Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Faithful Writer

AFTER SEEING Walter Kirn’s article trashing contemporary Christian culture [“What Would Jesus Do?”], I could confidently defend our culture against his charges point by point. But for argument’s sake, let’s just assume that most every charge he levels is true or is at least an honest snapshot of what one can see when photographing much of the Christian landscape today. That being assumed, I urged him as he makes his point (although I remain unsure as to what the point is) to be careful. Be very careful! He should be careful that he does not miss the Christ through a view obstructed by less-than-perfect Christians. He shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. That baby was born with one purpose, one singular goal: to die for Kirn, myself and all mankind, because we are not and cannot be the people the Creator require us to be. How could a loving God require us to be something we cannot be? By providing a way out through His grace manifested in the sacrifice of His sinless Son. We cannot forgive our own sin. Only Christ can deal with it.

Kirn may call Christian faith a coping mechanism or a crutch. He does not go far enough. Faith in Christ is not a crutch; it is a stretcher! One cannot even limp into eternity without Him. No amount of humanistic pulling oneself up by one’s own bootstraps or vain self-employment techniques will ever be adequate to deal with our sin. Only the sacrifice of Christ can atone for our shortcomings.

Kirn seems to base the validity of Christ upon the originality of those who claim to fallow Him. You want something radically unique? Try this: Jesus, in the midst of a world that said (and says) you have to look out for number one, countered, “Consider others better than yourself” and “Blessed are the meek.” In a hedonistic world full of people seeking to get ahead and grab their fair share of gusto, He says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” and Blessed are they that mourn” and “To find your life, you must lose it.” To the vindictive masses looking to get even, He says, “Turn the other cheek” and “Blessed are the merciful.” To the experienced, worldly savvy, He says ”Blessed are the pure in heart.” To the materialist, He says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.” If Kirn does not consider these words of Christ to go against the flow, then I would have to conclude that he is not in pursuit of objective truth but merely “trash talking.”

Those words are two millennia old. Two long, crusty millennia! Yet they are just as edgy, just as uncomfortable and just as radical as when first spoken! If Kirn needs originality for validity, then Jesus as his man! Yes, be very careful as you bash some, arguably even most, of those professing to follow Christ, that you do not miss Him.

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