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I always appreciate when people look at my stuff on days when I don’t post because it means the traffic is consistent, if you have your own blog, you know what I’m talking about.
Well, I was watching Ray Comfort today.
I know some Christians follow this blog, and if you are Christian, I recommend checking out the Living Waters YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmrVJGUS1u5-Hsm_BFS_1YA)
It’s a great way to broaden your horizons by getting to see the Gospel presented to all kinds of people, and in a gentle, non aggressive, but intelligent way. Ray uses science, reason, and emotional weight. [I was not paid to say any of this, I just like the channel and content 🙂 ]
Christians struggle with evangelism, which is a long word for going to people and telling them about Jesus.
Me, I prefer it if it comes up in conversation, especially if I can discuss science or philosophy, which many people think Christians hate doing.
A lot of Christians think evangelizing needs to be done through showing people the love of God.
I totally agree we need to be loving to people, but what Ray Comfort has highlighted for me is that we need to be doing more than that.
The trouble with the “love on people” approach that I’ve seen within the Church itself, not just with nonbelievers, is that it’s non confrontational, and it doesn’t change people’s minds.
I’ve heard many pastors reprimand their congregation for the harsh or judgmental approach.
The thing is, often people who go to Churches who preach mercy and kindness are not the ones who are judgy and harsh, those people go to Churches that preach that as the way to be. Really, my parents church shopped a lot when I was younger, I know the drill, it’s easy to find somewhere that echoes all your own behavior.
I find it singularly unhelpful to get the “just love on people” advice because it’s so vague… what am I supposed to do with that?
One of Ray’s tactics is to help people understand why they are guilty of sin.
Everyone already knows they are a sinner, but the average person will claim to be a good person, they think that they do more good than bad, or just not enough bad to warrant punishment.
Some people think they should be spared just because they have a good heart. (All things real people said, by the way.)
It’s easy to get people to admit they lie, and they’ve stolen, and they lust, sometimes that they dishonor their parents and have sex out of wedlock. People don’t even think of some of those things as wrong.
Ray never goes into the things like murder, envy, working on the Sabbath, and worshiping idols. It’s easy enough to show we do all that, but harder to prove on the spot, and the others ones people admit to faster.
I was raised christian, and i try not to lie, or steal, but I still remember getting caught stealing as a kid, just minor things my mom immediately made me return.
I don’t lie now, no directly, I’m not sure I am fully honest thought. A lot of us lie, thinking it’s the truth, but if we really looked at our thoughts and feelings, we’d know it was a lie.
Ever have someone tell you “I’m not mad” and they were so obviously about to blow a gasket?
Or “I’m not jealous” when they were.
Yeah, it’s not too hard to see we’re all guilty.
But most people, and most religions in fact, fall back on the idea that our good can outweigh our bad when we stand before God.
Ray confronts this with the point that even a human judge will not care about what you do right, you go to jail for what you do wrong.
What if a serial killer killed person after person and then donated to charity each time, and the charity saved 10 lives. Does he or she get to keep killing people just because they are saving 10 lives for every 1 they take?
Please, please tell me you didn’t have to think about that one, I’ve known philosophy groups where that would be a tough question, (Philosophy is an absolutely useless field of study without theism, as it turns out. People just argue and get nowhere).
To expound on Ray’s point, is it fair to judge people only for what they do wrong? Why is one mistake, or even several, enough to negate all the good.
There are two big misconceptions of sin in this line of thinking. But most people will understand it once it’s been pointed out to them, because deep down, we know it’s not right.
The first misconception is that our human nature can be bad and good at the same time. I will see this everywhere, from My Little Pony reviews to philosophical videos, to real people talking about everyday life. Hollywood love propagating this idea, can’t imagine why…
Is it possible to be both a bad and good person?
It’s easy to look at the bad and good actions people do, and say “they must have bad and good in them, so they are’t wicked people.”
But, it doesn’t work.
In any area of life, name one thin that can be both bad and good.
