They Hate ( by Carley Evans )


 

Anaclasis – A Haunting Gospel of Malice & Hatred

Anaclasis – A Haunting Gospel of Malice & Hatred (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This morning I realize why I don’t like church. I don’t like church because of the sometimes invisible, sometimes highly visible people inside the building who spout evil rather than good, who obviously hate rather than love. The pain I feel inside church is unimaginable. I used to try to ignore it, deny it, justify it. No more. I fully embrace this pain, this incredible disappointment in people who claim to know who Jesus is. I pause because I know how hard it is not to hate these hypocrites –right back at ya!

 

But, I recall Jesus dies for them, too. His agony on the cross is proportional to the level of their hatred.

 

Who do they hate? So-called Christians in church hate sinners. They hate “the least of these.” And they hate socialists, communists, homosexuals, abortionists, murderers, the poor, the disenfranchised, the lonely, the mentally ill, the homeless, the lost. Oops. In short, they hate themselves.

 

A Sense of Awe ( by Carley Evans )


After the day of Pentecost, the newly baptized Christians — some 3 thousand men and presumably their wives and children — “meet constantly to hear the apostles teach, and to share the common life, to break bread, and to pray. A sense of awe is everywhere.” (Acts 2:42-43,NEB) This awe is “an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful.”

“With one mind,” these early Christians “share their meals with unaffected joy, as they praise God and enjoy the favour of the whole people.” (Acts 2:46-47)

“A sense of awe is everywhere.” This awe explains their actions — their willingness to sell personal property to distribute funds for the needs of others; their joy and praise in their attendance at temple; their ability to be of one mind, and their obtaining of the favour of all people.

“And day by day the Lord adds to their number those whom He is saving.” (Acts 2:47)

Father God, the awe of the early Christians inspires. Help me to discover worship — true religion which calls for me to defend those who need my help — widows and orphans; to be exact — those who are abandoned, alone, helpless. Give me Jesus’ heart for the world. In His Name, amen.

Who Is Going To Hell? (by Carley Evans)


People seem determined to pronounce someone as condemned to the “lake of fire.” Some Christians believe they can see inside a person’s heart by looking at the outside — God says not to judge by appearances — but He also says you can know people by the fruits they produce. So, who is going to hell anyway?

Saul knew the scriptures better than anyone of his day. He persecuted the early church body diligently, fully believing Christians were evil and ‘going to hell.’ Any Christian of that day — looking at Saul from the outside — would have certainly condemned him to the “lake of fire.” But we know, looking backwards in time, that Saul converted to Christianity and now resides in heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ, his brother and his God.

An encounter with Jesus along a road made all the difference. And yes, Saul’s appearance changed. His outside began, almost immediately, to reflect the inside transformation.

Nevertheless, God does not call us to condemn one another. Each servant of God stands because of God, because God is fully capable to make His servants stand. And those who deny Him; those who vocally state, “No, Jesus is not the Lord God” or say like a recent commenter “Jesus is a sun god”; these people are those we who call ourselves Christian should pray for. Praying for someone’s salvation is not condemning them to hell; it is inviting their soul to paradise.

The Multitude of Sin (by Carley Evans)


“Above all things,” writes Peter, “have fervent love among yourselves; for love shall cover the multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8, KJV)

I like the King James’  use of the article “the” rather than “a” for Peter’s description of multitude. We carry the multitude of sins to be covered by fervent love — virtually the weight of mankind’s entire history of sin can be felt by the individual Christian. Imagine that same weight crushing the body of Jesus Christ on the cross — His fervent love for us covered the multitude of sin.

If we practice even a tiny bit of His love for one another, our lives here on this earth can only be better.

Heavenly Father, thank You for love – love which covers the multitude of sin. Enable us to truly love one another as You love us. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

A Living Call


Why is it that the final ‘HARRY POTTER” film has attracted 1 billion dollars in its first two weeks since its release in worldwide theatres? What is particularly attractive about J.K. Rowling’s series of books and the films based on them?

In my opinion, it is the same reason that C.S. Lewis’ series, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA remains popular around the world — it is the ageless struggle of GOOD versus EVIL in the form of characters with whom the average person is able to relate.

Harry Potter is the perfect hero — young, innocent, vulnerable, caring. Voldemort or ‘He who must not be named’ is the perfect villain — old, decrepit, spiteful, hating. Every person who is willing is able to see that Harry Potter represents a savior. That Harry Potter is a popular hero indicates — to me at least — that the world still recognizes its need for salvation.

Rather than take advantage of the world’s obvious desire for a great hero — an awesome beyond-belief Savior — many Christians have focused on — what? That Harry Potter is not a Christian, that J.K. Rowling promotes gay pride, that she upholds magic and witchcraft, and so on. C.S. Lewis — a learned man who wrote MERE CHRISTIANITY and THE WEIGHT OF GLORY and other fine Christian treatises — also wrote a fantasy series with satyrs and witches. He wrote about good magic and Santa Claus and about a lion named Aslan who represents Christ and about four children who are disobedient and wayward and loving, and so on.

Christians need to recognize the opportunity present in the Harry Potter series. The world is crying. We need to hear, to genuinely listen to the love expressed for the boy, Harry Potter. He is a counterfeit, for sure. But the fact that people flock to see him and his friends as they battle evil together is proof enough that the call to evangelize the world is not dead and bygone. The call is alive; the need is real.