Wow. It’s been a year and some change since I last posted. It’s crazy…I ALWAYS have thoughts on my mind that I think about sharing, but then busyness takes over, the moment passes and the thought stays just that. I’m thinking the persistence of this particular thought is what qualified it for “breakout” status. I’m totally going to ramble…I think it’s the only way today. All feelings…
I rarely get on social media nowadays. Without going too deep into it, it’s just not conducive to focus in my life. So anyway, I got on there for a specific reason and happened to see this post going around. It said: “Christians are really trying to convince us that the God who murdered Bathsheba’s newborn, killed all the firstborn sons of Egypt, sent bears to murder little children, commanded Joshua to kill all the children in Jericho, now suddenly cares about ‘unborn babies.'” Now I have my thoughts on abortion and the recent laws being passed and I’ve read plenty of commentary about it. But this one hit me…hard. I don’t have all of the answers. But I think it’s important to ask questions and at least seek out some answers.
Why? Because I feel like the church (the institution AND the people who comprise it) has done a grave disservice to this generation. Common messages that cross pulpits across the country every Sunday focus heavily on the zealous pursuit of God’s hand, but not His heart. They talk a lot about receiving the blessings of God and rarely about giving (unless it’s in the form of tithes or offerings) to God. They talk a lot about what God wants to do for/give to us, but not much about what God wants from us. They appeal heavily to the emotions of those who are constantly playing spiritual defense, but seldom address the flawed playbook that seems to constantly rob them of forward progress. At the end of the day, this generation has been served a sanitized and self-centered gospel that paints God as this benevolent Benefactor Who wants their happiness above all and upon Whom they can call for whatever they want. But we fail to help them understand that there’s SO much more to God. He values His glory above all else (including and especially our happiness). He loves, He’s patient, He’s kind, yes…but He is also righteous and, consequently, He judges sin. The fact that people can go to church every Sunday and not know or even hear much about the person of God is a scathing indictment against the church.
The bedrock of our faith is the Gospel…the fact that God sent His son to die for our sin so that we may have everlasting life. Sin necessitated the payment of debt…Jesus, fully innocent, bore all of our sins (past, present, and future) and endured temporary separation from the Father on the cross to secure our salvation. The Bible tells us that if we believe on Him, that everlasting life is ours. A huge and most integral part of appreciating the Gospel is understanding that it starts with sin. Specifically, our sin. So…Why don’t we (the church) talk about it?
As I’ve said before, sin is the problem. Hack as we may at the branches of consequence, we will never fully uproot the problem if we don’t deal with sin. People need to know that God hates sin and there are consequences. Sin is the ultimate separator…it’s only trajectory is spiritual death. Once we commit sin, we venture into enemy territory where ONLY the blood of Jesus can save us. We are not built or equipped to defend ourselves on enemy territory. God MUST intervene for our salvation. But it doesn’t stop there…God wants our lives. Our whole point and purpose here is to glorify God with our lives and draw others in the process. God took care of all defense at the cross so that we can focus on what He put us here for. Grappling with sin distracts us from our purpose and keeps us from moving down the field and scoring.
Ever notice that the majority of the stop gaps that we argue about are futile attempts to curb the consequences of sin? We are sunken in depravity…mired in Godlessness. What we see all around us is a world where we are and have been left to our own devices. But what should we expect? We consistently reject His presence and person, but then wonder where He is or why He doesn’t intervene when we think He should. He’s God and we fail to see Him. Any good we see or receive is undeserved. He holds it all back at will…grace is our lifeline and it’s only God’s to give. At the root of every heartbreaking matter is sin. But so is the opportunity to invite God in and draw freely upon His grace. Although I write this with a heavy heart, I pray that God use me…use this and anyone reading this…to wake the sleeping giant of the church. We need God so much…The Gospel becomes most potent in our lives when we know it and seek Him relentlessly.