In Luke 14 we are given a warning, following Christ comes with a cost. A person must be willing to place Christ first in their life, even above their own family and above themselves. A person who wants to follow Christ should be willing to pick up their cross and follow Jesus. To pick up their cross is a symbolic statement that to follow Christ is a life of sacrifice. We sacrifice our own self interest for the cause of the Kingdom.The person who wants to follow Christ should look inward and decide if they are willing to truly commit themselves fully to the cause of Christ. The cost is not cheap.
There is a question posed by non believers and even believers that goes something like this, “if God is real why does he not come down and make his existence known”? They argue that God should clear the air and make his existence known to everyone, especially if salvation hinges on the correct belief in God.
Today I was reading Psalms chapter 10 and found this same question was being asked by a believer. David asks why does God allow immoral people to live without consequences. David asks “Lord, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide in times of trouble?” Psalms 10:1
David mentions immoral men who do not fear God act as they wish because they do not think God exists. The thoughts of David are clear, God will you please make your existence more obvious to these men.
This question on the “hiddenness” of God has occupied theologians and apologist as well as atheistic philosophers for centuries. There are some good answers to this question which make sense in a Christian worldview.
I will be posting a follow up blog to address this important question asked not only by skeptics but by believers. Please note this is not a apologetics blog but a pastoral blog. There are many great apologetic blogs that deal at length with objections to Christianity.
Therefore, my response to this question will be pastoral. I will be answering this question using scripture to encourage the Christian or seeker onward in the faith.
We are living in the age of fear and we only have ourselves to blame. Everywhere we turn we are bombarded with fear. The movies and tv shows we watch. The books and stories we read. The news we consume are all creating a societal issue of fear.
While much of the fear based media we consume is fictional the feelings that it creates in us are real. When you feel anxiety or fear from a fictional horror story those feelings are as every bit as real as the fear based feelings that are derived from true events in life.
This past week nearly every major media outlet ran doomsday stories about climate change. The ongoing political battle between liberals and conservatives is often fought with fear based propaganda. We have chosen in this generation to allow fear to rule our society and to weaponize fear to achieve whatever ends we are trying to reach.
It is of little wonder so many people develop fear and anxiety disorders. The science is in on the fact that events that individuals have can impact them longterm psychologically. Think for example people who experience a traumatic event can develop PTSD.
We know fictional horror stories can create real anxiety and fear, so does it not logically follow that over exposures to fearful media can create long term and perhaps lifelong psychological disorders in individuals. Encountering doomsday news stories on a daily bases also will increase the rising fear and anxiety issues facing our generation.
The only way to counter this fear epidemic is to be mindful of the media you and your family consume. Parents do not allow your children to watch rated R horror movies. Be mindful of the news stories that you are consuming.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and rescued me from all my fears.”
The scripture teaches Christians to be at peace with all people. If we are truly following the Golden Rule we will be fulfilling this command. I have been asked on numerous occasions if Christians can be friends with non Christians.
The answer is Yes. If Christians are to engage the culture we must be willing to live a life that reflects outward the tenants of the faith. Christians need to dialogue with people from all walks of life and embrace people in a positive peaceful manner.