Christianity wins not because it is strong, but because it is weak

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But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.

— 1 Corinthians 1:27

By David Tulis

My friends are trying to keep me off balance. They’re doing me a favor sending emails constantly sounding alarm bells about oppressive humanists, totalitarian controls coming, the need to stop some evil bill in the U.S. Congress, or —

I don’t want to add to your having a sense of being off balance. But for just a minute let me throw you a quick sample of headlines of the kind constantly hurled at you.

➤ Homosexuals at the University of California Berkeley campus are making noise about boycotting donations to the Salvation Army, a Christian church generally considered to be a charitable organization.

➤ Man-on-man types are publishing a poofterized version of the scriptures authorized by King James, a pervert and homosexual. Yes, the Queen James version.

➤  Great Britain is losing to Mohammedanism. Christianity in England and Wales has fallen 11 percent the past decade to 4.1 million, while followers of Mohammed have multiplied by birth and conversions, rising 80 percent in the decade to 1.2 million.

➤  An atheist group forced the Navy to scrap a Dec. 6 live nativity presentation at a naval base in Bahrain. The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers had complained about the event featuring children of military personnel dressed as Mary, Joseph, shepherds and other characters from the Gospel narratives.

As enemies traffic in compulsion, Christianity has grace, proximity to God

Themes running through such blurbs are that Christianity is losing under an onslaught of enemies. The news today suggests that before too long public expressions of faith and cultural manifestations are set to twilight.

Regardless of your denomination and church affiliation, you are heir to the work of the Reformation, the creation of Protestantism, if you will. It’s profitable to fly to that era’s conception of Christendom writ large (capitalism, technology, missionary labors) and Christendom writ inwardly (in your thoughts and life).

The Reformation discovered a truth that had been lost to Christianity thanks to Rome. That church by numerous theological errors has placed itself between God and man. In the 1500s, it became evident to readers of the Bible that it had died from sclerosis and poor circulation and that it had kept generations of people outside the kingdom of God and eternal life for centuries. John Wycliffe in the 1300s, Martin Luther, John Calvin and other notables two centuries later rediscovered the Word of God, that living thing. They rediscovered the life of grace and obedience required by God of His people.

Though we may worship in varying branches of Protestantism, our common ground in obtaining a right perspective on the rush of headlines is God’s grace. Together, we share personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Grace and faith are from God. Faith operates within, though it, too, is His gift.

Worldly means pretend to elevate mankind

Against Christianity are homosexuals, atheists, Muslims, humanists and modernists. These external enemies of Christianity are not cordial allies in their councils. Their combination is riven by internal feuding. But they share an  appreciation for the use of force and the use of worldly means to win control. They are about power and strength, whereas for Christians the formula for success starts with God’s grace.

Christianity is weakness in Christ, surrender to God, obedience to God’s law, acceptance of wrong, forbearance in tribulation, suffering for the Savior — martyrdom, even. For Christians in Chattanooga and beyond, duty calls for growth in grace, personal sanctification and the works of charity James writes about in his little epistle exploring the place of good works when salvation is entirely a gift of God.

In 1st Corinthians chapter 1 Paul talks about how God uses the “base things of the world” and He uses “the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are” (at verse 28). In other words, God brings reformation not with marketplace bombings, U.S. Code volumes, gleaming new regulatory agencies and government mandates for food labeling. His kingdom is not stormtroopers rappelling down an outside wall, flinging themselves through the glass with bursts of fire and light. It is not rows of thick-necked police officers standing in rows behind shields to bring public order and security.

Rather, He uses invisible means to throw down things that are visible. A sovereign God uses your personal regeneration and the genuine active Christian life that is implied in the concepts of self-government and local economy. Paul says, in discussing his thorn in the flesh, “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ ***  Therefore, I take pleasure in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor. 12:9,10).

Please come back to Nooganomics.com and recommend my work to your Facebook, church and work friends. I have more to say about the question of proximity to God and how that idea rising from the Reformation is a world-changing concept. — DJT

Pedestrians cross a street in front Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga.

Sources:

Huffington Post
Gatestone Institute
The New American

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