Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sand Castles

1 Timothy 4
1The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

Face Book--who hasn't heard of it--joined it--or resisted joining it?

Even though I haven't joined the Face Book community, I've been amazed at how this social networking tool has reunited old friends.

Peter and Brenda have reconnected with friends of twenty or more years ago from Bible College (in Peter's case) and the private Christian public school they both attended. As they have mentioned long forgotten names, my memory bank has spluttered and coughed up from the depths of dusty, long forgotten corners, some faces to match the names.

The leap of twenty to thirty years at one jump feels a bit like a ride in a time machine. That scamp of a boy with the glint of mischief in his eyes that I had such a soft spot for--ended up in jail--and so on...I've heard with interest, story after story of who and where these grown up children are now.

It's been dismaying to find that some friends--including a group who had been at Bible College--seem to have lost their faith in God. I've been thinking about this a lot. How could this happen? I meet people regularly who have discovered God in the midst of a secular society and whose lives have been transformed by faith in Jesus Christ--and so it's been hard to understand the reasons for those who knew him young, yet fell away and lost their faith.

In Matthew 13 can be found the parable of the sower and the four soils. I think there are clues to be found there--where Jesus talks of the seed taking roots quickly on the rocky soil, but withering in the hot sun--or springing up but being choked by the cares of the world.

Paul wrote to Timothy:
2 Timothy 4:10 (New International Version)
10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.

People have fallen away from the beginnings of the faith--it shouldn't be so shocking or surprising.

In the story of the wise and foolish builders, one built his house on rock--and the other on sand.

How important it is to make your faith your own at some point--making the transition from a learned faith to an owned one. A faith that is faith at all, needs to be questioned, and poked at and prodded and explored--even doubted if necessary.

I think that we are too afraid of this--afraid to encourage questioning and thinking. But then we don't encourage the building of spiritual muscle and maturity.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I pray for true faith, not wishy-washy, pale imitation faith. I pray for grand children and God children and nieces and nephews and younger friends who are searching and open. Please help them to find a rock solid faith in you. In Jesus' Name!

Matthew 7:24-27 (New International Version)
24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If I may be so bold as to try and comment on this one ... it is my experience that many who have left have left because of a disappointment in the 'church'. Almost as if they had placed their faith in the wrong place - that it was a faith in God through others rather than discovering a faith in others through God. I've talked to a number of people about this issue and there is inevitably a story about a minister or a church member that drove them out the door and out of their faith. I think that we should be clear that we are Christians not Churchians and the distinction should be very very clear.

that's my two cents worth, anyways. You always keep me thinking.

Dave

Belinda said...

Dear Friend,
I agree with all my heart that we are Christians, not Churchians.

I also believe that Christ is the head of a body called the Church. It's a broken, imperfect body that needs some radical heart surgery, but it's the only body he has. I'm in it, for better or worse.

Thank you for one of the best compliments I've ever had--that I keep you thinking. :)I have to pass it on to God though, because late at night, when I don't know what to write--he's the one I'm asking for inspiration! :)