Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hard to swallow

The “Spoonful of Sugar” principle works for some things. You have some bad news to give; you have a hard or tedious task to do. Yeah, why not throw in something fun to take out the sting? Sadly in an attempt to make the harder parts of the bible go down easy, we dilute the Word with a sugary sweetness that confuses both believers and non believers alike.
I mean it is not so surprising to hear a non-Christian misunderstand a verse or a principle. But when a Christian doesn’t understand the why Jesus died (they are simply outraged at the injustice) or tells you something superstitious like, “Always pray at 3 O’clock because this was the hour Jesus was crucified.” Well, then you know there was a miscommunication out there somewhere.
I’m not saying I’ve got it all figured out. But I believe I have a least a fair ability to discern truth from lies when the need arises.  Everything should check out with scripture. Before I share with anyone on biblical matters I pray that I will not be the one confusing others, but that God will speak clearly through me.
Someone tried to casually approach me once and explain where I was failing in his eyes. “All that really matters is if a person lives a good life you know? They can believe in God or not, but God can be anything and they just need to be a good person.”
I politely disagreed. He wasn’t trying to fight me so why fight him? But the conversation bothered me. We want the world to run by a human standard instead of God’s. We make faith about what we choose to accept when in reality it is about what God expects. “Good” is subjective. It is possible to be a good person outside of Christ when you make up your own rules and standards (and isn’t that what we do as humans?). But it is not possible to be truly good in the eyes of The Creator without surrendering your life to Christ.
John 11:25 (ESV)
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
John 14:5-7 (ESV)
5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" 6Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."
When people tell me they believe in God, but aren’t living a life that reflects Christ, my next question is to specify whether or not they believe in the God of the Bible.  If they say yes (and so far most of them do) I have to point out verses like the ones above. If this is the God you believe in, you might want to pay attention to what He says about Jesus.

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