Now THAT Takes Guts
A friend of mine earned my respect on Tuesday. He did something really gutsy. I’ve known Nick for about 15 years. He’s an influential leader in his community and church. Not long ago, he started seeing Jesus in a different light than he ever had before. He started seeing Christ as all-loving. Radically all-loving. He started seeing that grace leads to repentance, not the other way around. A lot of people (including some of Nick’s family, close friends and his senior pastor) felt Nick was minimizing the consequences of sin. He was starting to drift and ruffle some feathers.
A few pals confronted Nick and asked what he was thinking and where he was going with this. He was feeling some serious social pressure! And some financial pressure, too, because even his boss didn’t agree with him.
I bumped into Nick on Tuesday. He told me a month ago that ultimately the Holy Spirit convinced him that God is in fact pure love and that his church was communicating that service, church attendance, adherence to tradition, baptism and host of other things were pre-requisites for getting into heaven instead of outflows of being unconditionally loved by God.
At the risk of being ostracized and judged by family, friends, co-workers and his pastor, Nick and his wife decided it was time to leave their church and really follow Jesus. They’ve found a church where they can grow into the real truth.
I sat there slack-jawed listening to this. A lot of people turned on him. Nick described his early impression of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit like this and how much he came to trust and love the Trinity like this . Amazing how courage takes over when you discover the real God.
P.S. Ok, so this post is a hoax. Nick’s not a real person. He’s a modern-day metaphor for Nicodemus. Click the links above and see how Nicodemus risked his career (he was a leader in the sect of Pharisees) and then ultimately (albeit a little too late) came to the conclusion that Jesus was/is God. I can only imagine the courage it took for him to bear the brunt of being ridiculed and socially/professionally outcast.
I believe his change in perspective came from spending time with Jesus and examining the facts. I encourage you to dig into Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and do the same for yourself. It's a game changer.