Friday, October 23, 2009

Convient Christianity

Would you ever expect someone to admit that they are only a "convenient Christian?" I sure wouldn't have, yet this past Wensday that's exactly what happened. A young man working a bank, when I asked what he believed, replied, "well, I guess I'd call myself a convient Christian, I grew up Lutheran, but I don't go to church much anymore. But I try to lead a good life." I responded by explaining the hopelessness of those outside Christ, and how he could never be a good enough person to merit heaven.

I explained how even lust and anger, are equal in the eyes of God to adultery and murder, by which he was surprised. I gave him the hope of Christianity, how it gives purpose, meaning, and philosophical foundation to stand on. He responded by pointing out that he was baptized. I told him, "the Bible say baptism is not enough." I then encouraged him to start reading the Bible, and told him I'd be praying for him.

By this you can see how twisted people's concepts of Christianity must be. "Christian" to this man is merely a title to keep him out of hell. So long as he said "Yeah, I'm a Christian," he feels safe. It's like he wrote his own ticket to heaven and bought it with all his "good" works. In reality, despite claiming the name of Christ, he has rejected him. In fact he has taken God's name in vain. He is committing blasphemy and bringing shame to Jesus' name, for every unbeliever that sees this man, will feel justified in their own "goodness." And as long as there are "convient Christians" like him, unbelievers will see the title of "Christian," as a title of hypocrisy and superstition. May God have mercy on his soul for the sake of Christ.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thr3e (a book review)

Thr3e is a spectacularly engaging book by Christian author, Ted Dekker. While a novel, it reaches into the critical discussion of the nature of man.
One man, Kevin, a seminary student, is stalked by Slater (a man so wicked he is like evil personified). Slater terrifies Kevin with threats and explosions, commanding him to "confess" or suffer. But Kevin claims innocence of anything that needs confession. He is aided by his childhood friend Samantha. She is the kindest, wisest, person he knows and is now a detective. This plot line is the basis for the book's message, it's worldview.
The premise of the worldview, is that in every human, there is "good, evil, and the poor soul struggling in between." While the book admits that man is depraved, it does not admit total depravity. Instead it implies there is a continual war being waged between the good in all men, and the evil all in men, with all having the capacity to do good. It is said that without God, the evil cannot be completely defeated, yet according to the book it is the good in men that keeps them from committing more atrocities than they do, not the common grace of God, and it is strongly suggested that it is the "good" in man which gives him the capacity to "choose" God. In addition to these worldview flaws, (actually heir to these flaws) is the implication that the Christian's fight for righteousness no different than the unbelievers struggle to be a "good person." Yet we know from scripture that "even the plowing of the wicked is sin." Therefore how can an unsaved man, who is wicked, do good?
With all this said, I would recommend the book. The story was brilliant and despite his theological shortcomings, Ted Dekker is a great author!