Monday, 23 May 2011

Married Bachelors

Trying to find things that a God who can do everything can't do has proved to be somewhat difficult for sceptical humanity. In an attempt to find things people have said things like well God couldn't make a square circle because a circle is circular by definition. Now this is a facile argument because it is asking whether it is possible for God to do two mutually exclusive actions. The simple answer to this is that God is unable to do two mutually exclusive actions because nonsense remains nonsense even when addressing God! To talk about square circles or married bachelors is to talk nonsense, to speak gobbledegook. Now in Christian circles I hear a lot of statements which fall into the same category. I am just going to state a few here...
1. A Christian who isn't bothered about obeying Jesus. This is not a position which can be held. This is not a statement which can be engaged with. It is nonsense just like talking about triangular circles.
2. Someone who loves Jesus but has no time for the church he purchased with his blood. To say you love Jesus but not love his church makes as much sense as to say you are a married bachelor.
3. A non-committed Christian. No such category exists. It's nonsense. To talk about a non-committed or not a proper Christian is to group some words together which make no sense. It'd be like saying I'm a non-footballing footballer or I'm a non-acting actor.

These positions are not even things which we are open for discussion. They're not legitimate positions which can be reasoned because they are nothing more than gobbledegook and you cannot reason with gobbledegook. You cannot be a married bachelor. You cannot reach a compromise position with someone who thinks they are a married bachelor (well maybe you are on weekends?). You cannot have a discussion about the position of married bachelors in the universe. The only solution is for them to stop talking rubbish and own up to what they really are 'married' or 'bachelor'.

Christians are people who long to obey Jesus, who love his church and who are committed to him above all else. You cannot claim to be something which is mutually exclusive - so are you a Christian who wants to obey Jesus or are you not a Christian who has no desire to obey Jesus? We need to stop creating nonsense phrases and start making sense and then maybe we can start talking and actually get somewhere.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Was it love or fear of the cold

One of the Mumford and Sons songs has the following line in it,
'Was it love or fear of the cold that led us through the night'
which got me thinking about our motivations in life. So many friendships are based on fear of the cold rather than love. So we don't like the cold. We don't like feeling lonely. We don't like feeling alone. We are afraid of being alone and so this drives us into relationships. So many relationship groups are built around the questions of who's around and who's willing to be around so that I won't be alone. I remember this from the start of university. You start university and you're so scared of being alone that you just find anyone who is happy to spend time with you and you hang around with them - It's better than being alone. But these friendships don't last. You see your relationships need to be built on more than fear of the cold if they are to last they need to be built on love. So you get bored, you get frustrated, you start feeling lonely again and in the end you find people you like and you start building relationships out of love rather than fear of the cold.

The same thing happens with many people and Christianity. They start to feel alone. Either without a community around them or alone in the universe. They are scared of living without a community, without a framework to live their lives by, without anything above and beyond them and in Christianity they find these things. they find a community which will accept them. They find a framework by which they can live their lives and they find a God who is bigger and better than them. So they come into Christian community and become Christians. Now there is nothing wrong with this as a starting point however, if your Christianity is always motivated by fear of the cold then like human relationships it will not last. You will fall out with the people, you will find the framework frustrating and you will find God distant unless your motivation moves from fear of the cold to love. You see it's fine to be drawn to Christianity by fear of the cold but if it is to last your motivation must change to one of love. I see so many people who don't like their life, are afraid of their future and so come to Christianity for a while before at some later point drifting away again. Why is this?

Well I think it is because it was fear of the cold not love which led them to Christianity. Christianity which lasts is Christianity motivated by love for who God is and what he has done.