Illumination or Projection?

Following in the wake of our consumer economy, most religious groups adapt their message to the whims of popular culture. The Bible, in contrast, presents itself as a message from God calling us to adapt our lives to God’s will. While man-made religion is an extension of human desire, designed to affirm, the Bible is the word of God, challenging us to change. The difference between these two paths can be seen in the differing purposes of a projector and a flashlight.
A projector casts an image with the purpose of fooling your senses into believing something is present which really is not. However engaging the image may be on the screen, it really isn’t present. A flashlight, in contrast, exists to reveal reality through illumination. When I go hiking through the woods, can you imagine how useless my flashlight would be if, instead of revealing the truth about the path ahead, it projected a fanciful image of whatever I chose to see at that moment. A projector is appropriate for entertainment, as it is dealing with fantasy. A flashlight is appropriate for illumination, for it reveals reality.
God, in His grace, has provided illumination through Scripture. “Your word is a lamp to my feet,” the Psalmist writes, “and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105, ESV) The Bible does not exist to titillate our flights of fancy, but to inform and direct us in truth. Popular religion, being a mere projection of human desires, cannot bring spiritual truth to light. Spiritual illumination only comes from seeing what God has revealed in Scripture.

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Greg Tidwell

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