Steps to a Cross-less Christianity

Perusing the best selling books of popular Christianity provides some interesting information. While there are certainly exceptions, it seems as though a “cross-less” Christianity has come into the drivers seat. There seems to be little difference between popular Christianity and the “present evil world.” (Galatians 1:4). It appears that there is a minimization of holiness that comes from an appreciation and participation in the cross.

What Will Draw Humanity

When the cross is removed or minimized which draws all men unto it (John 12:32), then we must play games or engage in all kinds of chicanery to “draw” humanity to our religion. While true evangelism should be based in the cross, without the cross we must emphasize a religion that is simply about “what you will get.”

In this religion, we talk forever about “God hooking you up.” We marginalize those who would speak of the importance of the Cross and Cross-living as legalists or unloving. And perhaps one of the biggest perversions, we make Christianity solely about “personal fulfillment.”

How Far Does Your Christianity Go?

This religion starts and ends with speaking of doing better at work and being a better father and parent. All are worthy goals, but devoid of the cross and its principle of “self denial” we end up with preachers spouting regurgitated pop-psychology. And then we end up with a religion that is indistinguishable from the living of the status-quo.

Is this all there is to Christianity? If it is, then let’s toss it on the trash heap of history. I want a Christianity that will turn the world upside down again! (Acts 17:6) I want a Christianity that will not only make me a better citizen, but also mold me into the image of Christ! Don’t remove the cross, you will not like what kind of Christianity you have left.

Underestimating the Power

crossheavenThe Power of God. I had a discussion with someone a little while ago on the issue of obedience to God. The person argued that we cannot perfectly obey God because of our liabilities of being human. When I attempted to speak on the reality of obedience in the Christian life, my friend immediately told me that I was minimizing the extent and damage of sin done to humanity.
The Power of Sin

My friend continued, “Sin has placed us in a position where we cannot help but sin. Sin has totally corupted our nature to the point that sin is the logical and inevitable outcome. Sin is all we can do for we are born sinners and thus must sin.”

There does seem to be some truth here. Sin has corrupted our nature. Sin has attacked us at the core. But, my friend, accused me of minimizing the extent of the damage done by sin. To that I argue that my friend has minimized the power of God.
Obedience is based on God’s ability

If God, who created all out of things that do not appear (Hebrews 11:3), then why can’t God keep us from falling (Jude 1:24) as it says in the word?

What sin can do, I declare God can do more. Whatever evil sin can place on us, God has more power! certainly the creative power of God declares to us that God can do it.

We always talk about God making a way for us. But how about recognizing that God can make a way through us. this is why the Psalmist called for God to use that same creative power to renew his Spirit. (Psalm 51:10)

Is it possible? Was it possible that God spoke the worlds into existence? I declare that the answer to both of those questions is the same answer.
Believe it or Not, it Will Happen

Some say obedience will not happen, but John in the Revelation points to a group, he says “Here are they” essentially saying, “Here they are.” He notes that there will be a group who are identified as commandment keepers by the faith OF Jesus. They seek to live God’s life. (Revelation 14:12)

They will be obedient to the most high God. In short, just because you are not living it, or seeing it, or even believing it, don’t limit the power of God to accomplish it! So maybe I am limiting the power of Sin, but that is only in reference to the creative power of God…

Wrong Time for a Blessing?

Granite-mountain-south-of-Machtesh-Ramon-tb-q010403Proverbs 27:14 reminds us that there can be a wrong time even for a blessing.  When it is time for something else, and someone comes in and loudly shouts even the right sounding thing, we can find out blessing turning into a curse.  This scripture gives the example of someone yelling the blessing to wake up the sleeper.  It is time for sleeping.  Sleeping has benefits and is a need for the human body.  However, someone might feel the need to wake up the sleeper to give her a blessing.

Yes this is a common occurrence.  Maybe not while literally sleeping, but often we find people giving us “blessings” when they are either not needed or not helpful.  In fact, even when the sentiment is true, we might be giving the “blessing” at the wrong time.  How many have been told to keep their chin up because God will be a “doctor in the sick room” right when the person has not even dealt with the reality of the diagnoses?  How many have been told to “stop crying” for God will bless you right when their spouse has died?

Certainly these sentiments may be true, but just as the blessing that wakes the sleeper is the wrong time and becomes a curse, so does our promises of God’s aid at the wrong time.  Certainly we should and must bless folks, but what this text tells me is to make sure that the blessing is at the right time, or it will become a curse to the one receiving it.