Too much Christianity puts distance between the believer and his Lord. Too many Christians accept it this way--whether by default or by preference. It was not intended to be this way. But for a certainty it is this way, and to the extreme detriment of the Church and each member in it.
GOD OVER THERE
We have seen it this way: I am over here, God is over there. Yes, Christ died for me, is preparing a place for me, and is coming to get me one day. But he's over there . . . somewhere. I go to church and "touch base" with Jesus, get my "fix" or gain some knowledge, or perhaps even find an answer to one of my pressing questions. But it's still God over there and me over here. Distance. God surfaced this with Jeremiah:
LIFE PROJECTS TRUE BELIEFSAm I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:23–24)
I say, this is the practice of it from my experience having been saved over 50 years now and having prepped, schooled, and worked in the church in some way most of those years. I have felt these things myself. I know from experience that this is true. And I also know from conviction that it is totally off the mark. It is so far off the mark we submit that such a way of viewing Christianity is not Christianity at all! That's right.
Have we grown too academic with our faith, on the one hand, parsing verbs, and leaving the Spirit and grace in the classroom? Or have we gone the other way, on the other hand, contenting ourselves with such a nebulous mist of loosely held beliefs that they wouldn't hold together in the least conflict we face?
"Am I a God at hand?" It is this question I want to probe over the next few posts. God help us. Life, real life, hangs in the balance!