I recently had a conversation with a friend. She and I are both going through similar life-experiences and we stopped to compare notes. As we chatted about the difficulties we observed while witnessing to important people in our lives, we stumbled over the same vital truth. She exclaimed first, but it was really as if she were amplifying the thoughts that were buried deep into my heart. As the common realization synced, as the wavelengths melted into each other, as the words overlapped, the truth seemed to burn brighter.
The problem? People that we were witnessing to knew a lot. In fact, they knew so much about the Bible, Jesus, His presence here on earth, the disciples, the miracles… About the plagues, the talking donkeys, the sick made whole, the missionary journeys… About the inconsistencies, the head-scratchers, the mind-bogglers, and the outright nonsense. But, as it had become clear, when it came to accepting all of this, they shrugged it off.
Why? What was the disconnect between the head and the heart? The mind and the spirit? The intellect and the innate sense? Why was the chasm between here (disbelief) and there (acceptance) so vast? We had both witnessed similar shoulder shrugs, hands tossed up in resignation, apathetic sighs and were puzzled that our friends could be privy to so much, yet apparently ignore what seemed obvious to us.
We stopped, stared at the ground in silence, then dared to whisper…”They do not feel the need for a savior. They don’t think they need to be saved from anything.” Could that be all?
“All.” Like an atom bomb wrapped in an acorn. “All” is the key, right? All of this “Christianity” stuff is moot if there is actually no need for a savior. Salvation from what? That’s certainly what our friends were grappling with.
I can imagine Paul agreeing. The plan of salvation required the death and resurrection of Jesus. However, if there was no reason to be saved – if we weren’t lost in the first place, His death wouldn’t be necessary. Even worse, if there was a need for a savior, but if Christ didn’t accomplish His goal, our faith would be “in vain” and we would be yet left to wallow in our sins. Perhaps Paul shook his head as he postulated, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1 Corinthians 15:19)
If you pull on that thread, the whole tapestry begins to unravel. Little by little, we realize that our faith is nothing if it is purely for show, for pretense, or “just because”. It needs to be grounded in something, and the only thing it should be grounded in is our desperate need for salvation. Because without that, without it “all”, there’s no reason to even walk this walk.