accept. So I walked around those disturbing "land mines" and focused on more palatable stuff like grace and faith and love and hope. I hoped, prayed, assumed we were all "saved."
So I walked around those disturbing "land mines" and focused on more palatable stuff like grace and faith and love and hope. I hoped, prayed, assumed we were all "saved."
The New Testament stories of grace are like parentheses that surround other stories and sayings of another doctrine: God has a wrathful side and he will absolutely let it rip at the end of the age. Ouch. It actually matters how we live our lives. Like it or not (and I often do not), the words of my Lord are laced with fair warnings about this grave reality. Christianity starts with the news that a good creation of the world has gone horribly wrong -- and we are the problem, which is highly inconvenient. This is the point of decision, the line of demarcation, where many of us click away and simply decline the offer of Christianity. Me the problem? Give me a break. It's the soul-pricking, ego-wounding inconvenient truth that Christ predicted many would reject. But that seemingly claustrophobic message leads you to the spaciousness and contentment you're seeking.
In some ways, we've neutered the gospel message. Maybe that's why our church buildings in the West are swiftly being vacated and becoming community centers.
My engagement with this stuff and how I portray it could be seen as a fear or guilt tactic. But if a friend was unknowingly driving his car straight towards a cliff, I would surely get a hold of him and tell him to stop immediately and turn back [Achtung!]. God gives us ample warning in the New Testament because he loves us, another provision of grace. And he'll keep pursuing you with his love your whole life.
God has a wrathful side and he will absolutely let it rip at the end of the age.
There's a reason for this oft-quoted line of the Bible: The fear (awe) of the Lord is the beginning
I'm the first to admit this could be the most counter-cultural, foreign, "uncool" and even despised message I can imagine uttered in Western society. But it is true... it is precisely what we need.
Note: In case you hadn't noticed, the title of this post is a reference to my favorite album of all time, U2's groundbreaking Achtung Baby, released in 1991. It is one of the most acclaimed albums in rock history.