A Matter of Faith: Black or white: the only choices

12

By Mike Davis
Special to The PREVIEW
A famous athlete gave an interview about his faith journey. He uses the term binary to describe Christianity. This means only two choices, black or white, with no gray. He may be onto something.
Binary is hidden everywhere in plain sight. Every piece of information on the planet can be stored in a computer by a combination of ones and zeros. Other examples include day and night, plus and minus, on and off, and dozens more.
He believes Christianity is all about rules, structure and traditions. Follow the rules and they welcome you. Black and white are the only choices. He may be right.
Churches have strayed from the teachings of Christ. Jesus taught inclusion, not exclusion. Church was held in people’s homes as he shared a meal. He sat around a table with prostitutes, beggars, tax collectors and other outcasts of society.
The disciples asked Jesus what laws needed to be followed for their sins to be forgiven. He mentioned only two. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself. The disciples knew Jesus asked the impossible. A blood sacrifice needed to be made on their behalf or they would be banished to hell. Jesus became that sacrifice.
The athlete did not believe a loving God would send most of His creation to a fiery hell. Let’s agree with him and create our own god. Here are some options:
• No god, heaven or hell exist. Ignore all the signs of a created universe by a supreme being. Atoms decided to multiply and mutate to become an individual being with billions of cells.
• A god who only lets good people into heaven. All others cease to exist. By what standard does this god judge? Make up our own so we can be self-righteous and judge others.
• A god who lets everyone into heaven when they die. Regardless how wicked, selfish or prideful. This god turns everyone into a loving, generous and humble person. We live in tranquility throughout eternity.
• A god who creates a universe where no good or evil exists. People are puppets or choices are limited to the ones he gives us.
• Or, a God who created us with a free will to make our own choices and accept the consequences. One who only asks us to love Him and others as ourselves. God would have a trial, be our judge and find us guilty. There would be a punishment so severe no one would choose it if there was an option.
Is it possible to please God if we can’t obey His laws or rules? If good deeds aren’t enough, what is? How do we avoid hell? Believe in the gospel message. Jesus was sent by God to save mankind from their sins. Trust Jesus is who He says He is. He died on a cross, was resurrected on the third day and sits at the Father’s right hand.
Sounds rather binary. Live life our way and go to hell or believe in Jesus and go to heaven. A relationship with Jesus does not make us perfect in this life, but transforms our hearts into a more compassionate one. The choice may be black or white, but with Jesus in our hearts we view the world in living color, everyone a unique creation of God with the need of a savior.
“Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” — Romans 10:9 (NKJV).
That’s all it takes.