Well, I guess we are staring at the reality of a world flooded due to the melting of the polar ice caps. No, that’s not it. Hmm, well maybe we are organizing ourselves into tiny factions of humanity in order to restore order from the collapse of the American government by reorganizing the Post Office. Nope, that’s not it at all. No, I got it. We are currently fighting the massive un-dead zombie army that was the result of evil corporations poisoning our water source. Nah, that only happens in the movies.
Unfortunately for the many interweb fanboyz and the false prophet and his followers, we are not currently in a post-apocalyptic state and those Kevin Costner movies were terrible. The false prophet was wrong. Many people were mislead, hurt, and many more will be demonized for following a true form of Christianity that doesn’t resemble anything close to what that idiot was preaching. But I’ll tell you this, the one thing I found most revealing, and maybe this makes me an “interweb fanboy”, was the amazing amount of vitriol being spilled out in the media and social media toward Christianity, especially Twitter. It only took workings of one man to bring so many Christianity-haters out of the closet, and he wasn’t even someone that most Christians would identify as “one of us”. Could it be that the very ones who preach acceptance and tolerance are in fact un-accepting and intolerant themselves? I don’t think I’m going too far in saying that the highest ideals of modern man are acceptance and tolerance. Of course, like always the world is always twisting the good and turning it into something else. See the modern meaning for love, family, or even peace. If the highest ideal of modern man is acceptance and tolerance, or at least their version of it, then the idol of modern man must be modern man himself.
You know we should have seen this coming. When philosophers and cultural critics of the 19th and 20th century pronounced the death of God, it was prophetic to the then coming and now current deification of man. We can solve all our problems. While science and faith initially worked with each other, see the works of the early leaders of the scientific revolution like Newton or Galileo, we have since then used our God-given reasoning-minds to attempt to create a utopian world without God or morality. Wasn’t that the goal of Godless communism and fascism? What we have discovered is that man isn’t capable of pulling that off, and my how so many do forget that. Modern atheists have even gone so far as proclaiming that religion in and of itself is the worst epidemic to ever breach human thought, while ignoring the massive genocide and war that was brought on by perhaps world history’s most evil men ever born who spurned religion.
We now have a society that is driven by such individualism that to get in the way of someone else’s personal goals, desires, or truth no matter how awful it is, is wrong. These ideas stand as a dark specter when compared to the illuminating message of the “highest ideal” of man that has ever lived, Jesus Christ. There are 3 points I want to make about all of this, or this is what I think about this age of relativism. Hopefully my thoughts are guided by higher power. Even still it is an open discussion that others are welcome to comment.
1) Acceptance was and is a part of Christ’s Gospel…tolerance was not.
When Jesus spoke up for the adulterous woman in John 8, he drew a very important conclusion about what he thought about insiders and outsiders. For our purposes here insiders are those that are “saved” or already hold the title of “Christian”, and outsiders are those that don’t claim such titles. For the outsider, Jesus had nothing but acceptance. He knew her sin, yet he took up for her in the presence of the very one’s who had devoted their lives to studying the Torah and even His own followers. Who are we to know the mind of Christ in this story? Is it possible that Christ was teaching a very important lesson about how we should treat those on the “outside”? We shouldn’t beat them over the head with our understanding of the rules. We should LOVE them. BUT…it doesn’t stop there does it. Doesn’t it then become the life purpose of every follower to give up EVERYTHING in order to follow him? You see Jesus accepted the sinner, but when Jesus spoke to His followers, he made very clear His purpose for his “insiders” the importance of giving up everything to follow him. Following Christ will cost you something. He is accepting of who we are, but He will not tolerate, put up with, or turn a blind eye to our sin.
2) Christianity is more than a way of life, and it seems that very few “Christians” really understand that.
This discussion brings me to my second point. I was reading “Radical” by David Platt, and I was so impressed by his understanding of what it truly means to give up everything. As American Christians the line between our understanding of the American dream and God’s purpose for our lives tends to be very blurry. For many people, their own desires become what they think is God’s desire for their life. And who am I to judge the intents or purposes of man’s heart? Only God knows what you believe, think, or feel. But I have to bring up, as the book does so eloquently, that Christ made specific demands on his disciples. He warned them that people wouldn’t understand them, people would reject them, and they would be seen as outcasts. He made it clear that we remain in a state of child-like humility. And he made it abundantly clear that our highest priority even above our family and ourselves was that we follow Him. Who knows where He will lead you? The important thing is that you are following Him. It is so much more than a title you take, or a club that you join. Following Christ demands that you deny yourself and become like Him. Finally, he said that we must die to ourselves so that He could live in us. (See Matthew 10 and Luke 9 and 18 to start)
3) The gospel of Christ is exclusive yet inclusive.
So here we see a paradox two things that shouldn’t go together, yet they do. John 14:6 says, that Jesus is THE WAY. There is no other WAY. If you want to get to the Father or get to heaven, you have to do it His way. He establishes an exclusive Truth that is required for admittance. “I am THE way” is a proclamation of exclusivity that makes many a post-modernist cringe. We could discuss this for hours. We could apply our own understanding of fairness or justice to this statement. What did Jesus really mean? It will really come down to this, we don’t know why Jesus said it, but He did. But here is the absolutely fantastic wonderful news; this message is for everybody. ALL can accept it. Nobody owns this Truth. We all can make our choice. We all can follow His way. He will make us into the best version of ourselves. He is capable of taking the ashes of our lives and making it beautiful. He brings joy in pain. He is the hope of our salvation. If you know Him, you know what I mean. If you don’t you are lost. The ONLY hope you have is Him, and the good new is this, He accepts you.
Well, that about does it. I’m sure it’s incomplete in many ways, but its the best I could do for now. As always, I love my wife, Lindsey. War Eagle, 2010 BCS National Champion Auburn Tigers. God bless.