All sorts

29 08 2008

I have recently encountered a new friend, a guy who doesn’t come from my particular part of the body of Christ. In fact he believes that his particular part is the only genuine part (and that is the only clue I’m going to give about his background).  We talked for a couple of hours and I am utterly convinced that theologically his beliefs are of man-made origin, but because he is on of the most thoughtfully pious people I think I’ve ever come across, he is a delight to be with, even if he can’t do theology without relying upon human support, and not just the Bible itself (oh dear, another clue!)

My conclusion following our relatively short time together, is that he is a pure delight to be with and someone I would really like to know much better. He is also somewhat disarming because he has been gifted with an amazing gift of faith. If you haven’t ever encountered such a person, they convey faith to you and you go away with a mind full of new possibilities.

So here is the conundrum: how can such a guy holding such unfounded beliefs, be so blessed in character and gifting by God. For an answer to that, I am reminded of a short conversation I once had with the Lord. I was reading a book describing bad American evangelists and found myself thinking, “Lord, how can you use such people?” I didn’t even realise I was praying until I heard within my spirit the Lord reply, “The same reason I use you, son.” That didn’t sound good, but before I could think anything more, He added, “I use you not because you are right but because you are available.” That needed some thinking about.

There is this wonderful truth: God loves us, blesses us and even uses us while we are still imperfect. He doesn’t wait until I get it all right because He knows He would have to wait until I died. So there I am, in the world, loved by God just like I am, not having to perform any rituals to make myself more open to Him, because He is already open to me. That is the incredible truth at the heat of Christianity. It’s all about Jesus, just him, the glorious, wonderful Son of God who died for me, rose again for me, ascended into heaven and now awaits my arrival. Even more he’s put his own Holy Spirit within me, so I can’t get any closer. That is the wonder of this amazing Christian life!

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