Saturday, July 28, 2007

LA Times religion reporter loses faith

If you haven't read William Lobdel's story of his loss of faith after years of covering the priest sex abuse scandals, the treatment of Mormons who leave the church and the prosperity gospel of TBN, go read it now because it's pretty powerful stuff.

It can be hard reconciling the teaching of Christ and his sacrificial death to the actions of the church. I remember being disappointed time and again by the actions of Christians when I was a baby Christian. How could they be so selfish when Christ was so selfless? I've since learned that we are still sinners who need to be reminded constantly that we have been bought with a price and we are a new creation in Christ. Remembering that will help us to appreciate the struggles of others.

But it is also important to remember that there are many who call themselves Christians but are not. Jesus warned us of this:

Matthew 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. 21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' 23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.' 24 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it." 28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
Putting our trust in those who call themselves Christians is like building your house on the sand. When they fall you fall with them. Putting your trust in the word of God gives you a foundation on which to build your life in Christ. That is a much surer foundation and one that will withstand the winds of doubt.

(via)

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5 Comments:

  1. Moonshadow said...
    Sorry for the spoiler, but ...

    "Either you have the gift of faith or you don't. It's not a choice. It can't be willed into existence."

    Absolutely.
    michele said...
    Yeah, I thought that was pretty insightful and was going to include it in the post, but decided to stick to the narrow point I was making about trusting in God's word and not his people. I probably could have worked it in but decided against it.
    Moonshadow said...
    He runs the gamut. He invokes every defense. He's simply seen too much. Mark 2:17.

    There is no consolation here. This valley of tears, our exile. Lamentations 1, especially v. 16 ... but Rev. 21:4!

    The Church, a "Pilgrim People": "However, until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells (cf. 2 Pet. 3:13) the pilgrim Church, in its sacraments and institutions, which belong to this present age, carries the mark of this world which will pass, and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail yet and await the revelation of the sons of God (cf. Rom. 8: 19-22)." LG 48

    (these VCII docs are getting harder and harder to find at the Vatican's web site ... I should be worried!)
    michele said...
    I like this one:

    Col. 3:3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
    Grace said...
    Excellent article and post.

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