God works

I had a brief conversation on Twitter with @niphal today that really echoed in my mind during the event I attended tonight.

niphal “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” http://twurl.nl/j5depe Reactions?
kristarella Reaction: they can advertise atheism if they want, but I’ve never seen a religious advert on a bus, esp. a threatening one. Also ?
niphal yeah me either but I haven’t lived in London :) Maybe they’re ‘out there’ in London?
kristarella I’m sadly skeptical of any religious activity outside Sydney… I think I might be a bible snob. I need to get out more!
niphal I think that could be true! ;)

My faults

I have always been a bit of an intellectual snob. It’s something that has caused discord in my mind and heart. Of course, I have friends that aren’t necessarily brainy, or don’t spend their time being geeky, but I usually connect more with those that are and do.

Often this seeps into my Christian life. In Sydney we have been blessed with amazing opportunities to study and learn; if we really wanted to we could= manage to spend a huge portion of our lives as students and never find a “real job”. Sometimes, in some “Sydney Evangelical” circles, we are in danger of loving God’s word more than we love God. Sometimes we spend more time understanding what it says than putting it into action; although the two are by no means mutually exclusive. Truly understanding God’s word will mean doing it, and our church(es) will be edified because we are of one mind and one spirit.

Fair trade

So back to the event I was at… We had a Tribes & Nations evening where we were able to buy products as well as hear from Grant about the purpose and goals of Tribes & Nations. We also heard from Naomi Reed.

Naomi told us that when she was (almost) a teenager she felt like there was something out of place in her life, like something was missing or wrong. When she heard about the God who loves her and sent his son Jesus to redeem her, she knew that it was true and that the wrong thing in her life was her broken relationship with her creator.

Naomi and her husband went to Nepal as a physiotherapists (a place that in 1993 had 1 physiotherapist to tend to all 20 million people in Nepal). There, they were able to not only help treat people’s physical needs, but their spiritual needs too. As representatives of the living God they were able to love the people of Nepal as whole people.

Naomi worked in the Leprosy hospital. Many of the patients there had been outcast from (even by) their families or villages and had no hope. They had a hole in their life that wasn’t only caused by their disease, and they didn’t have knowledge, money, jobs, science, computers, cameras, iPods, cars… anything to distract them from the truth that Naomi had felt too when she was younger, they were incomplete.

Today, many of them (about 700,000!) know the God who made them and loves them. One Nepali man (who recovered and has a job and place to live) said that he was thankful for the leprosy; he would rather have had leprosy and hear about Jesus than not have leprosy and not hear.

Dichotomy

I live in a world that manages to segregate into a couple of dichotomies: Christian, or not Christian; Jesus Christ alone for salvation, or claiming that you must be baptised/speak in tongues/bear the mark/take the sacraments to be saved.

Tonight I heard about and saw a different world. One where people struggle to produce enough food for the year, where they don’t receive medical treatment, where they grow up to appease gods of destruction, gods of fear, gods of stone. Yet, a world in which God works to bring people to him, to heal their spirits and give them peace in physical, political and other kinds of unrest.

I can’t pretend that my struggles are going to just disappear. I can’t say that I won’t still question whether I can call certain people brothers and sisters. I can’t say that I won’t get angry the next time I hear someone twist the words of the bible. I hope that I can say that I will remember that God works. He works across the whole world, not just in my intellectual bubble. I hope that I will remember that he gives us his Spirit to know him and understand his word, and the people who twist that word don’t need my anger, they need my prayers.

God works.

Comments

  1. God has always worked for me. I have never doubted His Word. I do not get mad at people who ridicule Christianity as I reckon they haven’t come to realize the truth yet, Sort of like Saul who persecuted Jesus until his eyes were suddenly opened to the truth.

    In the part where you said “danger of loving God’s word more than we love God”, it sort of reminds you of the Pharisees doesn’t it?

  2. ANON

    If god made us.. who created god?? and who created their creator? There is NO such thing as god

    reilgion is fake.. MAN created god.. giving them something to something to follow.. hope for.. and feed off. to keep that sense of security.
    I do believe that something out there created us.. I do believe that there is a reason for “sercret agents”… If God (any god) was to be proved non-existant.. Chaos would reak upon humanity.
    If god has a plan for everyone… why are some good honest people not worthy of a greater life than others? why does he suddenly cut them short?.. Why does he give people cancer?
    Why is there war? why is there famine, poverty?

    There is no god…

    MAN MADE GOD..

    The end.

  3. Thanks for your comment Sire. I hadn’t really thought about the Pharisees in that context, but it’s definitely something to think about.

    I’m tempted to delete comments from people who don’t care to come up with even a screen name or leave a real email address, but it’s not directly offensive (other than ranting and yelling at us rather than genuinely asking questions), so I’ll leave it there. If anyone is actually interested in asking such questions go ahead, we can have a discussion about it.
    The truth about anonymity.

  4. It’s weird the way people think. Why would God give someone cancer, or why would you attribute famine, poverty and war to God. As far as I am concerned we have a world that can support every one but it is mans greed and lust for power that is the cause of all poverty, famine, greed and global conflicts. It’s certainly not God’s fault that a bunch of morons are causing strife throughout the world.

    I suppose that in a way it is helping to sift the wheat from the chaff.

  5. Montana

    I always find myself struggling with my belief in God, especially since so much anger, animosity and hatred seems fueled by religious fervor and intolerance. And it so often seems that what or how we believe (in God) is more important to us than God. My comfort comes from focusing on the Spirit of God, which seems capable of inhabiting all things and all people and investing them with the possibility of lightness. The possibility of kindness, warmth, generosity, insight, wisdom and humility regardless of what or how they believe – or even if they believe. If we doubt that God exists, even if there is no God, what is important is that we act in the Spirit of God.

    I can devolve this, for myself, into a teleological argument that God exists because I believe he exists, but on a personal level it doesn’t really matter. There – “What I do matters more than what I say.”