Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Truth in Advertising

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Oh, I love the straightforward simplicity of the Bible. It has no sweeping promises, no persuasive techniques, no hucksterism. No flash; no spin.

"...after you have suffered a little while..." If we were writing that, we'd have done away with the suffering altogether. It would be "zap", "bam" or "kapow" and no more difficulty. But God is no wizard, conjuring cures. His is the careful work of the Creator and the guiding hand of the Father. In my suffering, too, there is measurement and meaning.

Is it possible that some should mistake the slick, marketed thing that passes off as Christianity these days for the gracious, practical, reasonable-ness presented with neither pomp nor apology in the Bible? The first is a caricature so grossly distorted as to seem incapable of drawing away any thinking person from the beauty of the second.

Dear, wise, and holy God who weighs out my pain - he is so un-magic.