In the great literature of all progressive societies, love is a verb. Reactive people make it a feeling. They're driven by feelings. Market driven spirituality has generally scripted us to believe that we are not responsible, that we are a product of our feelings and enviroment. But such "religious" sounding scripts do not describe reality or knowledge of things as they are. If our feelings or temptation to appease political regimes control our actions, it is because we have abdicated our responsibility and empowered them to do so. Kingdom believers make love a verb. Love is something you do: the sacrifices you make, the giving of self, like a mother bring the newborn into the world. May the church never forget who gave birth to it and at what cost it had been purchased from the world. Now is the time to carry the cross and count the cost.
With the recent devastation in Haiti many people have been asking why such a horrible tragedy could take place. (As of the writing of this article, the death toll caused by the horrific earthquake is heading toward 200,000.) The earthquake’s death and destruction has been indiscriminate, crushing everything from the presidential palace to churches, killing both believers and non-believers. Because of this, many have relegated simplistic answers to the trash heap. Some Christians are even questioning their faith. The following is an attempt to give a biblical explanation that equips us with a broader scope for explaining why such events happen to those in our spheres of influence.
FOR me, the most stunning aspect of faith is grace. Grace is that unmerited, incautious favor of God that most of us never tire hearing about. There is just something about it—whenever it comes, it changes what is into something grander. That is what I love about the gospel. It is a message of grace, and because of that, wherever it goes, it brings change. But some groups who call themselves “grace” people make me nervous. I get the feeling that they spell grace g-r-e-a-s-e. They don’t talk about grace as something that changes them as much as something that lets them slide by with whatever they feel like doing—even sinful things. But grace yields freedom from sin, not freedom to sin.
You know who’s at the center of religion? You are. You’re the focus. You’re the star. You’re in center stage and the spotlight is always on you. Religion deceives you into thinking you’re all about God, when in reality, you’re all about you. When you’re in religion, your relationship with God is based entirely on you; on how many prayers you pray, how you do at reading the Scriptures, how you do in keeping the commands, how you do at going to church, and on and on the list goes. Religion is based on man’s continued work.
These days are characterised by gimmicks, techniques, showmanship and sensationalism even in Christian circles. Many ‘new’ things are happening and are being taught by preachers and writers, and we are getting confused not always knowing whether or not something is from God. We know that in the last days there will be many false prophets and teachers bringing out such deceptive signs and wonders that even the elect could be deceived (Mt.24:24). We need to know how we can preserve ourselves in sanity and faith when we are being bombarded by Satan and his demons on one side and slick human operators on the other side.