The Easiest and Hardest Thing in the World

From Francis Schaeffer’s The God Who is There:

If it is so that there are good and sufficient reasons to know that Christianity is true, why doesn’t everybody accept the sufficient answers?

We must realize that Christianity is the easiest religion in the world, because it is the only religion in which God the Father and Christ and the Holy Spirit do everything. God is the Creator; we have nothing to do with our existence, or the existence of other things. We can shape other things, but we cannot change the fact of existence. We do nothing for our salvation because Christ did it all. We do not have to do anything. In every other religion we have to do something – everything from burning a joss stick to sacrificing our firstborn child to dropping a coin in the collection plate – the whole spectrum. But with Christianity we do not do anything; God has done it all: He has created us and He has sent His Son; His Son died and because the Son is infinite, therefore He bears our total guilt. We do not need to bear our guilt, nor do we even have to merit the merit of Christ. He does it all. So in one way it is the easiest religion in the world.

But now we can turn that over because it is the hardest religion in the world for the same reason. The heart of the rebellion of Satan and man was the desire to be autonomous; and accepting the Christian faith robs us not of our existence, not of our worth (it gives us our worth), but it robs us completely of being autonomous. We did not make ourselves, we are not a product of chance, we are none of these things; we stand there before a Creator plus nothing, we stand before a Savior plus nothing – it is a complete denial of being autonomous. Whether it is conscious or unconscious (and in the most brilliant people it is occasionally conscious), when they see the sufficiency of the answers on their own level, they suddenly are up against their innermost humanness – not humanness as they were created to be human, but human in the bad sense since the Fall. That is the reason that peopel do not accept the sufficient answers and why they are counted by God as disobedient and guilty when they do not bow.

People are living against the revelation of themselves. They are denying the revelation of God they themselves and all reality are. They are denying it and yet they have to live with it. When the person comes to see that there are good and sufficient reasons, then he or she is faced with a problem; either they bow before those good and sufficent reasons, and bow to the Person behind the reasons, or they refuse to bow.

It is not that the answers are not good, adequate and sufficient. Unless one gives up one’s autonomy, one cannot accept the answers.

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