21st Century Christian Misunderstandings

There is something to be said for getting older. Life’s experience and continued learning help you to see life in a more realistic fashion. In thinking about life, faith, and things commonly taught and practiced in church, I wanted to highlight two things that need corrected. Things that actually set people up for disillusionment.

The first one is a common practice in Evangelical Churches. Someone makes the decision to accept Jesus’ sacrifice for sin and rather than giving that person the opportunity to realize what that means and then tell others. The church or a church leader tells others about them. I just saw a post from a big name pastor this morning featuring a homeless man who walked seven miles to an Easter Service and accepted Christ. It felt almost like the guy was being exploited with his picture on Facebook and a Christian guy pointing to him. If I were to caption the picture it would say, “See, God loves us and we are doing a great job of reaching people.” In Scripture, we see people who accepted Christ as their Savior immediately going out and telling their friends. You don’t see the disciples saying, “Look, we landed another one!”

The second thing that is bugging me lately, is we send a message that there is some way in this life to get to a place of maturity where we are consistently in a happy place; Where we consistently are living above the fray and barely ever sin anymore. I regularly hear people tell stories of how God has rescued and restored them from some monumental sin of the past, while neglecting to tell of the continued struggle they have in the present. Read Romans 8 in the Bible. This entire life is one of struggle. This entire life is swimming against the current. I’ve been a serious Christian for 39 years and if anything life has become more complex, there are more battles to face not less and my energy is decreasing not increasing.

The real benefits of knowing Christ, in many ways are other worldly. I mean, I know I know Him and He has promised to never leave me. He has promised His strength for the battle. Ultimately, He has promised, I will be with Him in eternity. There are some limited benefits in this life because of knowing Jesus, but it does not exempt you from all the issues that come from living on a fallen planet! One benefit is He has promised to teach us through everything and help us to become more like Him. But you still will have tragedy, you will have trouble, you will be sick, you will have sin battles and you will ultimately die, knowing Jesus does not exempt you from these things. Your body is dying but your inner person can be renewed every day through Him.

Knowing all the above is true and having tasted and seen the Lord is good, the cry of my heart is still, “That I might know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.”

blessings,
Scott

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About Scott Ranck

Enjoying life with my wife Gayle and our Yorkie, Zoe boy. I've come to believe life begins when through brokenness I can embrace it fully and openly. I've learned the human drama is an adventure and all of us are made of the same stuff. The Lord is the only being who knows me fully and he has an individual educational plan of life long learning for me and I'm enrolled. This blog is all about what I'm learning.
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2 Responses to 21st Century Christian Misunderstandings

  1. Donna riffle says:

    Right in brother!

    What I like about the way my church gives the call to accept christ is:

    • No magic words or potions will transform your life. It is what you do from here.
    • Accepting Christ is an absolution if your sunful past IF you turn from the sinful things and make an effort to change.
    • Accepting Christ does not mean you will live a smooth life, infact things will get more challenging and you will not be exempt from the things God wants to teach you or refine in you. You will have hard times, you will experience pain, ect.
    • Whats in it for you? It is what lies beyond this life – Eternity in heaven with no worries.

    Sometimes the things we are taught along lifes path make us think that the acceptance of Jesus means we will never sin or experience hardships.

    I like the way some churches are doing alter calls – ie: private in your seat, talk to a pastor if needed, folkowed through with a public profession of Baptism.

    I never liked the in from of the congregation and immediate announcement for the reasoning of counting numbers and patting your self in the back.

    Thank you for sharing. Praying God contines to contune to changes the hearts of thise who help to change lifes in the name of our Lord.

  2. Steve Broesder says:

    Wow, Scott, did you hit the nail this time! Having worked in sales for over 2 decades, I often think along the lines of marketing. But when it comes to the church, I always have to pull back and remember this is not a business. Don’t treat it like one. Be thankful for the salvations of others, but don’t exploit it.
    In your second point you say, “if anything life has become more complex, there are more battles to face not less”. So true. As we grow in our faith, I think we see more clearly how far we fall from the mark. I do find myself being more thankful for His forgiveness, and that my transgressions are covered by His sacrifice.
    Still, I do see a benefit in this life for being a Christian. As thing happen to us and the world, we have the assurance that our Father knows our limits (Ps. 103:14) The world cannot make this claim. Also, God is never out to hurt me. Yes, things happen but they are not from a vindictive God trying to make my life miserable. I bow and submit to these three truths. He is all powerful. If he wanted to stop the events happening to me, He could. He is all knowing. He know exactly what is happening to me. He knows better than I do, what is best for me and His plan. Finally, I know He loves me completely. He is the potter and I am the clay. He knows how fragile I am. He will never do anything to shatter me. Although I cannot see it, I know that what he is making of my life is beautiful to Him. In this life, those things offer hope in the midst of seemly dire situations.
    I do believe over time and through experience we learn these truths. Like the seasoned soldier, we are not exempt from the battle, but our helmet and breastplate become thicker, our shield stronger, our sword sharper. Not exempt, but better prepared for what comes. With that is the comforting knowledge, the battle field is not our home. Our home is with the king.

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