It’s all about love

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There are a lot of myths about Christians and Christianity that are repeated endlessly in our media, classrooms and casual conversations. It’s a faith that everyone in the West thinks they understand perfectly and have strong opinions about, however the views that people hold are often not based on any solid evidence. Because we might have gone to Catholic school or seen churches around town growing up, we tend to think we know what all that Christianity palaver is about. Familiarity has bred complacency, if not contempt.

The next time you see that old stone church near the centre of town that is now mostly uninhabited, ask yourself: ‘Why did they bother building it?’ Were they really just brainwashed and superstitious? Those buildings weren’t cheap, and the money was given to build it by the people of the local community. Why would communities have done that? What did they think they would get in return, and why is it that we never build anything so beautiful or transcendent today?

It’s an understatement to say that Christians have not always done a good job representing the faith to the world. When you read what Jesus said and did and then look at the words and actions of many Christians and church leaders today, the contradictions are stark. The recent Royal Commission into child sexual abuse breaks the heart of any God-fearing man or woman. So much cruelty and viciousness done by men, and it was usually men, who have put themselves in the position of representing Christ to the world. All I can say to those poor victims is that God will judge those men for what they did to you, and their punishment will be terrible to behold (Matthew 18:6-9).

Other people might have grown up inside a strongly Christian family or community and been hurt by it. It’s not an uncommon story to hear. There are Christian denominations who have become so focused on being good enough for God that they become harsh, even cruel. Although many of the people in such denominations may mean well, they do not resemble Jesus anymore. They resemble the Pharisees, putting burdens on people and using the law of God as a tool for social enforcement of rigid guidelines and oppressive standards. Jesus spent his time eating and feasting with sinners while preaching repentance to them. The Pharisees accused him of being a drunkard and a carouser. They also slandered his mother by saying He was illegitimate. If Jesus were to come back for a visit today, there are many so-called Christians who would do the same to Him again.

Despite what man has done to the faith, the purity of Jesus’ life and teachings is still there recorded in scripture. For those of us who have encountered Him, it’s there also in the daily relationship we have with Him. Many call Him an imaginary friend, and I remember saying such things myself before I knew Him. All I can say to those people is that He is wonderful to know, if you are able to believe and give your life to Him.

Christianity is all about love. It isn’t about being good. It isn’t about getting to heaven. It isn’t even about going to church, praying, giving alms or proclaiming the gospel like Jesus commanded us. Those things come as part of the Christian life, but they’re not the focus. The focus is relationship.

God made humans because He wanted to have a relationship with us. God. The same being who made the galaxies, who formed the planet out of debris in the vacuum of space, who ordered the seasons and who can number the atoms of the universe. He made Adam and Eve because He wanted to walk, talk and fellowship with them. That’s what God longs for. He just wants us to know Him and be found. That’s how special you are.

This is the message of Easter. The cross is not about suffering and death. As Jesus said just before He died, ‘Tetelestai!’ – ‘It is finished!’ Another translation for that word is, ‘It is paid’. At the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for all the sins of the world in order to reconcile humanity to God. We had fallen in the garden of Eden. We chose to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and abandon God’s moral law and decide for ourselves the standards for good and evil. This is the rebellion of man, and it was the greatest tragedy in all of history because it meant that humanity was cut off from God forever. Our perfectly righteous God cannot fellowship with sinners. Under God’s law, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). God couldn’t walk with Adam and Eve in the daytime anymore, and it broke His heart.

Only God could overcome this impossible situation. He did so by sending His son to live a perfect life as an example to us, and by doing so fulfil God’s law and the prophecies about His coming. When Jesus did it, He became able to pay the debt that Adam and Eve had created at the fall. All of the sacrifices that the Jews had made at the Temple over the centuries were only foreshadows of the one true sacrifice that God would make for all of us at the cross. Two days later, Jesus overcame death itself to make a pathway for us all to be restored to immortality. This is what God is calling us to today, so that we can one day again walk, talk and fellowship with Him in His garden. That’s what He made the universe for.

Jesus didn’t allow himself to be murdered at the cross out of obligation or compulsion. He did it voluntarily. He did it out of love.

  • A timely and well written article, Moses.
    Thank you.

    • Got my God on for Easter 🙂 I wish I’d heard it years before I did mate.

      Back to smashing SJW’s on Monday.

