Mt. Pisgah

Lutheran Church


9379 Hwy 127 North

Hickory, NC  28601

(Bethlehem Community)

Phone:  828-495-8251

Fax:  828-495-8252


Worship:  8:00 and 10:30 am

(Nursery provided)

Sunday School:  9:15 am

(For all ages)


Church email

 secretary@mtpisgahelca.org


Webmaster email

slgreene13@gmail.com

 


Follow Us On

 

Instagram

mtpisgahelca

 

Events

 

Saturday, September 22nd

(New date due to weather) 

Church Work Day

8:00 to 11:00 AM

 

Date TBD due to weather

Farrah Hefner Fundraiser

BBQ & Car Wash

4:00 to 7:00 PM

 

Saturday, September 29th

Golf Fundraiser for Youth

Lunch 11:00

Shotgun Start 12:00

 

 Sunday, September 30th 

Homecoming

Covered dish lunch

One service—10:00 AM

 

Saturday, October 6th

YouthQuake

for 3rd-5th graders

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM


Saturday, October 13th

Boy Scout Troop #275

BBQ Fundraiser

Starts at 12:00 PM

 

Sunday, October 14th

LRU Concert at Unity Lutheran

3:00 PM

 

Saturday, October 27th

Fall Festival

12:00 to 3:00 PM

 

Saturday, December 1st

Bethlehem Star Lighting

6:30 PM Dinner

 7:00 PM Star Lighting

 

 

 

************* 

 

 

 

 

 

« A Life Touched by Trinity | Main | Keeping Track »
Tuesday
Jul242018

Celebrating a Faithful God in a Fickle World 

CS Lewis, who arguably was the greatest Classics scholar the world has ever known, was an avowed atheist for most of his life.

One day on a walk with his dear Christian friend, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis explained that he had a hard time believing in the uniqueness of Christianity, as so many mythologies had similar themes of dying and rising, love and sacrifice. Lewis said, “We know that these are not true.” Tolkien put his hand on Lewis’ shoulder and said, “Yes, but what if God decided to use mythic stories in order to share the greatest real story in real life of a God who enters our story.” It was that revelation that totally changed Lewis’ life and his ensuing faith and writings have influenced countless others since. I, for one, am a beneficiary of his new found faith.

I minored in the Classics at Miami University. Enjoy is not the word that comes to mind as I recall my study of the language of the philosophers in Ancient Classical Greek. My seminary study of Koine, fisherman Greek, proved to be much more satisfying. The mythological stories of the gods and goddesses were interesting, but my sociologist side mistakenly made me quickly write off any notion that these sophisticated Hellenistic and Latin civilizations really believed in these anthropomorphic fairy tales. Though these very creative stories helped to create some order in explaining life around them, they also did have a religious inclination towards believing in these anthropomorphic supernatural beings.

This has helped me understand that their relationship to these gods and goddesses was mostly based on the desire to have some bargaining potential against the rather wild and reckless world around them. Their offerings to the gods, as well as their devotion to them, were to attempt a favorable influence on their fate or what they called “Moira”. Their relationship to these gods in their religious obligations and duties was simply to appease, in order to hope for the most favorable outcome.

The Pax Romana assumed that the blessings of Roman culture would ensure peace for all cultures and benefit all. It also had a built–in notion that all must play in this religious placating of the gods or else the delicate apple cart would be upset, and ruin might come to all. Judaism and Christianity, in their complete resistance to paying obeisance to anything but the one true God, upset the Roman balance of power. 

It was perceived that the Christian’s resistance would bring potential doom to the Empire. Thus, even the deadly sacrificing of Christians by the Romans was an act to appease these capricious gods. To these pagans, it became an act of worship and an act to further keep the peace.

The threat of Christianity had both political and religious implications for Rome.

If you play all this out from a Christian perspective, you can see how God might simply be rearranging the furniture on that stage of life in order to give Christianity a grand entrance. Or, as Paul alluded in Galatians, that at the perfect time God sent His Son into the world. Besides the outward physical realities of one common language, relative peace and efficient levels of transportation as the world had never before seen, God was working on the spiritual side of preparing their hearts. He could simply play their same religious game but change both the actors and the rules. The notion of sacrifice, in order to keep the peace, could be changed from a sacrifice not of people and animals, to appease otherwise jealous and fickle gods, but rather a God who sacrifices Himself on behalf of His fickle creation. Such a notion would be so radical it could not be made up, and yet, so appealing it could not be ignored. This explains one of the reasons Christianity took off like wildfire among even the Roman elite population. In a culture so used to dying for one’s gods and country, the idea of a God who would die on our behalf was incredibly unsophisticated yet impossible to completely dismiss.

The idea of constantly offering, in order to appease the fickle and often selfish gods, was now replaced with a God who offers Himself totally and selflessly, in order to make a statement of His unchangeable, constant, steadfast compassion. The early disciples fascinated fixation with reminding everyone that God so loved this world that He Gave His Son not to condemn but to save the world, was a huge contrast to the mythological self–serving gods of the day. This new Word would never get old, as it reverberated a truth that was so radically unique and counter cultural. The unpredictable, whimsical mood of the gods, who might like you today and forget your name tomorrow, was now replaced by a God who had decided before time and forever to claim you for His own.

Period.

Regardless of our faithlessness, He was faithful, and regardless of our decision for or against Him, this God had decided for us on a cross signed in blood. The Greek words Jesus shouted from the cross—Tetelestai—was what was written across every Roman legal document meaning literally “paid–in–full.’ With all of this back drop, it is clear to see why the early church called this good news!

This was not a god who randomly acted upon the players on the stage of life but one who literally got on the stage and was instead acted upon in a undeniable sacrificial act of love. One could decide to be apathetic and uninvolved about this news this but it would now be impossible to label this God as detached and uninterested. Life would be and could never be the same again.

What a great God we have who has changed everything about life; how we see Him and ourselves. As Lewis said after his conversion, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else differently”

 

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