Thursday, 24 January 2013

Christianity - Free Lamborghini or McLaren anyone?

Here's a really quick splurge from my grey matter onto the electronic paper of this blog and I apologise for typos, rushed edits and and confusuioon but here goes:

Last night saw the second evening of an Alpha course that we are running jointly with our local Methodists and as we chatted about the Cross and addressed the question, 'Why did Jesus die?' I became very aware of the fact that, generally speaking, many churches (and members) I engage with appear  to fail to make the cost of commitment real and obvious.

For me the answer to the question 'Why' is summed up in the words of John 3:16:

'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God didn't send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that through Him (Jesus) it (the world = us) might be saved!'

The 'Why' for God and the 'What' for us are both clearly visible.

God - Die

Us - Believe and accept that salvific act (made ONCE, for ALL, upon a CROSS)

Simples innit?

So here we are, God is offering us, free and gratis something that is precious and unique, namely:

i. Restoration of relationship with God,

ii. The breaking of the power of sin (which is of course death - and by coming back on Easter Sunday He handed it back to satan with the words, 'Whoops, broken it!', and

iii. The becoming of a new creation - through the indwelling and enabling of the Holy Spirit, one that is about to live within the freedom of 'free choice' making the right choices (and wrong choices, when they are taken, less often).

And all we have to do is accept it and keep it on the road. But it is just too easy to have God bear all the cost and us live with all the benefits. There is a cost for us too and many of my friends over the years have paid out (often sacrificially in terms of money, marriages and relationships) to keep cars on the road, aircraft in the air and radios on the airwaves. Others have devoted free time to trains (real and model) or stamp collecting or many of the other hobbies people have, and this is where it gets hard for me when it comes to Christianity.

I know people who put everything on the line for a hobby and know many people who claim to be Christian and yet are willing to do nothing but accept and demand and give the very minimum in time, money and energy.

If I were to offer you one of the top marques of car (Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, etc.) free of charge, how many would take my hand off in the rush to accept it? But to keep a car like that on the road take some real commitment (and it's not just money I'm talking of here).

A friend with one such car told me how it cost him 'a few thousand' every year to keep his beloved super car on the road and yet, he claimed, it was worth it because look at what he had!

God, through the Cross of Christ offers each of us something that cost Him everything and lasts not just for our lifetime but for eternity and yet many of us will commit less to keeping it on the road than we do for our hobbies and pastimes - after all they cry, 'it's a free gift - how can it cost us anything?'

And oddly, these are also more, often than not the same people who complain about the lack of things being done in the church. They are the same people who wished to be served and to be cared for and to be provided for and to be made happy and listened to and obeyed (yep - that too) and yet they don't put anything in to keep the vehicle that is the church or the component that is their life working effectively and efficiently.

Now here's some questions:

Are you the problem or the solution?

Are you willing to pay (and I don't mean with mere money) to keep your faith on the road?

Is your faith an interest (your hobby) or a life-changing, life-long commitment?

Are you willing to pay what it takes or merely willing to take?

The time is coming when we need to realise that if you merely wish to be an associate member (and you're welcome as such) then you will also have to realise that whilst we can guarantee a life membership being open for you in Church, we cannot guarantee and eternal life membership.

Your choice

1 comment:

Mr. Mcgranor said...

I am thankful to Christ glory, and the proper will of man; that your Anglican church is in an ecumenical relation with Methodists--who are true brethren of the faith. It is essential, this venture; and extraneous to pretend, a spiritual relation with the Papist, or 'Catholic Lite'--Eastern and Oriental Orthodox.