all those ridiculous games ……then jumping to religion section……” Help me to be an intercessor for them” it was gud …bt wht do u actually want to convey ….i think ” Live n let others live” is bttr than trying to find someone(GOD) whom v r nt even sure of …..lte like playing those mentioned games.

  14. Reblogged this on pastorwardclinton and commented:
    Those who are not yet Christian cannot actually understand what it is all about. There are many “experts” on Christianity who have never really experienced it and, if they ever do, they will be shocked to discover how misinformed they had been.

  15. It is futility to argue with ‘enlightened’ atheists such as Joop. The liars always claim that they have ‘not only read the Old testament, but analized it’ what a waste of filiment!
    No one who ‘analyzes’ the Bible sees a thing but a loving God.
    Did Slavery exist among the savages? Yes! And God set rules for his children to obey, since it was a practice.
    Did the savages take women and prisoners? Sure! But God will be singled out for commanding his children to obey commands concerning that. Did the savages stone members of their tribes! Yes!
    But the blame goes to God for having set rules for this stoning.
    Re-read Deuteronomy, you too,Christians who stand weak
    In defending your Bible, you will find that the ‘child’ being stoned was not a 10 year old. The ‘child’ was a drunkard, lazy babbled who would not be reformed and the city elders judged the ‘child’ and found him a repeat offender and ordered that ‘child’ stoned!
    God set laws because he loved his children. See the word ‘child’ there? You are a child of God, or you are a child of Satan. No blots, stains, or blemishes! As for reading a blog written by an ‘enlightened’ atheist? Why Don’t I just offer my grandchildren up for public school?

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