  • Deplorable Steve

    Amen Brother Moses. I try to seek out Christ in my daily life, to varying degrees of limited success. My rage against SJWs over the last 20 years has reached decidedly un-Christian levels though…

    • Yeah mate I’ve struggled with that. Then I remember that Christ said He came not to bring peace, but a sword…

      My wife hates it when I use that passage 🙂

      • Darryl

        Think of Jesus losing his temper with the merchants in the Temple. SJW’s are far more damaging than any merchant!

    • Richoz

      Onward Christian Soldiers!

  • Darryl

    Moses. Congratulations on having the courage to post this. Your usual posts are very rational and logical ones, and I think you have garnered respect because of this, even from some who violently disagree with you. This post, on the other hand, simply articulates some aspects of your own faith. Personally I envy those who do genuinely have this type of faith, though I do not share it.

    • Addelad

      Agree fully with every word you just wrote Darryl. MA is able to write relatively simply, yet incredibly clearly and with great insight. This got me:
      “God made humans because He wanted to have a relationship with us.”
      I have never seen “it” that way ontologically speaking. I tend to see God as austere and didactic, as he is always portrayed in the OT. From that, I have always seen the Universe as cold and dangerous, not filled with love and compassion.
      It’s all a bit sad and lonely really!

      • Darryl

        I’ve been an agnostic since age 10, and whilst I would like to have this type of faith I simply don’t. As this is an area not susceptible to logical proof I can only see myself coming to believe as a result of some personal experience. As I would like to believe that death is not the end of us and me in particular, it is vaguely comforting to see someone like Moses profess his faith publicly like this. After all, if he has come to believe, pragmatic and logical as his writings are, perhaps I may have that experience one day.

        • Addelad

          Each of us who professes agnosticism or atheism (the latter being a faith, the former being the only logical stance on God as I see it) keeps that nice warm fuzzy hope deep in our hearts that maybe, just maybe there is eternal salvation after all. According to my understanding of the rules for entry, I have done two thirds of sfa to qualify for eternal life. I do not wish to even begin to consider Hell, so I just ignore it all.

          • Darryl

            We seem to have quite similar views. I also believe atheism is just another religion, though the atheists I make this point to tend not to agree with me. I’m not inclined to go any further into beliefs on this thread, though I’m sure we’ll probably get the chance to discuss it at some time in the future. In the meantime I’m sure we both respect the faith of Moses and others here even though we don’t share it.

          • Addelad

            Great Minds Think Alike (and so do we)

          • entropy

            Most self-proclaimed atheists seem to be agnostics who just really want to be cool.

            They claim that atheism is actually agnosticism, but have no idea why there would be two words for the same concept, or why those who believe in the absence of divinity identify as atheists.

        • Deplorable Steve

          Darryl, I am looking for that experience as well. I cannot accept that there is nothing after death even though overwhelming evidence seemingly points to an evolutionary process.
          The first historically documented Christian martyrs saw something (in their own experience) that they were prepared to die for rather than refute. That in itself speaks volumes…

  • Richoz

    For those without faith, who are not or no longer Christian and who require empirical evidence of everything in the typical western way – just note that there is more contemporaneous evidence for the existence AND RESURRECTION of Jesus than of virtually any historical figure contemporary or prior to Jesus. All the disciples and 500 or so others saw him after the resurrection.
    Way more evidence than for global warming (;-).

    • Darryl

      I really don’t think this thread is an appropriate one for religious argument. I’m sure you can see for yourself the very real problems with what you say above so far as convincing unbelievers is concerned. It is not a matter of empirical evidence or proof, which is always ambiguous and open to interpretation in this area. You have faith, or you do not.

      • Richoz

        Totally agree. For me it is not a matter of empirical evidence. I just notice the waning numbers of western Christians and also notice a typical atheistic objection is evidentiary. But also, my Pastor mentioned it in his Easter Monday sermon, so it was fresh in my head. He also said there was more evidence for the Resurrection than for anthropomorphic climate change, which I quite liked.

    • entropy

      If Zombie Jesus wants followers, all he has to do is a guest appearance on The Walking Dead.

      The Disciples saw proof of his miracles, so they weren’t even required to have faith, yet the rest of us are expected to settle for 2000 yo anecdotes?

      Jesus might have put the effort into his startup but he’s been golfing ever since.

  • Doug J.

    “Two days later”
    It was actually three days:
    CLV Mt 12:40 For even as Jonah was in the bowel of the sea monster three days and three nights, thus will the Son of *Mankind be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.

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