Wednesday, 28 August 2019

A matter of taste or a matter of fact?

I had an interesting conversation recently with a very friendly lady who introduced herself to me as a Pagan / Wiccan, with a bit of Mormon thrown in.

It was an interesting mix of worldviews, so I asked her how she came to identify herself in that way. She told me that she arrived at her views the same way she picks her ice cream flavours – she looks at what’s on offer and picks what she likes. I told her I had a different criterion – truth. I am a Christian because I believe it is true, and if I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t be a Christian, and I suggested that maybe we shouldn’t look at religion and spirituality as selecting an ice cream but as selecting a medicine.

You select an ice cream according to taste, and no one can tell you that you have picked the wrong flavour. And if you pick one you don’t like, it’s no big deal. But you select a medicine according to need, and it is possible to pick the wrong one. And, depending on your medical need, it could be a huge deal, a fatal mistake.
We discussed for quite a while the evidence for the Christian message. Having established that the Bible has proven itself to be God’s word, and Jesus proved Himself to be God’s Son, we looked at what it had to say about us. It tells us our problem is sin – we are guilty of breaking God’s law, and God’s righteousness demands our sin be paid for.

The answer to this problem is not denial, wishful thinking, being at one with nature, doing better or trying harder. The answer is a perfect substitute – one who is able and willing to step into the place of the guilty, and pay the penalty God’s justice demands, and that’s why we need Jesus Christ.

He didn’t die as a noble martyr or a political revolutionary, but as a sacrifice for sin, as a substitute for sinners. The only way a righteous God can let a guilty person go free is through Christ. So the Bible doesn’t present Him as an ice cream flavour to appeal to your taste, but as a medicine to meet your need and deal with your problem.

Jesus Christ does give peace, bring joy, change lives and satisfy hearts, but ultimately, the reason you need Him is because He forgives sins and saves souls.