There are different types of mentality that people ‘carry’, about spiritual matters, religion, or Christianity.
Consciously or unconsciously they carry certain fundamental conclusions that influence any further thoughts they might have on the subject of spirituality.
When presented with certain Christian thoughts, talks, or articles they have read or conversations they have been privy to – they ‘shoot down’ any presented conclusion that others (e.g. preachers) might offer.
Using their (metaphorically speaking) gun-thoughts, they satisfy themselves that they have reason to dismiss any exhortation the preacher might present.
There are many dismissive thought patterns but here are a few examples:
All religions are divisive and only cause wars.
Evolution has dismissed religion as mythical.
There are too many hypocrites in religion and I want no part of it.
No one has proven God’s existence.
It is impossible to be sure about God’s existence.
There are no absolutes.
Some mythological person living in the clouds will not get my allegiance.
And so it goes on…
If you have been a Christian as long as I have. There is probably not a lot of other products of human ingenuity to be encountered as reasons to dismiss faith and belief in Jesus as the Christ of God.
To engage with those who carry such dismissive attitudes – can be difficult – let’s be real.
However sometimes Christians do not live up to what they call others to follow.
That’s simply because they too – though followers of Christ – are subject to ‘like passions’.
The term ‘like passions’ is found in the New Testament, in James 5.
The King James Version of the Bible, uses this (in my view) very descriptive summary of what we all are:
17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are,
The Amplified version of the Bible expands it more fully –
17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours [with the same physical, mental, and spiritual limitations and shortcomings],
But the verse goes on to reveal a remarkable thing –
and he prayed intensely for it not to rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its crops [as usual].
There is no genuine Christian who would not long to be like Elijah the prophet, as we read of the fruit of his ministry and service to God Almighty.
Yet we also learn of the nature he had. The same nature you and I are born with. Subject to sin – evil desires – unbelief – and so on.
Yet despite the shortcomings of Elijah – he overcame them not through ‘rule keeping’ but through relationship.
The relationship God offers to you and I.
Is it real? – you bet it’s real!
When you pray ‘no rain’ and there is no rain. And you pray ‘rain’ and there is rain. We kinda get the picture – right?
It is real!
Yet it is the same nature referred to here with: spiritual limitations and shortcomings, that stops the rain when the desire is – for rain.
There is only one thing we can do to annul our ‘born in sin’ nature – in order to bring the natural rain or the Rain of God’s Presence.
Here is the key –
13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.