I was reading an article called “The Scandal of the Public Evangelical” after an article on Internet Monk about this article and its writer. Reading both of these helped me be able to put a finger on one of the issues that I have with the church.
It is that idea that being a Christian will somehow fix us.
How many times have you heard, or even told someone, that if they are struggling in their life that they should go to church to find the help that they need? I know I have told people this before as I had no clue what to say to them back then.
We go to church and see people that we think have it together and want to be like them. we read our bibles and make the meetings and learn the buzzwords and soon enough, our lives start to look like the ones who have been helped by the church.
The problem with this is that it doesn’t work and hurts those people even more.
When will we get to the point where we can openly say that being a Christian will not fix me?
Those who are looking at a religion to fix them will eventually have to admit that it failed. Religion will give them structure to live within, but it doesn’t change who they are or what has happened to them. When you are trying to fix something, you are essentially taking away the broken parts and replacing them with something else.
This goes against what Christianity is about. The whole premise of Christianity is that we will never be good enough to merit any favor from God or be able to be good enough to find our own way to heaven. When you try to remove only the “bad parts” of a person, you are still leaving the core of the person there. We are not “good enough” because of those “bad parts” that are within us. We are damaged and bad to the core.
That is why we must die.
The whole person must die and then we take up the new life of Christ. This is an essential principle that keeps getting missed.
I can see why people want to hold on to the idea that they are a “sinner saved by grace”. That God’s mercy makes up the distance between their normal life and the perfect life of Christ. To hold to these thoughts though, a person resists dying. They are looking for God to bridge the gap between who they are and who God wants us to be. We completely miss out on what Jesus did by dying and being raised back up.
This also goes to explain many of our struggles with “sin” and what keeps us back. We never move into freedom as we never moved into death. Freedom comes with the new, not the improved.