Pastor's Corner

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On Being a Christian


There is something inherently backward about the view of the person who sees or treats Christianity like it is a system of rules. They imagine God has established some set of hard and fast rules which must be obeyed or you fail and are rejected. Much of this comes from a misunderstanding of the Old Testament, and the laws which governed the lives of the nation of Israel. Then this misunderstanding is lifted off of the pages of the Old Testament and overlaid upon the New Testament, with no regard for what is being said and done there.

Being a Christian is not so much about wearing ourselves out constantly avoiding sin, than it is about actively and courageously seeking the face of God, seeking the will of God, and then doing it...every day. Yes, God addresses some lifestyle choices and behaviors He tells us to not do or to avoid, we cannot read the Bible and miss those unless we just don’t want to see them. But with God, much of what He has told us has to do with human flourishing, rather than a system to keep us down.

And what is more is the God of the Bible has not given us “case law” the way American courts now determine a ruling. Instead God more often than not provides principles based in the nature of God himself, in truth, in reality, and according to the manner He created us. Case law creates an environment where flaws and exceptions can be sought out to excuse ourselves from obligation. Principles provide an expanse of application which hems in the criminal, and opens the door wide for the one who is seeking God. This is why Christianity has been embraced in so many cultures, in so many nations, and across so many generations. The Christian in Africa worships God in his or her own language and in a style of music which stirs their heart, and this is true in China and anywhere else in the world. The Christian in Mumbai follows Christ with his or her whole heart in a way that lines up with the Bible within their culture, and again, so it is everywhere else in the world.

What God has given us is relational more than it is legal, His words are given to encourage life rather than death. As we follow Christ we pray not because it is an obligation to a religious rite, we pray because we desire to be in God’s presence. We read and study our Bibles, not out of command, but out of a desire to know God more deeply and intimately. We gather with other Christians not as a system to check in with someone, but because there is something wonderful about being in the midst of God’s people. (Psalm 133)

Hebrews 12:18 “For you have not come to {a mountain} that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind,”

Coming to Christ is coming to life, not to something fearful and strangled by rules. Coming to Christ you are coming to someone who willingly gave His life for you, and He invites you to come close without fear. (1 John 4:18

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