Christianity is not about being good & doing good like too many people, even Christians, think. How did this happen? How did we end up to this? What has happened in churches if young Christians don’t know what Christianity is all about. Do you know?
This CNN article talks about how more teens are embracing “moralistic therapeutic deism” meaning it’s watered-down faith that portrays God as a “divine therapist” whose chief goal is to boost people’s self-esteem. I’d say that even more and more adult Christians don’t know what Christianity really means.
The sad thing is that Christianity is so simple that it does not take a genius to understand it. But it might be too easy for many. They think there should be a way to earn our salvation. What Christianity offers is free grace. Nothing but grace. But, paradoxically, that is everything.
Or, on the other hand, Christianity might be too demanding. “God doesn’t want something from us. He simply wants us”, states C.S. Lewis. The western culture has become so individualistic “Me-Me” culture that people do not want to be told what to do. Then surrendering to God feels too scary and too demanding.
I don’t want to have a watered-down god.
I want the holy and wild God
who is powerfully alive.
who lovingly wants to be in relationship with me.
who gracefully offers me life and more life through faith in Jesus Christ who conquered all sin at the cross.
who tenderly sends the Holy Spirit to live in me.
who gently changes me to be more like him.
who softly says ‘come to me and lay down your burdens, I give you rest’.
who doesn’t know anybody who he can’t love.
who is the alpha and the omega of this universe and beyond.
who is the redeemer of the world.
who came into flesh in Jesus and died on the cross and rose on the third day.
who is an active and dynamic force in this world.
How about you? I want all of it. Not just a part of it. I want all of it. I want the rough edges and all. I don’t need a picture-perfect, marshmallow god who says anything goes as long as you are nice. I don’t need a feel-good god who tells me feel okay about myself. I want more!
The good news is there is a powerful, wild God who sees me and the world as we are and who doesn’t leave us there but who guides us to be changed inside out by God’s amazing grace. You can have your watered-down feel-good version. Give me the old time religion. Give me Jesus! You just don’t know what you’re missing. Oh, you just don’t know what you’re missing. There’s so much more to God!
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!
My heart aches that people don’t know you.
My heart breaks to see people becoming indifferent to you.
Let the whole world know you!
Let the whole world find the way back to you.
Guide us to be better messengers of you.
Guide us to reflect your love and grace.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: What are your thoughts about what Christianity is all about?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim! I pray that you can experience the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love.
P.S. Don’t forget the contest!
Photo courtesy of Michael McFatridge