Resurrectionists

I recently ran across an old friend from college on Facebook. This young man was, I thought, a devoted believer. He was a part time youth pastor while in college, went on to seminary, and worked in a pastoral role for a few years. I lost contact with him after our sophomore year of college, and when I reconnected with him all these years later saw that his religious beliefs were listed as “skeptically agnostic.” I saw a status from him on Easter ridiculing us (believers) as the most gullible people on Earth. He even had a name for us – “resurrectionists.”

If you’re reading this, I exhort you to practice self-control if those statements produce any anger in you. It’s not as if God’s Word doesn’t warn us that we’ll be seen as fools. It makes me think of Paul as he preached to men at the Areopagus in Acts 17. They seemed to be listening until he mentioned the resurrection of the dead! In fact, we should feel compassion for this friend of mine, because the veil remains over his eyes, his spiritual understanding dulled by the great deceiver.

He also went on an extended diatribe against our beliefs, claiming that God (for those who believe in Him) was either so powerful but judgmental that He had no choice but kill His own Son, or He was so weak and merciful that He couldn’t stop the events leading to the crucifixion. At the time I ran across this post, I was studying the 1 Corinthians Precept Upon Precept course (which we’re doing at Bootcamp 2012 – shameless promotional statement!), and my mind went immediately to what 1 Corinthians 1:18 says about the cross!

18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

The cross is powerful! The cross is where the perfect power of God intersects so beautifully with His perfect mercy! My friend’s great mistake was to assume that God is incapable of fulfilling all of His perfect attributes simultaneously. God is so righteous and just that He has to punish sin, which must be atoned for by death. But He is so merciful that He would provide a substitution for us, the ones who deserve death, that we may live for Him and live with Him for all of eternity. Perfect justice and perfect mercy are seen in the cross! Now, try being perfectly just and merciful at the same time one day (I’ve got three children, and this helps me to understand how great God truly is).

Brothers and sisters, as a church we need to embrace every aspect of God’s nature as He truly is, including His justice and mercy. Embrace the cross and the resurrection boldly. After all, Paul told us in 1 Corinthians 15 that if the resurrection was not true, then we would still be dead in our sins and were to be pitied above all men!

Fool for Christ and unashamed resurrectionist,

Ritchie


Ritchie Johnson
Director, Transform Student Ministries

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One Response

08.10.11

Wow! As soon as I read this I felt pity and then compassion for your friend. What deceit and defeat he is living in. At the same time, I am so humbled by the reminder of how just and compassionate our God is and thankful for His unconditional love that He showed by providing the way for me to have a relationship with Him and have a life full of hope, joy, and peace no matter my circumstances. Praying for your friend that he will recognize the father of lies who has deceived him and the veil will be lifted from his eyes to the resurrection of life in Christ!

From a fellow unashamed believer and resurrectionist :)

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