April 11th, 2005


What Christian faith isn't

The Christian faith is a seriously rotten way to get life under control. Anyone who turns to it for that is looking for a fantasy and will, sooner or later, have to face inevitable disillusionment, either with bitterness or with repentance.

See, Jesus promises two things in this world: suffering and His presence. If you want a system to make life work, keep looking. If you want an answer for every question, consult Google and your local library. If you want all your relationships fixed, tune in to Drs. Phil, Laura, Drew, Ruth, and a host of other first names.

Jesus' other promise is the anchor of the Christian hope: the resurrection. If this life is all there is, believers are quite nutty-nuts and are to be pitied. But we who believe are called to fix our hope there and work backward.

The power of the resurrection is not reserved for the last day. The Kingdom advances now, with power to save and to heal, with justice coupled with mercy. Every mark of it is the assurance of our blessed hope. That frees us to risk big on Him, to let go and walk free of our desire to get our lives working by systems of our own devising. We don't have to live in fear of suffering because, quite bluntly, if we follow Him (and probably if we don't), it's coming anyway. But it's not the last word.

The true power and comfort of the Kingdom is the King. He is sovereign, and that's the point. When He doesn't give us a system for controlling our lives, that's a grace. In fact, it's more than that by far. In ancient times, objects used by people to try to get reality to conform to their desires were called idols. The things we use to try to take control still are. And the King won't share His throne. Thank God.

Can Christianity be an idol? Yeahsureyoubetcha. It can be the ugliest one of the bunch.
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The God who makes no sense

Mentioned this to jeney earlier today: John preached an amazing sermon on Abraham and Isaac yesterday, called "The God Who Makes No Sense." Powerful stuff about His heart and what it means to follow Him. It's available online for listening or download here.
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