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Posts Tagged ‘questioning’

“He belongs personally within the Church. But He knows also that the Church means suffering and not triumph. He knows the business of the Church; and knowing it, he is bitterly in earnest. He does not console himself by supposing the Church to be a human affair of which men can rid themselves…He recognizes that, precisely when the Church attains the goal of service rendered by men to men, the purpose of God has been obscured, and judgment knocks at the door. The more the Church is the Church, he stands within it, miserable, hesitating, questioning, terrified. But he does stand within the Church, and not outside as a spectator. His possibility is the possibility of the Church, and the Church’s impossibility is also his. Its embarrassment is his, and so too is its tribulation. He is one with the solidarity of the Church, because it is the lack of the glory of God which creates fellowship and solidarity among men (iii. 23).” p. 334-335 The Epistle to the Romans

Barth gives one of the most interesting descriptions and explanations about the Church. It is all far, FAR from the modern, “cultural Christian” idea of the Church. I’ll be doing several more posts regarding this topic, but I’m trying to break down the passages into small chunks. Sometimes they will just be two sentences, but other times more context is needed, like today.

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I’m going to point to two main things as the causes of unbelief. The first, in this post (more to come), is “false teaching”. Biblical passages to consider:
Matthew 7:15,16
2 Timothy 4:3,4
Acts 20:29-31
Matthew 15:9
2 Peter 2:1
2 Peter 3:16,17
Colossians 2:8
Hebrews 13:9

When I say unbelief, I’m not just talking about being an atheist or agnostic, but any number of the sects such as Jehovah’s Witnesses that either deny main-stream Christian doctrines or pervert them. Obviously this post isn’t about what sect is not “Christian”. In my opinion I’ve named an obvious one, but I’ll leave it to God to sort that out.

One of the worst kinds of false teaching going on out there is that of creating a false god and claiming him to be the real God. I consider a false god to be that of “cultural Christianity”, that of “Cheap Grace”. The true God is impossible to know, to stand before, to accept, to love…until you ‘choose God and step aside for the man He chose’, meaning letting Him work in and through you to bring out your true self, the self He created you to be.

Why would this create so much unbelief?

Because when people are faced with the world, with reality, and therefore with the true God, light from light uncreated, they fall apart. It doesn’t fit the idol that their pastor or family, or friends have set up in their minds. The idol is smashed in God’s dust. And so is their ‘faith’, which because it was born out of darkness was nothing but unbelief to begin with.

Some who have had faith are shocked when they encounter real pain or horrific evil in the world.
Did they not know God?
Some who have had faith were ashamed of their bodies, thinking that bodily pleasures are unholy.
Did they not know God?
Some who have had faith would secretly sin as if no one would know, but carried that guilt within them.
Did they not know God?

God in Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross! There is evil in the world…
God took on Human form; He laid hold of man and conquered the flesh on the cross! Your body is holy…
God knows all; God forgave you already. The battle is won, the victor is Christ on the cross!

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“Men call upon God, because, and only because, He has answered before they call. Men suffer at His hands, because they require to be healed at His hands. Such is the case between God and man, as it is manifested in Jesus. And He is master of the situation in virtue of His Resurrection. For in the tribulation of our existence, in our sighing and questioning, in our seeking and crying, He reveals the riches of divine salvation and divine healing, which are the hidden roots of our tribulation.” p. 383 The Epistle to the Romans

Again Barth is so quotable and poetic in his prose. Why do we call upon God? Why do we suffer at His hands? All answered in this short passage. We sigh, question, seek, and cry…and through these God reveals salvation and healing. The question, the paradox, why do we suffer so…we suffer to be healed. The paradox in Jesus Christ, from death there is life.

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