Lent Day 33: John 7-8

We’re being lied to. Every day, in the street, on the TV, in the papers, in books, on the radio, online. We’re being lied to.

Science is disproving God.

Religion is the source of the world’s ills.

The world would be a better place if people abandoned belief in God.

Morals are an entirely human construct.

We know the best way to live our own lives and don’t need a higher power to tell us what to do.

People use God as an emotional crutch.

Those who believe in God are intellectually inferior.

If you really read the Bible you’ll see that God is a jealous, violent, power crazy sociopath.

You are only a true believer if you take the whole Bible literally.

God wants us to condemn non believers and judge them as bad people.

God wants you to vote a certain way.

God is abandoning your country because of gay marriage or universal healthcare.

You live in a Christian country.

Greed is good.

We need to punish the poor, sick and vulnerable for their own good. It’s cruel to just give them things.

Jesus invented the “Big Society”.

Money brings you happiness.

Outward beauty is an aspiration.

What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours.

God is dead.

We’re being lied to all the time. By everyone. Everywhere. Every way. About everything.

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 NIV)

What Jesus teaches isn’t something to imprison us. It’s not something which is there to control our will. It’s not something which will make us follow man made social conventions. It’s not something which we guard, selfishly. It’s not a political system. It’s not there to condemn people. It’s not there to put one person above another. It’s not there to stifle progress. It’s not to be taken literally, word for word. It’s not lies.

Jesus gives us hope. He gives us freedom from everything in the world which suffocates our ability to express ourselves, to think, to learn and to love. He gives us the free will to choose whether to follow or not. He gives us life as we were meant to live it, not how others tell us we should. He gives us a passion to explore his word and his world, so we can understand how things work more and more in order to glorify God. He gives us grace and forgiveness which we should share with everyone. He gives us generosity, compassion, a heart for the poor and broken. His word is there to be interpreted, discussed, thought about, marvelled on. He turns the world upside down, putting those at the bottom at the top of his priorities.

Out of all the lies, he gives us truth. Truth which sets us free.

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