Jim, My boyfriend is Christian and he speaks of having Christ living inside of him and because of that he is guided by the love of Christ. I am a new believer, I have spent my live without the knowledge or belief in Christ and just over the past year I have felt a calling for lack of a better term. I went to the local Christian book store and bought every book I saw on Believing as well as a Bible. I know that I am changing, perhaps coming to an understanding, but at this point I cannot honestly say that I have experienced the feeling of Christ living through me and I am very confused on some subjects. Recently I had a conversation with my boyfriend about people who choose to hurt others. As an extreme I brought up the case of a rapist. My thoughts have always been that people who choose to hurt others are bad or "evil". I was told by my boyfriend that my thinking was opposite to someone who has received Christ and as long as I compared right and wrong I would not live in Christ. I understand that God loves all He created, but what happens when someone commits unspeakable acts against others. Does he condone it because Christ died for our sins? and if so then is there no form of justice. The victim and the victimizer are equal in the eyes of God? I thank you for taking the time to listen to me. I know I haven't gotten "it" yet but I have lived my life missing something and as I have started on the journey of finding "truth" I am finding that all I believed is incorrect and I now am struggling to figure out what is correct. Sincerely, H
Hello, my dear H...
Thanks for taking the time to write such a well-expressed email. :) You know, being made alive in Christ is so totally miraculous that perhaps most of our terms fall short of describing it and so for you to say you "felt a calling" expresses what you sensed very well.
I went to the local Christian book store and bought every book I saw on Believing... H
This is probably a huge factor in your confusion! Not only were you presented with more than enough doctrinal views to start a holy war, I suspect most of them caused you to consider your own faith as inadequate or inferior (as in not long enough, not strong enough, not dedicated enough, not Biblical enough, not spiritual enough, etc). Am I right?
Yeah, somehow most teachings on faith or believing end up causing us to examine OURSELVES instead of looking to Christ, even though it is often claimed that Jesus is the object of our faith. In truth, WE become the object of this kind of faith. No wonder these things are so confusing to so many! That's right, you are not alone in this for it is a common confusion.
Does God condone evil now that Christ has died for our sins? Not a chance! The fact that God condemned His son on the cross because of our sins only makes it more obvious how much He hates it. The real question though might be better asked: How we are able to judge one as better or worse since even we were dead in our sins outside of Christ?
In other words, though we might recognize that it is evil to hurt people, we only become biased judges by comparing one evil as worse than another, for in doing so we have to establish ourselves as right in order to judge the other wrong. But since Christ died for all that means that all were DEAD, and to recognize another according to their sin is to disregard the universal reality demanded by his death. This mentality would have us assume the wrong one needs a better morality (i.e. more like ours) instead of simply needing life! After all, what were we really given in Christ? LIFE. We were DEAD, but have been made ALIVE in Christ.
As far as God's justice goes, realize that there is no higher reality than that which is found in Christ's death! Let God take care of what only God can take care of. And never suppose that He does not care!
I know I haven't gotten "it" yet but I have lived my life missing something and as I have started on the journey of finding "truth" I am finding that all I believed is incorrect and I now am struggling to figure out what is correct. H
No doubt you will continue to see amazing new things in Christ, but I must tell you that you are wrong in believing yourself not to have gotten "it" yet ... for if you have Christ then you have ALREADY received IT!! Do you hear what I'm telling you? The good news really is good news, and it declares that you have been made the righteousness of GOD. There is no better or worse in Christ, for all in him are equally alive. You are missing NOTHING!
Hoping to hear back from you!