Monday, July 13, 2009

A Culturally Acceptable Christ

There are times when Christians wonder if telling people about Christ is good enough. They wonder how to make people's lives better in this world. They look at health care, financial meltdowns, and unemployment as the issues that take men away from God. And they want to solve these issues as a prelude to any conversion. I wonder sometimes if this thinking is a consequence of affluence rather than our love for Christ. It was Jesus who said that we should avoid all sorts of greed, because life doesn't consist in the abundance (or lack) of our possessions. (Luke 12:13-21)

I am not a modernist. I don't believe that knowledge is the key to life's deeper truths (and thus salvation). Nor do I believe that man has the understanding (nor ability) to create a utopian world. Whether one believes that utopia (or a better world) can be created by man's ingenuity, pragmatism, or even denial of such, I don't adhere to any of these ideas. Therefore, I am neither a modernist nor postmodernist.

As a disciple of Christ, I do believe that a better world will be created by a full realization of God's Kingdom, brought about by Christ's return. I do believe that Christian's are a witness to this, and are participants in it. I do believe that transformation is not the work of man, but of God's Holy Spirit. And I do believe that the church is God's vehicle for preserving the deeper truths, and through whom God will save the world.

Jesus died not to make us pity him, nor to admire his courage and love. He died to save us from the imminent consequences of our sin — eternal judgment from God. I am saying that the most important issue is not behavior modification, but salvation in Christ.

I sometimes get the feeling that many folks (Christians too) would be satisfied if everyone just got along a little better (sans God). However, I get the sense that God is about to defeat that thinking Himself.

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