Life Is Going To Kill You

Posted: December 22, 2014 in Apologetics, Uncategorized
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/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/3b9/40655761/files/2014/12/img_0350.jpg Image courtesy of Joel Snape through a CC Generic License. No alterations have been made to this image.

If you came to Christianity thinking you’re going to have your best life now, or that it can help you quit all of your bad habits, or that you can have a victoriously vanquishing of all enemies-foreign or domestic, or that Christianity is a self-help religion to lift yourself by your own bootstraps, you might want to try another religion.

You see, Christianity was born in weakness. We are fixing to celebrate that weakness on Dec. 25. The Incarnation expresses to us the supreme weakness of God taking on flesh, and being born the weakest of creatures-a baby human being. A poor baby human being. A poor homeless human being. A poor, homeless, dangerously-sought after human being. Even a helpless fawn can stand within an hour of its birth, albeit he’s a bit wobbly. It takes humans a couple of years to get it right.

Again, our most celebrated alternate holiday begins with a day called Good Friday, which is another name for a horrible, humiliating, gruesome execution. Sure, it ends in Resurrection, but without the gruesome Death, there would be no Resurrection.

The beginning of the Church is no better. It begins with 120 scared, praying renegades of a religious sect with a crucified leader. They break out in languages never learned, and are accused of being drunkards.

The only way they grow is to be dispersed by persecution. They are constantly under threat of extermination by the religious leaders and the government.

We seem to grow best under extreme duress, to the point of bloodshed. In fact, one ancient Christian devotee dared say that the blood of the saints is the seed of the church.

Oh, you say, “but doesn’t the Bible say He won’t give us more than we can handle? Doesn’t he promise us prosperity, victory, and healing?”

If the suffering of Christians throughout history, and the experience of Christians we can see right now at home and abroad mean anything…then no, there is no blanket statement, magic pill, mystical incantation, or silver bullet to get you out of this life as a believer without suffering, loss, persecution, and death. We’re called Christians for goodness’ sake. That means we follow in Christ’s footsteps, for crying-out-loud.

The real gift of victory comes at our death. Our most celebrated sacraments point to it. Baptism is celebrating and anticipating death and resurrection. We ain’t gettin’ a holy bath there, you know. We get spiritual sustenance by feeding on the body and blood of our crucified Savior in the Lord’s Supper. Even the most militant memorialist believes there’s something important in the bread and wine. It’s also anticipating a certain banquet we will share with our wounded God after our death, or at least after our change from mortality to immortality at His Coming. Even that is sort of a death. The body we are born with is to be transformed into an eternal one, suited for the endless future. Sort of a “take you earth suit off and put on this eternity suit” kind of thing.

If your looking for victory, and the suppression of your enemies, try Islam. I hear they’re pretty militant about world domination. Plus they have the whole 70 virgin thing, so…

The Buddhists and Hindus offer self-help techniques reported to be effective, if you don’t mind chanting endlessly, and giving up hamburgers.

But if you want to know why things are the way they are…if you know you ain’t got it in you to live right, or even well…if you’re looking for forgiveness from your inner sense of horrible guilt to a holy God you can’t see but know is there because you actually opened your eyes and looked at the world, then Christianity is for you.

Sure, we have our own brands of self-help-victorious living-enemy vanquishing-ignoring reality and burying your head in the sand while naming it and claiming it-religion, but they’re just cheap knock-offs of the same thing.

The real Christianity is harder than you think, easier than you think, smarter than you think, simpler than you think, closer to reality than you think, and weaker than you think.

Sick people need doctors, and honey, we is deathly ill.

Your not gonna get out of this life alive, so start making plans, and join the rest of us crazy people who believe there’s purpose in suffering, strength in weakness, and life in death.

Life is going to be the death of you.

Simul iustus et peccator,

Eric

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Comments
  1. VaSanganyado says:

    I always visualized being a Vasanganyado 2.0, updated, bigger and better with all bugs fixed. I was disappointed. The apparent contradictions in the Christian life smothered me. I am told I have been enriched in everything, all wisdom and knowledge, yet the next thing I am told I am nothing. I am told I have a wonderful treasure in me, yet I just a jar of clay. Every day, I remember the Lord is my strength, yet I am weak and at such moments His grace is enough. Indeed, Christ chose the weak things to shame the strong and the foolish to shame the wise. Thank you for the great and insightful post.

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