Is This Going to Become a THING?

HeavensEarth

A bit hot under the collar, folks, so hope I don’t ruffle.

Here’s a question I’ve been asked recently. The first time it was from a woman who’d joined our writing group for a time. She had very strong opinions about things and was eager to share them. She said,

‘Oh, and about Christians. What’s with your God anyway? Why would you be interested in a God who sacrifices his own son?’

I admit at that moment I was shocked. I’d never heard of such a question, delivered with such derision towards my God before. I said something lame, like, ‘Wow.’

I figured it was just that woman’s point of view and the writing group wasn’t the place for a heavy discussion/argument, and I let it go.

So the other night I’m at the grocery store, in line. There’s this man who says he’s battling cancer, but its okay, he believes in God. I smiled, I believe too. He goes on and says he’s not swayed by people (Christians) who try to tell him how he should believe in God. He loves God, he says, more than most Christians love Jesus. And he delivers that question, again. ‘I mean, why would God sacrifice his own son?’

Wow.

I go blank, my friends. My mind becomes this huge computer sifting out files. The answer to that question is just so BIG.

‘Well, let’s see,’ I could say. ‘Let’s just go back over the entire history of mankind, and use for a reference the entire book of the Bible.’

To ask a Christian that question is like saying in a sneering voice to a fish, ‘what in the world do you want to swim around in so much water for?’

‘Well, glub glub, you’ll just have to take my word for it. There’s a reason, and it’s a good one.’

Isaiah 55:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

We don’t understand why God does what he does. There isn’t a shop down the street called, ‘Design-A-God’. We don’t get to decide who we think God is, according to how it seems He ought to be when we bother to think of it.

Number one message of the Bible is when God says: I AM.

He exists as more than just energy binding the universe and giving out jedi powers. He has personality. He has thoughts which are higher than ours. In short, He’s not a tame lion. If we want to follow God, we must accept Him as He is and try to understand what He’s doing.

Fortunately for us, He’s good.

The question isn’t, ‘why would God sacrifice His Son?’

The real question is, ‘why would Jesus be willing to be sacrificed?’

When God Almighty separates a part of Himself out, and sends Him down as a helpless baby, and loves that child with abandon and calls that child, Logos, His message, and that child grows and loves humans face to face, and then- all the time knowing what’s coming- decides to die for us anyway, there’s only one thing that could possibly be driving Him. Love.

When God loves us enough to do all of that, you shouldn’t sneer. And you shouldn’t traumatize a Christian into silence with such a question- as if none of it mattered at all.

Why was it necessary? That’s a question for another time. I only know that when a hero gives His life you should be appreciative. When someone gives you a gift, you should receive it with gratitude.

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5 comments

  1. Ellen · August 8, 2016

    I’m thinking we are going to be challenged more outright than in the past for being followers of Jesus. I think I would have said “Wow”, too.

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  2. pluviolover · August 9, 2016

    I’ve got to ask this because I’m genuinely curious. Are you angry because of the question, or the tone in which it was asked? Are you curious as to why these people asked that question? Do you think that they purposefully asked it to upset you? As an aside, while I am no expert, it seems to me that the answer to that exact question is what John 3:16 is all about.

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    • winneyb · August 9, 2016

      I think I was hurt more than angry. I can understand why they asked it, although I don’t think that’s really what keeps them from accepting Jesus. They’re not actually saying, ‘Why did God’ as much as ‘Why would I believe in such a God.’ As if He were wrong for doing things that way. I get why, to them, John 3:16 isn’t a satisfactory answer. If there is God- as Christians believe- and He is in control, (and He is) then why doesn’t He arrange things so that His Son doesn’t have to suffer and die? And- as I said- to answer THAT question one must go back to the very beginning. Adam and Eve and freedom of choice. So I say this. People can ask questions all day long but eventually they just have to decide if they believe in Jesus or not. One has to trust that God is good; He’s got this world all in His hands and then take that leap of faith when it’s shown that Jesus made the sacrifice to prove it. God will do eventually, what He has the power to do; decide a human’s ultimate fate. And if a person doesn’t respect His Son and the sacrifice He made, if that person is so certain that God doesn’t even exist to the extent that they sneer at His plan that was spread out all through history and cost so very much to pull off…. Well, yes, this ruffles me. It hurts me that a statement of so much import is tossed about so lightly in conversation- as if some big point was just scored.

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      • pluviolover · August 9, 2016

        You do seem to like using the word sneer. I assume that you mean contemptuous. Not everyone who does not believe in any god is contemptuous of those who do. In fact, most who do not believe now did at some time in their past. I could offer that the contempt seems (at least to me) to go much more from the believer toward the unbeliever. In my understanding of the Christian faith, while it is important that Christ died, it is far more important that he rose from the dead. Easter should reflect salvation, not Good Friday. John 3:16 should be the answer regarding eternal life. If you try to answer beginning with Adam and Eve, and support that with all of history, you are taking on too much.

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  3. winneyb · August 9, 2016

    Ha ha, did I say ‘sneer’ again? Of course I’m not referring to all unbelievers, merely the attitude of the particular ones who were talking to me in that particular situation. I like what you said about Easter- and you’re right about that! It’s why I have such a love for happy endings in all my stories. All is not lost.

    ‘In fact, most who do not believe now did at some time in the past’; now that’s an interesting comment! I’ve run into quite a few atheists. I have met a few who will say that at some point they believed but now, no longer. But by far I wouldn’t say ‘most’.
    Here’s a parable Jesus told.
    Luke 8:
    5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. 8 But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.”

    9 Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?”

    11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. 14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.

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