Uncomfortable Truth

It seems that America is obsessed with comfort these days. Have you noticed all the mattress commercials? They all claim that their brand is the most comfortable and tell us that we need to replace our mattress every eight years to maintain that optimum comfort. One mattress store will even finance your mattress for eight years. (I don’t care how comfortable the mattress is, if you finance it, you’ll probably be up half the night worrying about making your mattress payment).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m probably more obsessed with finding physical comfort than most people. One of the most difficult things about being paralyzed by ALS is trying to get comfortable because my body is literally dead weight. There’s no turning over or even turning my head in order to get more comfortable when I go to bed. I recently got a new mattress, the one that I see the most commercials for, and it’s every bit as comfortable as the manufacturer claims, and I really do sleep better. (Don’t tell the mattress people, but the mattress I replaced was twelve years old).

So I really appreciate physical comfort, but…

It also seems that much of the Western world is seeking a more comfortable (politically correct…) form of Christianity. Even if I wanted to do so, I’ve concluded that I’m just not clever enough to make Jesus and the New Testament into something more “comfortable.” Even writing this post is out of my comfort zone.

Like a lot of non-Christians, before making a commitment to follow Christ, I viewed Christians as narrow-minded, judgmental and hypocritical. My cynicism about Christians (churchgoers) was so deep that, even after committing to follow Christ, I wanted nothing to do with church or churchgoers (“organized religion“). For about five months, I read the Bible for an hour or two every night. With no preachers or churchgoers to influence me, I learned to just take the Bible at face value – I became convinced that it is God’s word.

truth and comfort
I eventually accepted an invitation to go to church and discovered that most Christians are not narrow-minded, judgmental or hypocritical. I also came to realize that non-Christians can be all of the things that I was accusing Christians of being.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

How does one make words like Jesus’ above quote more “comfortable” for the Jew, the Muslim, the Buddhist, the Hindu or for anyone else of a different belief system? As I said, I’m not that clever. Even if we “speak the truth in love,” as the Bible instructs us to do, verses like this and so many others can be taken as fightin’ words by many people.

Jesus is not a unifier; He is the most divisive figure in all of history. Trying to make His words more “comfortable” will only serve to strip them of their life-transforming and hope-giving power. Besides that, people deserve honesty not comfortable condescension.

Other than His most devout followers, the only people that Jesus succeeded in unifying was/is His political and religious enemies: “Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day (the day they crucified Jesus); for before they had been enemies with each other.” (Luke 23:12).

CS Lewis

CS Lewis

What would a “comfortable” (acceptable to all religious and political groups) “Christianity” look like? China has already given us the answer. The following are just some of the rules the Chinese state-approved “churches” have to follow:

• The Communist Party has the final decision on who can preach and what can be preached.
• Preaching about the resurrection and the second coming of Jesus is forbidden.
• Gathering to worship outside approved churches and official “meeting points” is forbidden.
• Evangelizing or giving out tracts is forbidden.
• Importing Bibles is forbidden, even if they are given away for free.
• Printing Bibles is forbidden, even if they are given away for free.
• Government officials cannot be Christian.
• Teachers cannot be Christian.
• Soldiers cannot be Christian.
• Police officers cannot be Christian.
• Children and teenagers cannot be Christian.

Obviously the above is not Christianity, but sadly there are many churches in North America and Western Europe that could relocate to the middle of Beijing without having to change what they preach.

China is officially an atheist country, including the education system. But the truth is that China will soon have more Christians than any other nation on earth. The majority of these Chinese Christians meet secretly in house churches that teach the true message of the Gospel. They risk beatings, imprisonment, losing their homes, jobs and even their lives. Like the early Christians and so many oppressed believers around the world today, they’ve chosen the uncomfortable road.

Opendoors.org

Opendoors.org

With the increasing pressure from governments, the education system, the media and even some Christian denominations to make Christianity more politically correct and comfortable for all people, which road will you choose?

About Bill Sweeney

In 1996, Bill was diagnosed with ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) and the doctors told him he had 3-5 years to live. He is now completely paralyzed and unable to speak, but by God’s grace, he’s still alive and through his blog shares a message of hope in Christ - Unshakable Hope!

