Salvage has accused me of using the No True Scotsman defence when describing people who do evil in the name of Jesus. That’s not so. All I said was, “Show me someone who calls himself a Christian, and who is doing harm to others and I’ll show you Chapter and Verse how s/he is not following the One s/he claims to be following. I have no better example than myself.
Once again, as I have done so many times in the past, I’m off the rails. While my words may be the same as always, my motives in what I post have turned back to pure confrontation. Jab - Jab - swing. Here’s what’s scary about that.
Paul, later one of Christianity’s greatest missionaries began his encounters with Christians by torturing and killing them. We don’t know how many he is responsible for killing but we do know that he was good at it. There’s nothing quite like an enthusiastic torturer. And there's nothing quite like religious zeal to ignite enthusiasm. And then, as Paul was on his way to bring back to Jerusalem yet another group of traitors to his faith, he was met by Jesus who said to him,
“Paul, why are you persecuting Me?”
Persecuting? Paul thought he was doing God a favour! It was no different for those who carried out the Inquisitions and Crusades. It's no different with me. All of us, at one time or another lose our focus. All of us forget that it is sin, and not the sinner who is our enemy.
And God said to Paul, “Stop persecuting Me.” To be fair, Paul didn't know who Jesus was. He had no idea that "God was in Jesus, reconciling the world to Himself." In his mind, Paul was defending the truth of God, defending against blasphemy no less, and God said to Paul that He - God - was on the side of those that Paul was trying to silence.
I fear that I’ve been doing the same thing. We are living in the age of Grace. To be sure, the time of Judgement is coming. But now is the time of salvation. Now is the time of God’s favour to all sinners everywhere. My attitude toward atheists, my enthusiasm to prove them wrong has once again slipped into the nasty. I’m mimicking Paul in his pre conversion days and I want to say that I’m wrong and I’m sorry.
God’s attitude toward sinners, all sinners, atheists included is one of mercy, grace, patience, gentleness and longing for a healed and forgiven relationship.
God is recorded as saying, "I take no delight in the death of the wicked. I long for you to turn from your sin and be healed." It is also recorded in John 3:17 -
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”
Until the day of Jesus’ return, God is on the side of atheists. And here I am, fighting against the very One I claim to represent. I’m taunting and mocking those God loves. Ah, me, I can be such a screw-up. Again, I’m sorry. I was wrong.
Hopefully the tone of my posts will reflect a change that you can notice. Or not. After all, any criticism regardless of motive and tone, stings. Hopefully a change in motive on this end will translate into less harsh tone to the posts that you receive.