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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Family Tree Has a Few Nuts

Today I'm reading Romans 2:17-24.
If you’re brought up Jewish, don’t assume that you can lean back in the arms of your religion and take it easy, feeling smug because you’re an insider to God’s revelation, a connoisseur of the best things of God, informed on the latest doctrines! I have a special word of caution for you who are sure that you have it all together yourselves and, because you know God’s revealed Word inside and out, feel qualified to guide others through their blind alleys and dark nights and confused emotions to God. While you are guiding others, who is going to guide you? I’m quite serious. While preaching “Don’t steal!” are you going to rob people blind? Who would suspect you? The same with adultery. The same with idolatry. You can get by with almost anything if you front it with eloquent talk about God and his law. The line from Scripture, “It’s because of you Jews that the outsiders are down on God,” shows it’s an old problem that isn’t going to go away.

What's your pedigree? I can't tell you how many times I've asked someone, "Are you a Christian?" and their answer is something like, "My mother-father-grandfather was a pastor-elder-Sunday School teacher." Others think they're are Christian because they know they aren't Jewish, Buddhist or Mormon. For some being Christian is purely a cultural/ethnic designation and has nothing to do with personal faith in Jesus. People who are close to Christianity but not really inside can become inoculated
 against the disease. Just familiar enough for it not to penetrate their hearts. 

But there are no 'grandchildren' in the Kingdom of God. No one 'gets in' riding someone else's coat tails. There are only children in Christ's Kingdom. Your Christian family tree can definitely provide benefits to your faith, but it is not the same thing as faith. And the last line from Paul could easily apply to many today: "“It’s because of you 'Christians' that the outsiders are down on God,” shows it’s an old problem that isn’t going to go away.


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