Friday, January 26, 2007
Damnation vs. Expectation
OK, I did my usual internet browsing this morning and found myself at some organization that's trying to restore the displaying of the Ten Commandments throughout the state of Georgia. Taking nothing at face value, I decided to dig deeper and see what this groups motives are. Most of it seemed harmless enough; getting back to God's laws, reestablishing moral values, etc. I then followed your typical "Do you think that you're a good person?" salvation link, to see what their version is all about. I clicked through their questions, all put together quite nicely in a flash slideshow. I then reached the end and guess what - a full page description of how hell awaited me. And of course it was quick to inform me that this is where I was headed since "God was angry with me" for my "failing to live by His commandments".
Let's just assume that these are people that are genuinely concerned about others salvation (I mean, they have created an entire website about it after all). But scaring one into "salvation" just doesn't do the trick for me. How do I know this, you ask? Because I was the poster child for "scared of hell salvation". When I was 14, I "made a decision". That decision being I SURELY didn't want to go to hell! I'm not looking to dive into a theological debate here, but I'm convinced that the fear of hell or judgment is simply a good place to start, not the destination. So, getting back to today, this website really drove home what God's been speaking to me over the last couple of weeks. SALVATION IS ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN DO AND NOT ABOUT WHAT YOU CANNOT. Did you get that? If "Christianity" continues to be all about what I'm not allowed to do and how I have to change who I am, then we're headed for disaster. Who I am after I accept Christ is not who I was prior to. I've become a new creation - the old has passed the new has come. The Jesus in me will bring forth the transition, if I allow Him to have every part of me.
Now don't take this to the other extreme and assume I'm saying you can remain in sin and continue on living however you wish. What I am saying is this: The Bible is teeming with example after example of what I have in Christ and more importantly, who I am in Christ. I'm told that I'm a child of the King. I have been given power through the Holy Spirit. I can walk in joy and purpose, no matter what the circumstances. I am above and not beneath. I can use my hands to heal, I can overcome the cycles of sin that have kept me down for years. I have true life and peace that can never be found in "the world" and can never be taken from me. I can love others like I've never loved before, because I've experienced true love and grace by God Himself.
So you see, it's not about what I can't do at all... it's all about what I can. Let's stop pointing fingers and looking down on those that aren't where we are, doing what we're doing. We're no better and we're no worse. I've simply chosen to latch onto God's grace with all that I am, and this grace is waiting for them, too. So, rather than tell someone about the atrocities of hell, I choose to say, "Grace awaits you! Love awaits you! Purpose awaits you! See what you can have and then allow the Holy Spirit to sort out what you cannot."
Help us Lord, we're in need of Your assistance down here.