Friday, January 20, 2012

Simple Faith: Part 1

Last Thursday night Jon Shea gave an eye opening message that questioned all of us on which view of Christianity we follow: the Biblical view or the world's view. I think it might be the most important question we need to consider as professing Christians.

Possibly the most disturbing reality he brought up was that instead of the church going out into the world with the truth about God and the gospel, the world's ideas about what Christianity is or should be are seeping into the church. Think about the possible repercussions of that statement. We're talking about a world that is diametrically opposed to Christ, a world that hates everything to do with God and Christianity, a world that is either running as fast and as far away from God as they can possibly get or working against Him.

That's the world that is making it's way into the church in a bigger way than ever before!

Christians today, because of all the opposition and confusion with different viewpoints, seem to be starting to burn out and following along with the world's views because it's just easier. So often, we excuse what God can't. We're getting tired of arguing our side of the matter. We don't want to be seen as narrow minded and elitist, so we end up compromising and slowly following the world's diluted ideals of Christianity because we no longer know the Jesus of the bible.

Our culture is decisively self-centered and individualistic. We break down communication to facebooking, blogs, and text messages, yet are saturated with information like never before in history. The terrible thing is that not all the information we soak in on an daily basis is true, especially when it comes to the basics of God and Christianity. And, to me, the lies aren't always huge and outright. A lot of the time they are so subtle that we don't notice them until they've clouded true Christianity beyond recognition a long way down the road.

Christians are not to just follow the hippie-looking, sin accepting, un-wrathful, just-do-whatever-you-want-because-he'll-forgive-you-anyway God that the world wants to believe He is. The truth is that God cannot stand sin and He wants us to follow Him, not in a metaphorical sense, in a rule-abiding, mission focused sense.

The truth is we have been separated from God because we have all participated in a mutiny against Him through our sin and because God is just, He has to punish sin through death (which would mean eternal separation from God in Hell for us). But because God is not only just, but loving, He wanted to bring us back to Him. Remember that the punishment for sin is death? (Enter Jesus). Jesus is God incarnate who came into a sin cursed world to be the atoning sacrifice for all people who believe in Him. He was crucified as a substitute for us and then raised from the dead to bring us life and reconcile creator and creation (God and us). 

The gospel, though, is not all that Christianity is. It's just the first step. True Christianity is becoming like Christ and that happens by following Jesus (and yes, all His rules too), not because He wants you to be narrow-minded or uneducated, but because He wants the best for you and His plan is in your best interest.

Philosophy and perspective is great, but what should really influence your life is truth, especially the truth about God.

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