China & Jeremiah; Vanity… Pride…

teacuppamela.pngPresentation is everything… image is everything… whatever the cost.  My friend used to tell me these things about the country to which she and her husband were missionaries.  My mother said very similar things upon returning from an extended visit to the same country.  I marveled each time I heard this… incredulous that it matters not at all what is but only what seems is important.  The end result… a perfect compromise… regardless the cost or what’s sacrificed.

quotebegin.gif…we should all understand it like this…”  Truthy not facty – not what is but what seems.

From the UK Telegraph

In referring to the decision to *use* Lin Miaoke for presentation in singing fro the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics in China:

quotebegin.gifThe main consideration was the national interest,” he said. “The child on the screen should be flawless in image, in her internal feelings, and in her expression. In the matter of her voice, Yang Peiyi was flawless, in the unanimous opinion of all the members of the team.”

“That was until attention turned to Yang Peiyi’s teeth. Nevertheless, Mr Chen thought the end result a perfect compromise. We have a responsibility to face the audience of the whole country, and to be open with this explanation,” he said. “We should all understand it like this: it is a question of the national interest. It is a question of the image of our national music, our national culture.

“Especially at the entrance of our national flag, this is an extremely important, an extremely serious matter. So we made the choice. I think it is fair to both Lin Miaoke and Yang Peiyi – after all, we have a perfect voice, a perfect image and a perfect show, in our team’s view, all together.”

Image is everything – what seems  is the only imperative.   Like the fireworks display for the opening ceremony… the world didn’t see reality.  But— that didn’t matter, because only image mattered.  The fireworks were computer generated graphics,

quotebegin.gifGao Xiaolong, head of the visual effects team for the ceremony, said it had taken almost a year to create the 55-second sequence. Meticulous efforts were made to ensure the sequence was as unnoticeable as possible: they sought advice from the Beijing meteorological office as to how to recreate the hazy effects of Beijing’s smog at night, and inserted a slight camera shake effect to simulate the idea that it was filmed from a helicopter. Seeing how it worked out, it was still a bit too bright compared to the actual fireworks,” he said. “But most of the audience thought it was filmed live – so that was mission accomplished.”  [And as a spokeswoman for the Olympics said, “As far as we are concerned, we let off the fireworks – that’s what’s important to us”]

So, what’s all this got to do what Jeremiah?  Well, in reading through the first few chapters this morning, I was marveling at the similarities between the above and much of the “church” (general – mainstream – emergent, etc.) today.   Chapter 2 of Jeremiah, in particular and a few verses specifically:

quotebegin.gif5  Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? … 7  And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination. 8  The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.  9  Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children will I plead… (11) …but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. 12  Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. 13  For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water…  21  Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?  22  For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD. 23  How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways;  24  A wild ass used to the wilderness…  25  Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.”

And then I consider… how can it be that truth doesn’t matter – that image is the only thing that’s important?  Vanity and pride – lies that entice and deceive men and women into forgetting God and though clothed in rags, masquerading as beautiful and wise.  The “church” today led by ‘pastors’ who do not know the Word of God – who, for their own profit and advancement of their own opinions exploit and lead millions astray.  I think of little Lin Miaoke – totally exploited for the sake of the image of a country – I wonder how she’ll feel when she’s old enough to understand mockery and fraud.

I guess she’ll feel used and ashamed.  But then, maybe she will remain under the delusion of her imprisoning government and continue to deny her own conscience or she will find redemption in the LORD… like those who come into the Light of the Truth of the Word of God – when they come to see the Lord Jesus and realize that all along they had been duped, tricked and rejected the only One who could give them Living water and eternal life.   Only then will she know genuine peace – true freedom.

I think of China… I think of Russia… our own pitifully deceived nation… and I wonder – O, God… how can the world continually reject You – our merciful, sovereign LORD?   O, the power of the enemy of God – the enemy of Creation – the enemy of our souls. O, the arrogance of vanity and pride.

Even so, Come, LORD Jesus.


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