Thinktrain has moved! Redirecting…

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit and update your bookmarks.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

This plank's for me

I think Jim Wallis is on the right track in this recent blog post. Arrogance isn't a virtue, and it sure isn't easily avoided. I agree with Wallis that it ought to be a high priority for anyone looking to follow Christ and that it is sorely lacking in all of us.

Jesus being the Son of God does NOT mean that Christians are better, more right, more righteous, more moral, more blessed, more destined to win battles, or more suited to govern and decide political matters than non-Christians. Instead, believing that Jesus was the Son of God would better mean that people who claim to believe it ought to then live the way Jesus did and taught. And on that one, many of us Christians (who believe the right way) are in serious trouble when it comes to the way we live. Those who believe that Jesus was the Son of God should be the most loving, compassionate, forgiving, welcoming, peaceful, and hungry for justice people around—just like Jesus, right? Well, it's not always exactly so.

I'll never forget hearing Billy Graham, the world's greatest evangelist, the last time he spoke at Harvard. He preached at Harvard's Memorial Church (to a huge crowd of students who had slept out all night just to get a seat), and then to the prestigious JFK Forum at the Kennedy School of Government the next night. After giving a statesmanlike address at the Kennedy School, he turned to the audience for questions. All the Christian triumphalists had shown up for their man and their night at Harvard.

One young believer stood up and asked Dr. Graham, "Since Jesus said 'I am the way, the truth and the life, and no man cometh to the Father but by me,' doesn't that mean people from other religions—Jews and the rest- are going to hell?" Billy replied, "I'm sure glad that God is the judge of people's hearts and not me! And I trust God to decide those questions justly and mercifully." The student was disappointed and pressed further, "Well, what do you think God will decide?" Graham demurred, "Well, God doesn't really ask my advice on those matters." Another questioner started again, "Well, what about those who aren't even monotheists—like the Buddhists?" Graham, replied, "You know, I've been to some Buddhist countries, and so many of the people I met seem to live more like Jesus than too many Christians I've seen."
Regardless of the source, many religions and philosophies--including Christianity--support the wisdom that change should begin with the individual. In other words, when I get done removing the plank from my own eye, I'll be back to remove the speck from yours. Don't wait up. I'm bound to forget that promise on a regular basis, but here's hoping for more effort toward righting our own wrongs--rather than everyone else's--in the year ahead.

No comments: