Sunday, November 29, 2015

Doubting our doubts

So I read an article recently about Justin Bieber (I know, I'd never thought I'd say those words), and his profession of faith in Christ.  I'm not a fan of his music, but I was curious, so I read the article.  This post is about how we as Christians react to such news, and why I think our reaction matters.

I'll admit, my first reaction when hearing about a celebrity declaring faith in Christ is at least a bit skeptical.  There are enough posers out there that to accept the idea without question is na├»ve.  Scripture itself speaks of those who fake faith, and most of the time I've heard Bieber's name mentioned, it's because of some tabloid scandal.  So the initial skepticism is certainly not without foundation or merit.

But I think it's important that my reaction not end there.  While it's wise to have some question, it seems ungracious to be full of doubt.  If Jesus could save me, wouldn't I be judgmental to think He couldn't do the same to Bieber?  Rather than stand looking down my nose and scoffing at such profession of faith, wouldn't it be better to hold out hope for this influential young man, to have cautious optimism about what God may do in his life?

I'm not saying that we should be unthinking, because we should look not only at words but at the actions that follows those words.  Men of faith should come alongside and help ensure that such a profession is genuine by the life of repentance so produced.  But I think if we jump to conclusions regarding the sincerity of such a profession of faith, then we show ourselves as the older brother of Jesus's parable in Luke 15.  If we do that, we forget that the Gospel is about saving people out of the kind of mess that has put Bieber so often in the spotlight.  Our God is the God of changed lives, of redemption and repentance and resurrection.  He gives us hope for new life, now and eternally.

So if you're like me, when we hear news like this, let's check our hearts and doubt our doubts, because Jesus came for the sinner and outcast, for the one with the stained reputation and messy past, not just the sparkling clean guy with no baggage.

He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.

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