Tuesday, May 26, 2015
RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM A WANDERING MIND!
Periodically, during times of quiet solitude my mind tends to wander and ruminate over various subjects. There is really no rhyme or reason as to what my mind decides to "chew on" or how long it decides to stay on that particular topic. Here are a few such subjects.
THE CHURCH: What is the "church?" Is it a building? Is it a social club? Is it a place where perfect, holy people meet together periodically? Does one join the church? How do they join?
I believe that the Bible teaches that the church that Jesus established is NONE of those things. The church is composed of imperfect, unholy sinners who are trying very hard to change their ways and not sin anymore. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) The church is composed of people who are trying to be obedient to the commands of Jesus, the Christ. (1 John 3:23-24) Also, one does not "join" the church, one is "added" to the church by God. (Acts 2: 41) The church, it seems to me, is a placed where imperfect people are trying to become perfect together by mutual support and encouragement. We will never achieve perfection in this life and we often "run off the rails," but we pick each other up, gently remind and encourage each other to "....continue to run the race set before us!"
CHRISTIANS: What is a Christian? Simply put, a Christian is a follower, a disciple, of Jesus, the Christ. Anyone who has spent any amount of time among "Christians" quickly learned that Christians are not perfect. Ghandi once observed that he liked the Jesus of the Bible, but he did not like Christians. Apparently his experience was with Christians who have not reached a level of behavior consistent with their professed beliefs. The "What you do speaks so loudly that I can't hear what you're saying" thing.
Christians are really like anybody else...imperfect sinners. How can you tell a true Christian from a false Christian? The same way you tell a good person from a bad person...by their deeds. If a person professes to be a Christian but willingly engages in un-Christian behavior, he is a liar...period. It is just like a person who professes to be a good guy but engages in bad, hurtful behavior. That person is a liar...period.
FREE WILL: When God created man, He created him with "free will." God gave man the free choice to either accept Him and obey Him because he chose to. However, this also opened up the possibility that man would reject God and disobey Him, again, because he freely chose to.
Question - If a man decided that he wanted to engage in a monumental evil that would hurt or kill hundreds of innocent people and God intervened to stop him. Does that man really have free will? I submit to you that he does not. In my humble opinion, that is why there is so much evil in the world. People are freely choosing to perform acts of evil not caring who they harm because THEY choose to.
In my readings and experience, God will never violate a person's free will. It is not because He cannot, it is because He chooses not to. He wants us to love Him because we freely choose to, not because we are forced to.