Monday, May 9, 2011

Written Aug '09: My First Doubts - Divine Empowerment?

I completely understand that we worship the Creator, not the Creation, but why isn’t the powerful imparting of Jesus’ character more prevalent? I’ll use the power over sin as a general example, though the same concern applies to other characteristics. Power is defined as the ability to do something. Jesus is said to have power over sin, and he places this power within us. This cleverly transfers the ability back to us, because it’s no longer Jesus that’s exerting the energy, but us. The power is inside of us, it’s just that Christians claim Jesus put it there (even though many non-Christians find the power to live equally moral lives). Either way, it’s often very difficult to find, and ultimately we expend the energy. God doesn’t make righteousness easier for Christians, and there is no power outside ourselves actively assisting. The internal power Christians sense may be nothing more than religious motivation, and “taking hold of God’s power” may be simply doing what’s right.

To determine if Jesus’ power is actually potent, we can look for its affects. We should be able to distinguish Christians from the world based on the affects of that power. Look at marriage; the divorce rate among Christians is as high as non-Christians, which shows (quite conclusively) that God’s power is not keeping marriages together. Since power is defined as the ability to do something, and we’ve found nothing extraordinary is being done, we can conclude there is no extraordinary power.

One might argue that our marriages would survive if we would be more like Jesus, but this reduces Jesus to a good moral teacher with no real power. There are plenty of good moral teachers out there; it’s the divine power which is supposed to set Jesus apart.


  1. David, so I'm a few years late to this blog and your journey, but I just wanted to let you know that I am reading and enjoying the mental and spiritual challenges for my brain... and heart. Thanks.

  2. Hey thanks Annie! I appreciate that. Don't worry, you're the first family member to post a comment! (I never really sent these links out before)