Monday, 7 May 2012

The Christian Gospel simply explained for sincere enquirers

Contrary to popular opinion, this is in fact God's world whether or not people believe it. God created the universe and everything in it including you and me. He placed us on the world at this particular point in history.

Christians believe this about God because we believe that he has clearly made himself known. He is not a God who is playing silly games with us. Whether or not people choose to recognise this, Christians believe that God uniquely revealed himself in the historic person of Jesus Christ.

The whole idea of God taking on human flesh and coming into our world, which is the major contention of Christianity, does at first glance seem singularly unlikely. However, an illustration of C S Lewis is helpful at this point. Lewis asks the question how a creature can have a meaningful encounter with his creator. He takes the example of Shakespeare and Hamlet. He asks how these two people could possibly meet and concludes that there is no way that Hamlet can bring about a meeting with Shakespeare. It is quite outside his sphere of possibilities and in fact the only way these two people could meet is if Shakespeare had taken the initiative and written himself into the play as one of its characters; there on the stage Shakespeare could meet Hamlet. The analogy is obvious.

Christians believe that God has done what men could not possibly do, that he has written himself into the script of history as its foremost figure. Here, God confronts man. Jesus does not walk as a man among equals, but stands among them as their rightful Lord, the King of all creation. We believe this fact to have been clearly demonstrated by his resurrection from the dead.

None of us lives as though this were the state of affairs. All men without exception, including the most religious of men, have rebelled against the rule and authority of the King. None of us has lived in God's world the way he intends us to. The rebellion may be active hostility against God, or it may equally well be passive indifference.

God says to man the only thing you would expect in such circumstances and that is, 'Stop rebelling, this is not your world but mine. Therefore live in it my way!'

If we do not surrender but continue to strut about God's world as if we owned the place, doing our own thing and playing king in our own little worlds, then at the end of the day, God will be God and rebels will be overthrown.

But if we do stop rebelling and come before the Lord of the universe in humble surrender we are no longer treated as rebels and a general amnesty is declared. This complete forgiveness and acceptance by God is made possible by Christ's historic death on the cross, for it was there that he took on himself the punishment that our rebellion deserves. Furthermore, we are no longer treated as rebels, but we are adopted as his sons and daughters and come into an altogether new relationship with the God who made us. We respond to God's offer through repentance (turning from things we know to be wrong) and faith (believing in and committing our lives to Christ).

In summary therefore, the first proposition is that we know that God exists because he has clearly revealed himself in the historic person of Jesus Christ, who is the rightful king of the universe. Secondly, all men are rebellious to the idea that God has a right to rule their life. Thirdly, God tells us to stop rebelling. Fourthly, if we continue to run our own lives and reject his authority, God will be God over us and we will ultimately be overthrown. Fifthly, if we do surrender, we are no longer treated as rebels but are welcomed into a new relationship as his adopted sons and daughters.

(Adapted from Confident Christianity)

8 comments:

  1. "He is not a God playing silly games with us".
    How arrogant. First, stop trying for equality with Creator. Without putting man down, acknowledge that the intellectual and power difference between man and Creator is greater than the difference between a microbe on a flea on your cat to you, the owner of the cat. Got that?? Now....consider that Creator might have made our 3D+time universe and put us into it because He figured we'd be fun to watch. (Maybe the dinosaurs got to be boring?) Forget all that arrogant love stuff and consider that Creator is the Potter and we are the clay. Get off your high horse and admit what we are; mud people that the Jesus part of the creator took a liking to and stop thinking about how we are so great and killed God but think about what it was like for Jesus to put off the God-stuff for 33 years and become a human (microbe) instead of being God. THAT is a sacrifice! If you think of us as being invented by Creator to be fun to watch instead of continuing to demand equality with Creator, most of the questions regarding theology goes away. Comment??
    Blessings
    RMay dick.may@verizon.net

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    Replies
    1. Trouble is the Bible is really big on the God loving us love stuff - the "we're just playthings" view has absolutely no evidence to support it other than your own assertion - which some might say is a rather more arrogant position than Dr Saunders!

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  2. "Jesus does not walk as a man among equals, but stands among them as their rightful Lord, the King of all creation. We believe this fact to have been clearly demonstrated by his resurrection from the dead."

    Except that Jesus never claimed to be god, this theology was invented 70 years after he died and there is no evidence that Jesus came back to life, none whatsoever, only ancient stories which we know were made up.

    "All men without exception, including the most religious of men, have rebelled against the rule and authority of the King. None of us has lived in God's world the way he intends us to. The rebellion may be active hostility against God, or it may equally well be passive indifference."