Posted on August 11, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 129 Comments.

  1. Thank you for this post. I truly believe this is confirmation that my words were spirit led and not of me. I spread the uncomfortable truth and other believers are saying I’m being “insensitive” I’m just being obedient. Thanx again. God bless you.

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  2. Thank for speaking against Politicall-Correct Christianity. I hope one day, I’ll be able to re-blog this. I’m a newbie on Nokia 205 Internet.

    I’m also glad that you dislike the hypocrisy of churchgoers.

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  3. China may have more Christians than Europe and America, but it is also such a huge country with so many inhabitants. But please do know that soon there may be many belonging to Christendom over there, the same as in the West not so many shall belong to Christianity.

    For having more people coming to belong to Christianity they still shall have to learn to put away the human dogma’s and most difficult the human traditions, which are so close to their heart. But God wants to be truthful worshippers and demands full honour and honesty of heart.

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  4. While teaching in China for a few years, I was full of the missionary spirit and straight up told my Communist boss that I was going to teach my students (middle and high-schoolers in public school) about the Love of God. He said to go for it. So much officialdom in China, but everything that counts is back-door, under-the-table. Actually, because of the one-party system, people are immediately
    skeptical of anything they read sourced from the government; we in the western world could learn a lot from that. I do know there are crack-downs on religious meetings sometimes and that there is real persecution there (read Brother Yun’s works) but I can attest to Christ working in the people in China, and it’s much more apparent there than it is at least here in so-called Christian USA.

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  5. Great article Bill. This is such a reality check for many, myself included. We need to step out of our comfort zone and recognize the Bible being revealed all around us. The last thing we need to be in is a comfortable state of mind in fact we must redeem the time because the days are evil. Like Paul we are to preach the kingdom of God and teach those things concerning the Lord with all confidence not being without hinderance. Redeeming, the time because the days are evil. And being not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus, for it is the power of God unto salvation. Thanks for sharing Bill.

    Be A Blessing!

    LaTrice

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  6. So true! Keeping current on the situations of those being persecuted for their faith reminds me how comfortable we really are here. Even in our difficult circumstances, what is our relationship with Jesus? Distant? Convenient? Or do we love him and follow him because of who he is? No matter what. I know where you stand! Thank you. Well said…written. 🙂 And I’m glad your bed is working out.

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  7. Thank you so much for making out time to visit my blog and for the like. God’s blessings to you in the name of Jesus Christ.

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  8. What a great article. I do believe people seek comfort far more now than even a few decades ago. Many things just a few years ago were uncomfortable and people just accepted it. Our society’s aim to make everything easier hasn’t always produced the best outcomes. Labor hurts but is necessary to birth new life. I think the same thing applies spiritually as well. So many of us expect Jesus to make things easy for us instead of embracing Jesus to be with us as we go through those painful points in life.

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  9. .Excellent post… glad you found a comfortable bed… As for me, the cross is beautifully offensive and I embrace it with everything within me. I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus, for it’s the power of God unto salvation.

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    • Thank you, Pastor. Romans 1:16 is the perfect verse to quote for this because it’s being ashamed of the “uncomfortable” gospel that motivates Christians to soften the message to make it more “comfortable.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow. This is very convicting. I have a friend who is married to a muslim, and he is the kindest man I’ve ever met. When the gospel has been brought up in conversation between me and his wife, I become extremely uncomfortable …. not because I am in danger, but because I don’t want to lose her friendship. The thing is, she KNOWS the gospel too, but choses to believe that her husband will go to heaven because he is such a good, loving man. I needed to read this today. Thank you.

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        • Thank you, Teri. When we’re discussing what we believe about truth (in regards to God..), you want to stay away from the person’s nature (“kind,” “good,” “loving…”), I would have said the same thing if you told me that this man was unkind, bad and unloving… I’ve known good Muslims, Hindus and atheists. I’ve also known some unkind Christians. Regardless of our race or religion, we’re all born with a nature and we cannot get credit (from God) for a good nature that He’s given us. Besides, Jesus didn’t come to make us into “good people,” He “came to save sinners.” Even if this man is the kindest and best Muslim in history, he still qualifies as a sinner because we’ve all sinned. This is the uncomfortable truth, Teri.

