Black tears are falling

I have been so busy in the last week that I haven’t had a chance to shave. As a result of this, I scare small children in shops, a team of scientists have been dispatched to investigate Yeti sightings in West Dublin and girls laugh at how I must have glued bum fluff to my face.

Fortunately, intrepid reader, as I write this I am clean-shaven and bopping to Ben Folds. All is as it should be.

The source of the busyness is a mystery to me at this late stage in the week. I preached at LPC last Sunday with a 20 minute crash and grab of Romans 4:1-10. The great theologians announce their presence by writing a commentary on the Book of Romans. I have had to have two attempts now to get a relatively simple point across, so hold off on that “Up and Coming Theological Titan” t-shirt you were planning to print for me.

The point I was trying to make was that Christianity is clear that the only way to salvation (which is getting into heaven and being slowly, over the course of your life made into a more Jesus like person) is through faith in God. Acts and good deeds are great and play a role (particularly in the becoming Christ like part) but believing in God and believing in what God has to say to us in the Bible and in prayer is the only way to get all the way up that stairway to heaven. Then you can spend eternity singing Holy Holy Holy and playing chess with Newton or haranguing CS Lewis over his depiction of women.

Basically, I said that God gives us salvation for free as a gift and all we have to do is to believe that promise. It’s just that things get complicated when you try and apply it all and we mess up. Luckily, God is there to make broken things fixed and better than ever so we just have to believe that the infinite God who loves each of us infinitely will come good when He says that He intends to do just that.

At my University I have heard comments about Christianity recently that have really disturbed me. Student One says,
“--modern christians decide who can be a good guy and who can’t-- modern followers would seem to be taking up a different route by creating more and more schisms and branches, by pushing more and more away-- “

Student Two says,
“I’m an atheist--I believe that when you die you are worm food-- That said I’d hate to live in a world with all atheists”

Now they also were filled with the usual guff about how all Christians were “institutionalised” (usually this claim is linked to our parents) and how it’s a psychological crutch and how its no different from a sun or moon cult and so on.

But what strikes me as disturbing is that these two degree students still don’t get the nature of Christianity even though they are in their 20s. In a “Christian country” they can talk about “religion being forced down our throats at school” but they haven’t got this fundamental fact.

Fundamental Fact of Christianity One: Christians are defined primarily by their faith in the divinity of Jesus

What kind of a job are we doing if these guys, who go to Maynooth, have such a warped view of Christianity? They view us as self-righteous but moral. We do good deeds but we’re very proud of that and want everyone else to know of our superiority.

To me, this seems like the parody of a busybody middle-aged rural Catholic woman that seems to be a meme present in our society but to them, it is a picture of the Christian.

I haven’t come to any conclusions yet. I know that it is our problem not theirs. The Great Commission puts the emphasis on the Christian, not the non-Christian. I also intuitively appreciate the thinking behind Scum Theology. Lets focus on destroying the myth of Christian moral righteousness. But how to do that (since I don’t think Ireland’s cultural context could stand up to a Scum of the Earth church equivalent) and whether that solves the problem that is stated in the two opinions above is a whole other deal.

So have you any ideas for a solution? Or more problems with Christians you can share with me? Or anything to offer an alternative to the bot-placed porn promoting comments on my webpage?

-Your Correspondent, There is Nothing He Can Do.

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