By Bruce Green
Teaching Minister at 10th Street Church of Christ
in Opelika

Birdhouses for the eastern bluebird (indigenous to our area), have a circular entrance hole 1 ½” in diameter. Any smaller and an adult bluebird cannot get in. Any larger, and things other than the bluebird will find their way in (not good).

The story doesn’t end here. It seems some non-bluebird animals, despite their restrictive size, nevertheless desire to enter the bluebird home. From their perspective, the problem isn’t that they aren’t the right size, the problem is that the hole is too small. The solution is to scratch and claw away at the hole to make it larger. The better-designed bluebird houses take this into account and have what is known as a predator guard over the front of the hole to prevent this from happening.

Human beings can be very much like that at times regarding the kingdom of God. There is a way to be at home with God that is clearly revealed in the biblical witness. It has to do with humbling ourselves before God, accepting His grace in Christ and living a life of joyful submission. Sadly, this is unacceptable to some. Most in this group make their choice actively or passively not to be a part of the kingdom and that’s that. However, there is a curious sub-group that wants to live in both worlds. They scratch and claw away at the standards of God’s kingdom. From their perspective, the problem is not with them, it is the restrictiveness of the kingdom.

It’s not uncommon to see groups caving into cultural pressure. They speak of liberation, enlightenment, grace, and scales falling from their eyes, but the reality is they’re just scratching and clawing because from their perspective it’s easier to try to change the kingdom than to allow God to change them. This might be what Jesus was referring to when He said, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it” (Matthew 11:12).

Every person has the potential to become part of God’s family. But no one can enter the kingdom as a predator, bent on satisfying their appetites and desires. The kingdom doesn’t need a larger entrance, we need greater humility to go through the One there is.

You can find more of Bruce’s writings at his website: