Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Be Childish

There is something wonderful about reading the work of other Christian authors.
What a great opportunity to expand our minds, extend our knowledge and challenge our faith. Unlike Jesus' time, when reading and writing was confined to the governmental and religious circles, and the cost of scripture (which would have been recorded on scrolls by highly skilled and highly paid scribes) would have prevented many people from accessing it. We now have such a wide availability of Christian literature, that the debates which once took place in the temple, now take place on the pages of books on the shelves of Christian bookstores.
A large part of my free time is occupied by reading Christian literature, thus filling my head with a number of ideas, doctrines and concepts all bouncing off each other.
My mind is the chess board over which the doctrine of predestination goes head to head with my idea of free will. It is the battlefield in which creationism valiantly wrestles against a defiant hang up on evolution, and it is the ring in which my understanding of scripture swings a right hook against cultural context.
At the end of it all, why am I left unfufilled?
Jesus said 'Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest'.
There is nothing wrong with studying scripture in depth, but we have to be careful...are we missing the point?
Reading about God must never be a substitute for spending time with him. Many secular academics study the Bible and have a greater knowledge of it than most Christians... so what makes us different?
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13 'Though i have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge...but have not love, I am nothing'.
What we are searching for is a lot closer, and a lot more simple than we think.
'Assuredly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it'. These timeless words of Jesus ring true to me today.
Little Children cry when they are hungy, when they want affection and when they need a clean-up. They know what they want, they do not put up a front. They do not shy away from their basic desires.
This is how we must be with God.
Cry out to him with your fears. Whisper your best kept secrets into the all hearing ears. Share with him your greatest desires, your deepest hurts and your wildest dreams.
Then you will see miracles.

''Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light"

Jesus. Matthew 11 : 28-30

The greatest threat to Christianity...

What is the greatest threat to Christianity... is it Islam? Postmodernism? Perhaps it's the new Harry Potter book or the Jerry Springer musical? Rock music? Gay marriage? Richard Dawkins?

I actually believe that the greatest threat to Christianity today is....

Christians who fail to recognize that 'He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world' (1 John 4:4)

Christians who fail to love their neighbours, serve the poor and reach the communities.

Christians who put their own ambitions before others.

Unfortunately, this makes me one of many great threats to Christianity.