Monday, January 14, 2008

The Dark Side of Christianity

Something to ponder, especially in light of the fact that we live in a day where seemingly countless preachers expound on the idea that God wants all Christians to be healthy and wealthy and who say that any problems a believer experiences are due, not to a God who cares more about character than comfort, but due to the believer's own lack of faith:
Honestly, I want to be like Christ.

But honestly, I want to be like the Christ who turned water into wine, not the Christ who thirsted on a cross. I want to be the clothed Christ, not the one whose garment was stripped and gambled away. I want to be the Christ who fed the five thousand, not the one who hungered for forty days in the wilderness. I want to be the free Christ, walking through wheat fields with His disciples, not the imprisoned Christ who was deserted by them.

I want to be the Good Samaritan, not the man who fell among thieves. But if the man had not fallen among thieves, been beaten, stripped, and left for dead, the good in the Samaritan never would have emerged.

This is the dark side of Christianity, the side we don’t see when we sign up. That if we want to be like Christ, we have to embrace both sides of His life. What else could it mean when the Bible talks about “the fellowship of His suffering?” How could we enter that fellowship apart from suffering? How could we truly know the Man of Sorrows acquainted with grief if we had not ourselves known grief and sorrow?
-Ken Gire, The Reflective Life

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