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  10. I add my thanks and appreciation to all the others’ for this post, Bill. When I think of what challenges some Christians have overcome (Nick Vujicic is the perfect example) and how fruitful they are for the Lord, it makes me ashamed of my comfortable smallness. I pray Holy Spirit will stir up and rouse the Sleeping Giant – Christians in North America – to step out and live our faith more fully. It will get increasingly more challenging – are we willing to say “yes” to Jesus, no matter what?

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    • Thank you, Vera. Nick is a great example of someone who “speaks the truth in love” – he just loves all people equally.
      I also agree with you that standing up for your faith is going to become more difficult in the coming years – even in America.
      Thank you so much for the re-blog.

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  11. The True Light!

    What a great post! I wish a friend of mine here could make the same discovery you did about going to church. He a “naturalist” and thinks the same way you used to about all church congregates.

    But God is in control of the situation, and maybe he’ll one day see what you have talked about here in your post. Great job…(and your mattress secret is safe with me!)

    Steve

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    • Thank you, Steve. There are a lot of non-Christians like your friend. They generally dislike “religion,” but notice that their anger is almost always vented on the Christian faith. It’s tempting to think this is because they’re not brave enough to take on Islam, but it’s not that simple because it was the same pattern before this horrible Islamic terrorism.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The True Light!

        I think people just get offended in some way by a thoughtless comment and then they drop church services and never look to go again!

        The duty of worshipping God is not one to be ignored by His children! There is no excuse not to gather with like-minded believers to praise God on the Lord’s Day…just my opinion…

        Steve

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        • I agree with you, Steve, about Christians making offensive comments, but Christians don’t have a monopoly on saying offensive things.

          Liked by 1 person

          • The True Light!

            Very true. Thoughtless things come from the mouths of all kinds of people. James knew what he was saying when he wrote “But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.…” (Jas.3:8).

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  12. What a wonderful post and much needed I think in today’s upside down world. Although I suppose every age has it’s darkness but we here in the West seem to living in particularly deluded times.

    I want to thank you too for being a bit challenging with this subject as it hit me in places that really needed it. I struggle in this area you know, in believing a relationship with Jesus is the only way to salvation. My heart knows this but my head hollers at me me to question and think about all the other people that don’t believe and why would God put them here knowing they would end up damned. The more I read and contemplate the Bible the more I understand but it’s still a struggle.

    It all make s me feel very UNCOMFORTABLE, which it very well should, right? I hope I”m making sense. Like I said I really enjoyed this post. The mattress tips were a bonus. 😉

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  13. I LOVE THIS POST! I’m a fan of CS Lewis, so your quotes hit spot on. Comfort isn’t what God ever promised or asked of us. The enemy–i think–insidiously connects comfort with love. If God loves us, of course He’d make us comfortable. You’re living testimony that this isn’t truth. You’ve stepped out to call us out, Bill, and I’m grateful. For me, it means changing the way I look at things. Is it comfort I’m seeking–or growth? Because growth always requires a bit of pain and discomfort. It it’s going to stick with me. Thanks so much for this remarkable piece of honesty.

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    • Thank you, Dayle. As you said, there’s little growth in comfort. I wasn’t pointing fingers, I’m as guilty as the next “comfortable” Christian. I like what you said about equating comfort with love, that is so true.

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  14. Such powerful truth and a question we should all ask ourselves.

    But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. Matthew 7:14 (NLT)

    You’ve given me a lot to think on and pray about. Thanks Bill!

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  15. Great piece of writing, Bill.

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  16. AMEN, Bill! And I don’t use all-caps lightly!

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  17. “Jesus is not a unifier; He is the most divisive figure in all of history. Trying to make His words more “comfortable” will only serve to strip them of their life-transforming and hope-giving power. Besides that, people deserve honesty not comfortable condescension.”

