This is not my normal light blog post today. As a matter of fact, I am taking a stand as a follower of Jesus, my King, that there is right way to live, which is to struggle with our sins, not give in to them. To seek redemption, not affirmation. I am reading a book* which begins talking about St. Augustine’s The City of God, and pointing out the “enduring relevance of the deeply human and distinctly supernatural themes of sin, struggle, and redemption. These themes are not unique to him (Augustine) but are at stake in the life of every fallen person.”
The author, Noelle Mering, writes just a couple of pages in, “(We are in) a spiritual and religious struggle with origins reaching back to a snake in the garden…Behind every temptation to sin is this sales pitch: that we might, in trading our greatest good for various lesser goods, become autonomous, self-determining, and powerful.” In other words, each of us will be our own gods. She says this tradeoff is a lie which has always failed humanity. Rather than powerful and happy, people end up as slaves to impulse – weak and chaotic. She says our current society is trying to convince us that sin, struggle, and redemption are no longer necessary. Society sees all of our human desires as good and wants us to look suspiciously upon references to (St. Augustine’s passion for) “eternal truth”. However, this life is indeed a struggle between our desire for immediate gratification and our built in yearning for something more, something eternal.
God’s Word tells us the “something more” is Him. The Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. Nothing else will do. We find truth and grace in Him alone. We find redemption nowhere else but in Jesus. And all are welcome to find forgiveness and redemption in Him. This is unlike many in our society who want some to repent, yet remain un-forgiven and see them as irredeemable. While our society has given in all around us twisting truth and celebrating sin, born again Christians are going to look more and more peculiar clinging to the cross and calling others to trust in it for their salvation. We are not going to be popular among a lost world which has already taken over nearly every facet of our society, and now demands the church’s allegiance. They now have their sights set on their last and greatest conquest which is Christ’s church. When we refuse to comply, we who will not bow to Caesar, but who claim that Christ is King above all, will receive all their wrath. Mering says, “A stage is set for a collision between an illusory god of self and the one true God.” Fortunately, we know who wins. If we want to be on the winning side, we know from God’s Word we must choose another way to live: seeking our greatest good, which is found in Matthew 16:24 – “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”” In the end, this is not just another way to live, but is the only way to live. The way of the world leads to death. Everything else leads to death.
We are to shine the light of Christ and call people to repent of their sin, where they will find forgiveness and be brought from death to life.
*Awake, Not Woke: A Christian Response to the Cult of Progressive Ideology