So, here’s the hard part. This is a two-part blog. Before what I’m about to write will be relevant, you’ll have to read the attached blog written by Jessica Misener.
It won’t take but a few minutes so cut and paste or follow the url. Read it and return.
If the link doesn't work, just google "Why I Miss Being A Born-Again Christian."
Welcome back, I have four thoughts.
1. There is something extremely cool and powerful about honest doubt. God can work with that. Can the church?
2. I fear we have done a poor job overall of preparing our young people to deal with an academic handling of the Scriptures. "Because the Bible tells me so," won't carry weight if you're conversing with someone who doesn't see the Bible as you do. We need to reconsider our approach to talking about the sacred Text when dealing with people who see it no different that the Book of Mormon, or the Koran. Don't get me wrong, I accept the Bible as the Word of God, but I have never, not for one day, ever considered it anything different. I was raised that way. A vast majority of the people around us aren't, and they're going to look at it much the way you and I would look at the Koran or the Book of Mormon. Often, it's not lies they are confronted with on the university campus that cause our young people to doubt the Bible, but truth we didn't bother to teach them, or perhaps mystery we just were afraid to talk about.
There are things about the Bible that I can't fully explain. For instance, how many women were at the tomb? Somewhere between one and five according to the Gospels. Does that bother me? No. I've met Jesus and his resurrection is the point of the story. Far too often we miss what God is pointing to with His finger by arguing about His finger.
May our faith never be so fragile as to keep us from transparent, even sometimes difficult discussions. Through thousands of years, the finest minds and most dedicated hearts in Christendom have often disagreed about certain passages of Scripture. How arrogant would it be of me to portend that I have the final word regarding The Word? The learned teachers in my life taught me better than that. Consequently, there is great danger when Scripture is bent to construct a “pre-fab worldview.”
4. It’s just not that easy to quit Jesus. The older I get the more I am impressed by how hard it is to escape the impact of a man who lived 2,000 years ago, led only a few followers, never wrote a book, and died a criminal’s death. The power of the resurrection is always in front of us. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to read, “Who is This Man?” by John Ortberg.
The “sheer sensation of life,” the “all-pervading notion of being,” the “pulse of consequence projected onto the humblest of things,” will not likely slacken, Jessica, because Jesus is the Man who just won’t go away.
My prayer is that as Jessica walks through life “smiling thinly” at those of us who profess Christ, Christ's love will so fill our lives, and He will so live out His resurrection in us, that grace will overflow and find it’s way into the tiny cracks in her heart, and truth will reign.
I say that because I believe Jesus misses Jessica more than Jessica misses Jesus.
God help us to live in such a way as to gain an audience with her heart and her mind.