Forklift Theology

Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.

Excuses, Excuses.

What? No picture? Why? What is your excuse? I don’t have one. Huh? I have no excuse for not having a picture, nor do I have a picture. That is the reason that there is no picture for this posting. However, that is the point.

At work I hear lots of excuses. Usually they revolve around one of two things. Either it has something to do with why somebody feels that they shouldn’t have to do a certain job, or it is something about why they should (or shouldn’t) load a particular type of freight. I am never convinced of any of these. If anything, there are too many able bodied guys who simply refuse to work outside of their comfort zone.

Now then, this leads into an interesting question. Why do some people reject Christianity and the church? I have to admit, I do know that some do so simply because it is not what they believe. To that end, I do scratch my head a little. I have to ask what it is that they do believe. This is where it gets interesting.

Some years ago I knew a woman who rejected Christianity and the church because of something from the Bible. What was it that she felt was in the Bible that justified her rejection of the church? It was a verse from the Old Testament. In Exodus 22:18, we read “You shall not permit a sorceress to live”. In the KJV, the term used is “witch”. What was being ignored was that this verse is part of a series of rules mostly relating to the ceremonial law. This was not necessarily part of the moral law, though any form of witchcraft is certainly a violation of God’s law. However, that was her excuse for rejecting the church. She was a professing witch, and somehow had it in her head that if she went into a church, she’d be put to death. Gee, seems somebody failed to read in the book of Acts of how people repented of their witchcraft and sorcery, and were saved.

Another excuse I’ve heard about rejecting Christianity and the church is that we are hypocrites. Pot calling the kettle black? I have yet to meet a human being who isn’t a hypocrite. We all are guilty of saying one thing and then doing something else. I don’t know of a person who professes the Christian faith that can live it perfectly. Simple truth is that we are all sinners, and we need a loving God who can perfectly forgive us our sins.

“I don’t need to goto church” is one I hear all too often. This is not really a rejection of the Christian so much as it is a rejection of the church and organized religion. I have heard it also phrased as “I don’t need to go through an elaborate ritual to worship God”. Odd. A careful reading of Leviticus reveals something interesting. God gave the Israelites a very elaborate set of rituals to follow regarding how they worshipped him. Hate to say it, but God is the one who established many of the rituals that the church uses today. Also, the Bible really does commend us to gather together to worship God. Yes, you can worship him outside the church, but the church is the only place you can receive the sacraments.

Actually, mention of the sacraments brings in another excuse. I have read of this one before, though I have never actually heard it myself. However, the generally phrasing is “Christians are cannibals”. Oddly, insofar as we believe in the real presence of Christ Jesus in the bread and wine, based entirely upon his words in Matthew 26:26~29, I’d have to say “guilty”. However, there is something that is overlooked. Without faith, the bread and wine are just that, bread and wine. It is only by faith, believing steadfastly in the words of Christ that they are as he said they are. They don’t become, they just are.

The last excuse I am going to bring up is one that has been leveled against me many times. “Christians, especially you, are unscientific”. Really? Just because I believe that the world was created just a little over 6000 years ago doesn’t make me unscientific. Just because you may believe that the earth was created (or formed) just over 4.6 billion years ago doesn’t make you scientific. In both cases, we have a belief about something that we didn’t witness and can’t prove, but believe happened in the distant past. We both have what we believe is evidence for our beliefs. Problem, all of our evidence exists in the same place, the present. I can acknowledge that. I am also aware of the effects of solar flares on radiometric decay, not to mention the assumptions that must be made regarding it. However, you want scientific, I can understand. How about explaining how it is that the one thing that could destroy the Christian faith has never been able to happen. What is that? Show me the body of Christ Jesus. The priest, scribes, Pharisees, and soldiers who went to the tomb knew what tomb it was. How then is it they couldn’t produce the body when word began to circulate the Christ had risen from the tomb? The only answer is that he had risen from the dead. There was no way eleven men with no combat skills could over power a platoon of well trained, well armed, Roman guards. Try your best, to this day nobody can disprove the resurrection. So much for unscientific. Every attempt to disprove it to date has been based upon upon easily disprovable suppositions.

Truthfully, I don’t believe that there is an excuse to reject Christianity or the church. I think it is merely people are afraid of being held accountable for their actions. However, God will hold them accountable. It is not a matter of if, but when. When is that going to happen? On the last day. At that point, there will be no excuses. Not only that, but as we stand before a perfect God, he will know ever excuse (or reason if you want to call it that) that we could ever think to give. Not a one of them will stand. God won’t except any excuses.

Christians we are penitent are also going to stand before God. Yes, we are hypocrites. We do sin. However, in our being penitent, we have perfect forgiveness of sins through Christ Jesus, who died upon the cross for our sins. We know we have no excuses. Nor is there is a reason for us to think of any. Rather, we simply ask God to be merciful to us, sinners.

Excuses are great way to get into trouble. Make enough excuses at work as to why you can’t do a job, you will be terminated. Use excuses to reject Christianity and the church, well, you will spend an eternity in misery. I don’t like being heavy handed on the legalism, but God’s law stands. However, for all who repent, believing in Christ Jesus as the Lord and Savior, who told us to eat his body and drink his blood, there is perfect forgiveness of sins.

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