Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cynicism - enemy of faith

I have recently been involved in discussions with well educated intelligent people who are Cynics. They know God but if they met HIM face to face would question the encounter. Cynicism is an enemy of faith. Not the only enemy, just the one I have most recently encountered as I have attempted to show a way out of bondage.

Every person who comes to God has some doubts. Faith without some doubt exercised is poor faith. Doubt gone bad is faith seen through the eyes of a cynic. A cynic is in worse shape than the skeptic because they aren’t honestly seeking answers, they are offering conclusions about situations, circumstances and the world around them. We can recognize these people by the way that they paint the world in a negative light. “Give a skeptic a hug, and she will doubt that you really mean it. Give a cynic a hug, and he will check for his wallet to see if you’ve picked his pocket.”

Scratch the surface of any cynic, and you will find a wounded idealist underneath. Because of previous pain or disappointment, cynics make their conclusions about life before the questions have even been asked. This means that beyond just seeing what is wrong with the world, cynics lack the courage to do something about it. The dynamic beneath cynicism is a fear of accepting responsibility.

The danger of cynicism is that this isn’t an answer. It’s no answer at all. It’s just a way to avoid the question. Cynicism is the opposite of a trumpet call; it is the call to inaction.

Let’s look at Pontius Pilate—the biblical example of a cynic.

John 18:28-40
When Pilate asked, “What is truth?” He was really saying was: “How can you truly be certain of anything? What kind of knowledge do you think you have? What kind of difference do you really think you can make? Why don’t you just stop trying to save the world, and all this trouble will go away?”

Has there ever been a time or season in your life when you asked these questions? Is there any area or corner of your life that is influenced by cynicism? How can we best respond to cynicism in the lives of others or even in our own?

Churches can be breeding grounds for cynicism. The dirty little and poorly kept secret of many churches is that the most cynical people in them are often on the payroll. Do you think that is true? If so, why are churches places where cynicism is alive and well?

I have been cynical in the past. I probably will be again in the future. It's a trap we all fall into. If you are in ministry, its easy to go there. No one who isn't very mature should work in a Church. It can be a nasty place.

Yet God himself wants to deliver us from Cynicism. He want's to take that hardness and break it, replacing it. He wants us to be free from our doubt, skepticism and cynicism.

HE said: I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. Ezekiel 36:26

Let him take away your Cynicism and heal your wounds. He took stripes on his back for your healing.

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