1 Corinthians 1:18 "For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
I have noticed something as of late that has made me curious about humanity. I have met some people who are in dire need of transforming their lives. These people have no problem with talking about "spirituality," but they tend to not want a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
As we understand the make up of the human structure there is the Spirit, Mind and Body. A trinity, if you will, that forms us in the likeness of God Himself as we are told in the Bible there is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
One of the issues, as I observe it, is that humans are willing to find a way to make themselves feel better but, without taking that step of faith to believe in a personal Savior.
St. Augustine (354-430 A.D.), in his book "Confessions", says, "For I still held the view that it was not we that sinned, but some other nature sinning in us, and it pleased my pride to be beyond fault, and when I did any evil not to confess that I had done it, that You might heal my soul because it had sinned against You: I very much preferred to excuse myself and accuse some other thing that was in me but was not I."
After all these centuries the mindset has not changed. People find themselves in trouble and will not take responsibility for themselves. Our Courts are filled with cases where the defendant will lay the blame on something or, someone else, for their crime.
I will further state that the Church is also contaminated with the same mindset. People attend and become members of churches for a variety of reasons and sometimes it isn't because of a life changing event in their Spirit, but rather for "social" reason.
Church is a place where we socialize, but it isn't a place where socialization should be the main focus. If you attend church, what is your purpose for doing so? It really is not about making business connections. We have the Chamber of Commerce and other business connection groups to attend for those purposes.
Relationships are important and our relationship with others in the church is important, also, but we attend church to worship our Creator and prepare ourselves spiritually for the week that is ahead of us.
Our passage today makes it clear there are people who will not understand the message of the cross. Augustine says that he thought himself "Not a sinner" and had a tendency to blame someone else.
For sure, things about and within the church tend to change because society is changing in thought, but I call every person who has experienced Jesus Christ in your life (and you call yourself a Christian) to become Christ like.
If you are active in your church, but you really don't believe the message of the Holy Bible, seek some counsel and pray about why it is you feel the way you do. In other words, I am calling every practicing Christian and Clergy, including myself, to a life of prayer and seeking God's will for life and ministry.
If you are not a church attendee, consider making your way to the church. The fellowship is needed for our on-going practice of the faith. To those of you in the church, when someone attends that you may not know or are surprised to see them in your church, treat them with hospitality.
One of the chief complaints I hear from the non-church attendee is that, "I didn't feel welcome in that church." We have several churches in our community and some have ceased to exist in the past couple of years by closing their doors. There are some that have ceased to exist with their doors still open! In other words, if you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
(Michael Layne, PhD, ThD, Bishop, Lutheran Orthodox Church, author and radio host can be reached at 812-662-5154 or www.faithandcourage.net.)