For almost as long as I can remember, I have been drawing creatures. I like drawing them for a lot of reasons, in the context of this post, the reason is simple. I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re being singled out. I’m questioning the status quo, taking the conventional wisdom to task. They’re not meant to offend, just to provoke thought and start a conversation. Sometimes they’ll stand alone and sometimes they will be accompanied by a blog post. I sign the pieces CREACHER. Taken from 2 Corinthians 5:17, which in the KJV says, “Therefore if an man be in Christ, he is a new Creature…” Creature combined with preacher (which I also am)= “CREACHER” It’s not exactly an alter ego, more of a pen name. Post them, publish them, spread them around, take them viral. And if you really like the cartoon, you can click on the image and buy it on a shirt from our Zazzle store.
I know this is overstated a little but this is really how the state of discourse feels these days. The only thing that seems to pass for love is a total and complete agreement of every point, every time. It’s ludicrous. What’s worse is the biggest offenders in this principle are the ones who demand “tolerance.” It’s this simple really if the only way I can be thought tolerant is to agree with you on every single point, are you sure it’s me who is intolerant?
So what inspired this cartoon. Oh so many things, but the straw that broke the camels back was an article where some “rocket scientist” over at MSNBC who said infants don’t count as alive unless their parents say they do??????? Now I know I’m strongly pro-life and I know others disagree with when life begins, but surely all the same people understand that once the child leaves the mother’s body alive, it’s alive. Please tell me we haven’t fallen so far as a society as to believe otherwise.
We are fast becoming the generation that calls evil good. Have mercy on us Lord Jesus.
This is one of those regrettable truths of life. Our testimonies are built upon the times where we have seen God come through, the times where He has shown His power, the times where He has come to our rescue. In order for most of these things to happen we usually have to face a test or a trial after all, it’s kind of hard to be rescued if we don’t have something from which to be rescued.
I don’t call this regrettable because I don’t want to see the power of God. I call it regrettable because seeing God’s power often comes with the pain of an ordeal. Here’s what’s not regrettable. God is always good and always comes through. We’ve been spared the ultimate pain because Jesus endured immense pain coming to our ultimate rescue. Some of the pain in life is unavoidable, the consequences of living in a perfect world that we broke with our sin. The best we can do is clean up our acts so the pain we face is not self-inflicted.
Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” Trust God with your tests. God can and will turn our tests into testimonies, and sharing those stories makes the pain make sense and brings ultimate good out of a bad situation.
How can God be glorified in the situation you are in right now? If you don’t know, rest assured, God does.
Mark 9:17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”
19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
I long for the day when I have deep and profound faith in every aspect of life, but there are a few places where my faith is weak. Oddly enough my faith seems weakest where my love is strongest. I see that in this man. He wants to believe, but this is his child, the stakes are high. In his mind, I am sure he knows that God is more powerful than he is and so do I. I’m sure he wants to believe and he probably even knows Jesus is more capable than he is. I know I do. And so in a moment when fear is strong and faith is weak, this dad has a moment of profound honesty. He simply says “I do believe, help me with my unbelief.” Jesus is strong and great and I know that and I know I can trust Him with anything, there are times where I just struggle and it is in that moment that He is there to help us. I do believe in Him, and in those times where my faith is weak, He is strong, strong enough even to overcome my disbelief and help me through it.
He is good and He is here to help.
Meet my new (and maybe never to return again) character OX E. MORON Here with a reminder.
By the way if you’re unfamiliar with the term, An oxymoron is a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.”
It probably is improper to assert that God has a problem. But if He did have a problem it would be with Public Relations (P.R.). Actually it’s not God who has the problem, so much as it is the people who are entrusted with handling His P.R., the church.
In 2 Corinthians 5, We are called Christ’s Ambassadors. (18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.) We are entrusted with this message of reconciliation, telling people how to be reconciled to God through Christ. Somehow I don’t think we’re doing it right. People have this picture of God that says He is a mean, malevolent being who hates us and sits on a cloud with a lightning bolt waiting to pick us off at the first sign of error. People get this picture because some of us wave signs telling people God hates them, and because more people are so locked in on sin, that they forget to love.
Of course there is another side of it. People have this idea that God is a universalist who lets anything and everything go. He’s sort of like Santa Claus, up there just waiting to make all of our dreams come true. The problem with this way of thinking is that the first time something doesn’t go just the way we think it should, God is an illusion who cannot be real because we had a problem. It’s a false image. God is not some marshmallow, pushover, He is the holy and righteous Creator.
It’s a pretty massive P.R. Problem and it is our fault. We need to put forth a better picture of God. So let’s paint a better one. The true one reflected in Scripture. God is love and He loves us all. He loves us so much that He gave His only Son to die in our place to save us from our sins. What God hates is sin and Hates sin because He loves us. Sin separates us from God and God loves us perfectly and profoundly. So when we say He hates people because they sin, we lie and give a false picture of God. The Bible says “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” If He hates us because we sin then he hates us all and we are without Hope. That’s a false picture of God.
And when we try to redefine sin to make ourselves and our society feel better about our sin, we lie and that lie keeps us in our sin separated from God. Another false picture of God.
So what is the true picture of God? A loving, perfect Father who gave His only Son to erescue us and adopt us into His family. A loving Father who teaches and cares and at times corrects, all for our good. A loving Creator who made everything and knows how it all works, what doesn’t work and what will hurt or kill us. Then like any loving Father, He warns us about the things that will hurt, kill and destroy us. He lovingly calls those things sin and warns us to stay away from them.
Once Jesus was asked “What is the greatest commandment?” He replied, ““‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” What He was saying was this. If we love God in that way, we will try with all that is in us, not to do the things that break our Father’s Heart and we will strive to stop doing the things that put Jesus on the cross and if we love our neighbors, we will live out this faith in a way that shows them the God that loves them.
God doesn’t hate anyone. God hates sin, because He loves us.