Monday, June 12, 2006

What's your favorite book/passage of the Bible?

Here's another funny like thing Christians like to toss around. I was just reminded of this while reading part of Sean's post about Ann Coulter where it mentioned some Democrat politicians favorite book of the Bible was Job, but he didn't even know if it was Old Testament or New Testament. Of course, some people (like myself) answer silly questions like that wrong half the time if only because we aren't thinking about the answer. For some reason, I always mix up Hebrews and Proverbs in my head... if I'm thinking Proverbs I usually find myself opening to Hebrews and vice versa.

Anyway, moving on from that detraction, my point is that we like to quote the "nice" passages about God leading us through pretty valleys and streams of cool water, comforting and forgiving us, or getting 72 virgins when you die (oops, wrong religion). But who likes to quote passages about obedience, the commandment to love another, etc.? I'm not saying that there aren't certain passages through which God has spoken to me more than others, but maybe "favorite" isn't the best word. After all, I don't usually like what God says, but I know it's something I need to embrace. On some level, I actually do like it... more in the way that I like to run five miles; not because it's fun like eating a bowl of ice cream, but because I like to stay in shape. This requires discipline. If you asked, how many peoples' favorite word would be "discipline"? And how many peoples' favorite verses focus on spiritual discipline?

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

What's a "good Christian"?

I believe I've talked about this before, but at 25 years old, I'm starting to become senile and talk about the same things over and over again. Actually, I was hanging out with some folks earlier and got to thinking about this again after hearing someone talk about some girl who claims to be a good Christian while basically denying a lot of her sins. What strikes me is how someone could really be a good Christian? Think about it... the reason for following Christ is that we turn to him for redemption from our sins. And for that reason, confession of sins is at the core of being a Christian. What it comes down to is that on the outside there is often little difference between Christians and non-Christians (barring the expemplary examples of certain saints and church leaders), but since others' deeds are what we observe, that's how we end up judging people in our minds. Yet the only thing that counts is our heart -- that when we confess our sins, we sincerely desire not to sin again. Of course, that's the kind of stuff only God can see while he forgets the juicy stuff; we only see (and remember) the juicy stuff while usually having little idea about where others truly stand before God.