Now that I actually see those words, I don’t feel so bad. What do you think?
I want, not just a revival, but a full-on reset. Well, almost. We’d need to keep the most essential element in order to press forward.
That we are no longer “WOWed!” by the amount of data at our fingertips informs us that the information age is almost over. Its effects have been far reaching. Concepts like evolution, doctrine, hidden gospels, church abuses, and many questionable traditions have been thrust into the spotlight. Everyone interested can learn all about these things. From a near-outsider perspective, the result seems to be a palpable lack of focus. Should the Church cater to the people? Should the Church cling to tradition? Should the Church do this? Should the Church do that?
Last Sunday I heard a sermon that covered a verse from the Bible that mentioned the words “predestine” and “foreknow”. The preacher preambled much longer than normal before beginning to teach what these words mean. Why did he need to preamble? Because nearly 2000 years have muddied the waters. Within the Church, “predestine” and “foreknow” are now hot button issues. That means that some of you may already be put-off that I included them here.
To me, they are nothing more than stumbling blocks.
Here’s the question that can’t be avoided: How far would Jesus go to save a person? Remember, we’re talking about reality. Life, death, heaven, hell, love, separation, light, darkness–the real. The simple fact is that we know more about the Bible and it’s authors today, than many believers did for the last 2000 years. Some of the new information is difficult to reconcile. Most of the new information is difficult to ignore. Would Jesus ask us to reconcile it? Would He ask us to ignore it? Would He sweepingly reject it as clearly the work of the devil?
What’s the first step to this reset? Forget everything you know about Christianity except Jesus. Study him. If other books of the Bible need to be referenced to figure out Him out, reference them. Reference them insofar as they help us understand Him, but no farther. For example, take again the words “predestine” and “foreknow.” Did He reference those ideas? If not, ignore them. I want to ignore what we know about the formation of the church, the early church leaders, the saints, church history, everything (even Paul). Whether definitely confusing or likely helpful, I want to ignore it. For now. A deliberate act. A purposeful act. An act with the end in mind.
I believe I know what grace feels like. I also believe that despite my sincerest efforts I have contributed to others not knowing what grace feels like. I’m okay with that. But I won’t do it anymore. One option staring me in the face is resetting Christianity and beginning anew. I can’t picture the result of a unified focus on Jesus without having delusions of grandeur. It probably won’t happen. I’d sure like to try. How about you?