Friday, January 13, 2012

From Stumbling blocks to Foolishness...

"But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness."
-- 1 Corinthians 1:23 (NASB)

For my first post, I have chosen to quote the great book of 1 Corinthians. I think that this verse, referring to the Jews and the Gentiles of the First Century, applies also to American culture today (a lot of Bible passages tend to do that). When we witness to the world, we have to "know our audience", so to speak. To the Jews of the First Century, the Gospel of Christ crucified was merely a stumbling block. Why? Because they knew their Old Testament. They knew that God created the heavens and the earth in six days several thousand years before. They knew that there was no death and suffering before the first sin of Eve and Adam. They knew they were sinful creatures in need of God's forgiveness. And they further knew that God not only could give them that forgiveness, but also that He wanted to. The Jews of the day knew full well what the Law was. And for this very reason, the Gospel was not foolishness to them. Only a stumbling block. Now the Gentiles (or the Greeks, as some translations have it) knew nothing about Genesis 1-11. God created the earth? You say sin is the cause of evil in the world? What is sin anyway? Why on earth would I need forgiveness? Forgiveness from what?... The Greeks needed to be taught Genesis and the Law before they would ever understand Christ crucified for them.

America used to be like the First Century Jews. Most Christians knew the Law, the fact that they were sinful, the origin of the universe, and the origin of sin in said universe. Preaching Christ crucified was nothing more than a stumbling block to them. No more is society like the Jews. It has become like the Greeks. In a world of moral relativism, where people believe in Darwinian evolution, millions of years, and many paths to God, no longer is Christ crucified a mere stumbling block. It's complete foolishness to them. Which is why we need to witness to people with this in mind.

-- Jonathan

1 comment:

  1. Excellent point. Postmodern America has no interest in anything that is not glorious. It's no coincidence that the largest growing churches are those preaching a Theology of Glory. They are telling people what they want to hear. Theology of Glory takes the truth and adapts it to be more, well, glorious and ego satisfying. God is all powerful. God loves you. You have access to God through prayer. Those (true) statements have become "God is undefeatable and he's on your team." which in time (without proper submission to Scripture) becomes "When I ask God to do something for me, He will. Nevermind the fact that He knows best and I ask for things that will hurt me in the long run." Enter the slippery slope that leads us to thinking that, as humans, God is within us and we will one day be like God (in a narcissistic way, rather than the heavenly reality)and it will benefit us on earth and help us get ahead. But ancient Greece was all about the heroism. Modern America is all about being on top. The message of Christ crucified is absolute foolishness to those seeking a role model and hero. Fortunately, God is not limited to our ideas and our culture. And neither is His Word. Good post, bro! :)