Despite what many people in our culture may think, anyone who reads the Bible will soon discover that Christianity is NOT a system for Good people trying to live good lives. When people say, ‘I don’t believe in God or Jesus – but I’m just as much a good Christian as you..’ You can be sure that probably through no fault of their own they either missed the point or were given a description of Christianity that was about religion and rules and quite rightly rejected it. But the REAL gospel – the good news, starts with the bad news that you’re not good. You’re more sinful than you ever dared believe; and more loved than you ever dared hope. Because of the cross of Christ, if we exchange our own messed up record, we get his spotless one. That’s how we end up being ‘counted or reckoned as good.’ Justified, the Bible says. Because of Jesus taking the punishment for my sins, I’m justified – it’s ‘justasifI’d’ never sinned. If that’s all news to you, please get hold of […]
The cross, crossed people out. They didn’t matter anymore. It was a death that deliberately stripped all dignity. You were belittled. That means you were being, littled. Jesus’ cross was inconsequential. The sign above his head ‘King of the Jews’ – a bitter irony. He was nothing. Crossed out.
One of the great errors of the modern West has been to deny, despite abundant evidence, the fact that all human beings are flawed in the area of morality. We are all ‘sinners’ and only grace keeps evil in check.
It’s a strong word isn’t it? Evil. Some will read this post and say, “Speak for yourself, I’m a good person.”
This coming Sunday I’ll be speaking on the line in Lennon’s Imagine when he said, “Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can, nothing to kill or die for, a brotherhood of man.” Is money the root of all evil (as the Bible is often misquoted as saying?). Are poor people in some sense better off? Would the world be better if they just gave everyone the same, whether a little or a lot? How long would that system last? One of my readings is the famous story of the ‘Rich Young Ruler.’ He appears in all three of the Synoptic gospels, went away from Jesus sad, because he had a lot of money. Does more make you miserable? Your thoughts and ideas appreciated, as I try to gather mine.