Sunday, March 23, 2008
Are You One of Those [Crazy] "Born-Again's?"
I have heard that question asked many times over the years. This being Easter Sunday, I thought it might be an appropriate time to take a moment from my occasional tirades to answer this oft asked question for myself to the half dozen or so regular readers of this blog.
Yes, yes I am. Why? First of all, when Jesus cornered poor Nicodemus as recorded in John's gospel in chapter 3 and declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again,” He tends to get your undivided attention on the question. Or at least it should. And that means to those who ask this question, and who think they will one day see heaven, as over 80% of Americans believe, then their cynicism in asking this question in this manner sits on the wrong side of it.
And the other reason is in the beginning of a beautiful letter written by Jesus' leading disciple, Peter, he said in the first chapter of his first epistle: "...[O]ur Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to [obtain] an inheritance [which is] imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,..."
I tend to be mathematical about such things. In math, there is the possibility of infinity. And then it seems to me that if two points equal a line, then in order to have that assurance of hope, one must not take these declarations of the need for rebirth too lightly. After all, the limit of the inverse of X as it approaches infinity is, as we know from high school mathematics, equivalent to zero.
A good time to consider such questions is when the family is young, and the kids are small. We want the best for our kids, and why not look into giving them, and yourself, an eternal hope, and a moral grounding? So we take our families to church on Easter, and maybe Christmas. And if we do, it is a great time to give consideration to the serious side of the question of the need to be born again.
Author Anne Rice in a recent blog entry in the Washington Post wrote: "Look: I believe in Him. It’s that simple and that complex. I believe in Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the God Man who came to earth, born as a tiny baby and then lived over thirty years in our midst. I believe in what we celebrate this week: the scandal of the cross and the miracle of the Resurrection. My belief is total. And I know that I cannot convince anyone of it by reason, anymore than an atheist can convince me, by reason, that there is no God.
"A long life of historical study and biblical research led me to my belief, and when faith returned to me, the return was total. It transformed my existence completely; it changed the direction of the journey I was traveling through the world. Within a few years of my return to Christ, I dedicated my work to Him, vowing to write for Him and Him alone. My study of Scripture deepened; my study of New Testament scholarship became a daily commitment. My prayers and my meditation were centered on Christ.
"And my writing for Him became a vocation that eclipsed my profession as a writer that had existed before."
A Chuck Colson certainness, but read the whole thing.
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