Monday, April 26, 2010
Mark Of The Christian
So we come again to the question: Could the theology of the cross be the litmus test of genuine Christianity in our day? The corrupt and the counterfeit push aside the whole concept of cross bearing in favor of a joy without it. Fake Christianity offers the Christian an imitation of Christ’s glory in heaven, not of his humiliation on earth. The phony and the artificial church turns worship into a spiritual happy hour devoid of repentance, with cheap absolution, with no thought of taking God seriously in either the law or the gospel. And people love it. They still get to be their own god, their own bible, their own source of ultimate truth and salvation.If there is such a thing as "self-defeating wisdom," I think we have here encountered it. The author, Daniel M. Deutschlander, has put his finger on so much that is wrong with the church, but to identify all of it, and then try to come up with a "litmus test" to counter it sort of defies reasons to me. All of the ills he so well defines are the result of other litmus tests. Yes, a missing decent theology of the cross seems to be a common denominator - but litmus test is an idea that should be rejected.
There is no judge but Christ, and when we establish a "litmus test," any such test, we imply that we have a handle on it and are capable of judging. We are not capable of judging and we can have no such handle, for we are NOT God.
This does not mean the church is some sort of "free-for-all." God has given us some pretty clear behavioral standards to enforce, but even that is a step short of judgment about who is and who is not a "real" Christian - it's a simple statement of "to be a part of this, you have to act in this way."
God works in all lives and He does so in the way that is best suited to the individual. God created us to be free creatures, not to be robots that look exactly alike. The sooner we, as His followers, can wrap our heads around that, the sooner we will take a giant step towards being who we were created to be.