When I am left to myself, I think. I can’t watch television, I can’t play a video game, and I can’t even read sometimes. I try to mindlessly scroll through Facebook, read a few articles, watch a few videos on YouTube (most of the time of people doing something stupid, and in turn, getting hurt). So what? What makes this so special from every other individual on the planet? Well, it doesn’t. The truth is, as individualistic as we all try to be – we have a common thread. Humanity.
Within that framework, there are the obvious differences. Some are born men, some women, and some try to switch up that order through gender reversal; some are straight, some are gay; some are black, others white; yet some are at a random point along this fluctuating scale. But the common thread remains the same. We are all human.
Many I know would argue that showing true humanity comes through accepting others as they are. Let them lead their own lives – after all, whom does it hurt? If I say God, I am bashed for utilizing guilt to soften the heart. If I tell people that God intervened for the elect, I am chastised for not only saying that God intervenes (for who needs intervention if they’ve done nothing wrong), but also for saying that God wills who will be saved. How can a “perfectly” moral being choose whom He will save? By the very definition of man – that is immoral.
If I preach from the Bible, I am labeled arrogant. After all, how arrogant is it that the Christian lays claim to the source of all truth? Not only this, but how does the Christian say such a claim is substantiated only using the scriptures? Is this not circular reasoning? Who am I to claim that there aren’t other ways to spirituality than Jesus Christ? Who am I to say that there is absolute truth when the array of Christian denominations has so many different interpretations on the bible?
Truthfully, these are all excellent questions. These are all questions I have spent years developing a defense to – but most just don’t care to hear it. The real question behind all of this is not if I can answer them successfully, but if I really believe God at His Word. For most of the world this is an incredulously idiotic notion. Truth be told, the scriptures make some outlandish claims.
Yet that is just it. The scriptures make some incredible claims. They do teach that homosexuality is a sin; that gender is not flexible – but a gift to be rejoiced in; that premarital sex is sinful; that deceit, malice, hypocrisy, loose living, drunkenness, and divisiveness qualifies one as wicked. The scriptures do teach that humanity, as one cohesive unit, is damned; God has wrath insurmountable reserved for those whom He calls “sinners”.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our sins, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:4-9).
The bible makes some outlandish claims. The amazing thing is that far too many think they are able to avoid these issues. In doing so, they have already decided where they stand. Some still think they can muddy these claims, or soften the blow a little bit by focusing on the bits that make us feel warm. In doing so, they have already decided where they land. Some take these claims and twist them, or add to and subtract from them. In doing so, they have already decided where they land.
At some point, we must be willing to go where the argument takes us. If you declare that you love God – and you actually do, you will be shown to despise the operating systems that this world embraces and employs. If you declare that you hate God, you will be shown to despise those whom love God. There really isn’t much of a middle ground.
Just wrap your mind around that for a bit, all of it. The bible sure makes a ton of outlandish claims. As you and I share the common bond of humanity, especially the capacity to think and reason, I implore you to think. Right now you are either in Christ or not.
I can appeal to you in a manner befitting Pascal’s wager, imploring you to risk it and embrace the bible in faith for the sake of possibly being right so as to avoid punishment, or, I can trust that God is sovereign – and that this will serve to confirm as a witness to any who read it; this witness, of course, being one that either procures a seed to salvation from the Lord, or procures a testimony for judgment.
I earnestly do hope for the former.