Saturday, 5 July 2014

Why Christianity makes no ‘Sense’

By the word sense, I mean ordinary human understanding or knowledge. The Bible tells us in 1Corinthians 3:19 that human wisdom is considered by God as foolishness. So yes, many things in Christianity seem foolish or senseless to a typical non-Christian. Let’s look at some of them.

God saving Mankind through the death of Jesus: The other day I watched a debate between a Christian and a Muslim on Youtube. One of the issues the Muslim scholar had against Christianity was our belief that God sent His son to take on human form and suffer death on our behalf. 

The Muslim said it was unthinkable for God to reduce or humble Himself to that level. He wondered if any earthly King or President would do that, how much more the Heavenly King? Well God is not only the King of kings, the Creator, but He is also a Father. Many fathers and mothers will often sacrifice their comfort for the sake of their children. It is for this reason that Jesus,God’s only begotten Son, was sacrificed on the Cross that we might be saved. In Phillipians 2:5-8 we read:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who,being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather,he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

Salvation cannot be earned but received: Almost all other religions teach that to attain eternal life, you must work hard: do good deeds, meditate, etc. It is only Christianity that teaches that to receive eternal life we should just ask for it! Good deeds from a Christian are from a grateful and redeemed heart, not as a way of earning salvation. However this concept is too simple and mind-boggling! And this is largely because many people don’t know how to receive things for free especially very expensive things. 

We have repeated the cliché “if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is”, so many times that we don’t believe in the free gift of eternal life. Besides, human beings are usually proud, we want to feel we  deserve eternal life because of what we did. This makes many people sneer at Christians and consider them weak. Ephesians 2:4-5, 8-9 says:
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. For it is by grace (God’s unmerited favor) you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

The Almighty God sees everyone as equal: Naturally this doesn’t sit well with human beings. We like to categorise people, we just love it! But God doesn’t do that and doesn’t see us any differently. We are all His kids, regardless of economic or social class,gender, race, or even age. 

We are even called joint-heirs with Jesus Christ,imagine that! This therefore gives us the privilege of approaching God not with fear but with the confidence of children going to a loving Father who cares deeply about them. Yes we respect others who are in authority over us, but that doesn’t mean we see them as demi-gods or as better than we are.  

We see ourselves through the eyes of God as His beloved children in whom He delights. This in turn makes the Christian to show love and understanding towards others, even those who do not share His/Her beliefs.

The Gift of the Holy Spirit: What transformed Peter, a fearful man who denied Jesus before a servant girl, to boldly proclaim Jesus before thousands on Pentecost Day? The Holy Spirit! What makes Christian Martyrs both in ancient times and even in modern times to stand resolute for Jesus, even in the face of death? The Holy Spirit. What makes Christians continue praising God even in the face of persecution and uncertainties of life? The Holy Spirit! 

He is called the Comforter according to Jesus in John 14:26 “But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate,Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name[in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.” The Holy Spirit makes all the difference in a Christian.

Believing is seeing:  "Seeing is believing" is an accepted way of life, we often want evidence before we believe. But for a Christian, this faith is anchored in the knowledge that we have a loving and powerful Father, who is more than able to do beyond and above all we could ever ask or imagine. So we rest in His Hands, confident that if He has said something, He will bring it to pass. We rest in His will, knowing that whatever happens, all things work together for the good of them who love Him.

I must say that not all Christians live like Christ. True Christians are known not by name but by deeds. Only a deep relationship with God through Jesus Christ can make a person live out their faith in a way that makes no 'sense' but yet is so appealing to others. The world is desperate for something that is authentic, my prayer is that as Christians, we will shine our lights brightly where ever we are, so that people can find in Christ the source of Life itself.

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