Friday, February 15, 2008

The True Gospel, Part Two

Sorry for the delay! I have returned to my story...

I may not always have a child-like heart, but I most often exhibit a child-like mind - easily distracted in thoughts and then suddenly hyper-focused on a detail others would by-pass. Looking at my previous post, I have become concerned that I might sound judgmental of those who preach Eternal Life or a gospel different than my own personal gospel. I am trying so hard to make a point; I failed to state the point! I do believe that Eternal Life through Christ is TRUE, but someone preaching that it is true did not make me realize it was so.

Another gospel emphasis, obviously just as true and critical to salvation, is the death of Christ on the Cross. Now this is the one I am most terrified to admit never quite affected me the same as it did others. I remember a study I did with some sisters a couple of weeks before my baptism. It was a study on the Cross - what does the Bible teach about what happened, and why did it happen? We watched a movie depicting the crucifixion of Jesus. It was heartbreaking and I cried - I shook with anger - I ached with the pain a mother, brother, friend could feel at this injustice - I felt the guilt of my sin and the responsibility it played in His death. But I also remember being too embarrassed to say what I was thinking, "I've watched death strike worse than this." We read aloud one of those medical accounts of crucifixion. It was horrid - but still not the worst I had imagined or even witnessed. These ladies had yet to learn that I was born in a home of a drug dealer and an addict prostitute, and even after my Dad changed his path and left my Mother I continued to witness, albeit in a sheltered way, some horrible facts about life and death. Add to that, it was my opinion at the time that this romantic story of sacrifice was being used to manipulate me - so any personal application to my life was tainted with this suspicion.

Again, this is an aspect of The True Gospel that is not a part of my gospel emphasis. So much so, that I often forget to share it when I witness! Be assured however, I have seen God use my meager seed.

An element or two of this study did begin to ruminate in my heart that night. I grew up with a determination not to be "bad" like the people I watched around me. They were unhappy and cruel, and I did not want to be like them. I followed every rule, to the finite point - for I clearly saw that sin led to death long before I read it in scripture. I had great difficulty in understanding I needed salvation. There were just a few things I could work at, with the assistance of a self-help book or two, and I would be the best person I knew. (You are welcome to LOL here.)

I am still soaking this lesson in seven years later, but I began to see that it was ridiculous to compare my "bad" to the "bad" of others. We are all offered the exact same restitution for sin - so how can one be any worse than the other?

I was fully aware that the girls at my study were carefully watching my reactions to the film, the reading and the discussion. I was so impressed with the leader of that study. Some might say she was being judgmental, but in her wisdom she knew the gospel had not become personal to me that night. Christ on the Cross was incredible - the resurrection was beautiful, but I was not yet persuaded.

There is no reason to listen if I cannot hear.
Just Another Voice,

1 comment:

Rose~ said...

I enjoyed reading that - now I gotta read your earlier posts.