Sunday, October 24, 2010
On My Mind
I fear that there is more on my mind than in my mind. I see youth untarnished by the world, who remain uninhibited by social convention and I just want to preserve it. However, I know that can't be so I must ensure I enjoy it. My hope is that I can point as many as the next generation as possible to wisdom. Not received worldly wisdom but the wisdom that comes from humbly submitting oneself to the truth that we see around us. Of course if i approach each day desperate to cherish each moment I will overlook just enjoying the moment, how crazy is that? I read in Gyles Brandreth's book A Portrait of Royal Marriage that the Queen and Duke of Edinburg are not introspective. That says to me that if they don't spend time pondering their meaning, what all the wealth and pomp and circumstance is about then they must be sincere Gospel centered Christians. Of a lengthy and interesting book that one important fact has stayed with me. That's cool!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You represent a worldview that is common in my family and many friends. One thing that unites us is an instinctive animosity to the world's religions. Religion's message is 'join us, follow our rules, pray in this way, read these holy books, undertake a particular task and you will merit your salvation, our god will love you'. We can witness the brutal consequences of religion each day. Of course there are additional religions like sex, worshipped through porn, adultery and perversion; there is success, where it's all about conquering and rising to the top at the expense of family, neighbour and colleague; there is reputation, how people perceive me has value above all else. People's religion is revealed in where they invest their time, treasure, talent and emotion.
The point is that it is not my place to persuade you or set out a series of arguments in support of my particular worldview. I can tell you my story. That being, until about three years ago, I shared a similar attitude as you and now, through a personal relationship with a loving and just God, who is a father, I am much to my own surprise, reporting that Jesus is in fact who he said he was and did what he said he came to do.
Like the early Christian church and Christians around the world today I now get to deal with ridicule and risk persecution. In places like Iran, Saudi Arabia and parts of northern Sudan I would face torture and death by simply loving and serving people as Jesus loved and served them. But when you worship a homeless guy, who was brought up by his step dad in a small middle eastern village, became an itinerant preacher and was tortured and murdered for claiming he was God then it kind of goes with the turf.
Many of the questions that arise about God, whether it's unpacking his character and nature, through understanding the doctrine of the trinity; "how can there be one God but in three persons?", needs to be understood by studying the Bible accompanied by good teaching. There are teaching Bibles, and commentaries to accompany each of its 66 books. People want to know how can a loving God permit suffering in the world? How can the Bible be the infallible word of God in company with scientific research and theory? Answers to these questions help each man and woman appreciate their role and purpose in this brief and uncertain life.
The testimony of several eye witnesses that corroborate each others story is powerful in any court of law. If they testified against a pedophile, rapist or cruel murderer and a judge released him without being held to account there would be a righteous outcry. We expect justice for the victim, anything less would be gross and unloving. Justice and Love are inseparable. You cannot love someone with lies, we need the truth, Jesus said: "Abide in my word......then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). I do not envy those who face a confusing world of competing truth claims. However, the good news is that there is mercy, forgiveness and hope from our loving Father God who wants and needs nothing from you because he's a dad and all the dad's understand the power of that love. Jesus said, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11,28