Reading some comments to an article written by Rachel Held Evans for CNN’s Religion Blog once again reminded me of something, something I believe that, unfortunately, much of the church in America has forgotten over the years.
The comment spoke of this person’s position that religion was created for one sole purpose: to explain the unexplained since science had yet to catch up. But now that science has really grown, the need for religion has been reduced or even eliminated.
I truly understand the thinking.
Here’s why. Much of what has been communicated as Christianity has been nothing more than a philosophy, a moral one at that based upon the Bible. That’s it. For much of the church, it has been in word, but definitely not in power.
The emphasis has been on believing in Jesus because of what is said; it is a word spoken that is to be believed. Any need to see anything humanly inexplicable is seen as inferior and true belief. If you truly believe, the thought goes, you won’t need to see any evidence; someone’s word should be enough.
But that’s not always the case, and I have to admit, with many people, they want to see some “proof in the pudding.”
Jesus even spoke about this very thing. In John 14:11, Jesus says, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; but if not, believe because of the works themselves.”
Jesus recognized the need for proof. It is my opinion that if the technological, medical and scientific advances were subtracting from today’s world, our world would be quite similar to that of the first century.
It is my desire that God’s power flows through His people, His church, in inexplicable ways all the time, ways that cannot be explained by any type of science known to humanity.
I don’t want people to believe just because I said it was so; I want them to believe because there is something to back up what I said.
One time, Jesus was in a house so packed with people that no one else could get in. Four friends had brought a friend who was lame so that he could be healed by Jesus. In order to get him to Jesus, the friends cut a hole in the roof and lowered him into Jesus’ presence.
Jesus looked at them, saw their faith, and then said to the lame man, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Some of the religious elite were there and muttered to themselves basically saying, “Who does He think He is? Only God can forgive sins.” Jesus knew what they were thinking so He decided to show them the proof that He was whom He said He was and that He had the authority to forgive sins. So, He looked at the man, told him to get up, roll up his mat and walk home. Jesus healed him.
You want proof, not just words? Boom! There you go.
Words are too often hollow. I pray that the power of God fills that hollow space and is “in-your-face” evident to those around us.