First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Faith and Bungee jumping

May 18, 2016

    I have never bungee jumped. I never will. I know people who have jumped and they are so excited about the thrill of throwing themselves off a perfectly sound bridge or platform.  God bless them.

I can only imagine the freefall and see the ground rushing toward your face at an eyelid ripping rush.  If I live to be 150 years old, I'll never need to know what 'that' feels like. My thrills are bound up in life's simplest pleasures. I have thrill issues but not to 'that' degree.

    Faith has many challenges in the same way bungee jumping does. There is a moment when the elastic band are trailing out and tension begins to increase. The jumper has a split second of apprehension and can feel forces of gravity, kinetic energy, and sheer adrenaline all dump in a physical chorus of dissonance.  Somewhere in that jump, a tipping point occurs and the descent is abated by a strong counter action. Faith is believing God has ahold of us and will abate our fall. Yet, there are split second moments when uncertainty cloud our vision and we freak a bit.

    If you are concerned of my faith, rest assured it is stronger than ever. I, long ago, jumped off the safe platform and have never looked back at my old life of safety and security. God has been and is good! God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit have me firmly in their grasp. They are my security!

    I do, however, have a growing tension in my heart over the plight of the Church in our world. There is a growing rift between the Church and our government. We are freefalling toward something that threatens the very fabric of ministry. My interpretation of scripture views God to be in full control of all the proceedings yet, my humanness continues to see walls that disallow the evangelical nature of Jesus' words in Matthew 28. 

    Scripture clearly talks about God's peculiar design in humanity and nature and also speaks about sin and its nature. Scripture outlines God's plan to deal with sin and that through Jesus Christ.  Scripture defines salvation fully attainable for those who confess and repent of sin. It is a wonderful model God has implemented. Yet, there is a great tension in our world that scripture is somehow wrong regarding sin.  An increasing atmosphere in society is that sin is not a rebellion against God but more so the way God has created us. Genesis says that humans are created in the image of God and yet if sin is evident in a person (attributes that go against God's design), are we to say that God is sin? God forbid!!! It isn't an issue that sin exists but that God's creation is creating their own way to salvation without any sense of concern about sin.  Worse still is a believer who would carefully speak grace to one who struggles in a sinful place. They would be accused of hateful attempts to injure.

    If my attempts to lead people caught in sin are deemed hate speech then I have no voice to share the hope of Christ with those stuck in sin. I am in a freefall and can see the ground rushing toward me. In this new world of political correctness, I have no building tension in the safety bands. I have no sense of this descent coming to a pause and then the rebound. I feel as though our journey will end in a giant 'splat'!   Scripturally speaking, this actually will need to happen (This is the part that feels like a bungee jump gone wrong).

        "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of

        money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love,

        unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited,

        lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have

        nothing to do with them. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-

        willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning

        but never able to acknowledge the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men

        oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they

        will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone."                  

        (1 Timothy 3:1-9, NIV)

If today finds you twisting toward the ground with no sense of an abated fall, take heart. God is still in control and love for Him, neighbors, and yourself is still in effect.

Peace.

 

 

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