Preaching the Cross Part 4
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. I Corinthians 1:18
The Happy Christian views the cross of Christ the same way the Martyr Christians does. They both believe that bearing the cross means toil, sacrifice, and sadness, but their response to this view is totally different. I would say that Happy Christians have developed as a reaction to Martyr Christians. Happy Christians may have even tried cross-bearing religion for a while, but were totally disgusted with the outcome. Therefore they reject the idea of lifting the cross daily. The Happy Christian believes in righteousness by feelings whereas the Martyr Christian believes in righteousness by works. The Martyr focuses on the sacrifices one must make in order to follow Jesus: the Happy Christians focuses on the rewards one get as a result of following Jesus. However, Happy Christians cannot experience the fullness of the rewards they love to talk about because they are not willing to do what Jesus said must be done in order to experience it and that is:
And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. Luke 9:23&24
So neither the Martyr nor the Happy Christian is able is able to experience the power of the cross of Christ because they both view it as something that requires human effort rather than something that reveals divine power.
Next week I am going to deal with the third type of Christian this view of the cross produces and that is: The Happy Martyr.