Summary: The question of whether Christianity is reasonable all depends on what answer you're looking for. What answers does the world seek and what is it about the answer the cross gives that is better than what many folks want?
OPEN: I once read about a dishonest manager who was wanting to hire someone for his accounting department who thought like he did. He ended up with 3 applicants for the job and he proceeded to interview them the next day.
The first applicant came in and sat at the desk and he and the manager engaged in some small talk. But eventually, the manager asked the applicant this question:
“What does two plus two equal?”
The man was a bit puzzled, but eventually answered, “Well, that’s simple: the answer is four.”
The manager thanked the man for his time and then ushered him out of the office.
The next applicant came in and again the manager engaged him in a pleasant conversation. But eventually he got around to asking this man the same question. And the 2nd man responded,
“Well, there are several possibilities: two and two make four, but so does three and one -- or two point five and one point five -- they also make four. There are a number of ways to arrive at that same answer.”
The manager thought that was a pretty good reply and told him he might get back to him.
Finally, the 3rd applicant came in and again the manager some time talking about several subjects, but eventually the man was asked the same question as the others: “What does 2 plus 2 equal. The man seemed startled by the question. He looked at the manager, cautiously looked around the room, got up out of his chair, went over and closed the door… then he came back and leaned across the desk and said in a low voice,
“Tell me, what would you like the answer to be?”
He got the job.
Our series for this month is called “Hard Questions” and the question for this Sunday is:
“Is Christianity Reasonable?”
Is it logical?
Can you “hang your hat” on what our faith says?
And the answer to that question is this:
It all depends.
What ANSWER are you looking for?
“What would you like the answer to be?”
You see, if Christianity offers the answer you’re looking for… then it IS reasonable. But Paul tells us in our passage this morning that there are people out there who don’t like Christianity because it doesn’t offer the kind of answer that they want to hear.
Paul wrote: “… we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” 1 Corinthians 1:23
The cross is a stumbling block to many.
It’s foolishness to a lot of folks.
In fact, there’s something about the message of the cross that make people uneasy, annoyed, upset… sometimes even downright nasty.
• There was the Roman historian Tacitus called Christianity a “pernicious superstition”.
• Freud believed that religious in general, and Christianity in particular, was a psychotic illness.
• And former Attorney General under Bill Clinton - Janet Reno – declared:
"A cultist is one who has a strong belief in the Bible and the Second Coming of Christ; who frequently attends Bible studies; who have a high level of financial giving to a Christian cause; who home schools their children; who has accumulated survival foods and has a strong belief in the Second Amendment; and who distrusts big government. Any of these may qualify a person as a cultist….”
Welcome to your cult! (Smile)
Tacitus, Freud and Janet Reno are just a few of those who are offended by the message of the cross. It makes them angry to think anyone would embrace what we believe.
And yet for those of us who understand what the cross means we KNOW that the cross of Christ is the answer to POWER OF GOD. As Paul wrote: “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”1 Corinthians 1:18
The cross IS the right answer… IF it is the answer you’re looking for.
But most of the world that is NOT the answer they’re looking for.
Many people only want an answer that will give them control of their lives.
They want to be “in charge!”
The Bible offends them because it declares that our lives are to be controlled by God. The cross declares that God bought you with a price – you are not your own. If you accept the answer of the cross you cede authority in your life over to Christ.
That answer doesn’t sit well with a lot of folks.
Many even reject belief in God because they don’t want someone else in control.
Or, if they do believe in God, they don’t want a God Who demands change in their lives, they want a God who will change FOR them… they want to say how their lives should be run.