The gospel according to Pi

PiRecently I watched the move, “The Life of Pi”. I immensely enjoyed it and found it very thought-provoking. It says a lot about what people think about religion today. In the movie there is a shipwreck and a boy survives in a life raft accompanied by a tiger named Richard Parker. By the end of the movie there are two different stories, two versions of the truth, about how the boy named Pi survived. The older Pi, recounting the events, asks the interested journalist: “Which story do you prefer?” The journalist replies, “The story with the animals”. And the older Pi says, “And so it goes with God.”

In other words, you choose which story about God you prefer. Do you prefer the Bible, the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita or the latest book on spirituality at Exclusive books? The ending is the same, you simply need to choose the story.

A few days ago Archbishop Tutu created a stir when he stated again that God accepts and condones homosexual behaviour. He said: “I would not worship a God who is homophobic. I would say sorry, I would much rather go to the other place.” The problem with the Archbishop’s thinking is that it sounds very much like the Life of Pi. He is constantly making up his own story and own version of God. Therefore ultimately he worships a god who thinks like him, hates the things he hates and likes the things he likes. It is a god of his own creation. We are tempted to do the same. How many times have you heard, “I like to think of God as….”

By the way, I agree with the Archbishop’s words, “God is not homophobic”. God does not fear anything! But he really hates sin, all sin: homosexual sin and heterosexual sin.

Here is the point: We cannot change the message of the Bible story to suit our likes or our dislikes. We cannot mould Christianity to fit in with our own opinions and views. The message of the Bible does not change because God does not change, truth does not change, and historical facts do not change. At the heart of the unchanging Bible is the ageless gospel. We do not get to choose the story. God has revealed the proper story to us. We can believe the story or reject it. However, our response to God’s story does not affect the truthfulness of the story. It remains true whether we prefer it or not. And that’s how it goes with God.