    It’s this honesty which is the purest form of love between me and my Lord! His love for me is so deep that He would never tell me even the smallest lie. He just wouldn’t! He couldn’t bare to…because no matter the consequence for Himself His greatest goal is MY protection. He wants me to meet His Heavenly Father so desperately that He sacrificed His own life for me…simply by living the Truth. And the Truth He spoke was for ME, my salvation. Once we realize this as Christian FOLLOWERS we too lay down the comforts of living and take up the cross of salvation, praying we will bring others with us…praying we will meet our own Simeons & Veronicas. Not with doom & gloom but with joy & song in our heart…(which does not mean struggle will cease to exist, lol.) I would like to think that is what the brave Christians in China are doing….trudging a road of happy destiny together as brothers & sisters in Christ. Drawing strength from one another to put salve on the discomfort they experience by their “Yes!” to the Lord.

    Thank you Mr. Unshakable Hope!!! …you always bring such god-sight to matters and I love how your messages always emanate from your heart. And I most especially thank you for the opportunity to pray for those who chose comfort over truth…one day may they discover the strength within themselves to embrace (the discomfort) the Truth may bring & may they never seek to live a day without it.

    Hugs n’ continued blessings to you, my friend!

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    • Thank you, Dawn Marie. From reading your comments it’s obvious that you have thought a lot about this – I think all of those that have a genuine desire to lead people to Christ take this issue very seriously.
      I have a simple way of looking at truth – if a belief about God’s dealings with man is true, than it should apply to every man, regardless of race or nationality… So is the “comfortable” Western version of Christianity true or the “uncomfortable” version we see in China and so many other oppressed nations true? Anyone that’s read the New Testament would conclude that it’s the latter because the believers in the New Testament were never comfortable.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I once heard a pastor comment that if he wasn’t making us feel uncomfortable, he wasn’t doing his job. We need to be moved out of our comfort zone and we need to find a way to gently speak truth to those who don’t believe.

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  19. A powerful and timely post Bill and great quotes from the one and only C S Lewis. He and you are right, there is absolutely nothing comfortable about true Christianity, infact it is the opposite. All the more for us to draw close to the truth every day and hold on to that truth. Reading these Chinese rules sends shudders down my spine, yet it is a sobering thought that there are so many Christians there suffering for their faith. This truly does bring home the real message of Jesus in a world that sees His message more and more diluted everday. Much to ponder here Bill, God bless you.

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  20. Thanks, Bill.

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  21. Hodgepodge 4 the Soul™

    “I’m just not clever enough to make Jesus and the New Testament into something more “comfortable.” Brother, Amen! I appreciate your honesty and boldness to make such a statement. That one sentence alone was an encouragement to me. I’m glad you’re here. 🙂

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    • Thank you. I’ve genuinely sought for ways of making the gospel message more “comfortable,” but I’ve given up trying. I’m still open to suggestions.

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      • Hodgepodge 4 the Soul™

        You know? I don’t know if the Gospel is supposed to be “comfortable.” But the Holy Spirit is the COMFORTer and maybe that’s His place to bring the “comfortable” side of it. 🙂

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  22. Good post. We are definitely living in a time when the difference between true-believer and non-believer is distinct. I don’t think our sleepy-comfort is going to last much longer. The American church needs to wake up!

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  23. I will never grow tired of reading your blogs. They are thought-provoking, inspiring and very challenging. Thank you for sharing this!

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  24. I love this post. Thank you for a fresh take on this topic. It’s been said, but not this well. Clearly, it needs to be said again and again, because the only way you know you know it is if you are doing it and so far we aren’t doing anything differently.

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  25. Thanks for telling it like it is! I see the desire for comfort as the “termite” that infects the church and eats away at it until it is only an empty shell. I try my best as a pastor to point toward the uncomfortable road you mentioned—the road of sacrifice, the road of service to those who Jesus served, the road of taking up his cross as we seek to follow him. I would like to hope as a pastor I’ve made church-goers less comfortable but it seems an impossible task. I keep telling myself the words of Jesus that “with God everything is possible.”

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  26. A powerful and moving message, Bill. We take so much for granted in this country.

