Monday, November 7, 2011

Rats, Crickets, and Sinners


I ran across an interesting article from NPR entitled Invasion of the Mind-Controlling Zombie Parasites.  Now I'm not into sci-fi stuff but I decided to check this out and see what all the fuss was about.  It turns out there is such a thing as zombie parasites.  In fact, they claim that mind-controlling parasites are all around us; and that the number of creatures that can be affected is "huge". 

While they claim that we don't know the half about the world of parasites, one example that's becoming a little more understood is Toxoplasma gondii.  Toxoplasma basically makes rodents somewhat fearless around cats; with even evidence that they're attracted to the smell of cats.  Now the last time I checked, rats that like cats most often get eaten.

What makes rats behave so recklessly?  Mind-controlling parasites - that's what!

Then there are organisms called hairworms in crickets, who when they begin to reach maturity inside the cricket, make it begin to act erratically.  Crickets that would normally avoid, say a pond, take the suicidal plunge into the water - to the delight of the bluegills!

What would leave crickets so confused?  You guessed it - mind-controlling parasites.

This news shouldn't surprise us. In fact, these parasites are a result of an invasion - the invasion of the principle of sin into the world.

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man... (Rom 5:12, ESV)

And because of this invasion, we have answers to other questions.  Questions like:  Why does the husband/wife run off and leave their family for someone else?  How is the lobbyist able to have the congressman in his hip-pocket?  Why does the college student live a double life?  

Consider Paul's comments in Ephesians 2:1-3

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

We live in a world where people blame an assortment of things for their behavior: the environment; genetic determinism; ADHD; even mind-controlling zombie parasites (Yes it's true!  There is evidence that they attack humans as well.)

As convenient as it may seem to blame our behavior on something outside of us, the truth is , the blame lies with us – within us – our sinful heart.

But there is good news.  Jesus Christ died for sinners:

…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8)

Christ died, not for reckless rats or confused crickets, but for ungodly sinners – like me! – and yes, you too.

Pastor Van



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