To become a mature Christian disciple today requires a person to be free-thinking in the most open-minded and adventurous way, in contrast to an easy conformity to our current cultural worldview of naturalism, postmodern relativism, and skeptical indifference to God.
The bogus charge that the world levels at the Christian of “copping-out,” by using belief in God as a crutch to lean on…an escape-hatch from self-accountability to dump all of our problems off on…is actually the reverse opposite of reality. In many respects it is much easier to go along with the general tide of today’s popular culture, in which everyone’s opinion is relative, and the moral absolutes of right and wrong are conveniently fuzzy, than it is to be a true Christian engaged in an adventure of faith.
The great irony in our modern times is that the narrow way of the cross is in actuality the most liberating and open-minded route we could possibly follow. The discovery of the real truth about ourselves, the outside world, and the character traits needed to produce the experience of eternal peace in joyful living, sets people free in love to rise in triumph above the challenges, difficulties, and evils of this world (1 Cor. 13:4-7)…lessons that will outlive time itself.
The life of the apostle Paul is one in a long line of the biblical people of faith living their lives at the liberated edge of the danger zone of a God-composed journey of faith. Paul as Saul (Paul is the Greek equivalent…in English…of the Hebrew name Saul), the highly educated young Pharisee, personally cares so much about the truth and rightness of his Judaic religion and culture that he actively persecutes the rapidly growing threat of the “new way” of the Christian sect in Jerusalem, after the martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 8:1).
But Saul the Pharisee is entirely wrong about the Christians. When Jesus of Nazareth miraculously appears in a blinding light to Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus, God intervenes in the life of Paul and sets his feet upon an unconventional path towards the discovery of the “all truth” of John 16:13. This surprisingly turns out, from the elevated divine perspective, to be perfectly in-line with the very passion that initially motivated Saul the Pharisee’s sincere but misdirected attack upon the Christian church. God’s narrowly specified adventure of faith for Saul/Paul opens up for him the very thing he valued the most.
God’s insertion of a new life-script at the perfect time in Paul’s life led to a journey of faith into the danger zone resulting in the unimaginably liberating outcome of Paul becoming one of the true champions of the Christian faith he once persecuted, and a writer of the divinely inspired New Testament Christian truths he so desperately sought as Saul the Pharisee mistakenly persecuting the seemingly aberrant early church.