    And the culture places great pressure on Christians to be politically correct. We want to avoid “offending” anyone…even with the truth. Yet the truth of Christ is life saving. It is a necessary antiseptic. We may prefer the narcotic. But our wounds require cleansing, before they can be healed.

    May God give you strength and comfort, Bill. You share those in immense measure with the rest of us.

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  27. Preach it bro!!! Press on…

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  28. The laws that the beautif brothers and sisters from China face are similar in Croatia. I listened to a Croatian Pator preach here in the Woodlands, and you can tell, when he preached he meant it. It was unwavering, thought provoking and soul piercing. He came across like….. “I need to teach you this now or I may never had the chance again. Like in sports, when there’s lil time left play better, a sense of urgency takes over. When Jesus the way the truth and the light is your head, the urgency take over and being comfortable only applies at night! Lol.

    Hope to be able and visit you my friend.
    I love you man and your page.
    Tell your wife hello.
    Jarvon

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    • Jarvon! It’s great to hear from you. I’ve been meaning to email you.
      I didn’t know that about Croatia. Very few nations enjoy the religious and political freedoms that we have. I’m glad that the atheist or Muslim… has the right to express his or her disagreements with Christians in America – I wish atheist countries and Muslim countries felt the same way. If you’re confident that what you believe is true, you welcome open debate – obviously atheist and Muslim countries don’t have confidence in their truth-claims.
      It’s funny, as a PT, you spend every day making your patients physically uncomfortable; it’s so funny that people actually cuss you out 🙂 But you have to make them uncomfortable so they’ll grow stronger. I think this applies to our spiritual life also.

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  29. Great post Bill, and a good reminder to all of us that life is often uncomfortable, but walking with Jesus and trusting in Him will fill us with peace.
    God Bless you.

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  30. To answer your question, I chose long ago to walk the narrow road. The past couple of years made it difficult and tested my determined path. Laws of the land and Christianity collide and seek to draw one away. I decided to go out in the desert and look for reasons to be happy to keep the well of bitterness at bay. God is now providing an opportunity to use my talents again. My time in the desert is done (now I need to post this comment on my own blog). Thanks for a thought provoking post, Bill.

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    • Thank you for your comments, Patrick. Unfortunately there are many obstacles on this narrow road, ALS has been like a major detour for me. I’m looking forward to reading about your experience in the wilderness.

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  31. Dear Bill, here is the rest of my comment…may the light and truth of Jesus Christ grow stronger and brighter within us in these dark days; may we stay faithful to our Lord who sacrificed His life that we might have eternal life with Him, IJN

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  32. Thank you for posting this very important message, Bill. May the light of Jesus Christ

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  33. Your excellent post reminds me of a very good teaching on the Sermon on the Mount: We all want to be light, but Jesus calls us to be SALT first. Too many Christians want to be sugar instead of salt. And I would add, too much of our recent discussion on being “culturally relevant” amounts to angst over whether we should be Splenda or Stevia. Yes. Pour salt on a wound and it hurts. Ever thought about what happens if you pour sugar in a wound instead??

    Thanks for your life, thanks for your witness. Always an inspiration to me to keep going. May God richly bless you and your family – Sande

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    • “Too much of our recent discussion on being “culturally relevant…” You are so right, Sande! It’s not possible to be culturally relevant without watering-down the message. Popular culture is driven by feelings – comfort. Genuine Christianity speaks to those that have tried the pop culture’s ideas for happiness and success and found them to be empty.

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  34. Excellent points, Bill, and quite thought-provoking. I hear a lot of squawking about Christians being persecuted in this country and, while many injustices are happening, I wonder if we have any comprehension of what real persecution is. I dare say, if we did, our churches wouldn’t be spewing out the lukewarm, comfortable Christianity that is so prevalent today.

    What we’re feeling is the first pangs of discomfort in a culture that has veered from it’s spiritual roots. Sad. I suspect this is just the beginning, and while I prefer to be comfortable, what choice is there really? We must follow the only One who can comfort the soul, yes?

    Grace and peace to you, Bill. I hope you’re feeling well!

