Monday, January 20, 2014

House of Cards

Jesus spoke about the importance of building a house on a solid foundation. Why then would God make the very truths of His Kingdom built upon a house of cards? It would be much easier to simply base His word on solid, scientific ground. Think about it for a minute. God created the universe by simply speaking it into existence and did it in 6 days no less. The “Big Bang” and following that, evolution, or that life sprang into existence by random comingling of certain molecules, is considered settled science. Well, actually there is no proof that the universe began with a big bang, nor that life simply created itself. It actually takes a leap of faith to believe that it is the intelligence of man that has allowed us to formulate a process by which we, and all that is around us, has come to be. But, belief that an almighty God, who loves us without end, created this world and everything in it, for us, His children, somehow is implausible to this enlightened society.

Then God sends His only Son to take the punishment meant for us. The word made flesh. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary, an unmarried teenage virgin accepts the word of God and is chosen to carry our Savior. Is this proclaimed to King Herod? Caesar Augustus? In the temple to the High Priest? No, Mary receives this gift without a witness. Her betrothed, Joseph, is told in a dream. When the time of our Savior’s birth arrives, He is born in a stable and the announcement is made to shepherds, the lowest and most untrustworthy of that time. When Jesus hangs on the cross, no angels come to save Him and he is sacrificed as a lamb, accepting His death without any struggle. When He rises after 3 days in the tomb, who is there when the angel of the Lord proclaims that He is not here. He is risen? Three women are the primary witnesses to Christ’s resurrection. Realize that women in Jesus’ time did not even have the right to testify in court. Jesus did not arrive in the center court of Jerusalem or Rome and proclaim His resurrection. God trusted what were considered unreliable witnesses to pronounce the arrival of the Risen Lord. Even the twelve Disciples were quite a motley crew.

Last Christmas, Exposing the ELCA posted an article found on Bishop Michael Reinhart’s blog, written by Dr. Rev. Don Carson, assistant to the Bishop. This article called into question the Virgin Birth. I made a comment on both blogs. At Exposing the ELCA I used Paul’s invocation in 1 Corinthians that without belief in the Virgin Birth Jesus’ resurrection was meaningless and your faith would be useless. On Reinhart’s blog I asked him why he would choose to give a platform to a person of faith that was questioning foundational Christian beliefs when there are enough skeptics in the secular world. Not surprisingly, he chose to not publish my comment. I made a second comment to him thanking him for reinforcing my belief that bound conscience is a one way street and the only diversity allowed was what the leadership of the ELCA allowed. Another commenter, Chad Silverman, had 3 comments published, calling those that frequent the Exposing the ELCA blog site irrational fundamentalists, apologizing for entering into the moronic discussion there, and chastising me for being in error in my comparing an invalidation of the Virgin Birth to Jesus’ resurrection.

See, the problem is that our faith is built upon a house of cards. When we proclaim our faith in the Apostle’s Creed, we believe that Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, died and was buried: He descended into hell: The third day he rose again from the dead: He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. The timeline of the Gospel is intrinsically linked. Remove the Truth of the Virgin Birth, and Jesus is no longer Son of God. If He is not the Son of God, His resurrection is meaningless, although still miraculous. If He is not the Son of God, God did not come down to earth in flesh to be a sin offering to cleanse us of our sin. If He is not the Son of God, we are still under the law and the condemnation that it brings. Remove or minimize any of the Truths of the Christian faith and it all falls down and our faith is useless. Our faith is not useless. God gave us the greatest gift imaginable. He made the greatest sacrifice ever made. His love for us is without measure and we should be forever grateful, not question or pervert His word. His word is timeless and true.

The Truth never needs to be sugar coated. The written word that chronicles God’s commands and Jesus’ life is what it is. Faith is not about grandiose stories. Faith is not about what we would want God to do. Faith is about what He has done for us. The Creator of the universe is not confined to what man determines is possible. Science is irrelevant to the God of all power and glory. It does matter where the 23 chromosomes Jesus received came from. It does matter that Christ’s resurrection was physical and not some sort of apparition. It does matter that the Bible is God’s Truth for His children. Nothing is impossible for our God. These learned, enlightened leaders of wayward churches like the ELCA continue to cast stones at the Lord in order to ingratiate themselves with the world. They may get the invitations to the popular parties, but the true host of those parties is Satan himself. The ELCA, UCC and Episcopal church make it easy for the evil one to pervert sinful hearts. They are willing accomplices for the evil one and do not please the Lord. 2 Corinthians 13:7-8, “Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.”

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