Daily Devotional 1-22-18

FORGET NONE OF HIS BENEFITS
volume 17, number 3, January 18, 2018
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” -John 14:6

Snowflakes and the Exclusivity of Jesus Christ

It appears that Chuck Palahniuk, in his novel Fight Club and in its movie adaptation, coined the term snowflake in referring to young adults of the 2010’s who are less resilient and more prone to taking offense than previous generations. In his novel and film Palahniuk has the line, “You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.” In Claire Fox’s book I Find That Offensive! she tells of a confrontation between Yale University students and Yale lecturer Erika Christakis. The lecturer suggested students should relax a bit rather than labeling fancy dress Halloween costumes as culturally insensitive.[1] A video can be seen showing the students going apoplectic over her suggestion.[2]

And then there is the issue of safe spaces. Originally this idea came from educational institutions which gave students or teachers who feel marginalized due to their sexuality or ethnicity an autonomous space so that they can come together and discuss their experiences of marginalization. This phenomenon has now grown to the place where alternative views which threaten some people are unwelcome. So, for example, conservative social commentators like Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos were banned from speaking at the University of California at Berkeley, the home, of course, of the free speech movement of the mid 1960’s.

So in this present university environment it is not at all surprising that when street preachers like Scott Smith, Jim Thornton, Robert Gray, Mike Stockwell, Bobby McCreery, and Ryan Denton, along with many other of my brethren walk on campuses like Harvard, Yale, Brown, Georgia, and Appalachian State and proclaim that Jesus is the only way of salvation, that neither Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, or any other belief system will do, the students generally go berserk. They seem unable to handle the truth.

What shall we do about this? Some will say that we should not at all go to the college campuses to proclaim Christ in the open air, that this is upsetting to the students. Some will say that when Mike Stockwell goes to Salem, Massachusetts (the place of the infamous Salem Witch Trials of the 1680’s) on Halloween and preaches Christ to the witches gathered there that he is throwing gasoline on the fire. People will say that when Geoff Kirkland leads his church in St. Louis to preach at the annual Gay Pride Parade that he is only inciting the homosexuals and that that is not the place to engage them in dialogue.

But what do we find in the Scriptures? We find Moses challenging the false gods of Pharaoh’s Egypt. We find Elijah confronting the prophets of Baal, a most wicked and vile religion. We find Jesus preaching in the open air to thousands, many of whom were plotting to kill Him and who finally succeeded in their plot. We find Paul preaching to the Jews and Gentiles at Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, Athens, Corinth, and Ephesus. Was there opposition? Were there riots? Of course there were. Did some die? Yes.

But Snowflakes are no different than any other people at any other time. They, all people everywhere, are under the bondage of original and actual sin. They are under the dominion of the devil and have been blinded by him. The only remedy for them is bold proclamation of the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit, trusting the Spirit to do what no preacher can do-open the eyes of the blind, take out the rebellious heart in regenerating grace, and cause the people to repent, and call on the name of the Lord Jesus to save them.

We must drive home the message that Christ alone is the savior of sinners. But wait, what about all the other religions of the world? What about those who sincerely hold another faith?

What Snowflakes are asking in this question is-isn’t Christianity too narrow? We should be straightforward here. Christianity is indeed narrow. Jesus says, “Enter by the narrow gate for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction and many are those who find it. For the gate is narrow and the way is narrow that leads to life and few are those who find it,” (Matthew 7:13-14). There are only two options here. Either Christianity is narrow and false or it is narrow and true. And in addressing this question of people sincerely holding other religions we should realize there are three underlying and false assumptions people are making in this regard. One, they assume sincerity makes something true. But does it? I can be sincere about wanting to get to Atlanta from Birmingham but if I get on I 20 and travel west I will end up in Tuscaloosa. Two, one’s belief makes something true. But does it? I can believe that JFK was assassinated in 1958 in Denver but that does not make it true. And three, claiming exclusivity makes something wrong. Snowflakes make this argument all the time. But does it? Contrary to what so many say, all religions do not teach the same thing. In fact they are very much in opposition with one another. Islam, for example, says that while Jesus is a prophet, it denies He is God, that He died on the cross, and that He was  raised from the dead. Christianity affirms all of these things as true. So the issue really comes down to this-is Christianity narrow and true or is it narrow and false?

Again we must consider the authoritative Holy Scriptures. I realize many reject this, saying that we are arguing our position in a circle, but there really is no other authority. All religious and philosophical movements, apart from the Scriptures, are grounded on nothing but speculation, kind of like the U.S. dollar. No longer having the gold standard, our dollar is tied to nothing but a vague sense of confidence. People who hold any position contrary to God’s inspired word are far worse off than that. So what do the Scriptures say concerning Jesus? Jesus made remarkable claims about Himself-saying among other things that He is God, that He would die and was to be raised from the dead, that He could forgive sins. Only three options are available. First, perhaps He was a liar, but if so, then people ought to quit calling Him a moral teacher. Second, maybe he was crazy, like people in happy farms. The problem with this view is we immediately realize one who “doesn’t have both oars in the water.” There is no indication that Jesus was maladjusted or psycho. Or third, He is the Lord of glory. If Jesus really is the Savior of the world then all He says about Himself and all His word says about Him must be believed. And this means we must believe on Him and turn away from our sins to gain right standing with God. So how can we be sure Jesus is the Lord? The greatest evidence is His resurrection from the dead. The Hebrew Scriptures prophesied it. Jesus said it would happen, and all His apostles said they saw Him numerous times after His resurrection. Paul tells us that Jesus appeared to over five hundred people at one time. He told the Corinthians, at the time of his epistle, that most of those who saw Him after His resurrection were still living at the time. In other words, don’t just take Paul’s word for it. Go ask those who saw Him. If I am a prosecuting attorney wanting to put you away for extortion and I parade five hundred witnesses before the jury and judge, then you are in big trouble. Christ’s resurrection proves that all He said is true. We, therefore, have no other option than to obey Him, to believe in Him.

Sound the trumpet. Do not hold back. We are to proclaim Christ crucified to the Snowflakes of our world, trusting the Holy Spirit to draw His elect unto Himself.

___________________a

1. Wikipedia Generation Snowflake

2. youtube Yale University, Erika Christakis Halloween

Al Baker
Al Baker is an Evangelistic Revival Preacher with Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship.
Click Here to view Al’s page on PEF’s website for more information on his ministries and how to donate.