Lord, Protect Us From What Seems To Be Reasonable

If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

I heard that question on my car radio this week.  It has been roaming around church circles for years.  But, Lord, Lord, I thought this generation had come past that old cliche.

11082630_10203003800970699_7854584528319806279_nI immediately became uncomfortable.  My jaw clenched.  My brow furrowed.   My chest tightened.   My hands gripped the steering wheel.  And I had a sudden urge to hit the nearest Christian.

(I don’t think I would have hit them with my car but it is hard to tell for sure.  I was pretty stressed at that moment.)

From both a logical and spiritual point of view, it is a ludicrous question.

In what unlikely scenario would I find myself saying, “Am too, am too a Christian and I can prove it”?

If it were possible to prove my Christianity with good deeds, which of them would be admissible as evidence? The ones I begrudge? The ones I fake?  The impressive ones that douse me with spiritual pride?

The actual works of God in me are hidden in the intentions of my heart.  I’m pretty sure that only He can identify them.  I certainly can’t untangle them from the other stuff that resides there . . .  impressions of responsibility, the need to please, a bit of self-righteousness and a crap load of pride.

If I could untangle and identify the works of God in me, they still couldn’t serve as evidence of my walk with God.  Physical eyes can’t discern spiritual growth.  There is no way they could determine whether deeds which look to be good are actually of God.

If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

It seems to me that this question and others like it are demons in disguise.  They seem reasonable at first, even insightful, and pleasantly religious in a “prove to me you are good enough” kind of way.

But they stand on the path to God and they say to those who would approach, “Stay back!  You can not come close.  There are things you must do.  There are books you must study.  There are changes you must make before you can join those who are worthy.”

So, I stand in the crowd with young Christians who are deceived by that kind of reasoning, and I want to hit them.  I want to hit them and say, “Wake up!  Don’t get caught in the implications of that question!  You can’t be put on trial.  You are safe in the arms of God.

“Just walk with Jesus.  There is more of God ahead!  Don’t stop to see if you are accruing good works and don’t stop to measure yours against other’s.  If you do, guilt will surely slow you down or, even worse, pride will trip you up.

“Hold onto Jesus and keep walking.  The only thing that matters about your standing as a Christian is written on the scars in his hands.”



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