"There's more power in a Mazda RX7 than there is in the Church."
You're probably as startled at these rather melancholy words as I was when I first heard them. I take that back. I think I was more startled, because I heard them straight from the mouth of a dead-serious college student who informed me that the only reason he was at my seminar was to gain the required credits. Right on the heels of his bleak assessment he announced his planned to exodus from the church.
"As soon as I'm done with college, I'm done with playing church."
As you might imagine my deeply convicted heart was pierced through. Quite frankly, I hardly knew what to say. I mean, this kid had an attitude toward the Church that frighteningly resembled how Axel Rose of 'Gun's 'n' Roses' feels about police officers.
"So do you mind telling me why you feel the way you do? I couldn't help but try and probe the source of his feelings.
"Well, everyone's always talking about all the stuff we have to do and all the stuff we better not do or God's gonna bring our names up in the judgment and sentence us to hell. And then it's like they all of a sudden remember that there's suppose to be something positive about all this, so they say 'Oh, yeah, and don't forget that God loves you.' It's all so contradictory. I don't know how it makes decent sense to anyone"
Did you notice that the young man who shared the above thoughts indicated particular disdain for the doctrine of the judgment? The whole idea was down right depressing to him, and for good reason. Analyze his understanding. You'll quickly see the source of his burned-out attitude.
According to how he has the pieces put together, God is more like Santa Claus than a Savior, only worse. He's got a list and he's checking it more than twice, to decide whether we've been naughty or nice. If the naughty deeds out-number the nice, guess what? Not only no presents, but no paradise either. And not only no paradise, but perdition in its place.
In this young man's mind he heard the Lord basically saying, "Here's My list of extremely difficult rules--keep them, perfectly I should add or else you're doomed."
You know what? If I had that concept of the judgment, I think I'd want to make my exodus from the church too. But the truth is, no matter how many people believe that the judgment is God's last ditch effort to make sure as many people as possible are lost, it just is not true.
(How do you feel about the judgment? Stay tuned and you will find the real truth about it and it is not bad at all, it is all in the Light of God's Love. All from the Bible. Grandma Joan.)