I can understand people viscerally reacting to what the Bible says. I can’t understand people who smile and merely pretend to believe it.
Seeking to win lost people to Christ is good for me. It causes me to examine my own heart, to see if I really believe what I say I believe, to come to terms with the difference between my opinion and what the Bible really says.
Psalm 14:1 says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” The Hebrew words rendered fool in the book of Psalms denote one who is morally deficient. Morally deficient. That’s a nice way of saying my works aren’t good enough. My sacrifices aren’t good enough. And that’s just flat-out offensive!
This kind of in-your-face honesty from the Bible is irritating to many.
We want a giant set of scales to weigh our good works from our bad works. We think we’ll come out on top. Bad thinking.
If the standard is other people, we might be ahead of some, but certainly behind others. But what if the standard is a thoroughly holy, perfectly righteous Creator of the universe who is allergic to sin?
And that’s where the unique, but highly offensive message of the Cross comes in. Christianity teaches that we needed someone who was perfect to take our place and bear our punishment so God could righteously forgive us. It involved a cruel Roman cross which led to a horrific way to die (crucifixion) and a deep, deep truth that God’s Son became the sin sacrifice for us. For me. For you.
Dorothy Sayers put it this way: “It is the dogma that is the drama–not beautiful phrases, nor comforting sentiments, nor vague aspirations to loving-kindness and uplift, nor the promise of something nice after death–but the terrifying assertion that the same God Who made the world lived in the world and passed through the grave and gate of death. Show that to the heathen, and they may not believe it; but at least they may realize that here is something that a man might be glad to believe.” Have you believed this message?
Discussion Question: Why are Christians surprised when those who do not yet believe get mad at the Christian message?