It’s me again…J Caesar and I am your host for another edition of Serious Sunday. I will spare you the rhetoric and get right to it, because this is a topic that is of intimate importance to me. It may not always show, and I probably should be more intentional about infusing this topic into more conversations with friends, family, and well…anybody. So here we go!
Today’s blog is about why more people don’t see the benefits of identifying with and choosing Christianity as their preferred method of how to live. As a Christian, I firmly believe that there is only one way to get to Heaven and that is thought Jesus Christ. But I am also fully aware that how I live my life on a daily basis sets up my opportunities to communicate this message. The following are some reason why I believe that the road for someone who does not choose to accept Christ as their personal savior has something to do with them, but it has a lot to do with how the view those who claim Christianity and are treated by them. Agree or disagree, these are the things I have heard most often.
6) The Bible Was Written By Man– what book isn’t? Whether male or female every book available for reading was written by someone. SO let’s challenge ourselves to think deeper about this issue. What are autobiographies? They are typically the story of someone’s life, often times written by someone else, but detailing the specific feelings, thoughts, memories and perspectives of the person who wants to tell THEIR story. Christianity teaches that the bible, with its many authors, was divinely inspired by the direction of the Holy Spirit.
5) The Church is So Segregated– And this is true. It’s not simply segregated by race/ethnicity in most instances; it is also segregated by traditions and emphasis on things that are not necessarily biblical. It’s ridiculous for it to be segregated, but this should no prevent you from making a choice about Christ. My argument to this is , explain areas of life that are not still impacted by these issues. Higher Education is now open to all people, but if you visit a college campus you will see groups of people who look alike, sound alike, all clumped together talking to one another. Our natural inclination is to always associate with what is familiar. Often times we do this without even thinking. However you can choose to venture out past your natural inclination. It takes individuals to bravely go out and try to associate with different types of people and push past their own bias, stereotypes, and fear.
4) Perception of Rules and Regulations– A lot of people believe that you have to be perfect to be a Christian. Christianity teaches that there was only ONE person who needed to and was actually perfect and that person was Jesus. Salvation is a free gift, one that must be accepted and not earned. However, when you have a bunch of “Christians” claiming that all of your imperfections will lead you to Hell…I get where someone would feel like they had to be a complete different person and fit into this mold of perfection. Perfection, outside of Jesus, doesn’t exist in Christianity. You don’t have a license to do wrong, but when you make a mistake, own it and the love you have for Jesus should compel you to want to do right the next time.
3) Religion– Religion and Christianity are not the same. Religion is humans trying to make sense of a God they have never seen based on their interpretations and values. Christianity is a way of life led by an understanding of biblical truth. I’ll keep this one brief because I could probably blog on this one topic forever. Catholics, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, COGIC, whatever have you are all affiliations. Your affiliation ALONE will not get you into Heaven; nor does it make you any more Christian than other affiliations. Christianity teaches that there is ONE HEAD= Jesus and the Body. Every member of the Body has a role to play and the strength of the body is based on you playing that role. So just because you identify with one affiliation over the other means nothing if you are not operating or your affiliation is not operating under the Head of Christ.
2) Hypocrisy– This is by far the second biggest issues that plagues people from accepting Christianity. They may have known someone who talked about their faith in Christianity on Sunday and did some despicable things Monday thru Saturday. They most assuredly have seen the news where men and women of God have been caught in all type of scandals from affairs to homosexuality to money laundering. The unfortunate part of Christianity is that you do have some who claim allegiance to Christ and do these things; and truth be told there is no arguing against it. If it happened, it happened. However, what I have often found when people claim that Christians are hypocrites is really a lack of understanding. If I say that I am a Christian and then I have a drink, does not make me a hypocrite. If I smoke a cigarette, while I truly believe this is bad for you, does not make me a hypocrite because the bible never condemns these acts. It’s choice. There are things that I have done, that because I knew that someone in my life space was uncomfortable with it, I stopped doing it…not because it was wrong, but because my love for them and not wanting to confuse them in their understanding was more important than the drink I wanted or the song with explicit lyrics I wanted to listen to.
1) Choice– Listen like or not, believe it or don’t….at the end of the day becoming a Christian, experiencing salvation and eternal life, is a Choice that you and only you can make. It is based on accepting the fact that God loves you, believing the gospel of Jesus Christ and confessing Him as Lord and Savior of your life. Becoming a Christian means that you are putting Christ in the driver’s seat of your life in every aspect….which is hard to do, but worth it once you are truly able to submit to Him. Your life does not change overnight and often times it looks the same way it did before you confessed Christ. What does change however is your eternal place when you die. What does change, often overtime and with good sound biblical teaching, is your perspective of life and all within it. What should change is the way you treat you and most importantly treat others. You can’t be perfect, but you should strive to be the best witness that you can be by making sure that your life and what you say you believe mirrors each other. But again it is YOUR CHOICE, no one else’s. And all of the excuses as to why you won’t choose for yourself will never be good enough or take away from your ability to choose.
There is a lot of detail that I didn’t go into and a lot of explanation that I probably left out….but hopefully you have a t least one Christian in your life, that you believe is living what they believe so that you can continue the conversation. You need to have as much info as you can so that you can have confidence in being able to make the RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOU!