Please don’t become (or remain) a Christian for the wrong reasons.

Message to Christians
Please don’t become (or remain) a Christian for the wrong reasons.

Behind every philosophical belief there are assumptions that are usually unstated. One of the assumptions I hold that foundates (can you conjugate foundation that way?) all my beliefs about Christ and his religion, is that it is all true. If Christ’s way is true then all the others are wrong. So why do they exist? Were all religions invented by the evil one as counterfeits to keep people from the true one? I don’t think so. Religions and other belief systems were invented because they fulfill fundamental human – usually sinful – desires. Not all elements of every belief system are sinful. The desire to live forever seems to have divine approval but other fundamental desires are sins in Christianity like pride and the desire to be God (remember Eve). Anyway below are a few of the ways that Christians can avoid being like some of the sinful elements of other philosophies.

Christ is not a cult; It is not about Pride.
• Christ’s Church is not a place to be a big fish in a little pond. We are all little fish. Just remember the first will be last and the last shall be first. Pagans love to have religions where the priests or leaders or more invested members get to order around the lesser members of the cult/religion etc. Remember the life and death of our leader. None of us are above him.
• You are not better than others because you are smart enough to recognize the true religion. You believe in Christ because Christ allows it.
• You are also not better than other Christians because you believe correctly.
• You are also not better than others because you are more moral. This is a tough one because if you are moral it certainly feels like you are better than others. Being moral can be a real struggle and it feels like you deserve some credit. You do, and you will get it – on judgment day. Until then, don’t think of yourself ‘higher than you ought.’

Christ is not magic.
• Don’t think that Christianity is a way to gain power over nature like a wizard. Pagan religions are famous for trying to cajole their God into giving them a good crop or something. Sometimes God answers prayers but he never has to. There is no secret way to pray that will make God do what you want

• Christianity is a way to health and wealth but it’s the slow way. You know that saying about “Give a man a fish he will eat for a day but teach him to fish and he will eat until the oceans run out of fish” Or something close to that. Jesus wants to teach us to fish but mostly he wants to give us the motivation and the ability to take a long term view of things. If we take the long view we never fish the ocean bare.

Christ is not an ethnic group.
• Don’t think of Christianity as an ethnic group. This is especially hard for people who grow up in the church. The church is their group but sometimes they stop believing. If you don’t believe it please leave. But still send your tithe. (just kidding)

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2 Responses to Please don’t become (or remain) a Christian for the wrong reasons.

  1. Joel,
    It has been a blessing to make contact with Jonathan Charles, your brother, and through him, with you. Jon has sent me a bunch of his writings. He has had a rough journey. I found your blog from your FB page, and have enjoyed reading your thoughts. How did I decide to comment on this particular one? I guess I liked the way you invented the word “foundates.” I also found your tirade against the feminization of Christian leadership, and your dichotomy between preacher (introvert) and pastor (extrovert) to be interesting.

    • Thank you David, That means something coming from you. When I started writing I didn’t think anyone I knew would be reading what I wrote, hence some bawdiness but there is no point in changing it now. Valerie told me about a great sermon you gave at LRCA one year. She said it was an after campfire sermon that featured fractured Bible stories. She liked it a lot and even said if you still have it kicking around she would like to read it again. I thought you would like to know.

      All the best

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