And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
(The Parable of the Rich Young Ruler Matthew 19:16-22 ESV Study Bible)
I wanted to start this week’s blog with a portion of the parable of the Rich Young Ruler. This is a popular parable that has been taught in many sermons and Sunday School Lessons. Most of us, do get that the Rich Young Ruler didn’t want to sell everything in order to follow Jesus.
However, I would like to look at this parable a little deeper and focus on a main point. The Rich Young Ruler didn’t want to give up everything to follow God.
God is to suppose to be God in every area of our lives. Isn’t He? May I suggest that we either don’t want Him to be God in every area of our lives or are afraid to let Him be God in every area of our lives.
I must admit I fit into the second part of the last sentence. I’m afraid of letting God be God in every area of my life. Heck, I’m a grown man and I want to do what I want and I want God on my terms, not His. And I know a lot of Christians as well as non-Christians feel the same way.
Well in the news this week, I read that Anne Rice, the novelist, decided renounce Christianity. At first, I was like well that’s a decision she will have to live with for the rest of her life. Then I read a great article by Eric Rauch of American Vision Ministries that counteracted her reasoning to quit Christianity.
There’s the link. Please read the entire article. It’s worth it.
Here’s a section of the article that got me to thinking about this week’s blog post.
“In the name of Christ, I refuse to anti-gay. I refuse to anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian.”
Wow! Anne Rice had a lot of reasons for her quitting Christianity. A few things from the paragraph that got my attention.
She used ‘In the name of Christ’ twice. For someone who has decided to renounce her faith, she wanted Christ to validate her decision. Next, she said I refuse to be anti-science. Well, if she did a little study into Christian History, there is a major connection between science and Christianity. Lastly, she said I refuse to be anti-life. How can God be anti-life when he created life? She needs to read the first couple of chapters of Genesis. As a matter of fact, she needs to read the Bible again. There is nothing but life in those pages. Love, Hate, Violence, Sex, Lust, Adultery, Wisdom, Forgiveness and so on.
Eric Rauch hits a home-run in the paragraph after Anne Rice’s reasons to quit Christianity.
“Each one of the reasons is not only a hot-button political topic, but a convenient straw man that she can set up to make it look like she has actually thought through what she is refusing. The fact of the matter is that she realized she could only serve one sovereign. It’s sad that she has chosen a liberal political agenda over the Bride of Christ, but to her credit, at least she made her choice. Too many other Americans are naively trying to swim the channel between the two.”
Bingo. Mr Rauch writes it perfectly in that paragraph. Either we turn away from God to follow man because we can’t do Christianity our own way or we play the fence on both sides trying to show we are not what people think Christianity is stereotypically.
Well, I must admit I have been like the last part of the previous sentence. But like the Rich Young Ruler, I’m realizing there is something missing. But, am I brave enough to follow Christ all the way and into every of are of my life. Or will I let societal peer pressure determine what kind of Christian I can be?
I hope this blog post gives Christians something to really think about and for those of you are not Christians….I really think this is the essential answer in deciding to follow Christ or not.
You will have to give up something and change aspects of your life. There’s no sugarcoating it. And I will understand if you decide like Anne Rice, that you can’t do it. It’s not easy. I’m a Christian and I still struggle with it.
But we all have to make decisions in our lives and I want to make sure on this blog post there is clarity of thoughts or positions instead of agreement.
Have a good week.