16.10.03

This semester the Bible study I am in has been examing various doctrines and ideas about Hell. It has been very interesting, and, considering how big an issue it often is with those who are not Christian, I think it is fairly important. On the other hand there isn't really that much for personal development in a study of Hell. So I have taken the wise advice of Chapter, and today will be attempting to do a bible study more focused on personal development. I have basically given up on connecting it to Hell, which is fine. The problem comes in the fact that in planning and thinking about this bible study, I have got myself into a corner again. Why are we studying Hell? Seriously, yeah its important, and I know we probably all learn better in a group setting, and we need to know about Hell, yes... but I have a lot of other questions, and see a lot of other areas that are lacking, which seem to me to be more important than Hell.

Rant: The Hard Questions
So today I think I am going to ask some of the questions that we don't often like to hear voiced. I am going to bring up some of our shortcomings that we don't often like to face. Or, I am going to try. The paraphrased words of Gandhi ring in my head, "If only Christians lived like there Christ, then we would surely all be Christian." Yes, at least in part, I am goind to talk about the failure of modern Chrisitianity to really make any difference in the lives of the majority of the people who claim to be part of it. I have said it before, Rwanda is the perfect example. In a nation supposedly 90% Christian, genocide was attempted. How about the ever famous statistics about divorce rates? Yep, higher, or as high, in the church as outside it. What about apathy? Though some places don't have trouble with this, most organizations that need volunteers are short on them, while hundreds of people sit in the pews every sunday. The hard question: Why? and What can we do about it? "The indictment that we must recieve is tha the Christian faith as we express it is no longer seen as a viable option. Masses gave the church a try and left wanting. We accuse them of not being willing to surrender to God; they accuse us of not knowing him. People are rejecting Christ because of the church! Once we were called Christians by an unbelieveing world, and now we call ourselves Christians and the world call sus hypocrites. Is its possible that it wasn't the nation that was becomign dangerously secular, but the church? We were niether relevant nor transcendent. We have become, in the worst of ways, religous. We are the founders of the secular nation." (Erwin Raphael Mcmanus, An Unstoppable Force, pg. 29). People want answers to the questions that the church should have answers to, but we don't anymore, and we are largely ok with that. Not only that but we rationalize it, justify it, and make it not only accepted, but right, thus gauranteeing to the best of our ability that things will stay this way. All because we are uncomfortable.....?

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