Sunday, February 27, 2005

Christian Seeming

One of the great problems that Christians face in witnessing to their faith is other Christians. At least, the problem is other people who call themselves Christians. These others don't show any signs of being different than they were before their Christian commitment.

One might wonder how it is that people can make a commitment and yet not change. The answer is simple: The commit with the intention of baptizing the way they already live. By that I mean that they seek to dub their lives Christian without their actually conforming to Christ. Instead of having their lives be Christian because they conform to Christ, the seek to call their lives Christian because they have undergone an initiation into the church by making a verbal commitment that never reaches the heart. They just want the freedom to live as they always have without fearing Hell.

Author Harry Turtledove in his book "Between The Rivers" presents an encounter between a character, Sharur, and a goddess, Fasillar. Fasillar is angry with Sharur because, in her estimation, he does not really obey gods, but merely calls himself obedient all the while living to circumvent the gods' will. The encounter proceeds:

"[Sharur] said, 'Great goddess of this town, great goddess of this land, I will appease you and the other gods of this town, the other gods of this land, with any contrition-offering you ask of me, short of my life or the lives of my countrymen. I want no more from you than to trade my wares for the wares of this land and to return to my city, to return to my god, in peace.'"

"No, ' Fasillar said...' A contrition-offering depends upon true contrition. You, man of Gibil, you would make the offering and speak the words of contrition with your mouth, while your heart laughed within you. For the gods of this town, for the gods of this land, to accept such an offering would be for us to eat of poisoned fruit. Better it were never made.'"

"Sharur bit his lip. Fasillar had indeed seen what was in his mind: he would have made the offering as part of the price of doing business in the Alaskurru Mountains, not because he repented of being what he was."

God does not call people on their own hypocrisy like that. At least, He has not. Not yet. But He will. The day will come when He will say "Away from me, for I never knew you."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think it matters how far along the pilgrimage of Christianity one is, there always seem to be personally tainted ideals of what is expected of them (or anyone else for that matter), whether the person thinking it is aware of it or not. Wouldn't that make each of us hypocritical to one degree or another? Isn't this where the grace of God would take over?

Jordan said...

I agree with you anonymous, however, I think PB is talking about folks who know they are not really in the service of the King yet they continue the sharade for whatever reason. I am aware that I am a hypocrite and I think most people who know me would agree however they would also agree with me when I say that I am in the pursuit of God as he pursues me, my failings are my fault but I continually seek conformity with Christ, I think most believers do. For those is the other compartment, claiming to be one thing and displaying something else that is. I say we should pray for their hearts to be broken, I know God has broken me. I am not sure whether I was saved before, maybe its a process... who knows, I am no theologian, all I know is that the day my heart was penitrated was the day I started living for Christ, faults and all (in me that is).