Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Bad Christians

Here's an excerpt from a recent email conversation:

"And if I go to hell because I refuse to "spread the word," then put me on the first bus and give me lots of suntan lotion, and maybe pray for me (if you think it'll help)."

My response:
Who said that was the way to heaven? Not God. One is saved by believing that Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead on the third day - that we are incapable of saving ourselves and that without the saving blood of Jesus Christ, we are destined to spend eternity separated from Him... it is NOT based on works of any kind - including spreading the word - we are NOT save by works, we are saved by faith and faith alone. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me." If you think that there is a spiritual scale that when you die you put your good works on one side and bad on the other, then you're kidding yourself. If you sin once, you're a sinner and God cannot have sin in His presence; to be wiped clean, you need the only perfect sacrifice that ever was: His Son.

It's true that most "Christians" give Christianity a bad name. More often than not, they (we) deny God's commandments: to love our neighbor as ourselves, to do unto others as we would like done to us, to love God with all our heart, to obey the 10 commandments, to ask forgiveness for our sins - basically like you said, doing the right thing. Many do - myself included - judge others and point fingers when Jesus himself said judge not or you will be judged; he who is without sin cast the first stone; before you look to remove the speck from someone else's eye, remove the plank from your own eye first... etc. It's unfortunate that you and others like you get your impression of Christianity from Christians (or those who call themselves such) rather than from the source - the Bible. If you really want know what Christianity is about, the read the Gospel of John (to start) and follow His example and DON'T follow our example because we’re imperfect humans and will lead you astray despite our best intentions. It's sad that most people who profess to know God, have no idea who He really is, but they go around acting as you describe - go to Church every Sunday, but have no compassion for anyone and forget what they're taught as soon as they leave the service. (Read James - he describes this condition perfectly).

But you're confusing "religion" for belief and faith in God - specifically Jesus as our savior – and his teachings. Personally I think religion is a waste of time because it's usually more about ritual than practice. Read Galatians 5:22, the fruit of the Spirit is faith, joy, love, kindness, gentleness, compassion, patience, self control - that's what Christians are to strive for - with the Holy Spirit's help - NOT going to Church on Sunday and giving up pizza for Lent.

Just remember though as you're condemning us for spreading God's word - that was His command to us: to spread the good news (Gospel) to all the people of the world. To do less would be to disobey God; isn’t that what you’re saying we shouldn’t do?


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