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    • Thank you, Rebeca. I agree with you about not having serious persecution here – yet. I believe it’s coming. What we have now is a temptation to conform to popular culture – peer pressure. Serious Christians need to find like-minded peers.

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  35. I’ll take the ‘narrow’ road…. I wrote a blog once on ‘what kind of Christian would I be’ meaning what if I had to live the life of some Christians in countries where it is forbidden or controlled…. I of course would ‘hope’ that I would stand firm… but it is so unimaginable what they go through .. being in a country with freedom to believe or profess our faith… Diane

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  36. tabitha59reachingout

    Great post, Sir! It is good to remind us all about how we have been drifting away from the core gospel of Jesus. It may not be comfortable, but it is truth and we all need the truth. Blessings on you. ……………….. I am glad you have a good mattress. I have had bad ones too and it can cause a LOT of pain! God loves you. 🙂

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  37. Bill, your words and the C.S.Lewis quote about soft soap are pure truth. I’d rather believe an uncomfortable doctrine than live a luxurious lie only to die and be eternally separated from the God of love. If we suffer with Jesus, we’ll be co-heirs with Him too.
    Blessings to you and Mary ~ Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

    • “I’d rather believe an uncomfortable doctrine than live a luxurious lie…” I love the way you put that, Wendy. I do believe in a little hell because Jesus spoke more about that than He did about heaven. I think ignoring the many passages about eternal separation from Christ… is at the root of “comfortable Christianity.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with you, Bill. Hell doesn’t sound like a pleasure cruise. It was the hardest part of Christianity for me to swallow. But as one preacher said, “God’s not going to drag people into Heaven.” If we don’t love the Lord here on earth, we won’t love Him in eternity either. I rest on what I know about God to help me understand the consequences of freewill. God is love; therefore I trust Him.

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        • Yes, Wendy, I think the idea of n eternal punishment is the hardest part to swallow for Christians. People ask, “How could a loving God…”? But, as you said, I don’t believe that God sends anyone to hell, it’s our choices in this life that determine our eternity. Freewill is a powerful thing, but there cannot be genuine love without it.

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  38. Pow! That’s what I call hitting the nail on the head! As Christianity is under attack even here in the U.S., the last thing we want to do is water down the message. We are to be different than what the world sees as the norm. That difference will draw the unsaved to a saving relationship with Christ only if it is genuine and relays the same love Christ freely gave to those he came in contact with and to those who still see him in the people who truly follow him.

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  39. Thank you, thank you for this post! I’ll never forget the day when I was talking to God and He asked me to do something I didn’t like (talk to my next door neighbor). I said to God, “But Lord, that is so outside of my comfort zone.” And God’s reply was, “Child, I’m more concerned with your growth than your comfort.” From that day on, I have chosen every day the “narrow” road- right beside Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Thank you, Bill, for your thought-provoking post and the challenge to forego earthly comforts for vitality of faith, a deep, constant relationship with God, and enjoyment of all of his rich blessings (which far surpass any pleasure in things). God help me to get out of my comfort-zone and be dedicated to him and bold for him!

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    • Thank you, Nancy. I am all about the physical comforts – I often thank God for a comfortable bed, a comfortable wheelchair, air conditioning, hot water… I really appreciate these comforts! I saw a youtube video of a house church in China where people were crammed into a room for 12 hours in 120 degree heat – they were all so happy. We cannot allow ourselves to become spiritually comfortable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Now that I reread my first comment, I see that a reader could think I believe in living as simply as possible. What I really meant was foregoing the excess of comfort and pleasure. We Americans have too much at our disposal and can easily become distracted from God, his ways, and his desires for our lives.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I knew exactly what you meant, Nancy – I didn’t picture you living in a little shack in the woods 🙂 I agree with you, when we enjoy physical comforts, it’s difficult to not become spiritually comfortable.

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  41. This was an extremely well put post. It is always good to read what you have to say. Keep them coming, as you are able. MANY Blessings Leslie

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  42. Obviously you are not in tune with the smooth slogans of the Emerging Church phenomenon, and that is a good thing Bill. Go light on judgment, doctrine, holiness and “one-way Jesus”. Not a chance. Syncretism sneaking into any of the denominations is a pox…but it sounds so warmly inclusive. Glad that you mentioned Jesus’ sword of division. We come to understand how the narrow way is freedom. Bravo friend…Doug

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  43. Powerful blog worth sharing. share.

