Christians Should Stop Lying to People

deceive-1299043_640We need to stop lying to people. Maybe it will help if we stop lying to ourselves.

We say all the time that people will find answers in Jesus Christ. That’s only partially true. I’ve followed Jesus for over fifty years and I have some answers to some questions but at times of great personal or public tragedy, even mature followers of Jesus struggle to endure. Answers pale when babies die, the innocent suffer, or terrorists strike close to home.

We cannot treat a relationship with Jesus like an answer key to life’s multiple-choice quiz. It’s not like that. We aren’t meant to be satisfied with answers anymore than an astronaut is meant to be content with a visit to the planetarium. Jesus didn’t die to supply us with answers and answers aren’t the panacea they’re made out to be, after all.

The Internet is writhing with answers in the wake of recent events. There’s a market for quick answers and so, of course, there are those ready to meet the demand. But, as we consume these McTruths, we’re left less satisfied than we imagined we would be, even when they contain some element of biblical reasoning.

We cannot reason ourselves through suffering and pain. Answers don’t comfort us when evil plots our destruction, when a beautiful voice isgun-728958_640 silenced too soon, a baby is stolen from this life in a heartbeat, or fifty souls depart this world in a spray of premeditated rage. When darkness descends, we don’t need answers, we need light.

Stop telling people they need to seek answers. Stop trying to supply them. Instead, encourage them to let their questions drive them to the waiting arms of the risen Christ. He has more than answers. Answers are the appetizer to the feast prepared at His table. Jesus has life, light, truth, and eternal salvation. He is the remedy. He is the balm. He is the One we seek. He is like no other god.

Little gods. Inferior idols. Lesser deities. Ineffective objects of worship abound. In the wake of tragedy, we learn what our gods are made of and we have an opportunity to re-evaluate our allegiance. Most dangerous is when we worship ourselves, when we imagine that humans can provide our own salvation.

It’s been with us since the garden, the desire to deify ourselves, to create little kingdoms over which we rule, to control people, circumstances, and even the greater God. You must admit, we are pretty cool. Humans have amazing capabilities and tremendous achievements. Sometimes, I want to worship us, too.

We’ve all felt the draw, haven’t we? In the presence of a great leader, artist, musician, healer, or beauty, our hard-wired bent toward worship triggers the static, ratchet alarm of a Geiger counter detecting the source of a possible target of our devotion and without the warning of God’s word, we might just bow down to our own reflection.

I get it. In my lesser moments, I want to be worshiped, too. I’m a recovering glory stealer. That’s often, admittedly, why I stand so close to God – for the hope, perchance, that some of the admiration aimed at Him might fall on me. But, as amazing as we are in our moments of greatness – the heights of our arias, the pinnacles of our careers, the tops of our game, the firsts in our fields, it’s easy enough to draw back the curtain and expose the Oz of our existence simply by turning on the evening news.

child-1154951_640Countries invade weaker nations. Meth-head parents leave their children to wander alone, hungry and cold, in the woods. Murder-suicide among the rich. Sex-trafficking among the poor. And us, the little gods, lacking for answers within ourselves. No match for the problems we create, never mind for systemic woes or catastrophes of nature.

The headlines remind us there is much we cannot control. We lie to ourselves and say there are always steps we can take. Sometimes there are but often, despite every effort, evil marches walks right into our sanctuaries –  those places we feel most safe –  churches, homes, nightclubs, concerts, theme parks – and drags us under into a dark cave where we cannot breath. To the place where we are aware of our need for rescue.

We are so small. And yet, He has designed us for a greatness of our own when we align in proper relationship to Him. Then, we are amazing; we just aren’t gods. When the people united to build the Tower of Babel, they had the right goal – they wanted to reach heaven. God divided them, foiling their efforts, because they wrote Him out of the equation. His message to them? You were designed for heroic undertakings, you were intended to reach Heaven but it matters how you get there. The path to Heaven is through Jesus. He is Life. He is Light. He is the Way.

The airwaves buzz with answers this week. Talking heads and politicians claiming to have the answers that will be humanity’s salvation. And a the darkness whispers – “Yes, keep the people searching for answers. Promise them answers in this back alley over here. No, maybe, they’re in that palace or that courthouse or that boardroom or that voting booth. Keep looking for answers.

And too often, the church joins in but we have to stop. Because the truth is, not only do we not have answers, answers aren’t really what people need.What we have is Life. Light. Salvation. Truth. What people need is Jesus. He is the Only One who can save us from our lesser gods.

Handing someone locked in darkness an answer just makes them a person with an answer in the dark. How much better would it be to call them out into the light?

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    The Conversation

  1. Roxanne says:

    Wow Lori! great perspective on this. You speak truth and you speak it in such a poignant manner that defies us to remain comfortable. Simple answers have never made significant change. And you’re right…answers/reasons, even good ones, never mend broken hearts or offer one glimmer of hope to a devastated soul. Thank you for this post. Blessings.

  2. Lori, this had a greater impact on me than anything you’ve written in a long time. Gee, I think I said that last week. 🙂

    Although this pales in comparison to the problems we face now, I have disagreed for a long time with the promises Christians make to unbelievers. Come to Jesus and your life will be better. Give your problems to Jesus and let Him take are of them. You’ll be filled with peace and joy… Life isn’t always better, Jesus doesn’t erase problems. Pain and sorrow stick around. As you said, what we can offer is Jesus Himself. Light. Life. Salvation. That’s more than enough.

  3. Laurie Kincaid says:

    Lori, thanks AGAIN!

  4. This is brilliant. I agree, we don’t need answers. We need to bring Truth back into our life. Thank you, Lori, for another great post.