Wikipedia concludes that imagination “is accepted as the innate ability and process to invent partial or complete personal realms within the mind from elements derived from sense perceptions of the shared world.”
Imagination can be an enjoyable engagement and out of it can come some very wonderful realities. For instance, an individual may imagine what their dream home is like and work to construct it according to what they’ve envisioned in their minds. The result: a beautiful, architechural work of art that began in an individual’s mind
But imagination also includes a dark side. Wikipedia goes on to say:
Imagination, because of having freedom from external limitations, can often become a source of real pleasure and unnecessary pain. A person of vivid imagination often suffers acutely from the imagined perils besetting friends, relatives, or even strangers such as celebrities. Also crippling fear can be seen as taking an imagined painful future too seriously.
Imagination can also produce some symptoms of real illnesses. In some cases, they can seem so “real” that specific physical manifestations occur such as rashes and bruises appearing on the skin, as though imagination had passed into belief or the events imagined were actually in progress.
So what place does one’s imagination occupy in Christian living or doctrine? Is it valid? Does the Bible give Christians any guidance on the issue? Earlier, we reported that the Rev. Nancy Wilson, the presiding moderator of the gay christian church MCC felt it was “ok” to use one’s imagination when reading and interpreting the Bible. Out of her imagination, came (among other wild assumptions) homosexual wise men at Jesus’ birth. Now, we’ve learned that another MCC ordained minister,Kittredge Cherry has published “Jesus in Love”, a book in which she imagines Jesus as a homosexual. Everything and everybody, including the Holy Spirit is reimagined, not spiritually, but sexually. Love, in this context is just a metaphor for sex.
The book’s premise wonders if Jesus knew how it feels to be “queer” and consequently constructs a fantasy world replete with homosexual sex, gender confusion, and sexual “freedom” all from the cavities of the author’s mind. From the website review:
Surprising answers come in Jesus in Love, a novel that re-imagines Christ’s legendary life as an erotic, mystical adventure in first-century Palestine. Jesus has today’s queer sensibilities and sexual sophistication as he lives out the Christian story in this novel of spiritual and sexual awakening.
Readers can relate to the struggles he faces: He feels like his real self is both male and female. He falls in love with people of both sexes. Society doesn’t understand him.
Jesus, the narrator, speaks in an engaging, up-to-date tone as he reveals his intimate relationships with John the beloved disciple (a gay man mourning his lover’s death), Mary Magdalene (a highly intelligent survivor of sexual abuse) and the multi-gendered Holy Spirit. The contemporary tone and vivid descriptions make the myths feel surprisingly real and appealing.
James (Mel) White, founder of Soulforce spins his endorsement of the book into a happy, laughable experience akin to reading Ricky’s Fun Day at the Park.
“In imagining a Jesus who really lived, laughed and loved, Kitt Cherry has broken through the stained glass barrier. Don’t be afraid. This is not a prurient look at the sex life of Jesus, but a classic re-telling of the greatest story ever told, the story of a truly human Jesus and those truly human women and men who lived, laughed and loved with him. Read JESUS IN LOVE and you will feel His Spirit reaching out to you, inviting you to live, laugh and love with him as well.”
Leaders –allegedly Christians– of the MCC and Soulforce believe there is nothing wrong with recreating Jesus into an image like their own imaginations. It is unlikely that Cherry imagined Jesus as Savior or Lord. Neither is it likely that she imagined him as divine and sinless. Her ideology is derived from the feminist-lesbian worldview made popular in the 1993 World Council of Churches women’s conference in Minneapolis. Practicioners draw their bizarre statements from false prophets and hireling theologians who use obscure historical documents to build a case for the existence of a hidden context, then position it as the interpretative key for determining the documents’ meaning.
Executive editor of The Presbyterian Layman, Parker Wilkinson, an ordained Presbyterian minister, described the conference as “antithetical to the Christian faith, seismic shifts in theology, implying that since God is a product of one’s imagination to begin with, so He can thus be re-imagined”
Individuals like White, Wilson and Cherry provide ample proof that scripture nor Jesus has no place of authority or even guidance in their lives. Therefore, because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and [c]godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.
Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]. And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles. (Romans 1:21-23 AMPV).