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Crosswords: Sweet and sour
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes...”  (Romans 1:16).
What is it about Christianity that makes it more offensive than an agitated skunk to those outside the faith? To be sure the Crusades, those 300 years when the church took to military force to confiscate lands and force conversions, didn’t help. But that was some 800 years ago. Time should have scabbed over most of that wound. The present day ‘crusades’, where we in the church have enlisted troops to battle homosexuals, alcohol, and illegal aliens while dismissing our own ‘minor’ indiscretions, certainly emits a stench. Hypocrisy is a sharp sword that needs to be sheathed. But what I believe to be the biggest turn off for the unbelieving human race is that authentic Christianity is anything but human.   
The “gospel”, the life blood of Christianity, relieves man of the opportunity to do anything for himself. It flies in the face of Hinduism, Buddhism, Humanism, or any other form of religion. It takes our hands off the spiritual steering wheel. It is the “power of God”, not the capabilities of man to save a lost soul.
In every other walk of life we are told to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. To make something of ourselves. To work hard to succeed. We glamorize the self-made man. We fawn over those who defy the odds. We laud those who stare down adversity with a steely gaze and somehow overcome. The road to success is paved with hard work and we believe the same will somehow earn us a spot in paradise.
The “gospel” is fighting words to a proud human race. But to those of us who have come to the end of our ropes, who have realized the futility of our efforts to in someway make God stand up from His throne and cheer us, the Gospel is a welcome aroma. It is as Jesus said, a blessing to the poor, the meek, the tired and the sick.
We needn’t be ashamed of the gospel because it is not on us. We can’t save ourselves much less anyone else. Our only tasks are to believe it and proclaim it. Whether others accept or reject it has nothing to do with us. It is the plan of God and the work of His Son. His shoulders are big enough, His skin thick enough to bare the brunt of others ridicule. That in itself takes the pressure off us and makes the gospel what it is. Good News.

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