Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter Christians

A reader asks Billy Graham about a friend who's religiosity comes and goes. Let's see how that turns out...
Dear Rev. Graham: I have a friend who doesn’t bother with God or church most of the year, but as Easter approaches she suddenly gets religious -- goes to church, observes Lent and so forth. Do you think she’s a real Christian, or is it all fake? -- Mrs. V.G.
They grow up so fast. Just last week, Billy was the one throwing out the no true Scotsman fallacy, and this time it's his reader. Graham must be so proud of the ignorance he is propagating. Seriously though, it's odd that VG seems surprised by her friend not acting as religious during most of the year, but then acting more devout around Easter and Christmas. Isn't that the standard modus operandi for a rather large swath of the American Christian population?
Rev. Graham: Only God knows your friend’s heart, and whether or not she sincerely wants to follow Jesus and has committed her life to Him. Perhaps a seed of faith was planted in her heart as a child, and as Easter approaches she senses a need to have it grow.
However, the Bible does warn us against simply going through the motions, but not allowing God to touch our hearts and lives. In other words, if Christ means nothing to us most of the year, it may well mean that our faith is not real, and our sudden burst of religious activity isn’t genuine. The Bible says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22). 
Don't you just love how Billy likes to assume that Christians that aren't in your face religious 24/7 are just faking it? Hate to break it to you Graham, but as long as VG's friend believes in Jesus as their lord and savior, they are a Christian. It really matters not what her friend does the rest of the year. After all, the Bible says that you shall be saved through faith and not by works. Translation: if you believe, that's all that matter... regardless of what you do.
After all, if we truly understand who Jesus is -- the divine Son of God who died for our sins and rose again by the power of God for our salvation -- how can we treat Him casually? How can we live as if He were unimportant? Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
How can we act as though he's unimportant? Maybe because there's no proof of him being important or even existing. And what of his claims... Many other deities made spectacular claims as well. In fact, others made the exact same claims as Jesus did.
Pray for your friend, that during this Easter season she may come to understand how great God’s love is for her, and respond by giving her life without reserve to Jesus Christ. Pray, too, that as we approach Easter this year you also may see Jesus in a deeper way, and commit your life more fully to Him.
 And since we're talking Easter, pray also to the goddess Eostre. And celebrate Easter for what it is... A Pagan fertility festival that has been stolen and co-opted by Christianity.

-Brain Hulk

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