A picture is worth 1000 words?
Perhaps for an overview…Consider:
For more use the DOOR.
Here’s a 92-year-old, hopelessly old-fashioned cartoon that, perhaps, some of you could use for discussion in Sunday school, or a small study group.
(1) To relive a moment of history (for those familiar with WJB). (2) To outline, and perhaps define, certain issues tangled up in the “historical package” of what Christians have believed for some time. Now the thief on the cross, who once reviled Jesus, then believed on and trusted in Him, as well as many who sit in today’s church pews, would probably struggle with explaining what the steps in the cartoon actually meant–or wonder whether about the significance of these concepts today.
“I love Jesus. He makes me happy and content. That’s all I need. Don’t bother me with any theology.”
Two things about that.
(1) Many people from other religions could say exactly the same thing…if they erase “Jesus” and fill in the space with some other religious figure, idea, or “thing.” If they’re comfortable with others doing that, then (a) they’ve reduced Jesus to no more than a pretty good man among many others, or (b) if they’re convinced that the supernatural elements written on the steps that refer to Jesus are true, then they feel no responsibility to share that truth with most people around them.
(2) According the the Book of Acts in the New Testament, the first Christians strongly disagreed with both (a) and (b). Believers then were willing to die for their belief in a supernatural God, and Jesus being God’s Son. Further, there was tacit acceptance that the Good News (Jesus was deity, Jesus literally rose from the dead, and Jesus paid for, or atoned for, the personal sins of believers) in obedience to Jesus’ parting words, should be taken to the ends of the Earth.
Are the steps going down too extreme? If so, which ones and why?