So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Philemon 1:6

FRONT PAGE - here you will find the last 20 postings about recent conversations. Please pray for these people!

Choice

 6/20/16                    Edwin                            about 22
Choice. As Americans we have graduated from a cup of greasy, grounds-filled coffee on a wagon trail to hundreds of choices and variations on a Starbucks menu. We are used to walking down long aisles at the grocery store with dozens of choices of, say, breakfast cereals on either side. We have come to believe that choice is our God-given right, that our happiness must never be denied. And many take that choice entitlement to religion, choosing what they want to be true for them, whether it has to do with childbirth, gender, or what to believe about our relationship with God in the first place.
That's what motivated Edwin, a young man from Hong Kong, to tell me he believes in the "New Age". I had heard that term years ago, and knew it was no longer "new", so I asked what he believes it means. Edwin has taken what he believes to be the best of a variety of religions and fashioned his own set of beliefs that he feels he can live with. He had formed his own image of God in his imagination, much like the idol worshipers did with their statues in Moses' day.
It wasn't too hard to show Edwin that the beliefs he has chosen are contradictory. For example, he believes in the Judeo-Christian idea of one God, but rejects the idea that God could be judgmental. He believes we are reincarnated into various life forms according to our actions during life, but denies that any judgment is being made about our behavior. He rejects the idea that heaven or hell could reward or punish behavior, but believes that those born into impoverished or even tragic circumstances are simply receiving payback for bad behavior in a previous life, but then again he also believes in social justice.
Edwin rejects the Bible as being too exclusive, saying this is evidence that it can't be true. It should have a universal storyline, in which everyone is treated the same. But why can't truth be specific? I told Edwin that in math, for example, there is usually only one right answer and many, many wrong answers to a math problem. The infinite number of wrong answers doesn't make the correct answer any less true. Christianity isn't any less true just because there are hundreds of alternative beliefs. The Gospel is either true or it is not. This isn't Starbucks.
But is there not a universal message in Christianity? We do have a universal problem. All people, regardless of religious background, have a general knowledge of good and evil. We all have a conscience, and we all break it. We all need to be reconciled to our Creator. And the Bible teaches that there is a universal solution. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Many have been trained to believe that the lack of choices is a negative thing, demeaning even. That it isn't fair. They look at the awesome, overwhelming truth of John 3:16 with a critical eye, saying "Why is there ONLY one choice?" But we must realize and accept that without that one choice, we are lost and without hope for our eternal future, condemned to reap the just consequences for our sin.
A better question is why have we been given any choice at all? Do we really want what we deserve? God gave His ONLY Son. That is what isn't fair. We've been given the gift, God's own Son, and the opportunity to be in a right relationship with God forever. It may not be fair, but we have hope, we have a future, and we have a Savior who shows us just how petty all the choices of Starbucks really are.

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