Monday, July 7, 2014

We’re not okay

Sir Elton John has his own definition of a “great person,” and he tries to squeeze God the Son into that. It’s unthinkable to him that a great person would counsel him not to sin.

That’s the thing about great people. They give you what you weren’t expecting but what you realize after the fact you needed all along. If great people did what they were expected to do, they’d be demand-siders (i.e., mediocre). Everyone asks God to give them what they want. Instead God gives us Himself in the flesh.

“If Jesus Christ was alive today, I cannot see him, as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was, saying this [same-sex marriage] could not happen.

“He was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together and that is what the church should be about.”

If it were just about bringing people together in good cheer, bowling league would be sufficient for Sir John’s purposes. True, the church is about bringing people closer to each other. It’s also about bringing people closer to God and to creation. But something works against the communion of the peoples; the all-time foe, digging a trap between us and the promises of salvation: sin.

Understanding of the truth of sin and the limits of self set one in search of Jesus, the bridge over the chasm between us and God. Unfortunately, many people, like Sir John here, conflate the conditions of the unworthy self with holiness. They are quite at ease with themselves and don’t see the need to be set right, since the “bad old days” when perversions were stigmatized have long gone. The truth of our sin and God’s prescription for us is watered down into a plurality of fantasies and wishful thinking, and to each his own.

Such I’m okay, you’re okay tepidness the Apostle John wrote about:

You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

As did C. S. Lewis:

One of the dangers of having a lot of money is that you may be quite satisfied with the kinds of happiness money can give and so fail to realise your need for God. If everything seems to come simply by signing cheques, you may forget that you are at every moment totally dependent on God. Now quite plainly, natural gifts carry with them a similar danger. If you have sound nerves and intelligence and health and popularity and a good upbringing, you are likely to be quite satisfied with your character as it is. ‘Why drag God into it?’ you may ask. A certain level of good conduct comes fairly easily to you. You are not one of those wretched creatures who are always being tripped up by sex, or dipsomania, or nervousness, or bad temper. Everyone says you are a nice chap and (between ourselves) you agree with them. You are quite likely to believe that all this niceness is your own doing: and you may easily not feel the need for any better kind of goodness. Often people who have all these natural kinds of goodness cannot be brought to recognise their need for Christ at all until, one day, the natural goodness lets them down and their self-satisfaction is shattered. In other words, it is hard for those who are ‘rich’ in this sense to enter the Kingdom.

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