Friday, 30 January 2009

The Offense of the Cross

Praise the LORD for allowing the Atheist Bus Campaign! I don't think this campaign came from the Mind of God, but I am CERTAIN that He can use it for His Glory. Yesterday the national media picked up the story and our daily web traffic shot up six-fold.

City TV conducted a phone-in and on-line poll. Their Question of the Day was: Do you find the atheist bus ads on the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) offensive? The last poll results I saw were YES 53% and the No’s at 47%. Personally, I am surprised at the high number of YES votes (I was not one of them). Does the statement ‘THERE PROBABLY IS NO GOD, NOW STOP WORRYING AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE” offend God? Sadden Him, yes. Offend Him? I don’t think so. Jesus saved His barbs for the Pharisees, the ones who were not sincere in their beliefs.

That atheists and others may be offended by what we post on Bus Stop Bible Studies is a given. The Apostle Paul acknowledges that the cross is an offense to those who are perishing.

What offends God? The neglect of orphans and widows (James 1:27). Divorce (which, in the US, is now higher amongst married Christians than married non-Christians) Malachi 2:16. Fornication (dictionary definition: to have sexual intercourse without being married) 1 Corinthians 6:9. Christians who sit at home watching offensive material on their TV’s and computers in the privacy of their homes, yet condemn homosexuals, strippers and prostitutes for their behaviour. I think God is more offended by those who claim Jesus Christ as Lord and then fail to submit to his authority – cheap grace – than those who don’t know Him. Grace did not come cheap! It cost God everything!

Jesus says to you and to me, “Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” Revelation 2:5 And leaves us with this promise, “…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. The responsibility for enjoyment of life lies with God's people. As we ask in one of our studies: What are you prepared to do about it?
The word repent simply means ‘to turn around’ or ‘turn away from’. A lot of Christians need to do a lot of turning away from sin and everyone else needs to turn to Jesus. Amen