Clanging Symbols and Sounding Brass


A young man had always wanted to know how to get to heaven, but never took the time to learn.  Tired of not knowing, he walked into a local church and began to ask, “How do I get to heaven?”

The pastor, who had won many awards for his preaching on heaven, overheard the young man and excitedly rushed up to him, ready to share what he knew.  He said, “Young man, the way to get to heaven is by reading your Bible every day.  Each day read until you can’t stand reading any longer.  In addition to reading your Bible, you must pray once a day, every day.  If you do these things, you will make it to heaven.

An older man in the church overheard the conversation and joined in.  He said, “Young man, I have an M.Div, D.Min and D.Th.  The way to get to heaven is by reading your Bible 68% of your day.  During your Bible reading, 25% should be the Old Testament, 25% the Gospels, 40% Paul’s writings and 10% The Book of Revelation.  In addition to that you should pray 3 times, 3 different ways, every day.  If you do these things, you will make it to heaven.

The pastor and the older man began to argue over how to get to heaven.  The young man walked out of the church still not knowing how to get to heaven.

Christian friends, we have a purpose to spread the love of Jesus Christ through relationship building.  It grieves me to see so many Facebook battles where Christians are fighting with each other over what is right or wrong according to God.  It bothers me to see Christians fighting with and even belittling people who don’t share the same beliefs concerning Jesus and still expecting them to accept God.

This is not the picture I see in the Bible.  Jesus built relationships with people.  He shared in their burdens.  He comforted them in their sorrows.  He forgave them of their sins.  He ate with them.  He spent time with them.  He loved them!  Anything other than that is just clanging symbols and sounding brass.

 

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