|Thank you, Google!|
While it'll be forgotten in a few days, as our memories, due to the millions of bits of daily media, grow as short as snipped straws, the Cesar Chavez Google logo thingy on Easter is something Christians should be thankful for. While many Christians are rightly upset that Google would, on the holiest of Christian holidays, advertise on their logo the face of an important, though unknown figure of labor rights' past, citing that such a dismissal of the Easter holiday is a slap in the proverbial face, Christians do well to take note the following points by asking a primary question....
What if Google had placed a picture on their logo of an empty tomb with three crosses on a hill? You know, that familiar picture with the sun rising up over the triple-crossed stone skull, before which flows a lush, green meadow full of blooming, soft-petal flowers, blanketing the sloping lawn with those candy-like pastels? What if? Well, if Google had done this, they'd be preaching the gospel of the New Testament: that God--the only true God, acted in history by incarnating himself in the person of Jesus of Nazareth and who died for the sins of the world, rose from the dead, and has commissioned his followers to spread the message of repentance and faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and the right to eternal life. That, and, the news that Jesus is God's appointed judge, who will come back to earth some day to raise the dead and judge all people who have and ever will have lived. Then, the Lord Jesus Christ will recreate the heavens and the earth. Christianity therefore affirms the goodness of creation and of the human body and all things material.
That's a comprehensive worldview based on actual history. Whether you believe it is true or not is another thing, but no one can deny that Christianity claims to be an historical religion, unlike Eastern religions, rooted in pantheism and myth, and unlike the pagan polytheist or animist religions which have nothing at all to say about actual history, future judgment or the total and complete forgiveness of sins. Further, only Christianity teaches a bodily resurrection of the dead, and by doing so, infuses humanity with meaning and purpose in our bodily existence.
Google knows that Hinduism isn't a threat to anyone, because no one believes that the impersonal force Brahman is going to judge us for our sins--rather, we're left to our own devices to escape the wheel of karma: you are your own judge, in the end. And Google knows that the hundreds of millions of gods in Hinduism aren't real, and haven't acted in history--like saving an entire nation from an evil oppressor (the Exodus). The same goes for Buddhism, which is atheistic to the core, and totally self-centered: deny your desires and pursue the great Nothing (how one desires the absence of desire without breaking the law of non-contradiction is a mystery). The great Nothing is what humans become when they die in eastern religion: the soul gets subsumed into the cosmos. Only Christianity affirms the value of the body and the soul as individual persons who last forever as such in a real, good, creation.
Google knows that most forms of Judaism don't bother with a future judgment or bodily resurrection of the dead, and Google knows most Jewish people, if they are the really religious type, are in such a minority that they aren't taken seriously. Thus, they don't put a picture of the empty tomb on their logo. No, it's Christians who have been in the majority in this nation and in the western world for about 1600 years. Further, Google knows that Islam denies the crucifixion of Jesus, and the empty tomb means the crucifixion happened.
Christians should the GRATEFUL to Google for this "diss" on Chavez's birthday: other bloggers have rightly said that this is a sign of an intentional de-Christianization of our culture and they are right. It's a small symptom of something greater going on in our society which began even before the Romantic authors Emerson and Thoreau, and educators Dewey and his kind, whose worldview espoused monism and naturalism, instead of the God of Christianity which is separate from creation, though involved within it, is personal, loving, just and right and will one day put the world to rights by judging the living and the dead. But the fundy preachers have spoiled the good news of the final judgment for us by screaming hellfire and brimstone, positing a Gnostic vision of heaven as a ghostly existence where we fly away to Neverland and escape the literalist, burning, furnaces of hell. The intellectual elite rightly eschews these notions.
Now, instead of Christians relying on the culture to preach the gospel for them, they're going to have to do it themselves: at work, at school, in the home, in the neighborhood, and at church. Pastors and church leaders are going to have to team up with elders who are trained in the word of God, and trained in exegeting the cultural ethos, communicating the Christian worldview to the young people, who will then be trained on how to analyze the thought-life and norms of the culture. Young people will need to know their societal paradigms and presuppositions, just as Paul did in Athens in Acts 17.
So, thank-you Google! Christians are being called to wake up and smell the burnt muffins: there's smoke in the kitchen and they need to figure out where the extinguisher is, and how to use it.