November 13, 2008

Embarrassing Love

"You just don’t get folk shouting “Glory glory!” or “XXX has saved my life” about baseball, sex, sailing, food, atheism or any other fad, sect or religion in the sustained and sincere way you have it in the Church. "

Find this quote and many other beautiful expressions of the Christian faith on this post: Yeah, Christians do some unexplainable things. I think it is important to celebrate the unique aspects of Christian faith.

I recently watched a debate between Alister McGrath and Richard Dawkins. Dawkins comments to McGrath about traveling the world, and talking to various theists, and says that deciding to be a Christian gives McGrath some very strange bedfellows. McGrath points out that one has strange bedfellows if one is committed to any ideology, regardless of whether it is theist or not. (Apparrently Dawkins believes it is wrong to connect Atheism to Marxism which is grounded on Atheism, but thinks its fine to lump Christianity and Radical Islam together. Can we say hypocritical?)

One of the great things about Christianity is, unlike atheism, we really can account for those of us that are a little... off. Atheists believe that they believe what they believe because they are "logical". To some degree, an illogical atheist, to them, is oxymoronic. So when they encounter one, because there are lots, they become confused.

However, Jesus died to save sinners. The defining attribute of Christianity is love and mercy, and though I can say with assurance that any body which lacks this quality is not Christian, when it comes to those who lack it in my own church, I see them with mercy, and reach out to them with a love that strives to them improve. We are provided a context of imperfection, and the doctrine of sanctification that claims that God is still working on us.

So though there are Christians who embarrass me because of their behavior, I do know what to do with them. I love them. Let us stand in unity, and seek to improve the church, not perfect. Perfection is divine work. Let's leave it in His hands.


Anonymous said...

Indeed, "those who are a little... off" are to be expected in a body of people who are inclusive and loving. Contrast that to exclusive clubs and pseudo-religions drawing lines on ethnicity, class, intelligence or nationality. Of course there are no ugly people at the Playboy Mansion or simple folk at the Darwinist's convention...

Christianity, as Lewis said, makes sense of things in a way other systems just don't. Yeah, we have paradoxes but the world IS paradoxical. Get with it!

Speaking of making sense of the world: I was surprised and shocked when N.T. Wright articulated the fact that Christianity does NOT teach that life gets steadily better and better on the planet since the time of Jesus. Christianity speaks of a world struggling to be born again. What account can atheism give of the world becoming more and more unstable despite the rise of enlightenment, technology and evolution?

Man, I gotta get me a "Ramblings" category and stop spamming people's blogs!

Jc_Freak: said...

"Man, I gotta get me a "Ramblings" category and stop spamming people's blogs!"

It serves me well :)