December 20, 2010
After this many of His disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, "Do you want to go away as well?" Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that You are the Holy One of God." John 6:66-69
We Lutherans are usually a humble group.
As evidence of that, I would point to the way we always sit in the back of the church. Of course, for every rule there is an exception. The exception to sitting in the back is the children's Christmas service. At that service, everybody wants a place in the front pew.
Sadly, there is also an exception to that rule, too. Not everybody is going to be at the children's service. For example, the folks from Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) aren't going to be there. You see, the FFRF folk are primarily composed of men who grew up in a religious home, but who have rejected religion.
Recently that group made a survey of its membership and asked them, "What was the straw that broke the spiritual camel's back?" Their answers were interesting:
· About one third said, "Religion doesn't make sense."
· Seventeen percent said, "religious hypocrisy" or "bigotry" was keeping them away.
· Nine percent said they made their decision because they had read books which were skeptical of Christianity.
· Only five percent said they lost their faith by reading the Bible.
When Jesus walked the earth, there was also a crowd of folks that walked away from Him. Just like the FFRF membership, they had their reasons. Their reasons weren't good reasons, but they were reason enough.
As Jesus watched the crowds walking away, He turned to His disciples and asked, "Boys, are you leaving Me, too?" It was a fair question and Peter provided a better-than-fair answer. He said, "Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."
All of this makes me wonder, have the FFRF folks, and all the other deniers and doubters found anything better than the salvation made possible by Jesus?
I doubt if they have. Why? Because only Jesus is God's Good News of great joy for all people. Only Jesus is the Savior, Christ the Lord.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, most families have an individual who has grown so smart he thinks he no longer needs to believe. This Christmas time we remember those individuals and ask, if it be possible, they be brought back to faith in You. This we pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries