Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Harsh Hypothetical?

Imagine for a minute that there was an amazing politician. One that in today’s opinion was as great as some of the leaders from history that we have filtered in such a way as to only see the good stuff about them. A modern day Lincoln; a JFK without the extramarital weakness. Now imagine that one day you receive a letter from this person inviting you to be their friend. They want to hang out with you, have access to regular conversations with you. They want you to help them change the world for the better. What would your response be?

Many people, most probably, would doubt the whole thing. Who would believe that someone that important would want anything to do with me? Who would believe anything from a politician anyway? They are probably just looking for votes or contributions. Into the trash with the rest of the junk mail it goes.

Others would indeed believe the invitation. They would go around telling everyone that this important person wants their friendship. But for whatever reason, busyness, laziness, fear… they wouldn’t do anything about it.

A few would go so far as to believe the invitation was true and even accept it. They would respond to the politician and accept their friendship. They might even meet with them once or twice. They would let everyone know who they were. “I’m friends with so-and-so, you know.” They would be proud of their position and connection, but that would be about the extent of their response. They wouldn’t really go all the way. Daily talks, spending time with the politician, actually working for them or changing their life to accommodate the politician’s agenda and mission? Not so much.

Finally, someone might truly accept the invitation. They would change their life and spend daily time building a friendship. If they really engaged intellectually with the politician and understood the changes that needed to be made to make the world a better place; they would do all that they could to help make it happen. Such a relationship would require an investment, a possibly radical life change.

If you switched out the politician in this hypothetical with the creator of the universe, I think a lot of the people who call themselves “Christians” would be good examples of the second or third group listed above. I think the Bible only understands people in the final group to have what it calls “faith.”

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