Tuesday, May 13, 2014
What If God Really Judges?
I've often been asked, "What happens to people who don't believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior?"
Essentially, I'm being asked to assume a role for which I am unfit; not to mention a role that has never been entrusted to any other human in a vertical relationship with Him with no apologies to the extreme left and right and others who have the egocentric arrogance and Christological ignorance to fence tables and pretend they're His other sons in a more than human kinda way.
I prefer C.S. Lewis' approach - accentuate what we know; as in Jesus talking to Nicodemus: "We speak of what we know."
We know how to get to heaven - invite Jesus into the heart as Lord and Savior.
We know how to show the signs/proof/evidence that we're going to heaven - enflesh, more than less, the red letters of the New Testament.
Knowing that eternal security generates existential calm as well as passion for increasing Christianity as gratitude.
So we are called akin to the parable of the sower; spreading/sharing that good news with as many as possible and praying/hoping the seeds hit paydirt.
Judgment is His prerogative.
Yes, we know how to get to heaven for sure.
Yes, F/S/HS alone is Judge.
Simply, our privilege is to tell people how to get to heaven for sure; and it's His prerogative alone when it comes to the other eternal destination.
If that distance between humanity and divinity bothers you, it may be time to rethink/pray God alone as sovereign.
Sharing judgment may be fun; but crosses the border of blasphemy.
Ever since spending time with Eugene and some brothers in October 2011 over in Montana, I've spent more time in the book than books about the book; and I've read those red letters over and over and over...
I'm trying to rebirth faith untainted by ideologies/traditions/denominations/religions and other idolatries; or as Kung wrote, a Christian's agenda is "to discover what is permanent...originally meant, before it was covered with the dust and debris of two thousand years...This is not another gospel, but the same ancient gospel rediscovered for today!"
I'm discovering some very disturbing inconsistencies in today's Christianity juxtaposed to Jesus by the book.
I'm discovering most ideologies/traditions/denominations/religions and other idolatries are far more egocentric by books than Christocentric by the book.
I'm discovering any connection between most churches by books and Jesus by the book is only coincidental.
I'm discovering people who don't believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior have, for the most part, been turned away from Him by people who say they believe in Jesus but don't behave like they believe in Jesus by the book.
I'm discovering some churches that are praying and laboring to embrace/exemplify Jesus by the book are...awesome!!!!!!!
I'm discovering revival doesn't only mean bringing people in; but getting people out who don't embrace/exemplify Jesus by the book.
I'm discovering Jesus by the book includes pruning Christianity of books so we can grow closer to Him by the book.
Or something like that.
Anyway, I had an experience on Mother's Day that reminded me of an experience long ago in Kansas City.
My son David, about 3 or 4 at the time, "took" Holy Communion.
Seeing him do that, I knew I was gonna catch it from someone.
So I asked him why he "took" the sacrament.
He answered, "Jesus came into my heart."
A lot better than folks who go through the motions and then hate in a Christian kinda way.
Moretheless, it introduced me to the perils of human judgments; assuming...
Yesterday, on Mother's Day, I was at a buffet sitting next to a really, really, really liberal pastor from another franchise.
Weirdly, we had studied in many of the same schools; even in Europe.
Because it was Mother's Day, I didn't bite at any of the bait to, you know, get into it about something or other.
Buuuuuuut I did talk with him about churches that fence their sacramental tables because they're so much better than...
Coming from a liberal Lutheran franchise, we were on the same page...on that.
Then he told a story to me that caused me to think of things that I have not thought about for a long, long, long time; or, at least, since I was with Eugene and...
It was about his friend, another liberal Lutheran pastor, who had a member who came to him and said, "I love you. I love our church. But I can't stand how liberal we're becoming. So I am going to start attending the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church across town."
For better than worse, they parted amicably.
A few weeks later, the woman showed up in worship.
As they greeted each other after the service, the pastor asked, "Why have you come back?"
She answered, "I went to take communion and was denied. It was the first time that ever happened to me. Now I know what it's like to be denied. That's so far from what I know about Jesus that I can't go there anymore. I may disagree with you about many things; but I don't believe Jesus denies anyone who comes to Him."
I'm increasingly uncomfortable with judging/judgments.
The big thing.
Or even the lesser things.
I've got these logs...
Annnnnnnd I'm wondering as I'm discovering Jesus by the book rather than books about Him and the book if God's judgments are more gracious than ours.
I'm wondering if He came in Jesus because we're never gonna get Him right until that ultimate face-to-face; and even then...
I'm thinking Jesus came to save us from our inabilities/inclinations to/from fidelity as He enfleshed by the book.
What if God really judges?
Where does that leave...me...you...us?
What if God is serious about actions speaking louder than words?
What if the second table of the law really proves the first table?
What if the second part of His greatest commandment really matters/proves most to Him?
What if God really hates exclusions equally as much as inclusions that do not honor Jesus by the book?
What if God really inspects fruit?
What if God really judges?
What if me even asking these questions indicates I've been so polluted by everything/everyone and myself that...?
No wonder He said, "The measure you give will be the measure you get...Judge not lest you be judged likewise..."
Maybe I should spend more time getting to know Jesus by the book than pretending I know enough to...be judgmental...share in His judgments.
Maybe it's time for me to stop trying to be so smart/self-righteous apart from Jesus by the book.
Maybe it's time for me to be...faithful...to...
By the book.
Blessings and Love!