The One Thing

There one blog I visit regularly.  It’s written by Donald Miller, a noted Christian author.  I don’t always agree with what he has to say but he does get me thinking which is a good thing.  A recent post, titled When Truth is the Enemy of Truth, talked about paradigm shift as it relates to scientific discovery.  Scientists are continually forced to reexamine their perceptions based on new evidence.  Their old understandings prove to be inaccurate and so they have to come to a new understanding of how things work.

Do we do that as Christians?  Should we do that as Christians?  One of the fundamentals of the Christian faith is that Christ is the only path to salvation, to reconciliation with God.  The world calls us arrogant because we claim we know that we are right and everyone else is wrong.  I don’t want to be called arrogant.  I don’t want to be called intolerant.  We could consider Buddha or Mohammad or a Native American deity as another iteration of Christ.  But it seems to me that once we head down that path we quickly find ourselves treating Jesus as a metaphor instead of reality.  Very quickly anything spiritual becomes merely an aid to finding peace and happiness in this life and nothing else.

So what paradigms should change in the Christian life?  Consider this.  When Moses wrote Genesis he was writing it to a tribe of primitive nomads.  If God had given the creation account to him in clear scientific terms that we understand today he would have been met with blank stares.  We don’t need to be dogmatically married to a strict interpretation of the creation account.  I know that’s kind of open ended and can be completely misunderstood.  I need to explain that better but not now.

So what is truth not to be given away, not to be diluted by metaphor?  Here’s what I believe:

God is God.  He is holy.  On our best day we are not pure enough to approach Him.  Indeed one misstep in a lifetime of holiness is enough to separate us from Him.  We are antimatter to His matter.  The Bible says He cannot deny Himself.  He cannot cheat, not even Satan.  He cannot just let us off.  The only way we can become holy in His eyes is to through the offering of a perfect sacrifice.  There is only One perfect sacrifice, Himself in the form of His Son.  There is only one way.  If Jesus was not the Son of God, if He did not die for our sins, if He did not rise again for our justification then we are all pretty well screwed.  But I believe He did.

They say we are arrogant in our assurance and maybe we come across that way.  Maybe we come across as ‘I was smart enough to figure this out and you weren’t’.  I don’t feel that way.  I don’t believe in predestination.  I believe salvation is for everybody.  But you know how it feels?  And I think many other Christians feel this way too.  It doesn’t feel like I  made an intelligent decision to choose Christ.  No.  No, it feels like He chose me.

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About Angus Lewis

My wife and I lived our whole lives in Arkansas until ten years ago. We moved to the Kansas City area in 2011 (a job change). That was the reason for the 'From a Far Country' title. Our children and grandchildren were in Arkansas. Six months ago we sold our house and bought one in Sherwood, Arkansas and my wife moved back down here. Two weeks ago I retired and moved back too. (I'm probably going to try to find something part time to keep me out of trouble.) So maybe the 'From a Far Country' title is not so much of a fit anymore. But I think I'll stick with it. I'm still not home. Not yet. The Bible says we are all strangers and pilgrims here. Our real home is with God and some day we'll be there. We'll be home.
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