Many of the problems in Christianity are rooted in assumptions.
We assume that the Bible is inerrant and infallible. (Have you looked for yourself?) We assume God is good. (Have you read Joshua?) We assume that anyone who even questions those beliefs is a heretic. (Are you thinking that about me?) Some of our assumptions are correct, but the fact that we make assumptions is not.
I used to fail in my attempts to tell people about Jesus for one simple reason: I worked from my assumptions about the Bible. It wasn’t until I really examined where the Bible came from that I was able to effectively communicate what I believed about Jesus with other people.
An entrepreneur’s book recently reminded me of this lesson. Seth Godin, in Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, says:
Godin’s right: The world will change. And here’s the biblical version: God is all about change. The world needs to transform. We need to be transformed.And before you think believing in Jesus is about stability, think about this: Jesus is also all about change. He is a mechanism of change. He wants us to stop making assumptions, and stop forcing them on other people. He wants us to be vehicles of transformation instead.
The kingdom of God is about changed lives. Right at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, in Mark 1:15, Jesus says, “The kingdom of God is near” (Mark 1:15). And he follows that up with “Repent and believe in the good news,” which means “Turn the other way [away from sin] and believe in the good news” of Jesus.
The “is near” is a translation of the Greek engizoe: “draw near.” In Mark 1:15 it's in the past tense, yet the word itself has a present (or now) idea: “is present.” I would translate it “the kingdom of God has drawn near” or “the kingdom of God is at hand.” The idea isn’t “it's coming soon.” The idea is that it's already present with Jesus’ ministry and that there’s still more of the kingdom coming. It’s present, but still being worked out in the ministry of Christ and his disciples.
Many of the people of Jesus’ day weren’t ready to embrace change. (After all, they killed him for his beliefs.) Like them, the question for us becomes: Are we willing to lay aside religion, and assumptions, for the sake of an honest examination of who Jesus is? Are we willing to let Christ change our lives and the lives of others by simply letting him be who he is?God called us to have a living, breathing and active faith. That’s the mystery of Christ.
What incorrect assumptions are we making about God? What needs to change? How can we change our world with the mystery of Christ?The link for Tribes is an affiliate link, which means that if you purchase something after clicking on it I will receive a small payment. Nonetheless, I only recommend books I personally find helpful.