22 October 2012

Atheists Have It Right

Much of my reader audience is Atheist. I actually like this. And, to be honest, part of the reason is because I've spent some time in a couple of Atheist forums. Ironically, I feel more welcome and at home there. If I do share my thoughts about Jesus in any Christian arena I'm usually shunned or ignored. I'm noticing more and more that most Christians aren't willing to step out of their comfort zones and don't like it when people challenge their ideas they've relied on for years. However, I don't mind being the bad guy.

Lately, I've learned a lot from Atheists and quite honestly, I agree with some of their views. So, I want to write this post for them so they can better understand why Christians say and do what they do.

For all the Atheists out there, it's important you know what's being taught in modern-day Christiandom. So much of what we learn is based solely on fear and performance. Most Christians understand that if you don't believe and do almost everything right, then you clearly don't have a good relationship with God (or you don't know him at all). This causes them to dramatize their beliefs and act in a constant defense mode. But, no matter how hard they try, no one seems to get it right (Rom 3:23-24).

The problem is much deeper than it seems and there's a couple of reasons for it. Most Christians don't view people equally. How can I say this without knowing them? Well, I've been in church long enough to know the difference. Christians claim that all men and women are God's children, but not all people are true family members unless they accept Christ as their Lord (Eph 2:11-22). Simply put, if you're not for them, you're against them (Mat 12:30-32). They see you as the enemy.

14 October 2012

Increase Your Capacity To Love

No one can possibly see another person from God's point of view without accepting the simple facts. It doesn't matter if you don't understand or can't wrap your mind around what God has done. All that's left to do is trust in God's love and forgiveness, then you'll be able to truly love the people around you.
You can never truly love someone until you see them without sin.

This one simple idea will be the new foundation of your Christian life. In the New Testament (and present-day circles) it's called "grace" (Rom 5:12-21). In the Old Testament it was called "unfailing love" (Gen 32:9-10). However, if you don't understand these two terms, nothing God has done will ever make much sense. If you don't accept unfailing love, then you'll never be able to see God's people the way Jesus sees you.

What is grace or unfailing love? It's the realization that Jesus died for all sin. It's the simple idea that God no longer counts sin against his people and that he loves you no matter what. It's that simple, but it's so misunderstood.

The problem is Christians don't believe anyone is forgiven until they accept forgiveness. So, in their human eyes, forgiveness is only made available to those that accept Jesus as their Lord. This elitist point of view says only people who believe in Jesus (Christians) are who Jesus died for; no one else. But, this isn't true. I thought Jesus died for everyone?? Didn't he take on all sin and nail it to the cross? Well, that's the real question, isn't it?

08 October 2012

The Difference Between The World And The Church

Honestly, I don't see much difference in how the world operates and what the church does. I'm not talking about guitars and drums, amps, cool videos, flashy lights, fog, or cool hair and jeans. This is not conforming to the world at all. This is simply culture. Our grandparents thought it was hard core to sing worship songs instead of hymns. I know. What has the church come to?
A church with good artists always has a cool stage.

When Paul was talking about not conforming to this world, he didn't mean don't have flashy lights and cool music in church services. He wasn't talking about exterior stuff. He was talking about being transformed internally. Allowing your mind to be changed. This scripture is one of the most abused texts in the Bible. Seeing this verse in any light other than having an internal change would be using it out of context (Rom 11:30-12:2).

Likewise, I want to focus on a serious problem I find in most churches. Sure, Christians are trying to change people for the good, but how they're going about it is wrong. The world uses fear to control and manipulate people. And, so does the church. There's really no difference.

Let me explain. We constantly see advertisements that use fear to persuade us to buy certain products. The problem is it's so subtle that we don't see it as a fear tactic. For example, everyone knows the recent Corona commercials that show a couple sitting on a private beach even though, in reality, they're on an airplane or working in an office. If we really look at the ad, it's trying to convince us that if we don't drink Corona, then we won't be able to relax and escape the real world.