I sorted lemons yesterday, I found a bunch that had mold on them. The mold isn’t in the whole lemon, it’s just on part of it, theoretically, the lemon had good parts in it still…should I eat it?
The answer is no. Fruit is tricky, depending on the kind, but usually you cannot eat it once it’s moldy, the sugars are decomposing, even inside the part that isn’t bad looking yet, and you could get sick.
Some foods, like potatoes, the mold can be cut off and there rest of it is good, but you get less of it that way, and you still have to cut out the bad part, only a truly starving person eats a bad fruit or vegetable whole.
Another example, if you have a car that works perfectly, all except for one tire, or one thing in the engine, or the brakes, is it safe to drive?
The answer is NO.
Yet again, if a human being does lots of good and then rapes or murders one person, who would not punish them? Only someone just as bad trying to cover their own sins. Why else do evil people flock together?
The Bible takes the same approach to sin in a person. Jesus warned “a little leaven leavens the whole lump” meaning a little yeast spreads through all the dough. One sin is never the end of it. If you sin once, you’ll sin again, even if it’s not the same sin.
Jesus also said to do the cutting off thing. “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off, it’s better to enter heaven with only one hand than to be cast into hell” (paraphrase)
Sin is like cancer, it has to be removed. Or like a broken car, replaced with a working part.
The second misconception people have, even more important, is that Sin is natural. That everyone does it, so it wouldn’t be right to have a high standard about it.
It’s true that Human Nature is sinful, so Sin is natural in that way, to man. But it doesn’t mean it’s natural as in it was intended to be that way.
Weeds are “natural” to a garden, they grow there of their own accord, and the weed is a living thing, doing what it’s programmed to do, yet it’s not the plan for the garden to have weeds in it. Some weeds choke out wheat, is it the wheat’s nature to be strangled? No.
Breaking the Law of Morality that everyone knows in their heart is something we all do, but it’s not Natural, in that it was meant to be and is fitting in ourselves to do.
You see, the reason you get punished for breaking one law, even if you keep 9 others, is that keeping the law is simply what you should have done.
You don’t get rewarded in life for doing the bare minimum. You show up to school with your own school supplies because you should, you tie your shoes, you call your mom on Mother’s Day.
You get what I’m saying? This is just average. But do less, and you’re either unprepared or downright negligent.
Fulfilling God’s law to the full is just the bare minimum of good living. There’s a lot beyond the law, like beauty, fun, and freedom, that are what God really intended Life to be about (You know that Eden means Delight? Where God meant humans to live in).
Now, as the world is today, fulfilling the law is impossible, and so is being a good person.
When we say someone is good, what we really mean is “They are someone who being good is important to, and they try, but yeah, they still do bad things”.
Bad means that they don’t even try, they just revel in being bad.
But Jesus rightly said “there is none good but God” no one but God can be the kind of Good God wants.
Even angels have fallen, God is the only being who has remained incorruptible throughout all time and outside of time. That is why evil god stories are so terrifying, if God is not good, than we are all lost.
I find the idea that God isn’t good silly, because anyone who has lived with a tyrant who tries to make everyone miserable knows the power of even one man to destroy lives, and if God was even as malevolent as man, no one would be happy, ever.
That happiness and love still exist is proof God must be good, they would never survive otherwise.
The Bible says human righteousness is “like filthy rags.”
So, the question is, now what?
I don’t consider myself a bad person.
Not because I am good. I have lots of problems. And I am not as aware of my own sins as I should be.
Like all people, I’m conceited about the level of my own sin.
But, the good news is, I don’t need to worry about it. I can do my best, but if at the end of every day I still come up short. it’s okay, because Jesus has covered it.
He has given me his righteousness, as the Words puts it, so that I am blameless before God.
That’s the gospel in a nutshell. We can’t do it, but God can.
The road to God is different for everyone. People have all kinds of issues with self worth, pride, and everything else. But the simplest way to find God is to repent and trust Jesus for salvation.
God can reveal himself many ways, but only one way do we give ourselves to Him, and that is through Jesus.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed getting my take on this angle, and until next time, stay honest–Natasha.