The other way round

Go All In signage in middle of camera and banknotes

The Old Man of the Earth stooped over the floor of the cave, raised a huge stone, and left it leaning. It disclosed a great hole that went plumb-down. “That is the way,” he said. “But there are no stairs. You must throw yourself in. There is no other way.”

George MacDonald

Those who tiptoe around the Christian faith often get it wrong. If Christ does not have you, if He does not live within you and look with you when you see the world or you begin to see as He sees and transform your thoughts into His, the Christian faith becomes another philosophy among a plethora of ideas. In this sense, Christianity is merely a means. Observation tells me Christ, today, is used and misused for this purpose.

The lie beneath this thinking by those who think they understand the Christian faith is Christianity has as a characteristic self-evident behavior and compulsory expectations. Nothing about following Christ and serving God is compulsory. Though to have Christ, for Christ to have you, to seek to understand His truth compels me to come closer.

The second lie offered by those outside the faith is the idea Christ can be used for one’s own purposes. Faith as a means makes your cause greater than Christ. This is not hard to see in our world. It may be a clever way to convince others. It is a sure way to distance you from Him. “I never knew you,” He said. To call Christianity a philosophy or a means may change the quality of the philosophy or of the means. To call me Christian changes the quality of me. And shouldn’t I be so compelled, if I am a true follower, to be called Christian? May I so order my life.

C.S. Lewis wrote, “And now, what does it all matter? It matters more than anything else in the world. The whole dance, or drama, or pattern of this three-Personal life is to be played out in each one of us; or (putting it the other way round) each one of us has got to enter that pattern, take his place in that dance. There is no other way to the happiness for which we were made. Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection. If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them.” And “If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry. Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever? Once a man is separated from God, what can he do but wither and die?”

This is why I think those who tiptoe around it will never know God. They will only know about Him. They will know a word and not its meaning. They may be Christian-like, but not Christian. Christianity can never be a sideline religion or one among many. One can never enter the game to serve his purpose or carry around the playbook in his back pocket to pull it out when needed.

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