Recently I finished a book that was set in the Middle ages in Southern England. It immediately drew me in, because frankly, I am a nerd who loves historical fiction. But the degree of separation of characters was something that was truly fascinating. The main characters ranged from a pious and holy monk, to a base inhumane earl. There were knights, bishops, queens…this is starting to sound like a chess match. But one of the things I couldn’t get my mind away from revolved around each character’s placement in life and their resulting morality. It seemed like the upbringing of the characters set their course for virtue or vice without their choice. As the writer was not a Christian writer, I further pondered as to whether or not this is how the world thinks of virtue and vice in general. If you are born to good people, you will be good people…Or along the same line of thought, If you are born to Christians, then Christian; Muslims, then Muslim; Jews, then Jews…I could go on for a while.
It’s kind of scary to think about, but most people really believe that someone’s lot in life is set by the tradition and values they are born into. Is everyone really fated to follow in the footsteps set before them? I guess my real concern is that so often the path left before a large number of the people of this planet would lead them away from God instead of towards him. But that is what is so revolutionary about Christ breaking onto the scene…He calls us emphatically to break away from our lot in life and follow him. It doesn’t even make a difference if the path set before you is good or bad, because He has a new path for you. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26).
Jesus has greater things in store for you than the legacy you think you are bound to. And he can overcome any legacy whether it is vile or virtuous in order to make you into His disciple wholly. So maybe your lot in life only determines what happens until you stumble into the path of the Savior. Life after that will never be the same.
May we continue to direct people into His path that their lot in life might be redeemed.
4 Comments Add yours
What would you say to the cultural aspect of the conversation? Does God move people from cultural aspects of life as well or do we become Christian in the midst of our cultural and look to thus change our culture for Him? Can a cultural Muslim, Buddhist, Jew still be those things with Christ in the middle or is that something that must change as well?
I think of Paul who never stopped being a Jew culturally but was not follow after Yeshua, the Messiah in the midst of his culture.
Interested in your thoughts…I have been thinking about this for quite some time!
grace and peace!
Dude I love this conversation. I think this is the heart of the matter because ultimately Christ has to transcend culture. We are so quick to try to differentiate religion from culture when often times they are one in the same. I love the explanation that C.S. Lewis gives in “The Last Battle” regarding the Tarkan whose “true” worship towards Tash was actually “true worship” of Aslan and thus he is redeemed. I am not sure how that would ultimately translate with Buddhism and Islam, but I think the discussion has to be open as ultimately God is the judge and we are simply called to be sower witnesses. But yeah, this discussion could go on for a while. I think the question where we find ourselves lacking is, Does Christianity own Christ?
Was it the Pillars of the Earth book? I started it and am about halfway through.
It was…although a little graphic in parts, I loved it.