Thursday, August 16, 2007

This Is True

This was the liturgical reading at the LaSalle Street Church a few weeks ago. Senior Pastor, Laura Truax, told me they repeated it for several weeks in a row and people were very moved by it.
It is not true that this world and its inhabitants are doomed to die and be lost;

This is true: For God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that everyone who believes in him shall not die, but have everlasting life.

It is not true that we must accept inhumanity and discrimination, hunger and poverty, death and destruction:

This is true: Jesus has come that we might have life, and have it abundantly.

It is not true that violence and hatred shall have the last word, and that war and destruction have come to stay forever;

This is true: For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, in whom authority will rest, and whose name will be the prince of peace.

It is not true that our dreams of liberation for humankind, our dreams of justice, of human dignity, of peace, are not meant for this earth and its history;

This is true: The hour comes and it is now, that true worshippers shall worship God in Spirit and in Truth.

It is not true that we are simply victims of the powers of evil that seek to rule the world;

This is true: To Christ is given authority in heaven and on earth. Christ will be with us always, to the end of the world.


Anonymous said...

It is not true that this world and its inhabitants are doomed to die and be lost;

This is true: For God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that everyone who believes in him shall not die, but have everlasting life.

How come the second does not seem to make the first untrue to me? Over and over the New Testament speaks of the lostness of mankind without Christ.

Without believing, as the verse states, we are lost and doomed to death.

He who has the Son has life, He who does not have the Son shall not have life, but the wrath of God is upon them.

The earth and its inhabitants are lost and doomed to die apart from the saving power of Christ which comes through the avenue of belief.

Maybe I am just confused or oversensitive, but I see both statements as true and not one false and the other true.


laura Truax said...

Sure - death is true. So is destruction, etc.

But at the same time there is a deeper truth. Or in the words of C.S. Lewis "a deeper magic still."

The church is affirming the truth that death is not the last word. Into the NO of the world, the crippling karma of sin and greed, exploitation and oppression, God spoke the Good News of Resurrection. Of Forgiveness. Of Hope.

It is in that shadow that we choose to stand. It is that deeper word that we preach and live and love. So while it is true that people are dying and sinning and judging, the church stands with one voice to say that we will not give into death; we will not resign oursevles to hopelessness and with our last breath we will proclaim there there is a power at work greater than death.

thaberean said...

Since we know both statements are true, the question is the amount of emphasis we give to each of them. Like KG seems to insinuate (correct me if I'm wrong KG), I see the value in affirming both equally, since God through Scripture does. I think there was a time and space in Christianity when the emphasis was clearly on the truth of humanity's depravity and lostness apart from Christ, actually an overemphasis to the almost exclusion of a sense of hope and redemption for the world. I think there are errors to that thinking and practice (i.e., sense of doom and hopelessness and resulting lack of action re: social justice). However, I also think there is an equally erroneous (but today prevalent) emphasis on the opposite side, and this overemphasis has its own errors (i.e., focus on folks' physical needs and on cultural relevancy to the almost exclusion of focus on spiritual needs; mixing up of the Gospel and tendency tow. universalism). Without an equal focus on our awful human condition apart from Christ and on the redemptive work of Christ for the world , the content of the Gospel and the resulting (holistic) salvation it brings to people and the glory it brings to God are lost. When the depravity of man and sin are glossed over (and it's almost anathema in some Christian circles to even bring up these words), there is not the full appreciation of the condition of man w.o God and of Christ and the Cross. Then, the centrality of the Cross is overshadowed by other emphases.

Just a few of my thoughts. I think in general problems come when there is a hyper focus on one 'piece' of truth.

Arloa Sutter said...

I think our overarching world view is important and impacts how we live our lives. While I also believe it is true that people are lost and doomed without Christ, the gospel is indeed, GOOD NEWS and we get to announce it to people who are tired and feeling hopeless. Some day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord and Christ will reign victorious. He has risen! That is the vision that motivates me. Love people and point them to Jesus wherever they are because in Christ they are no longer doomed.

I agree with Joyce that it is because of the darkness that the light of Christ shines so bright. It is because of our depravity and the evil in the world that we need a Saviour. That is what sent Jesus to the cross. "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." (Rom. 8:1-2) Hallelujah!