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Romans 3:23 - "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"

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That's Why We All Need Jesus

As a young adult, I dabbled in all kinds of philosophies, new age esoterics, astrology, humanism. A lot of common themes seemed so good - unity, universal brotherhood, God in everything and everyone, the ability to learn and be good enough to have paradise. To someone raised in the spirit of rugged individualism and self-sufficiency, in the technological and information age, Biblical precepts seemed so dusty and out-of-touch with reality here and now.

That the Church had historically discouraged scientific exploration, pagan religions, and alternative lifestyles made it feel un-loving. That some Christians I encountered were stridently anti-gay but pro capital punishment made them appear un-loving and hypocritical. That some Christian broadcasters and televangelists faced sex and money scandals made them look greedy and extremely hypocritical.

Then one day it hit me - Nobody's perfect, we all think we're better than we really are, and that's why we all need Jesus. This wasn't my thought - I was still sure I was better than all those nasty judgemental Christians - I believe it was God smacking me upside the head to get me on the right track before it was too late. Praise the Lord!

Tolerance and the Truth

As someone who enjoys exploring ideas and different points of view, I used to be proud of my open-mindedness and tolerance. Every opinion deserved to be heard and respected, and zealots who claimed to know "The Truth" were ignorant, narrow-minded, mean-spirited, self-righteous (fill in your favorite other adjectives) people who wanted to force everyone to their restrictive, intolerant point of view. That was MY opinion of Christians.

Well, decades later, it turns out I was wrong. My opinion was based on ignorance, pride, narrow-mindedness, and a zeal to appeal to the world. Reading the Bible for myself showed me:

  1. God is good, almighty, loving, holy and just
  2. Humanity is flawed
  3. The Bible is not "riddled with inconsistencies"
  4. God gives blessing to those who follow Him
  5. God's love for us is so great, He sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to suffer and die on the cross, becoming the perfect sacrifice for our sins
  6. No one political point of view accurately represents God's law

It also showed me that I was just as self-righteous and intolerant toward Christians as I'd believed them to be toward the world. I was wrong, I sinned, and I'm sorry.

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Unless otherwise noted, scriptures are taken from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.