Posts Tagged 'spiritual gifts'

The Song of the Fittest?

So there I was, reading a piece about what makes music memorable, when a guy says, “The reason we get earworms [super memorable phrases of music] in the first place is probably because music is an evolutionary adaptation, helping us to preserve factual and emotional information in an easily memorizable medium.”

Wrong. And it proves that the guy who said it isn’t a musician.

First, who here constantly uses music to preserve factual and emotional information?  For facts, I’ve occasionally seen people setting them to music, but mostly there are about a hundred other mnemonic devises for preserving factual information that are better suited to the task. And while music might trigger emotions, it’s certainly not the best way to preserve them. In fact, music adds emotions even to the past ones it triggers. It’s constantly moving.

Anyone who’s a musician knows that there is nothing evolutionary about music. It simply doesn’t need to exist to help anyone survive, and it highlights all the failures of the evolutionary argument. For example, if music is evolutionary, then where did F# come from? A more evolved form of a Cb? Is there some long forgotten tone that people used to grunt before they landed on an A? And where is that tone now? Don’t they realize that every single ting of a fork to a glass, every thump of a rock on a tree, is, in some way, music?

And what will music be in a billion years? Oh, the evolutionists say, it will be fantastic but we can’t know, just like we can’t know what it was billions and billions of years ago. That’s the glory of thinking of such huge periods of time. You don’t have to answer anything. There is absolutely nothing random about music – the complexity and math alone underlying the whole thing clearly points to a creator.

In fact, music seems only to have the purpose of expressing all those various human emotions, whether they’re based on memory or not, and glorifying God. After all, it’s a gift from God, and its supernatural nature is exactly why so many musicians – versus, say, actors or other artsy types – constantly thank God when they get awards.

I don’t mind when scientists study music. In fact, I welcome it. But don’t say it’s in any way related to the concept of naturalist evolution.

Special Needs — Special Spirits

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I haven’t told too many people this before, but there’s a thing I do to calm down when life gets really hectic.

When you ask most people how they calm down, they’ll tell you they meditate, or breathe slowly, or maybe take a pill or something. If they’re followers of Christ, they may say that they pray or read the Bible. I’ve done most of these things, but that’s only because they’re a bit more convenient than the way I know that works best for me.

My way of reducing stress involves hanging around people with special needs.

You see, I have what the Bible calls the gift of discernment, which is one of the gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12. I have other gifts, but when I test for it, my gift of discernment is kind of off the charts. By the way, if you haven’t taken a class on the gifts, or haven’t taken a test or two attempting to figure out your gifts – and yes, you definitely have at least one – then I really encourage you to do so. I mean, if you spend enough time in the world, you’ll take about 20 personality tests that try to figure out how you work with other people (so you can say, for example, “I’m a purple introverted INXP!”). A spiritual gifts test will tell you how you work with other people according to God’s purpose for your life, and that seems like a more useful thing to know.

Anyway, discernment simply means that I can discern spirits, good and bad. When it’s strong, I can sense spirits from a distance and in varying degrees. Like a lot of things, that can be a blessing and a curse. For example, you’d think that certain places, like churches, would only have good spirits in them. Not true. And you’d think other places, like cemeteries, might have bad spirits in them. In fact, I’ve found that cemeteries tend not to have any spirits in them at all (which makes cemeteries a fabulous place for me to run in peace.) I’m drawn to people with good spirits, and I have had to work in the world with people with not-so-good spirits. Of course, there’s more to it than all of this, and those of you with discernment know how quickly you can freak people out if you talk about it too much or explain all the different ways it works.

This is a roundabout way of saying that when I’m in the presence of people with special needs, I sense only good spirits – really, really good spirits – and that being around them calms me down. In fact, if I’m feeling especially weird, I’ll go looking for them just to be in the presence of their spirits. There’s something so pure and good inside each one of them, and I’m reminded of God’s love and presence in every one of us. I am reassured by a God who takes a human body that some people will unfortunately say is “bad” or “not normal”, and then places a spirit inside them that shines so brightly. I think it’s one of His ways of, once again, explaining the Kingdom as a place that is simply different from this world.

Not too long ago, the well-known atheist, Richard Dawkins, commented on what a woman should do if she learned that her baby was going to be born with Down syndrome. He said, “Abort it and try again.” Like a lot of what Dawkins says, it’s not so much shocking as profoundly sad, and wholly neglects even to imagine what a beautiful emissary for God’s Kingdom a child with Down syndrome would be.

I mention this last thing not to condemn him or to depress you, but only to emphasize the vast difference between the natural and the supernatural worlds. We live in the natural world, but the supernatural world is our home, and it’s clearly that world that gives you the best insight into special needs people. So if you see a person with special needs, remember what a discerner told you about them. Special needs – special spirits.


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