Thursday, September 13, 2018


If you found another contradiction in yesterday's post, you're not alone. The author of the book in question says that today's Christians should not waste their time with the Old Testament because as individuals, we aren't in it. There is no "you" in the Old Testament, only a "ya'll," as God is working through a specific people, not an individual person.

But in the New Testament, God's radically new thing is to have an emphasis on the assembly, the church. So you can totally find yourself in there, and you should.

The contradiction is one thing, and while it's worth noting and discussing, we kind of did that with yesterday's post. What's perhaps more disturbing about this is the suggestion that the Christian faith is all about you.

(Interestingly, the author will also go on to say that we're a selfish people using our Christian faith to get what we want for ourselves, not for the glory of God, and that this, too, is disastrous. But how can the Christian faith be about us individually, which makes the New Testament the only one worth reading, if it is disastrous for it to be about us, because we are only trying to get out of it what's in it for us? Again, the contradictions are unavoidable when you get into bad theology.)

A lot of this comes from the notion that we've latched onto in the church that "if it was just you, if you were the only one, if only your life was going to be changed and saved by it, Jesus would still have gone to the Cross" and "Jesus died for you, just you, because He loves you."

It's not necessarily that this sentiment is "wrong," so much as it is limited. It's important to note that the same thing is true in the Old Testament, where God also loves individuals individually and chooses them and builds His plan around them - Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, for examples. God's intimate, personal, individual love for them cannot be denied.

However, it's just as important to note that God's plan, His overarching plan, has never been the redemption of the individual; it's been the recreation of the world. God wants to restore all things. He always has. That's what His Kingdom is all about. So to say that the entire Scriptures exists for the sake of your individual faith is to cut 99.999999999% off of what God Himself says He's up to. To say that the point of the Scriptures is to find your faith in them is to miss the plan of God entirely. To say that God orchestrated the world, all the world, everything He's done to this point in history for the sake of your personal, individual salvation is extremely self-centered and short-sighted.

Sorry, Christian...but it's not about you.

It's about God.

It's about what God desires to do in this world that He created. Remember that He created us for His glory, that we have not created Him for ours. He's been working since in the beginning to bring all of creation into forever and ever. Amen, not just an individual here or there and not, we must say, just human beings. He wants to restore all things. That's the plan.

Yes, you're a part of that, but it doesn't begin and end with you. You're not the end game; the end game is still ya'll. It's still everyone. God is using a new assembly - the church - the same way He used the old assembly - Israel: to prepare the world for His Kingdom, to prepare the world for His coming, to prepare the world for His glory. To get us all to that glorious day.

Not just to get there ourselves.

So don't worry about whether or not "you" are in the Scriptures; you're there. You're part of it all. But just a part. Read the Scriptures looking for God. For in the end, it is His plan that's unfolding, His heart that's beating, His hands that are at work. It's His glory, not yours.

Don't ever confuse the two. 

No comments:

Post a Comment