No, I’m not going to apologize for what I said about the American Church. I’m using the word “apology” in the sense of the word of clarifying what I meant.
In my post about the need of the death of the American Church, I was not calling for a legalistic faith, a faith based off works and not dependent upon the grace of God and the power and meaning of the Cross. What I meant was that it is time that we consider how Christians should live compared to how they live today, particularly in America, since most of my readers are American.
When God chose Abram and Sarai, He chose them to start a nation that was to be different from the other nations. They were to live differently, eat differently, dress differently, worship differently. It was to be a whole nation, completely separate from the rest of the world, nestled in its little cove. A nation holy to God. Slowly, that nation began to look more and more like the other nations. They took on the gods of the nations they conquered, turning their backs on God, and eventually demanding a king, preferring a sinful human like themselves to rule over them rather than a holy God who knew what was best for them. Israel sank into ruin and despair, eventually being conquered and placed under the rule of the Roman empire. Then came along a man named Jesus from Nazareth. But this man was different. He spoke with authority, unlike their leaders, the Pharisees and Sadducees. He taught a new way of living, a new world, where the poor were just as important as the rich, in fact even more so. He taught that the last shall be first and the first shall be last and that the least of these (children, prostitutes, the homeless, the sick, the diseased) were to be cherished and cared for. He taught an upside-down kingdom. This Jesus claimed to be the Son of the living God, the same God who brought the Israelites to their land and rescued them from so many perils that should have destroyed them. But they didn’t believe Him, and He was crucified. It is told that after 3 days, this same Jesus rose from the dead and lived among His disciples for another 40 days and nights before returning to His Father in Heaven. Before leaving, even before His death, He gave His disciples a very important command: He commanded them to love one another and to teach everything He taught them. He showed them the way to live and to love and He showed the ultimate act of love by allowing Himself to be murdered on a wooden cross. This murder would eventually be recognized as God’s atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind, and anyone who believed in the sacrifice and took hold of His promise of eternal life would indeed live forever in His kingdom. But one thing needed to happen: they needed to change the way they lived and thought. Every early Christian was taught that, but now, we have lost that teaching. We think that it is okay to live how we want as long as we have prayed a little prayer. But this is not what the Bible teaches. In a little while I will be posting numerous passages from the New Testament, and even the Old Testament, that proves my point.
But please remember that no new live is possible without the Cross. Without that atoning sacrifice, we would live a life led by meaningless laws that, while they make the world a better place, we would lose all joy and be constantly looking over our shoulders whenever we breathe laws, wondering when we will get caught.
Please, look to the Cross and look to the example of Christ and listen to that voice, the Holy Spirit He has given you, or just your conscience, as to what is right and wrong in what you do.