“Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Luke 12:27).

Where do I begin? Christ said it would be just like this. If in the first century, Christians were persecuted, Christians today are marginalized not only by misunderstanding outsiders but also by misinformed Christian scholars.

And having come to this modern age, we now begin to see there are weeds among the lilies.

A recent newspaper article posed the question, “What is the difference in progressive Christianity and fundamental Christianity?” The reporter, quoting several “scholars” on the question, draws a distinction between early Christianity and today as the difference between a metaphorical search for meaning and fact-finding, suggesting the distinction also applies to “progressives” and “fundamentalists.” The scholars quoted make the reader believe Christianity has changed.

But haven’t we drawn our conclusion too soon? Haven’t we flipped a two-tailed coin to rig the bet? Do not progressives and fundamentalists pursue the same golden calf — to make the world in their image? And where are the real Christians, the marginalized?

Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.”

When I was a perimeter Christian, I took the road most traveled. Lazy, too easy was the temptation to let others do my thinking while ambitious pursuits filled my day. Let those other Christians do the work, I thought. All I had to do was believe and travel on. How persistent weeds can be.

God is persistent, too. My two roads diverged. I put off the decision as long as I could. Deferment exposed my misguided frame. One always gets wrong answers when asking wrong questions and I kept getting wrong answers. God can’t accept a perimeter Christian. He needs gardeners to tend to the weeds. And as my time came, I sought God on the road less traveled.

And herein lies our burden. For whatever Christianity is, the faithful know what it is not. Though fact-finding and metaphorical meaning lives within its boundary, Christianity does not end there. Beyond those well-intentioned sincerities, our faith has a purpose — to be God’s gardeners to those wearied from that well-worn road.

No, Christianity has not changed. It lives on the road less traveled. And those who travel it share the burden to express God’s grace, to live in gratitude to Him, to example their life after Christ as they seek to do so. On this road, real Christians serve God, unseen and undeterred, faithful to the task.

Hebrews 13, verse 8 and 9 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.”

“For He knows our frame; He remembers we are dust” (Psalm 103:14, NKJV).

Deck Cheatham has been a golf professional for more than 40 years. He lives with his family in Dalton. Contact him at pgadeacon@gmail.com.

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