Advertisement

Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity

Christianity Is Simpler Than You Think

Sometimes, prayer involves less thinking and analysis than we realize. Being still is very, very difficult. Lady of the Lake, original oil painting by Steve Henderson; licensed open edition print at Great Big Canvas.

I know some people will jump all over this one, but I find my most effective time to pray is around 1 in the morning, when I have been awakened from a sound sleep and am still in a somnambulant state. Analytic thought is at a low point — which is where the scoffing comes in (“See, I told you that Christians don’t think!“), but sometimes, our thinking and overthinking get in the way.

Advertisement

So last night, at 1 in the morning, it became very clear to me:

Christianity does not have to be as difficult as we make it. At its most basic, primeval level, this is what it’s saying:

1) God created us.

2) He delights in us, and wants to interact with us.

3) We blow him off.

4) He doesn’t give up.

5) He loves us.

6) He wants us to love Him back.

Simple, yet Complex

Yes, it gets more complicated than that, and we can have all sorts of discussion about the fallen, sinful state of man (point number 3) and the regenerating work of Jesus Christ  to re-establish our broken connection with God (point number 4) — and this is all very, very true. But in our efforts to “grow as disciples” and “intentionally pursue a relationship of passion and meaning,” and whatever else we are being exhorted to do from the pulpit, we forget that the principle aspect of Christianity is that it is a relationship.

Advertisement

And relationships involve feelings, and the most important of these feelings is love.

God loves us.

This is so critical and so central to Christianity, and yet it is the first concept we throw off and away as we begin studying and growing and picking up a lot of shoulds, oughts, and musts:

The List of Rules Is Endless

1) We should attend regular services throughout the week.

2) We ought to listen to the elders and leaders in our lives, not just in the church, but everywhere.

3) We must tithe.

4) We shouldn’t ask too many questions or rock the boat.

5) We should be gentle and kind and meek and submissive and yet we oughtn’t be proud or arrogant or aggressive or thoughtless, and if we don’t know what these attributes look like, we should rely on the people in point number 2, not Christ Himself, to instruct us.

Advertisement

It’s not that growing and learning and studying are bad — it’s that in focusing on how we should, ought, and must behave as Christians, we forget what led us to this belief system in the first place:

We want to be loved.

And God does love us.

Walking, Literally, with God

One of my favorite books in the Bible is Genesis, and one of my favorite images is Genesis

At one time, Adam and Eve walked with God, physically, in the garden and communed with one another. Promenade, original oil painting by Steve Henderson, sold; licensed open edition print at Great Big Canvas.

Advertisement

3:8-9:

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?'”

There is a pathos to this passage because it describes a regular activity, that up to that day, God and Adam and Eve enjoyed together: they walked, in the garden, communing and talking and just being in one another’s company. This is what families do when they gather around the dinner table, at the end of the day, sharing their stories and experiences and lives.

And I am flabbergasted that the All Powerful God of the the Universe enjoyed time with the creations made in His image.

Advertisement

He still does enjoy this time, my friend, and when we respond to Him, and His love, we have the opportunity to walk in the garden with Him, or gather around the dinner table, or close our eyes and meditate, and be with the Person who made us, and loves us, and wants us to love Him back.

Don’t lose sight of this very simple, yet extremely profound, message of Christianity.

My goal as a writer, and a Christian, is to encourage believers to think — independently — and pursue this personal relationship with Jesus Christ we talk on and on about, but rarely value for the priceless thing that it is. It is too easy to depend upon others — authors, pastors, elders, speakers, leaders — to tell us what to do and think, as opposed to wrestling, as Jacob did, with God.

Advertisement

If you like what you read, or are even vaguely intrigued by it, please consider subscribing to Commonsense Christianity (top right menu bar) and/or passing me on to friends and family. I also love to hear from you, so please feel free to comment. (You can reach me privately and directly through the Contact page at Steve Henderson Fine Art, which I co-own with my Norwegian Artist, Steve Henderson.)

Earlier articles of interest to today’s topic include

People Call Us Stupid, You Know

Advertisement

Should Christians Think?

Eliminating Creativity

“I’m a Christian, but I’m not Religious”

 

Previous Posts

Watered Down, Weak Tea, Tepid Beer, Corked Wine Christianity
"'What should we do then?' the crowd asked." Luke 3:10 If you're a Christian, and you've got a question about the Bible, your place in the world, or what our Father wants you to do with your life, be assured that, no further than your local ...

posted 11:14:46am May. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Isn’t the “Good News” Supposed to Be Good?
"When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments." (2 Timothy 4:13) A central aspect of the gospel -- which means "good news" -- is that the news, indeed, should be good. Believing ...

posted 1:09:17pm May. 15, 2015 | read full post »

Why Do Some Christians Make So Much MONEY?
"Jesus sent him away, saying, 'Return home and tell how much God has done for you.' So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him." (Luke 8:38-39) Within polite Christian religious circles, we share coffee and ...

posted 12:15:10pm May. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Is America Doomed?
"Live a life worthy of the Lord and . . . please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power." (Colossians 1:11) It's difficult to take a breath or two without being ...

posted 10:13:52am May. 08, 2015 | read full post »

God Gave You Your Birthday. Celebrate It!
"You are precious and honored in my sight, and . . . I love you." (Isaiah 43:4) We are celebrating a spate of birthdays in our household these days, events that don't necessarily stop with cake. The person of honor is free from all household ...

posted 3:53:43pm May. 06, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.