My Fitness

Friday, November 4, 2016

are you good at defending God?

I am currently wearing this shirt:

In the diamond it reads, "We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19"

I ran an errand and a cashier complimented my shirt. She said it was her favorite verse. I replied that we all needed the reminder. She said, "Yeah, we need more people defending him. That's what's so wrong with this country."

She had to help other people who needed her attention but I was tempted to ask her what she meant.

God doesn't need you to defend him. He doesn't need you to believe in him. He doesn't need you. He doesn't need.

Perhaps she means something more along the lines of "defending her faith" which would be defending herself and not God. But the impression I got was that she felt we needed to take care of God and protect him. If that is actually what she meant, then I think we found our country's real culprit: bad theology. Decades and decades worth of theologically illiterate people.

Theology matters. If you're a cultural Christian, you're not a Christian. If you're really a Christian, it doesn't matter what the culture is like. We are so heavily influenced by our culture that we usually can't see where our Christian Culture ends and our Redemption begins.

There are thousands and millions of people who think they are good Christians because they don't drink alcohol. They explain that when Jesus was drinking the Bible got it wrong. Jesus would never do something that their culture says is bad (never mind the entire point of the Good Samaritan).

There are others who think that not smoking is a bonus point with God. Lots of people think homeschooling is what Real Christians do. Millions are being deceived right now into thinking that the only option for a Christian Voter is to vote Republican. -This last one is so obviously wrong and you'll see why when I point out that most Christians are not allowed to vote for US elections because they're not American.

We are so blinded by culture that we don't even consider non-American cultures.

Theology matters. God doesn't need your help. You need his help. You will fall for anything if you don't start studying different theologians. If you only listen to Brother Wilson (made up name) from your small hometown and shout "amen" at every service no matter what he says, that is foolish. If you only listen to Pastor Chuck (made up name) from your huge city megachurch and you discount every naysayer without looking into the matter, that is foolish.

Get a good Lutheran theologian, like Luther (duh). Get a good Calvinist theologian, like Calvin. Get some Augustine. Get some Piper. Get some Stott. Get some Lewis. Read their books and blogs. Listen to their sermons and podcasts. They don't all agree. Find out where they do agree. Read their Biblical analysis and start forming your own opinion. Don't be foolish but rather be like the Bereans who tested everything that Paul the Apostle taught them.

[The one stipulation that I can think of is if you are having difficulty following their reasoning and discussions. We are all weak in some areas. Some basic theology might be too much for you to understand. That's ok. Jesus didn't say, "Understand all things and you will be saved." We simply can't know all things. We are simple. What you need to know at the most basic level is that God loves you and sent his son, Jesus, to die so that those who believe will enter heaven in the after-life. Love God and love your neighbor; everything else falls under those two statements. ]

A God who needs your help is not strong enough to save you. Don't worship that God.

My help comes from God (Psalm 121:2). Not the other way around.


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