God’s Not Dead

My wife and I were watching the movie again.  I love the picture of a young man standing strong in the face of great opposition, defending God, believing no matter what.

I don’t find myself liking the movie very much.

Yep, I’m still a Christian.

The scene that kills it for me is the final argument between the mean, atheistic professor and the noble protagonist.  He asks the villain, “why do you hate God?”  And when he finally gets his answer, he finishes off his foe with one fell swoop.

We see him as standing against an intellectual Goliath.  I see him as winning an argument against a twelve year old boy who lost his mother to cancer.  And, I think Jesus would have handled it differently.

I also am bothered by the fact that the end is summed up by our hero receiving the praise he is due, being lauded from the stage by both a big name band and a video from Willie Robertson.  Now my appreciation of the Robertsons and the News Boys should not be diminished by the fact that this is simply not how it normally happens.

When we stand for Jesus, we stand alone.  The movie producers caught that part.  What they didn’t catch is that we fail our classes too.  We are mocked and shamed and no one stands with us in the end.  We die in the arena.  We are beaten, burned, broken.

It is the blood of Jesus that flows through our veins and pours out on the ground that stands as our witness to a dying world.  It is our life given up that gives life to those around us.

And we shouldn’t expect anything else.

Please don’t miss the blessing of what God would do because you’re waiting for man to tell you, “well done.”

God’s not dead.  But we are crucified.


I’m Angry With You God!


I’m reading in Leviticus right now and finding that I’m responding emotionally to the Law.  So many things made you “unclean.”  And if anyone touched you or your clothes or your bed or the pot in your hand, they became unclean too.  Rules that made everyone treat disease as if it was the sick person’s fault, dictums that made everyone treat each other with distrust and distance.

So why did You do it God?  Why make rules that could only lead to hatred of each other, hatred of self, hatred of life?  Why enforce a weight that no one could bear?

The Priest could touch goat’s blood to purify the altar.  But if a man touches the seat that a woman has been sitting on during her period, he is unclean.  It just seems crazy.  We’re left with either isolating ourselves from humanity, being unclean or lying about it.  We become unloving, unworthy or a hypocrite.

And, though it seems unrelated, why did You let Jesus be flogged before He was crucified?  Why did He have to wear a crown of thorns?  Wasn’t it enough that He died for us?  Did He have to bear so much pain before being nailed to the cross and bearing the excruciating weight of our sins, my sins?

Holiness.  The righteous demands of a Holy, Loving Father.  The Law that can only lead to failed attempts at self-righteousness or abdication of our place at His side.

On Valentine’s Day, in the year 2014, I live because Your holiness was so exacting that I had no other choice than to accept the blood of Jesus, not just dripped out of the sealed wounds on His hands and feet, but gushing out of His head, His back, His shoulders, His side.  I weep because You took this for me, my Jesus.  And I live because God’s holiness is answered.

Thank You, God!