Thursday, December 6, 2007

Equal Access

"He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit." -- Ephesians 2:17-18

The work of Christ was about bringing peace between God and people. And, now the church, the extent ion of Christ for today, seems to be working to show how different and separate people are, not only from God, but from each other. There are times when those who would take the name Christian us that name in a way to set themselves above other people. However, every single person on the face of the planet has equal access to the the father, through the son. It is not the job of humans to determine who is in and who is not. It is not the job of humans to be in the management of the Kingdom, we are called to be in sales. Additionally the way we are called to offer Christ is not with a flashy sales pitch, or with obnoxious words shouted in judgment. Rather, our witness is to be the way in which we live our lives. I wonder what kind of world we would have if Christians decided to spend more time living the life of God than determining who was qualified or not?

1 comment:

Dana said...

I have been told by a group of Christians who I looked up to as having very close relationships to Christ and dedication toward dicipleship that I was not a Christian. After pointing to a passage in the bible during one of our Bible studies, they asked me if I thought I was a Christian, to which I replied "yes". Everyone sitting at the table gave me this look of pity with their mouths pursed. I can't remember who said it but it was said, "You are not a Christian according to the Bible". This may sound stupid but I believed them, after all it was written right there in the bible (I can't remember the exact verse but it was something about being baptized in water in order to receive the holy spirit. Though I was baptized at the age of 13, this group was insisting that I be baptized again, in their church, to make a renewal with God that I was a follower of Christ. A renewal was necessary, you see, because I had fallen away from Christ by not going to church every Sunday or praying and reading my Bible every day). I thought that I needed to be baptized again, in their church (very important), in order to be a "real" Christian. My heart was broken, I felt absolutely miserable. I wasn't just crying, I was sobbing. I loved Jesus, why couldn't I be a Christian already? I know I wasn't living a perfect life but Jesus was still my father. The people at the table acted as though I had crossed over to their side, finally, and they were very comforting. Can you imagine how confused I was?

I believe that if you love God, you are willing to give your entire life to him. But what does that mean? Did that mean that I should have been baptized in that church in order to receive the "real" holy spirit? I don't think that's the point now, but back then I thought, "why wouldn't I do that if I was really giving my life over to God?"

So now, what does it mean to be a Christian? Does it mean that you live a perfect life? Does it even mean that you TRY to live a perfect life? Is that even the point of it? Jesus came here, he was a man, he felt emotions, he knew people and the sins that they struggled with. God knows what its like. Thats why he died for our sins. That should be the message. I'm sorry, but I've tried the whole "try to be just like God", "try to live a perfect life" thing and its impossible. All I felt was guilt and shame.

Everyone has their own perspective, their own experiences, their own brain for crying out loud. No person will feel the same as another. Some people may not even consider sins that I feel are sins as sins in the first place. What is a sin after all? I once heard that "sin" originates from the term "missing the mark" (don't ask me where I heard that from, but it made sense). Missing the mark means being off target. Now if you consider that definition as opposed to the word "sin" all the sudden "sin" opens up to be this huge thing. Are you kidding me?! I probably miss the mark on an hourly basis. Once again, is this supposed to be about sin?

Call me crazy, but I think Christians are obsessed with sin. Perhaps an obsession about living in sin is missing the mark. What if that wasn't a Christian obsession anymore? Would the barriers drop down in the Christian realm? Would the barriers drop down between Christians and non-Christians?

One other side note: So many people do or say things that, to me, are definitely wrong or hurt someone else's feelings. I know that I do things all the time that I eventually found out later on really made somebody else angry. But I beleive that people do these things having absolutely no idea that they even did anything wrong in the first place. So when we get to heaven and we're judged, how could we be judged for things that we can't understand are wrong? Of course, we are dealing with God here, I think he can make anything happen. But then again, if we could see something that we did or said as wrong that we never could see before as being wrong then would we even be the same person? These questions just go on and on...interesting to think about though.