Scripture sets impossibly high standards and then tells us not to fear when we fail to attain them – which is not the same as saying we should ignore them, or stop trying. Transformation occurs as we reach ever higher, while the Blood of Jesus expunges our failures. This is the miracle of Salvation: our failures disappear while our achievements endure forever (Philippians 3:7-14). And it’s free!
Yet many people reject God because the Bible reveals Him as intimately concerned with every detail of our lives, invading our world and our species, impacting our activities and our values and our essential human nature. People want to be their own god and they resent the intrusion of this interfering, demanding God. They reject Him not because evidence for Him proves to be untrue but because they don’t want it to be true. Jesus answered such shallow human skepticism by declaring that if our will were to do God’s will, we would know the truth (John 7:17). God is knowable – but only on His terms!
These terms demand death to the world because the alternative is an ineffective peace-pact with the world in which Christianity finds itself as one among many religions and philosophies vying for attention. Alas, many so-called Christians find comfort in a pale religious counterfeit that denies God’s core demands. Of them, Karl Barth had this to say:
“If men must have their religious needs satisfied, if they must surround themselves with comfortable illusions about their knowledge of God and particularly about their union with Him – well, the world penetrates far deeper into such matters than does a Christianity which misunderstands itself.”
“Our desire to comprehend the world in relation to God must proceed either from the criminal arrogance of religion or from that final apprehension of truth which lies beyond birth and death – the perception, in other words, which proceeds from God outwards.”