    Well it's kinda difficult to follow something which is so lacking in evidence, consistency and definition. I mean, if he was actually really telling people how to behave then you'd have a point, but all you've got are ancient text, myriad inconsistent sects and no clear, unequivocal message from god. It's almost as though he's not real.

    "God says to man the only thing you would expect in such circumstances and that is, 'Stop rebelling, this is not your world but mine. Therefore live in it my way!'"

    So god doesn't want us to have free will then. Christianity is just full of holes. Either god wants us to be free or he wants us to do exactly as he wants, like a tyrannical dictator. Which is it to be?

    "If we do not surrender but continue to strut about God's world as if we owned the place, doing our own thing and playing king in our own little worlds, then at the end of the day, God will be God and rebels will be overthrown."

    You make god sound like some sick Mafia boss or a horrible parent who wants to bash his children around for being themselves. I cannot imagine a more despicable god.

    "This complete forgiveness and acceptance by God is made possible by Christ's historic death on the cross, for it was there that he took on himself the punishment that our rebellion deserves"

    If Jesus took the punishment then it's not forgiveness, it's restitution. They are mutually exclusive, by definition. Which is it to be?

    Also, I'm against animal and human sacrifice, it's immoral and any respectable god wouldn't make this a requirement of so-called (mis-called) 'forgiveness'. How does a tortuous death make things better? What kind of message does that send out? The core of Christian doctrine is sick, immoral, twisted and downright wrong.

    A real god would do better than that.

    "we know that God exists because he has clearly revealed himself in the historic person of Jesus Christ"

    That's just a stupid circular argument. Is that the best you can do? And you wonder why people who actually think about Christianity have a hard time believing such nonsense?

    "who is the rightful king of the universe"

    I'm against monarchies. They are immoral. No-one has the birthright to rule over any other person. Monarchies are an ancient, anachronistic, immoral way of ruling and if we were starting from scratch we wouldn't invent them, that's why most countries today don't have one.

    "Secondly, all men are rebellious to the idea that God has a right to rule their life"

    Yes, because that's immoral.

    "Thirdly, God tells us to stop rebelling"

    Rebelling against what? God's never told me, in person, to stop anything. All I've had is ancient scrolls and myriad religions thrust down my throat and that proves nothing except that god can't be arsed to tell me in person or doesn't exist.

    "if we continue to run our own lives and reject his authority, God will be God over us and we will ultimately be overthrown"

    Like I said, evil Mafia boss, celestial dictator. Your view of god is one of an immoral god.

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  3. The Gospel message always divides people - as Paul says in 2 Corinthians to some it is the fragrance of life and to others the stench of death.

    Some embraced Jesus as Saviour and Lord. Others rejected him and nailed him to a cross. That has always been the way and always will be.

    If you are interested in follow up questions to this gospel presentation there are plenty under the apologetics tag on this blog.

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  4. >as Paul says in 2 Corinthians

    fraudulent bullshitters' conceits, dressed up with hilariously wanky back stories, used to badge up the waffle of any creep fancying pontificating can say whatever any such creep fancies

    bag of shite

    i apologetics tag

    aka flakey feeble rambling cock supported by fuck all but half arsed extrapolation from the rambling crap of previous bullshitters

    feel free to stick this wretched God concept somewhere away from decent people

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  5. >That has always been the way and always will be.

    feeble, desperate, self serving whining crap

    those with such ungainsayable magick pixie motifs at their beck and call certainly seem to have been active in the naily uppy line of things throughout history

    >plenty under the apologetics tag on this blog

    the quantity of bollocks is not strained

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  6. When I was going through a really hard time I went to London to St Pauls Cathedral. I had never been there before but I arranged to meet up with some other of the women who were being persecuted in the secret family courts, accused of having Parental Alienation Syndrome. No-one else turned up, a few met up at the Royal Courts of Justice where we were going to read out some documents, but none of them wanted to go to St Pauls, so I went there on my own. I had selected three psalms in my Bible before I set off, they were Psalm 35, 36 and 37. I intended to quietly sit in St Pauls and read them out as a prayer.

    When I got inside St Pauls a man wearing a long black robe invited me and others to join the service, I was sitting on the seats in front, and he led us into the choir stalls so we could join the service. I sat quietly reading my selected Psalms in my Bible, then some men women and children came in front of us, dressed in red and white and they started singing. I sat listening, and was just astonished when I realised what they were singing was psalm 35 and they went on to sing psalm 36. I had a different version of the Bible to what they were singing, so didn't realise at first, but when I realised I felt so happy inside, I just knew God had heard my prayer.

    I just know God exists but I still have days where I fall apart, but God is there all right.

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