rediscovering christianity's forgotten, organic ways amidst the modern industrial religious machine

Take It All and Don’t Ask Too Many Questions

“Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” 2 Corinthians 5:11

Let’s say that 5000 years ago, a wise, immortal master handed your forefathers a $100 billion in gold and then gave them explicit, written instructions detailing what he wanted you and your family to do with the money. He then left for an undefined period of time.

What, do you think would happen? Knowing human nature the rest of the story would be fairly predictable.

As generations would come and go, perhaps a few would break out the written instructions and revive the family’s devotion to follow the instructions, but that would be a very rare occurrence and each time it happened it would be motivated by someone’s desire to use the instructions to control everyone else.

The vast majority of the time the numerous generations would seek to find any excuse they could think of not to follow the master’s instructions. The benefits of believing a lie are just too great. Some would reinterpret the instructions, some would neglect reading the instructions, and some would even deny that the instructions were authentic, doubting the very existence of this so-called master.

But each generation would have no problem enjoying the boundless benefits of the pile of gold.

This is precisely the reason most western people either don’t follow or don’t believe in God.

When that annoying question arises as to why they have everything they have – talents, a sound mind, a functioning body, freedom, life, love, beauty, they ask themselves, “which explanation would best allow me to do whatever I want with these immeasurable gifts?” And the explanation that best answers that question magically becomes the truth. How incredibly convenient.

I’m calling this process functional idealism and it’s the greatest replacement to really seeking the truth in the western world. We come up with the ideal explanation that will allow us to continue to function in whatever way we want.

But these thinly constructed beliefs will one day be forced to withstand the sudden emergence of reality. And like ice before the blazing sun, this imaginary alternate reality will be vaporized in the blink of an eye leaving them exposed before God as they’re asked to answer one simple question, “How could you take these immeasurable gifts from my hand and, instead of attempting to discover and honor their ultimate source, simply lavish their boundless benefits on yourself?”

Today, instead of calling this philosophy out for what it really is, a lack of integrity, Christians are working harder than ever to convince non-believers that Christianity is an even more ideal fit for their functioning reality. But even when this does, for some strange reason, convince someone, their faith is still a product of their love for the world which Scripture says is the same as hatred toward God. They remain rebels.

As I’ve talked to those who face this uncomfortable question and then watch as they quickly retreat into functional idealism, confidently declaring that the truth is just coincidentally the perfect reality that will allow them to function the way they would most enjoy, I wonder what will happen on that Day. What happens when a true story faces a made-up one? The same thing that happens when a liar suddenly faces the one person who could expose them. We have a finite amount of time to tell the true story. And helping functional idealist is not to imagine them as a victim, but working to lovingly persuade them, as part of a rebellious member of our extended family, that there is a source and purpose for all of these blessings.

We’d all prefer, in our sinful nature, to be functional idealists. Anyone who comes to God bows his or her knees because the Holy Spirit grants them a sudden flash of integrity as a free gift. Faith in the truth is integrity. Let’s ask Him to give that gift to others we love who are still busy constructing their igloo – that other story.