Latest NewsletterGrace Notes 2021-07-28
A couple of faith conversations stood out last week that I would like to share with you. They are worth sharing because I think they reflect some perceptions and objections to Christianity that are common today.
The first conversation was with a lady who I judged to be a little older than myself, perhaps in her early 70s. She shared with me that she had been brought up Lutheran, but now had become affiliated with another mainline denomination. What she likes about the church she now attends is that they emphasize compassion and tolerance. Being “Bible Focused” was a turnoff to her, and her new congregation seems to avoid this focus.
I asked this person why she did not like a strong emphasis on Scripture. Her response was that it is a really old book that chronicled events a long time after they purportedly took place. In other words, it did not teach reliable history. She believed it instead taught the unenlightened views of long ago.
This person, with whom I am just becoming acquainted, was unaware that almost all the New Testament writings were penned within a few decades of Jesus’ death. She certainly is right that when Moses writes of the events of creation up until the time of Abraham, he is writing many centuries later.
The second conversation was with a younger woman, whom I would judge to be in her early 30s. She had left the Roman Catholic Church but let me know she was religious. She identified insights from a number of religions we would consider pagan, including the Druid religion. She shared with me that she thought Christianity was opposed to science, especially in denying evolution.
Space does not permit my response. But I do want to say two things. First, it is not hard to strike up a religious conversation. And second, many today are suspicious of “older things” and many believe, rightly or wrongly, that Christian claims are at odds with science.
Since You Asked…
Why do we stand during the reading of the Gospel Lesson?
By standing we are giving expression of special respect and adoration. In the Gospel Accounts we meet our Lord Jesus Christ in a special way. In these writings we are presented with Jesus’ Judean and Galilean ministry. We also have a record of the very words of our Lord (his teachings, parables, dialog, etc.). We hear the accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the work of our salvation.
Although the entire Bible is the Word of God, it is in the Gospels that our Lord is most directly presented to us. So you might say that Christ himself is being presented before us in the Gospel Lesson. It is therefore most appropriate that we stand at attention.