Isn’t it strange that we human beings have a penchant for shifting the blame for wrong doing to something different than the truth? For example, isn’t it strange that after a shopping mall shooting, the front page story is not that the shooter is to blame, it’s the gun. The newspapers and politicians shout that we need more laws for gun control while the cities with the strictest gun laws have the highest gun fatalities. To my mind this opens the door to a whole variety of “isn’t it strange” ideas, and religion is no exception. Here are six examples.
- Isn’t it strange that we neglect praying for world peace and blame God for wars and killing in the world? The argument among religion scoffers is that if God is so great and powerful, why doesn’t he stop all the fighting between nations and individuals and institute an era of peace in the world. The argument is out of order. Sin is the cause of the wars and rumors of wars, and our personal squabble, not God. In fact, God says “Do not murder.” Whether on a national or personal level, murder shortens the time of grace for individuals which thwarts the purpose of God. In God’s mind, every human is born for a single purpose in God’s mind—to be a child of God, and serve him, through faith in Jesus Christ. Murder is an offense to God.
- Isn’t it strange how many believe their neighbor’s gossip but reject what Jesus says? If their neighbor claims the moon is made of green cheese many will wonder when the scientists discovered that magic ingredient on the surface of the moon. When Jesus says, “believe in me and you will be saved,” some will shrug and move on. The cherished opinion is that salvation by the favor of God cannot be compared to a handful of good works performed by a faulty human being. Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ must be a fiction of a long gone religion.
- Isn’t it strange that so many can belong to a church and not know one person in it? They enjoy the hoopla of Christmas and Easter, and function as though nothing has happened because nothing has happened. They come to be seen, not to see. They come to pose, not to pray. They come to listen, not to learn; They come to promise, not to perform. They come to pretend, not to practice. Isn’t it strange that no funeral service is planned for them—or is it strange—for no one would know they died.
- Isn’t it strange how everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to talk about dying. People fear death for it signifies that we leave the known and venture into the unknown. Nothing could be further from the truth. Three things we know about death. Death is not the end of life, but the beginning of eternity. For Christians, death is the doorway to the place where God lives, heaven. The day of death is judgment day for all people. Writer C.S. Lewis reminds us to “Put first things first and we get second things thrown in: put second things first and we lose both first and second things.” Put the world before heaven and we lose both: the world and an eternity with God.
- Isn’t it strange that we can be thrilled with worship on Sunday but never let it affect us through the week? We live on two platforms in life: our life in the world and Jesus’ guarantee of heaven. Though it is our cradle and the provider of our needs in life, the world regards sin as harmless pleasure and threatens our love for God. We carelessly make our world into a sin-filled playground. Still, this is our Father’s world. He loved it enough to send his Son into it to buy it back from sin and death. He does not abandon the world, nor does he surrender to it. He sends his angels into the world to watch over his children. We need to look at the world in the same manner as he does—his creation brought into existence to accomplish his purposes. So we pray: “Come, Lord Jesus, come.”
- Isn’t it strange how we can accept other people’s religion but never tell them about our own?
It’s strange because a common conception is that everyone has their own religion and, good or bad, they are stuck with it? That seems to put religion off the radar in many conversations. Or is it because many Christians believe that sharing the gospel is for preachers and teachers who have been trained in evangelism techniques. Or is it because if anyone wants to find out about heaven and hell, they should pick their own church and start asking questions? Forget that!
The truth is that many people who are not raised in a Christian family are led to Jesus by a spouse, a relative or a friend. Isn’t it strange,then, that so few Christians are willing to carry the message of the gospel to others? Angels can’t do it; they are busy with other chores in heaven. Intellectuals don’t have mass appeal. A legion of Lazaruses would make his miracle commonplace. God uses the likes of you and me to make the gospel loud in this world. That was his plan from the beginning.
Now you will tell me you don’t have the gift. Nonsense. Don’t let the Devil whisper in your ear that you are too evil, too mean, too nasty, too clumsy, too sinful to do God’s work. Ever hear about the love of God? Forgiveness? Faith? Redemption? Salvation? You know about these things. Isn’t it strange that so few Christians are willing to share their faith with others? I think it’s strange.