Monday, November 21, 2011

Discipleship Dangers

The essence of the Biblical Gospel message, as it relates to mankind’s response to God, consists of repentance, surrender and trust. There are multitudes of people in the world who sense the problem. They recognize evil and sin that is in the world and even acknowledge their own part in it. Where they struggle to accept the solution as the Bible presents it is that they cannot accept that they have to believe in the existence of a good God nor in the fact that they—in faith—must yield to Him and surrender their own will.

They cannot let go of the pride of their own understanding. They may wax poetically about all of the problems in the universe. About the way that things do not ultimately make any sense and the only thing to do is to try as best we can to enjoy life and make the world a better place. In their own limited understanding, they insist that there can be no god responsible for the mess of this universe and if there were, He could be no good god.

Now, the tragedy is that many “Christians” have simply replaced this form of pride with another. They believe that they have figured things out and “trust” in a god of their own understanding and creation.

If an atheist were to somehow recognize that faith means belief in something we cannot understand, and said atheist were to surrender and trust in the God of the Bible and what He says, all of that surrender would be in danger of being undone if they were discipled and helped by one of these “Christians.” Instead of exploring the Bible and learning from the Spirit to trust what it says, they would be indoctrinated into someone’s interpretation. They would be in danger of replacing one form of intellectual pride with another.

This is part of what attracts me to my evangelical, Baptist heritage where only the Bible is accepted for authority. That being said, we have enough ingrained interpretations (or downright misinterpretations) to keep us in need of regular correction and prayerful examination.

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