Sunday, November 23, 2014

Facing Reality

     It has been some time since I have written here. I don't know why, really. I think, like many people I have trouble keeping interest in things for too long. A personal flaw, probably. Honestly, as I sit here writing this I have no real recollection of what post precedes this. I suppose it doesn't really matter. Some of my renewed interest in this blog is someone showing some interest in it. I am flattered that there are people out there reading it, and my thoughts of those (probably few) readers has inspired me to take up the pen, or rather the keyboard, again.
     I have thought much lately of practical faith. It is well and good to speak of abstract concepts about God and how He impacts us, and the world we live in; it is a much different thing to take these concepts out into the world and actually live them. See, I think that is the most difficult part of our faith in Christ-the command to, "go forth and make disciples." The concepts Christ speaks of and demonstrates in His earthly ministry are really really, well, difficult.
     For example, I was blessed, recently, to be able to take the Core Module of RZIM Academy, an online course hosted by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries to help laymen learn some of Dr. Zacharias' discipleship and apologetic techniques. It was an excellent course and I highly recommend it if you have the chance to take it. However, several of the exercises in the class were geared towards showing us that the best apologetic in this fallen world is living the apologetic we so often laud as right and true. On of these was an exercise in which we had to interview a person with a worldview different than our own and only ask them questions without defending our own worldview. Then, to make the assignment more difficult we had to defend their point of view in a short essay. Naturally, this was a very eye opening experience. It revealed biases and knee-jerk reactions that I did not know I had.
     A few days ago I was speaking in my office with a dear friend and brother in Christ about a matter he had been studying in the scriptures.  The subject of the Pharisees came up and we both noted that the biggest issue our Savior took with the Pharisees was that they appeared righteous while neglecting the true righteousness that Christ called people to. It's easy to get caught up in the routine and ritual of going to church. Many times I have found myself mindlessly sitting through a sermon or church event without any real thought or conscious participation. It is easy, when getting stuck in the rut of church attendance and routine to become a Pharisee of mindset and think less of non-believers. Moreover, we tend often, when in our careless, thoughtless rut, to be very unkind and coarse to those without Christ. We must remember that those not yet in the fold of God desperately need our example, not our holy ideals and lofty turns of phrase. Just my thoughts of late....