    Also, a few days ago, I was wondering how you were and why you hadn’t posted anything recently. Isn’t it nice to know you’re thought of and missed in the blogger world? So I was happy to see this pop up on my email. 🙂 As always, your words bless my heart and speak truth!

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  44. Bill, thanks for the reminder that – for the most part – we live out our Christianity within a cocoon of comfort. You are right on, brother regarding the Chinese Church. We lived among and worked alongside persecuted Chinese Christians for several years, and were always encouraged by the joy and peace they exhibited in the face of great personal trial. In the free world, we have absolutely no idea what it’s like for our faith to be a life-and-death matter.

    Who then, has the greater faith? Whose relationship with God has been refined in the fire, purified and perfected? I Peter 1:7 – “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”

    As you know better than most of us, however, our faith is challenged and purified in ways other than through dictators and the loss of personal freedom. Your ALS has imprisoned your body, but brother, your spirit is flying free! Your testimony equals that of my Chinese brother who spent 23 years in prison, enduring beatings, torture, hard labor and separation from family. But one thing he never lost – hope! God filled him with hope in the midst of a hopeless life, and he survived to become one of the most famous underground pastors in all of China.

    THANK YOU, Bill, for responding to the hope that God has placed within your heart. You’re an inspiration to many, and a beacon of joy in the face of devastation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your insight, Dennis. I really admire the underground believers in China and people like you that have helped them. I bet you have some amazing stories. I think the Christians in China are much like the Christians in the book of Acts. I’ve been an Internet missionary with Global Media Outreach for almost 6 years and I’ve communicated with many “uncomfortable” Christians in Muslim countries (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran…) and in nations like China. The underground church throughout the world is rapidly growing!

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  45. Thank you for your post! I’ll travel on the narrow uncomfortable road!

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  46. What a wonderful post! And how true it is in our world today. With your permission I would like to share it.

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  47. Thanks for posting this.
    In order to make the Word of God “comfortable” we have to in essence change it. It is impossible to apply the entire bible if we are trying to be “all inclusive.” When we ignore segments or consider certain parts of it as not being accurate, why then would we think any of it is accurate, why would we believe that Christ actually rose from the dead? I choose to take God at His Word, that doesn’t make me narrow minded, it gives me hope and makes me feel secure, even in those truths that make me a little uncomfortable. Are we really so foolish as to believe that a Supreme Being exists, yet we have to take the wheel over all he created because his bible does not reflect what is true or actual in the world today?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comments, Gene. I discovered the same thing that you have (about the Bible). Like a fine garment, it’s woven together perfectly and if you pull a “thread” that might make someone uncomfortable, the whole garment is ruined.

      Liked by 1 person

  48. Your metaphors are heart stopping. I am humbled by your brain!!!!! And inspired by your heart!
    Thanks I needed this one!

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  49. Hi Bill, I believe Christ is present and works are many. I choose to love the Christians at church and away from church although I no longer attend a church separation of religious belief and where my heart is. If that can be understood. Hope more find there way in Christ.

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  50. Great post, Bill. Thanks. Blessings to you.

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  51. Excellent development of your main point! I think the original meaning of the word comfort has to do with providing strength – fort as in fortify. We’ve changed the Lord’s prayer functionally – Give us this day ease and pleasantness and happy times. I pray for you each day. I take for granted the ability to turn over in bed to get more comfortable. May God give you strength THIS day to live.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Maria. Your comments about the word com-fort are very interesting, it’s like a refuge.
      On another note, how’s your friend with ALS? I put the book you recommended on my Amazon wish list (I’m not ordering any new books until I finish reading the new books in my bookcase).
      Thank you so much for your prayers!

      Liked by 1 person

  52. Thank you for the re-blog, my friend.

    Like

  1. Pingback: “Uncomfortable Truth” 8/12/2015 by my friend Bill Sweeney, stricken with ALS 18 years ago | God's group

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