Yesterday I discussed how the Bible is no longer universally accepted as true and suggested that we need to prove that following its precepts is the best alternative before we can expect men to try it. I also noted that we need to think of the Bible not as an expressed philosophy but as a Revelation of Jesus. In other words, a lived out Christian life is the best gospel.
This morning I woke up thinking about another related problem that modern man has in accepting the Gospel. It’s now almost universal belief that we should get to make the rules. Consider in the age when Jesus walked the earth almost everyone lived under some kind of totalitarian government. Rome ruled the world. After that came the dark ages, when the strongest ruled, then the era of Kings.
Democracy and Republics with their concepts of governance by the will of the people is relatively new in civilization. Even today consider how much stronger the Christian church is in areas of repression like China or Africa. In Europe and, at least partially in America, where self-governance is the norm, Christianity is almost passe’.
Even though our “democracies” have really allowed the development of governments that run our lives, people still labor under the misconception that we have government “by the people.” So the idea that we should follow rules set forth from above doesn’t sit well. This is another reason why “God said it. I believe it and that settles it” just doesn’t fly anymore.
Although it is perfectly reasonable to believe that He who made everything should get to make the rules, we have to realize that western man has trouble accepting that. Once again I believe the answer is in debunking the myths about Christianity and providing people with the real truth. Christianity isn’t a set of rules; it’s a relationship. If we follow the Lord, we will live a life consistent with our purpose and thus filled with satisfaction.
Notice I said “satisfaction” which means “joy.” It doesn’t mean peace and it doesn’t promise an absence of problems. One of the great mistakes of modern evangelism is to convey the idea that following Christ comes with promises of peace, problem free living and prosperity. Even a cursory reading of the gospels shows that isn’t so.
God makes the rules because He made us. But we are blessed that He is a loving God and His rules are not repressive or oppressive. They are made by the one who knows and wants the best for us. Christianity is an exciting, challenging, soldier-like life. It is being what we were designed to be.
If presented accurately, it sells itself.