Let’s take a travel in time.
I wonder how crazy you would appear to Aristotle by telling him that the galaxy is heliocentric, as opposed to his geocentric theory; that all the planets and stars revolve around the earth.
I wonder how insane you must appear to pre-Columbus civilizations to tell them there is a half of an earth yet to be discovered.
I wonder how ridiculously stupid you would come across to 17th century pilgrims to tell them that slaves are actually equal! That they deserve just as much if not more than the average white guy.
I wonder if you would be commited if you told Gerald Ford’s early prospect investors that his “automobile” would be a neccesity of every individual in less than 100 years.
I wonder how long you would be laughed at if you told Americans in the 1940’s that smoking would actually kill them someday.
I wonder how hard you would be ridiculed to tell someone in the 1970’s that there is going to be an invention of a new source of information where people can retrieve pictures and videos via tiny wires in less than a second.
I wonder if you told someone from the 1990’s that there would be a large scale terrorist attack on New York, if anyone would even listen to you.
I wonder what I would have said to myself four years ago if i heard that an African American would finally be president in 2009.
I wonder if anyone would have predicted two years ago that the greatest credit, loan, and bank companies would fall in the summer of 2008.
I wonder if six months ago I would have seen the prices of gas going down below $2 a gallon.
I wonder what the church would say if you told them they were only doing less than half of what God asked them too.
I mean, wait what? The church is pure, they don’t even associate themselves with sinners and non-believers.
Three words: Denial, ignorance, and disobediance.
DENIAL. The church claims purity. I saw a young man about my age holding a sign today, “Go to church, Jesus called us to not sin.” I believe the guy had good intentions, or maybe he didn’t: whatever the case, the message was severely misinterpreted by almost everyone who read it. The message was this: you are to be perfect, the church has attained this, the church can help you. Not only is this arrogant and false, it is indirectly judgmental and represents the current cross-cultural view held by all societies towards the Christian church (whether it is the church’s belief or not), that they presume to be better than non-believers, and that they are somehow in a position to “help” the helpless nonbelievers of the world.
Not one person who doesn’t belong to the church buys into this message. And, hardly any sees the church as a supporting body to the betterment of the world. I can say this with absolute certainty. With my background in conservative private middle school, liberal public high school, conservative private university, liberal public university, conservative public college, and liberal public college, I’ve witnessed almost every American perspective of Christianity. And as I said, culture doesn’t buy into the church (any church), whether its intentions are good or not; which brings up the next point.
IGNORANCE. The church doesn’t know three very important things: one, that it’s not accepted by most of society, two, that it is not on the right track, and three, that it is not pleasing to God. Seriously. Luke-warm, vomit to God’s mouth. His natural reaction is to spit it out — spit the church out before he would the non-believers.
You should be questioning that statement, because it is radically insane.
But I say it in truth. How much does the church rely on the preachings of faith. Faith like a mustard seed, the faith of a blind man, the faith of a leprid woman, the faith of stewards of God like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the faith of Peter, and the faith of all who came in contact with Christ. But most of the church stops at faith. Believe in God, and receive salvation: that is the core philosophy of the church. But did God not also call for works?
Galatians 5:6 reads, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” The message version reads, “For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love. ” So what does that mean? It means faith is dead without works, that no matter what you believe, if you aren’t doing something about it, your beliefs are as good as dead. This means a Christian who lives without works, without love, is no better than the non-believer. Faith needs be expressed outwardly to the world through the love of Jesus Christ. It means that the church should work towards creating an accepting atmosphere everywhere it goes: the kind of atmosphere that draws a cub to its mom — complete and utter love. It means faith is only 50% of salvation. It is only half — Half! …Just like luke-warm water is half of hot and half of cold, so the church is, without works and love, vomit in God’s mouth.
No wonder society doesn’t want anything to do with it. Christians are filthy stench as far as the world is concerned.
DISOBEDIENCE. So some of you may argue that the church does acknowledge its place in the world — that Galatians 5:6 holds true for many churches. And you may very well be correct, but there is a slight problem — there is little to no evidence of this outward expression of love in society. So then, what does this mean? The church is failing to do what it knows it should.
BLASPHEMY! ..you scream.
Well, I’d be surprised not to hear that. My tone is overall negative towards the general success of the church in today’s culture. But don’t mistake my negativity for disagreement, hypocrisy or doubt. That is far from the truth. My main disdain is derived from my dissatisfaction of what the church has done and is capable of. Out of all the things that have changed so drastically in our world, why is it so impossible to think that the image of the church can be restored in a short matter of time?
Think about it.
With the election of Barack Obama for president, America declared with the rest of the world that for whatever reason, they believe in a change for itself, and they are putting the trust for that change in Senator Obama. Whether this man can carry that change or not, it is a simple fact that many are looking forward to a substantial image change for America in the coming months. More than 160 million Americans seem to have to put all their faith for change in this one man. This indicates the subconscious belief that there has to be a leader to spearhead this kind of shape changing operation. Not that I believe a single man is capable of this, the importance is in the idea: that in order for progress to take change in a large mass, the masses must elect a single person to lead them. For America right now, that leader is, whether you like it or not, Barack Obama.
For the church, we must put our faith in God.
What a hard concept. To actually live what you believe.
If Americans can believe in Barack Obama, I would hope that the church can believe in God. And as Barack attempts to restore American prosperity, the church should begin to put faith in God, and carry out their faith for Him through love.
Love all things. Love your mother, your father, your brother, your sister, your dog, your friend, your spouse, your pastor, your boss, your co-worker, your competition, your enemy, and your most hated person. Love them all. For how are you better than any of them? What noble deed have you done that makes you so much more worthy of praise and honor, of glory and mercy. What sin have you not committed that makes you so much more holy and pure. What sin have they committed that makes them any worse than you? God sees all sin equal. You are no better than your worst enemy, and should treat them justly.
What does that equate into? Love smokers, drinkers, cheaters, losers, beaters, and haters. This is simply a Bible lesson. It’s all over scripture. Both 1 Peter 2:16-17 and Titus 3:1-2 call us specifically to respect the government, as God has put them in charge over us. Disrespect towards your government is the same as questioning God’s plan for the universe in all its eternity. You are to love those put in charge of you: your elders, your teachers, your bosses, your law enforcers, your governor and your president.
Yes, you can love a man who you disagree with in all certainty. For you are no better than him. You don’t have the authority to decide what and who is right and wrong. Even if you did have that power,
How are you so sure that you are right and he is wrong?
Have you even met him?
How can anyone hate so fervently?
Are people that evil?
Are we really that full of hate and judgment?
I think if we really looked at the reasons why we hate, we wouldn’t be able to come up with a seriously legitimate and logical reason for why we hate. We are to love, in all things. Period.
And lastly, live in mind of 1 Peter 4:17-19, that, “It’s judgment time for Christians. We’re the first in line. If it starts with us, think what it’s going to be like for those who refuse God’s Message! If good people barely make it, What’s in store for the bad? So if you find life difficult because you’re doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he’s doing, and he’ll keep doing it.”
I wonder how long it will take to boil this lukewarm water with such a weak and lonesome flame.