The Whiskey Chronicles 23 – No need for religion, Let alone Jesus Christ

 As I wander through the lives of my friends it no longer surprises me that they have no need of religion, let alone Jesus Christ. Their lives are engulfed in work, families, extra-curricular activities, sports, etc. They have no time to consider that there might be a God in the heavens who wants to give them everything He has. All they have to say, “Huh!”

     Ah! But there are “hoops”  to jump through! Membership in the Christian Club costs, right. They’ve come to believe that our faith is all about bondage, rules, and limitations on their lives. And they want none of it.

  All people see is subservience to a holy God who wants to subjugate them even more to His laws and limits.

     This comes after years of viewing the Church as a symbol of authority rather than a gateway to freedom from everything that binds people. If it is true that the Gospel points out sin, then it is equally true that Jesus Christ sets us free from our bondage to sin. Stating the obvious? Yes. But we rarely live as if we are free.

     So also do normal people look at our message and see, not freedom & forgiveness, but “Christian” rules and regulations to bind them. How then does that draw them to our gospel of life? Have you ever been hurt? Who hasn’t. How about doubts about whether this whole Christian thing is true? An accurate interpretation of reality? Many of us have.

     What about being betrayed of judged by another Christian? Yeah. Right. People who do not follow Christ’s way of life see it all. And they are skeptical about our claims of the “abundant life,” of the unity of our faith, and the freedom we know in Christ.

     How did we get here? Short of a lesson in church history, we have forgotten our first love. We have traded Christian love and community for positions of power and authority. One-upmanship.

     If ever our world is to see the love and salvation we share in our faith, then we have got to stop dividing against one another. We need to come together on critical issues of faith and practice. It is our hearts of compassion and forgiveness that our secular friends want…, & need.

“By this will everyone know that you are my disciples; that you love one-another.” [John 13:35]

     Years ago, a young college girl from Nigeria asked Starr and me how she could become a Christian. I replied “Why do you want to become a Christian?” Her response took us by surprise. “Because of the way I see you two love each other.” That hasn’t changed.

Loving God; loving people… and bringing the two together! ©

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