What is a Christian?
It's Who You Know That Matters!
In the book The Little Prince, the author describes a conversation between a fox and a small boy. The boy, who asks how he should try to communicate with the fox, is told to say nothing at first. "Words are the source of misunderstanding," says the fox. Have you ever noticed how misleading the English language can be? If you always took it literally, many common expressions would make no sense at all.
For example, ask to buy a yard or a garage at a Yard or Garage Sale and see what they say. Seems like false advertising doesn't it? Have you ever seen a Body of Water? Is that describing somebody who gets around by just going with the flow?
Many signs, like Watch Your Head, seem to ask the impossible. You're likely to get a whiplash trying. Ever seen Slow Children Playing? Do they grow up to be Slow Men Working? How about a sign saying Clean Restrooms? You'd think they'd have employees to take care of that!
What do you do with instructions that are not specific enough like those on a can of spray deodorant, Shake Well Before Using? Are they referring to you or the can?
Many people have a fear of flying--why do airlines refer to Departing Passengers and call the destination Terminal?
Some words when used together seem mutually exclusive like Good Grief.
Unfortunately, it can be just as confusing in the religious world. Have you ever wondered about Those on Beds of Sickness? If they would just stay off of those beds they'd probably feel fine. Have you ever been asked to Kneel as Far as Possible? Just how far is it possible to kneel, anyway?
Has a song leader ever asked you to Turn Over In Your Hymnal? Impossible until they make larger hymnals. It's even harder when a pastor invites you to Turn With Me In Your Bible. Sounds like some sort of gymnastics routine.
Perhaps you've been told how important it is to Give God Your Heart and wondered how you could to do it. Of course it can't be taken literally, but when you try to apply the concept any other way, you find it's no easier. Some say, "You give God your heart by Surrendering Your Will. How do you do that? By Giving Your All or Putting Your Hand in God's Hand?
Maybe you've been told that no one ever comes to God who does not first Fall on The Rock and Be Broken, but where is the rock and how do you break? Some say you need to use the Eye of Faith and Behold the Lamb. What does that mean?
It gets worse because Jesus said you need to Be Born Again. Since you had no control over your first birth it's easy to wonder what you can do about a second one.
If you feel confused, you're not alone. Nicodemus, one of the brightest religious leaders of Christ's day, had trouble understanding. When Jesus told him about the need for a new birth, Nick responded, "But how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born?" (John 3:4). There ought to be a plain and simple answer to a question this important. There is!
"And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ, (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent." John 17:3 (The Amplified Bible)
Copyright © 1995 , Lee Venden and Thure Martinsen