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Learning from children

Learning from children

By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith

     “… and a child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6)

The classmates of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl who has been in a coma and declared brain dead on Dec. 14 of last year is making Christians everywhere give what they call their “faith” a gut check.

The choice is between accepting what physicians have said or believing in what God has said.  And when we sort out all the nuances of the two arguments, it boils down to our faith in the declaration that “God can do anything.” The Church says it but does the Church have a certainty of belief in what it says?

As a matter of fact, the question of believing the Bible is inerrant and as such is timeless, is the cause of the turmoil today’s Church finds itself in; especially with issues of the Biblical standards of morality. And because the Church has begun to waffle about what God has clearly revealed in the Scriptures about such important concerns as moral conduct, it was only a matter of time before other cornerstones of the Church would be assailed, such as faith.

Many of us in the Church seemed to have forgotten what makes God Who He is comes from His capability to perform what we think is the impossible. If He could not manifest the humanly unattainable, He could not rightly be called God. When we speak of what can’t be done, we are most often anchoring ourselves in human competence or the lack thereof. If we believe that God is God I believe Christians have no option but to believe or have faith that God can raise Jahi McMath to her feet.

But I doubt it will happen because the Church would have to be on one accord for the miracle to be made real and if there is one thing the Church is not on, it’s one accord. Today, we cannot agree on what we believe and believing is the key. We read in St. Mark where Jesus Himself could do “no mighty work” in His hometown of Nazareth, “And He marveled because of their unbelief.”  Unquestioning belief in God and in His Word like those in the early Church is where today’s Church falls short.

Jahi’s classmates have decided their belief in God is much greater than their belief in science or medicine. They’ve decided that prayer will in the end prove more effective than any medicines or the lack thereof. More importantly, they’ve decided they don’t care that the rest of America and/or even the world think differently. They have faith in their God and faith in each other. For them, that’s more than enough.

One of her classmates said, “God has the last say so.” How is it that this child has grasped what so many in the Church seem unable to? That it truly does not matter who does not believe what God has said nor does it matter if what is believed is out of step with popular thought, it does not matter because, “God has the last say so.”

Our Church is at a crossroads today. It has to not only believe but teach that God can do and does do the impossible; that God is not some kind of intellectual construct but a real and living Being, and that because He is God, His Being like His Word is immutable and unaffected by what men think or the times they live in. Romans 3:3 queries us with this admonition, “For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” Indeed.

I believe that Jahi McMath, even while lying silent on her bed, is calling the Church to a greater commitment and belief to the God we claim we love and belong to. And I believe that for God to heal her as her classmates and family so continuously pray for, the Church needs to believe as they believe; that God can do anything even if He has not yet done it or ever will.  After all, “God has the last say so.” Think about it.


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