“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy.”
1 Peter 1 v 13 - 16
I’m sure a lot of you will have heard the classic Christian joke of the man who asked God to be holy then added in a small voice “just not yet”. There is a very large element of truth in the sentiment expressed there. Despite the fact that Christians know we should want to be more holy we’re also kind of resistant to becoming more holy.
When it comes to being holy Christianity takes a completely different approach to all other religions. They say that man must strive to be holy and so gain salvation from sins. Christianity says no, man cannot ever make up the debt he owes God through good works. Instead a man is saved by the grace of God and then is made holy. Salvation first, holiness second.
It is my great delight to introduce my very first guest blog written by none other than James Mildred on the state of the modern church. As usual comments, questions and debates are welcome. If you would like to write a guest blog feel free to contact me.
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. "
1 Peter 2 v 9 - 10
I heard a message just recently which struck a real chord. A recent guest preacher, an old friend of the Church, had a message which was one of directness and boldness; surely the same qualities missing in the Church today. Now, if we believe God will work in this land again, then it will start within the representation of his body on this planet, the bride of Christ. So until the Church returns to sound biblical doctrine, it is unwise to expect a revival; we should be looking at our churches in the light of the Bible and asking questions; it is not wrong to question the Church biblically; indeed, no individual should simply allow the work of a church and the preaching of the gospel to go untested.
Right ho, first of all I’m not saying that atheists are simple. I have too great a respect for various atheist intellectuals for that to be true (Keynes, I’m not looking at you) And several of my good friends are atheists and simple is the last word on earth I’d used to describe them. I'm sure they'll appreciate the above picture.
Nevertheless the argument I will make is that atheism is just too simple. It takes a look around the material universe and says: “Yep, that’s all there is.” It erects a sign over the universe saying “Nothing else to look at.” Atheism reduces everything to the laws of nature. Nothing can exist apart from what can be proved by science.
So what? You ask. Aren’t simple solutions the best? Hasn’t science disproved the supernatural? On the face of things these questions seem valid but they don’t fit in with the evidence of our day to day life. Atheism doesn’t fit in with the reality we live in. Simple is good but Atheism is over-simplistic.