As a catch phrase for a 70s sitcom character, “Dyn-o-mite!” meant something akin to “Cool,” but with a little more oomph. Those of you who are old enough to remember (unlike me, who only just now learned about it on Wikipedia 😉 ) are probably already visualizing Jimmie Walker’s big, toothy grin as “J.J.” on the CBS series “Good Times.” If things were going his way…a foxy chick was diggin’ him…Dyn-o-mite! If he was admiring himself in his bitchin’ threads…Dyn-o-mite! And every syllable was right on…to the max! No, I didn’t live through the 70s.
Interesting that something designed to destroy has such a favorable, positive connotation. Although dynamite can certainly be used for evil, it’s primarily associated with good. Because what’s being blown up needs to come down…an aging high-rise, an outdated sports stadium, or a dilapidated and dangerous bridge.
So as I’ve considered what I should be doing with this blog, I’ve realized some demolition is in order. Yeah, just take it down, I imagine some of you are saying. But here you are reading it. 🙂 Actually, what I’m looking to demolish are stumbling blocks, or barrier walls…the things that keep folks from believing and trusting in Jesus. I’ve identified some of them:
- Original sin – the belief that all are born with the “stain” of sin and so in a condemned state from infancy. I don’t ascribe to this.
- Predestination – God has foreordained and determined every event and every action of every human being so that, in effect, no one has free will. I don’t believe this as it is defined such.
- The Bible – why should we believe a centuries-old book written by men has any divine authority? I hope to give enough evidence to make that easier.
- Jesus – the man, the Son of God. Did he even exist? Did he claim deity? He is actually identified as a stumbling block in the Bible.
- Eternal security – the belief that once saved, you’re saved forever. Some Christians don’t believe this. I do.
- Salvation – making it to Heaven after you die, to be with God for eternity. I would say most non-Christians think our faith damns everyone to hell who hasn’t had the chance to hear about Jesus. Not true.
- Christians – Yes, we are our own stumbling blocks…immoral, greedy, dishonest church leaders, interdenominational conflicts, and believers who cloak themselves in God’s Law but forget that “the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’1” That’s actually seven words, I know. The Greek “logos” translated “word” here is translated “book” elsewhere. One example of the advisability, for all of us, of making an effort to investigate before drawing conclusions.
So I plan in the next few months to do my best to destroy or at least shrink each of these stumbling blocks in the mind of any reader for whom they present an obstacle to faith in Christ. There are other obstacles, I know, and if you would like to suggest one, I would welcome the opportunity to do a little demo on that also.
1 Galatians 5:14
Looking forward to this series!!
Thanks, Jill. So am I! (I wonder what I’m going to say…)