“We must base our thinking on the rugged facts of life according to God’s book, and not according to the finesse of modern civilization. Let us not be so careful as to how we offend or please human ears, but let us never offend God’s ears.” Oswald Chambers
Let’s face it, being a Christian these days (a Bible-believing Christian that is) is offensive and divisive. Not because we embrace those things, but because the message of Christ is a stumbling block for many. The message of the cross is foolishness to most people (I Corinthians 1:18) and it is completely at odds with what our culture values. The gap between what the world preaches and what Jesus says grows wider by the day. It’s easy to find ourselves in a kind of spiritual no-man’s land between the two. Do we make the Word of God try and fit into the world? Or do we try and influence our world with the Word?
Our culture tries to dictate to us what we should believe. I read on a blog just today a comment to the writer that said, “I just LOVE your version of God! Your version makes more sense!” Of course we want God to make sense, but creating our own versions of Him to fit into today’s culture isn’t a winning strategy. This writer has a cult-like following. People call her ‘brave’ for making Jesus fit into today’s culture. Do you know what I think is brave? Standing by the authentic, Biblical Jesus and holding fast to what He said. Deliberate, thoughtful reading of God’s Word is a huge part of that. Without it, we form our own ideas, our own versions of the truth that never work. The more powerless we feel, the more we build up our own ideas to explain away why things aren’t working.
“having a form of godliness, but denying it’s power…” 2 Timothy 3:5
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3
People who desire the applause of other people will say what others want to hear. There’s much dialogue to be had with no real solutions. In our efforts to revamp Jesus, we’ve totally lost Him. He doesn’t need a PR firm, He just needs us to proclaim what He has already done.
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.” 2 Timothy 4:2
“Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.” Colossians 4:4
“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.” Matthew 10:27
“They went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.” Acts 16:20
When we just share the “rugged facts” as God gave them – not our own watered-down versions or what we think people want to hear – the randomness and powerlessness stops. In it’s place we find freedom, and answers that translate over into our every day lives. Relationships are mended. Sicknesses are healed. Strongholds are broken. That’s what happens when we apply God’s Word, because there is a person behind those words backing them up. The bravest choice we can make is to value God’s opinion over man’s. That’s being a disciple. Accepting that it means what is says and says what it means.
Be clear. Be bold. Love the truth and speak it in love. That’s how disciples are made and lives changed. Honor God by putting what He says above all else.