Back in my day, we were at the beginning of space exploration. Even our television shows centered around space–STAR TREK, LOST IN SPACE, MY FAVORITE MARTIAN. Russians and Americans were in a race to explore and conquer, and there was a general excitement that man was on the cusp of landing on the moon.
With all the enthusiasm, however, came a degree of fear. We were heading into the unknown. Much like the robot in LOST IN SPACE, some people had a bit of: “Danger, danger, Will Robinson.”
I feel a bit like this today. While I usually try to write about the ‘positives’, I have been led to do a different path. I’m uncomfortable. When God directs, however, we learn that we must follow….
Christians are often accused of being unyielding, legalistic, uncaring separatists. While nothing could be further from our aspirations , in some cases there is a certain amount of truth to that proposition.
It would be nice to pick and choose the verses we ‘like’ in the Bible much in the same way people can ‘like’ something posted online–but God doesn’t work like that.
This may rile some people but I have to be starkly honest. Denominations of Christians are here because there are small issues Christians have chosen to argue over such as baptism, or how to take communion. Some sprinkle. Some dunk. Some cup their hands and allow the water to fall over. Some believe in squishy white bread. Some refuse wine in favor of grape juice. Some will only celebrate with matzoh.
The truth the matter is that beneath the squabbles over these divisions, the fact remains that Christians believe that Jesus approved and instructs people in the need of a public declaration of their faith just as He asked us to remember His sacrifice in order to keep God’s plan of centering the idea of forgiveness of sins as a way in which we could ‘erase’ our selfish/human condition for us to commune with Him.
Are things like baptism and communion a hallmark for our salvation?
Our personal acceptance of Christ’s atonement as the Savior who bled and died for our sins covers our salvation. Baptism is simply a public expression as is communion. But, they are important…just as certain aspects of the divinity of Christ are important.
There are certain doctrines that one must accept and believe about Christianity.
The virgin birth; the perfect life of Jesus during His earthly ministry; His sinless offering as the lamb of atonement required by God resulting in His death; His resurrection from said death’ asking Him for not only forgiveness but to be the Lord in our lives is, in fact, the basis for Biblical truth in God’s plan.
Herein lies faith.
This is the Biblical truth found in John 3:16-For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believe that in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
This is the heart of the Scripture. IF Jesus Christ was not human and God in combination, then how does His death act as our atonement? IF He didn’t ‘really’ die. IF He wasn’t truly resurrected. IF we agree to believe the Bible is based on myth…why then would we bother to place our faith and trust in Him? Why would the early disciples have been willing to die for this belief? Why do so many still offer that stand around the world today?
Any other proposition in reading Scripture means one lessens not just the work established by God, but Biblical truth to the point that is the heart of Scripture.
Having said all this, it has become to clear to me lately that Christianity is on the verge of losing its heart. As sorry as I am to be blunt, when the truth smacks you in the face you cannot run from it.
2 TIMOTHY 4: 3-5-For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Christians, in their effort to be ‘fair and acceptable’ to the earthly judgment of ‘correctness’ have taken on such dilution of gospel principles that they are watering down the truth of Scripture. It is a sad consequence of trying to pretend that God sees our world as solely basked in love that they refuse to accept accountability, responsibility, or judgment.
Christians will always end up facing choices. Choices in their stand for God. Choices that may pit them against family and friends. Choices that may ultimately force us to stand against government directives. It is a scary prospect. It is a challenging thought. It is something we most of us would prefer not to consider.
Lately, I have been thinking more and more about the decisions forced upon the early Christians. I can hear the crowds cheering for their ‘entertainment’. I can feel the hot breath of the pacing lion. I can smell the metallic odor of fresh blood.
I can sense the turning point that awaits us.
It is easy to proclaim the ‘choice’ that we will make when we are forced into a decision on whether to stand, ignore, or give in when we are compelled to make a choice between religion and government. Like Peter, however, what we believe we will do does not always come to pass.
It is time to begin serious thought as to where you stand; as to whom you owe allegiance; as to what you believe. Then it is time to set all that aside and give it over to God…for if and when we are faced with these decisions, He has told us that He will give us the words.
Luke 12: 11 & 12-And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
God expects Christians to be discerning. He expects us to study and meditate on His word. He expects us to truly ponder the paths we should walk and the matters on which we stand.
Then He expects to give all that over and lean on Him. Whatever way we walk..whether chained together facing lions, debating whether to wear a cross around our neck, speaking the good news to strangers, or facing life and death choices, we are to hear Him and follow Him.
It is okay to listen to the ‘warnings’ that abound from robots, but we are not to give in to fear but pray unceasingly and trust Him to guide.