I once knew an Episcopalian lady in Newport, Rhode Island, who asked me to design and build a doghouse for her Great Dane. The lady claimed to understand God and His Ways of Working perfectly. She could not understand why anyone should be puzzled about what had been or what was going to be.
And yet, when I showed her the blueprint of the doghouse I proposed to build, she said to me, ‘I’m sorry, but I could never read one of those things.’
‘Give it to your husband or minister to pass on to God,’ I said, ‘and, when God finds a minute, I’m sure he’ll explain this doghouse of mine in a way that even you can understand.’
She fired me. I shall never forget her. She believed that God liked people in sailboats much better than He liked people in motorboats. She could not bear to look at a worm. When she saw a worm, she screamed.
She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is Doing.
I really, really like Spirit In The Sky by Norman Greenbaum, despite not really identifying with the Christian content of the lyrics or being a big fan of classic rock in general. But I was listening to it this morning, singing along to the lyrics, when this line came along:
I’m not a sinner, I’ve never sinned. I have a friend in Jesus.
And it got me thinking. From my experience with Christianity, I feel like it’s a strange line, because one of the core premises of Christianity is that Jesus died for your sins; he died to ensure that, even though you will inevitably sin during your lifetime, you will get into heaven.
More thinking: though nearly—if not completely—impossible, if you could theoretically not sin your entire life, would Jesus still have died for you?
So I guess that’s my question. I mean it in the most honest, genuinely-curious, respectful way. If you didn’t sin your whole life, did Jesus still die for you?